Quick Question: Why Does Everyone Say “Getting Hitched?”

Learn the origin behind this common phrase.
Couple running surrounded by flowers
Photo: Getty Images,Design: Tiana Crispino
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
Associate Editor
  • Chapelle writes articles for The Knot Worldwide. She covers all things wedding-related and has a personal interest in covering celebrity engagements and fashion.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Chapelle was an editorial intern for Subvrt Magazine.
  • Chapelle has a degree in English writing from Loyola University New Orleans.
Updated May 24, 2024

While figuring out how to plan a wedding, you'll encounter many unique wedding planning terms, like golden hour and plus-plus. But more relaxed wedding abbreviations and lingo are also commonly thrown around, like the phrase "getting hitched." But have you ever investigated its etymology? If not, it's time to get a speedy lesson on the expression's meaning, origin and history. As a bonus, we added sentence examples so you know how to use "getting hitched" properly, alternatives to the popular saying whenever you want to switch up your vocabulary and ways you can incorporate "getting hitched" into your wedding.

What you should know about "getting hitched": Meaning | Origin | History | Synonyms | Ideas

"Getting Hitched" Meaning

What does "getting hitched" mean? Simply put, the idiom means to get married. "Hitched" is when something is connected, attached or joined to something else. As such it makes sense that the "getting hitched" definition relates to two people joining as one in marriage.

It's said the verb "hitch" was first recorded during the mid-15th century, possibly from the Middle English words hicchen, hytchen or icchen, which meant to move jerkingly or stir. Its definition of being fastened to something, specifically by a hook, later came around the 1570s and was a natural reference. But what links "hitch" to "getting hitched" is its other definition. People used the term to describe a horse being attached to a wagon before travel or labor. (We'll explain this association a little more below.)

"Getting Hitched" Origin

The exact date "getting hitched" was first used is unknown, but it's thought its introduction was around the 1840s. The informal phrase is a metaphor for a couple coming together in a marital union like horses being hitched to a wagon and sharing responsibility for their load.

"Getting Hitched" History

Nowadays, people use "getting hitched" frequently without knowing its animal-related origins. Many to-be-weds choose to sport the phrase on wedding paraphernalia, such as mugs, hats and tote bags, to show off their nearlywed status. It also commonly makes an appearance on save-the-dates to inform loved ones that a couple is heading down the aisle. In short, from bachelorette party shirts to wedding invitations, the phrase is truly everywhere.

But if it's your first time hearing the expression and you think we've been referencing the 2000s rom-com hit Hitch, the whole time, don't worry. Here are some examples of the "getting hitched" used in a sentence.

  • Adam and Jessica can't wait to get hitched next June––it's all they talk about.
  • Babe, Tom and Kenny are getting hitched, and I need to start looking at their registry. Do you know how to find a couple's wedding website?
  • I can't wait to get hitched in Las Vegas and hop on the plane to honeymoon in Venice.
  • This might be a hot take, but the best rom-coms always have the couple getting hitched at the end.
  • We were all shocked when Zack and Hannah secretly got hitched last month.
  • Why didn't anyone tell me that getting hitched took so much planning?
  • Hey Amanda, I hope you like this "getting hitched" mug I bought you as an engagement present.
  • My sister is about to get hitched!
  • Let's get hitched!

"Getting Hitched" Synonyms

If "getting hitched" isn't your favorite idiom, don't worry because there are many synonyms you can use. Your wedding is your own special day and you can refer to the upcoming celebration in any manner you wish. Below are other formal or causal ways to say someone is getting married.

  • Tying the knot
  • Taking the plunge
  • Jumping the broom
  • Settling down
  • Joining in matrimony
  • Walking down the aisle
  • Saying "I do"
  • Becoming one
  • Taking the vows
  • Becoming husband (or wife) and wife (or husband)
  • Wed
  • Unite in marriage
  • Commit to each other

"Getting Hitched" Wedding Ideas

There are many ways you can add this phrase to your wedding decor. Keep reading to see these real wedding ideas that include "getting hitched."

"Getting Hitched" Wedding Invitations

At this retro-inspired wedding, they had psychedelic orange and pink invitation suites. The couple placed "get hitched" on their invitations to let their guests know they're marrying soon.

"Got Hitched" Sign for Newlywed Photoshoot

"Got hitched" sign for newlywed photoshoot
Photo: Ashley + David Photography

For their courthouse wedding, the grooms had 1920s-style font for their photoshoot sign. The two had a champagne toast and a surprise cake from the next-door restaurant.

"Just Hitched" Wedding Parade Sign

There was only a short distance between the ceremony and reception venues. That's why the bride and groom decided to walk between the two with their loved ones parading and carrying a "Just Hitched" sign. "It was one of my favorite memories of the whole day. Many people came onto their porches to watch the parade pass by," the bride says.

"Getting Hitched" Chalkboard Sign

To greet their guests, this couple had a wedding welcome sign at the entrance of their ceremony space. This chalkboard sign is adorable while being a directional help for those arriving.

"Getting Hitched" Groom's Cake

"Getting hitched" groom's cake at wedding
Photo: Photography by Kristen

Groom's cakes are a Southern wedding tradition that allows marriers to be creative. This fishing-themed confection served at the reception has a cute "gettin' hitched" sign.

"Getting Hitched" Rustic Wedding Banner

"Getting hitched" rustic wedding banner
Photo: Caity McCulloch Photography

At their barn wedding venue, a "gettin' hitched" banner hung above the reception entrance. The bride's mother was able to find the decor piece secondhand.

"Hitched" Wedding Newspaper

"We made 'newspapers' for each place setting with comic strips and a crossword puzzle," the bride says. (Psst: You should definitely have the expression a part of your wedding table activities. The "get hitched" NYT (New York Times) crossword clue has reportedly been spotted more than 20 times in the paper.)

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