“I joined in marriage Ben and Nicole”… when the officiant write it in the marriage certificate can it have a double meanings?

The first meaning is- I united in marriage Ben and Nicole- meaning I married them.

The second meaning can be- I joined in the marriage of Ben and Nicole ( I participated in their marriage). Can ”marriage Ben and Nicole” be a correct sentence? Is it correct to say “marriage Ben and Nicole” like it is a short way of saying “the marriage of Ben and Nicole”?

Thank you!!!

  • 1
    It's not common to use "join" the second way. You can say "Please join us in celebrating the marriage of ..." in an invitation.
    – Barmar
    Commented Jun 27 at 22:10
  • I'd say it is very rare to use 'joined in marriage' with an officiant as the subject (agent); the usage is usually passivised.. Commented Jun 27 at 22:14
  • 1
    It means performed the marriage ceremony. I married them. No of.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 27 at 22:23
  • "Marry" as a verb has two different but related meanings. "I joined in marriage Ben and Nicole" means the same as "I married Ben and Nicole", but some would think the latter implies 3 people all getting married to each other. So I guess it avoids an ambiguity -- one which is seldom genuine but sometimes comical.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 28 at 9:44
  • You are mistaken. The second meaning can't be I joined in the marriage of Ben and Nicole ( I participated in their marriage). Commented Jun 28 at 11:07

1 Answer 1


"to join in marriage" is a set phrase, meaning to cause a couple to become married. It acts like a transitive verb, so in

I joined in marriage Ben and Nicole

"Ben and Nicole" is the object of the verb phrase "join in marriage". The officiant might say this to introduce the ceremony:

We are here to join in marriage Ben and Nicole.

although a more modern phrasing would be:

We are here to join Ben and Nicole in marriage.

This would never be confused with participating as a guest at the marriage ceremony.

  • Thank you very much for your answer!! Can we say in English the phrase “Marriage Ben and Nicole”? Or it has to be with the word “of” at the middle? Commented Jun 27 at 22:51
  • 1
    No, that's not a valid phrase. If it's not obvious to you, you probably belong on English Language Learners.
    – Barmar
    Commented Jun 27 at 22:53
  • "I was [a guest] at Ben and Nicole's wedding." Commented Jun 28 at 7:35

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