Marriage Idioms & Expressions: Asking Someone to Marry You, Getting Married & Types of Marriages!

(Photo by fred the chicken)


Asking someone to marry you

to propose (marriage) (to someone)
= to ask someone to marry you
*Usually when a man proposes to a woman, he asks: “Will you marry me?

My sister is very excited! She thinks her boyfriend is going to propose to her tonight!


to ask for someone’s hand in marriage
= to ask someone to marry you (formal)

It was such a romantic proposal. He got down on one knee and asked for my hand in marriage!


to pop the question
= to ask someone to marry you (informal, slang)

Those two have been dating forever! When is he finally going to pop the question???


Getting married

to get hitched
= to get married (very informal/slang)

Did you hear? Adam and Betty got hitched in Vegas last weekend!


to say I do
= to get married (informal)
*During a traditional Christian wedding ceremony, the couple says their vows. As part of the vows, the bride and groom say “I do” (they agree to marry each other)

So, when are you two saying ‘I do’?
(When are you getting married?)


to tie the knot
= to get married (informal)

After dating for several years, Ken and Erin have decided to tie the knot!


to walk down the aisle together
= to get married (informal)
*In a traditional Christian wedding in a church, the bride walks down the aisle of the church to meet her groom, and the ceremony begins. After the ceremony, the married couple walks back down the aisle together.

Two days to go until they walk down the aisle together!
(Their wedding is in 2 days.)


to leave (someone) at the altar
= to decide not to marry someone at the last moment (very close to or on the day of the wedding)
*The altar is the area at the front of the church where the bride and groom stand during the ceremony.

He got cold feet and left his fiancée at the altar. She was mortified!
(*to get cold feet = to get nervous)



married to one’s work
If you are married to your work, you spend more time working than you do with your family!

His family rarely sees him. He spends all of his time at the office. He’s married to his work!


a match / marriage made in heaven
= the man and woman are perfect for each other!

They are a match made in heaven!


an arranged marriage
= a marriage where the parents (or other close family member) choose the person their son or daughter will marry


a shotgun wedding
= a wedding that happens quickly and suddenly because the woman is pregnant; the couple wants to be married before the baby is born.


an open marriage
= a marriage in which the husband and wife are free to have sex with other people!


a marriage of convenience
= when two people get married not because they love each other, but because they can gain something, for example when a non-citizen marries a Canadian so that they can stay in Canada.


5 Comments on Marriage Idioms & Expressions: Asking Someone to Marry You, Getting Married & Types of Marriages!

  1. Andrew
    June 20, 2012 at 8:07 pm (4 years ago)

    Hi Melanie!
    Thanks for the article! It is very informative!
    I encountered the expression ‘destination wedding’. I am not sure, but I suppose that it means a wedding held outside the North America, in Europe, Asia or in some tropical islands. Could you please advise if this expression is used in Canada and what it exactly means?

    • Melanie
      June 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm (4 years ago)

      Hi, Andrew!

      You are absolutely correct! A ‘destination wedding’ is like a vacation. Everyone has to travel to the wedding & usually it’s held in a popular tourist spot – like a Caribbean beach, the Tuscan countryside in Italy, or a tropical island!

      = )

  2. Michael
    January 28, 2013 at 10:52 am (3 years ago)

    What a good lessson. I love you more and more. Very useful expressions of marriage.
    I will use “When are you getting married?” rather than use “When will you marry?” from now on.

  3. rajni
    June 17, 2013 at 1:54 pm (3 years ago)

    wow. thanx a lot ma’m.

  4. Jose Antonio Sarmento
    June 21, 2013 at 8:18 am (3 years ago)

    Dear, Professor Melania

    i’m greatfull with your this material of english teaching to be understood as weel. i need more formal and informal idioms words as above!
    i wish i could be given more and more those idioms expressions.

    thank you