Dear Kate,
I wish you had been at Mark and Anita’s wedding! It was such a fantastic ceremony!
I know you couldn’t make it, but don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it.
First there was the white wedding in church. Oh, they looked so beautiful together when they were walking to the altar before the ceremony started! Anita was wearing an amazing dress with a long veil (= long piece of thin material attached to a woman’s hair) and holding a tiny bouquet of white roses (= a bunch of flowers arranged in a special way). And Mark looked so elegant in his tuxedo (= a kind of elegant suit). You know how I like weddings, and so I cried when they were exchanging marriage vows and rings (= promising love and faithfulness to each other). It was so moving – '… till death do us part.’ (= a part of what people getting married say at the church, meaning 'until we die’)
Do you know who the best man was (= male 'witness’ during the ceremony)? It was Mark’s younger brother, Jimmy, I bet you’ve seen him before. And the bridesmaids, all dressed in blue, were Anita’s friends (= female 'witnesses’).
When the ceremony at church finished, the bride (= woman who is getting married) and the groom (= man who is getting married) got into their car and all the guests went to the place where the wedding reception took place, out of the city. Everyone had a great time until the small hours (= hours like 2 or 3 a.m.). What a pity you couldn’t be there with us!
I’m sending you a couple of pictures of the newlyweds (= a newly-married couple) and some from the wedding reception. I’ll show you more when you come to visit me next time.
Aunt Lucy



More contexts for the new words: 

  • Visitors must report to reception first. (= area where visitors meet)
  • Don’t forget to wear a tux. (= a tuxedo)



Add the missing letters to complete the expressions (the number of dashes corresponds to the number of missing letters). Then decide which of these factors are the most important for a successful wedding, and which are the least important. Explain your choices.


  1. a beautiful dress worn by the br _ _ _
  2. an elegant t _ x _ _ _ worn by the g _ _ _ m
  3. lots of food on the wedding r _ _ _ p _ _ _ _
  4. exchanging marriage v _ w _
  5. a beautiful b _ _ q _ _ _
  6. a long v _ _ l






Aunt Lucy began her letter to Kate with:

I wish you had been at Mark and Anita’s wedding.’

We can actually learn a lot from this sentence: we know that Kate wasn’t at the wedding and that aunt Lucy regrets it, is not happy about it.

When you regret a past situation, you would like something to have been different from the way it was, you use:


I wish you had come to see me at hospital last week. (= I was sorry you didn’t visit me)

Stan wishes he hadn’t argued with his wife. (= he argued with her and now regrets it)

My sister wishes I had helped her with the party. She was very busy. (= I didn’t help my sister and she thinks it is a pity I didn’t)





A/ Why did they call off the wedding at the last moment?

B/ Apparently Jack GOT COLD FEET.


When you get cold feet, you suddenly feel nervous about doing something that you have planned or agreed to do.





  1. In a marriage ceremony, when you GIVE the bride AWAY, you formally bring her to the front of the church so that she is standing at the side of her future husband, and then give permission for her to marry.


The bride was given away by her father.

He wept when he was giving his daughter away in marriage.


  1. When you CALL something OFF, you decide that something will not happen.


He’s called off the wedding.

If we have more rain, the game might be called off.



Transform the sentences so that they mean the same. Use the words in brackets.


  1. The wedding was cancelled. [OFF]



  1. He got scared and thus did not propose to her. [FEET]




  1. She dreams of her uncle leading her to the altar on her wedding day. [AWAY]









What was supposed to be the wedding of the year ended up as the scandal of the year – and a complete failure. The celebrity couple, Zyta Zytowska and Michał Michaliński, were due to get married last Saturday in one of Warsaw’s quaint little churches in the Old Town. However, apparently the bride got cold feet at the last minute, just as she was about to be given away by her ex-husband, the famous wrestler Robert Robertowski. Just as the organs started playing Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, Zyta turned on her heel and headed onto the street. She caught a taxi and asked to be driven away in any direction, as fast as possible.

‘She looked scared out of her wits,’ recalls the taxi driver. ‘I drove her to the train station.’

And that was the last anyone saw of her.



quaint – attractive and old-fashioned

was about to – was due to

turned on her heel – turned quickly

scared out of her wits – very scared


download lesson (pdf)






  1. bride 
  2. tuxedo, groom
  3. reception
  4. vows
  5. bouquet
  6. veil



  1. The wedding was called off.
  2. He got cold feet and thus did not propose to her.
  3. She dreams of being given away by her uncle