A wedding is a ceremony where two people or a couple are united in marriage.Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes.This means that civil divorcés cannot remarry in a Catholic marriage while their spouse is alive.In the area of nullity, religions and the state often apply different rules.The wedding ceremony of Saint Thomas Christians, an ethnoreligious group of Christians in India incorporate elements from Hindu, Jewish and Christian weddings."The Order for the Service of Marriage" in the Methodist Book of Worship for Church and Home (1965) specifies the important of premarital counseling, stating that the "minister is enjoined diligently to instruct those requesting his offices for their prospective marriage in the Christian significance of the holy estate into which they seek to enter".The Service of Christian Marriage (Rite I) includes the elements found in a standard liturgy celebrated on the Lord's Day as well as other elements unique to this Mass: the Entrance, Opening Prayer, Old Testament Reading, Psalm, New Testament Reading, Alleluia, Gospel Reading, Sermon, Recitation of one of the ecumenical creeds, prayers of the faithful, Offertory, the Declaration by the Man and the Woman, Response of the Families and the People, Exchange of Vows, Blessing and Exchange of Rings, Declaration of Marriage and celebration of the Eucharist, and Benediction.Hindu ceremonies are usually conducted totally or at least partially in Sanskrit, the language of the Hindu scriptures.
Most Christian churches give some form of blessing to a marriage; the wedding ceremony typically includes some sort of pledge by the community to support the couple's relationship.
Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of marriage vows by the couple, presentation of a gift (offering, ring(s), symbolic item, flowers, money), and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure or celebrant.
Special wedding garments are often worn, and the ceremony is sometimes followed by a wedding reception.
Historian Vicki Howard points out that the belief in the "ancient" quality of the practice is most likely a modern invention.
Music played at Western weddings includes a processional song for walking down the aisle (ex: wedding march) either before or after the marriage service.