Bride-to-be vs fiancée

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Anushka Athukorala

Senior Member
Sinhalese
Hello Menbers
I am bit confused about these two words. I have quoted what the Oxford Dictionary says below.

A woman to whom a man is engaged to be married.

‘he went back to the valley to marry his fiancée’
Synonyms
betrothed, wife-to-be, bride-to-be, future wife, prospective wife, prospective spouse

However I would like to know how practical usingbride-to-be, in place of Fiancee. Is it really used like this in spoken English?
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    A fiancée is a bride-to-be, but one term emphasises the engagement and the other the forthcoming wedding.

    The verb betroth is nearly always used in the passive voice — to become betrothed to someone. (But it's extremely old-fashioned. I doubt if anyone would use it today.) Therefore betrothed is also used as an adjective.

    And as a noun, someone's betrothed is the person, male or female, that they're engaged to.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    We'd mostly speak of a bride-to-be in relation to an upcoming wedding: who her bridesmaids will be, what her dress will be like, and so on. 'Bride' likewise relates mainly to the actual ceremony itself; it's not the same as 'wife'. The two might have been engaged (she's been a fiancée) for a year or more, and might already be living together.
     

    Anushka Athukorala

    Senior Member
    Sinhalese
    Hello Lingobingo/entangledbank
    Thank you very much for the explanation. Are both Fiancee and Bride-to-be engaged?
    Can I say ?
    she's been a bride-to-be for a year or more.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    The verb betroth is nearly always used in the passive voice — to become betrothed to someone. (But it's extremely old-fashioned. I doubt if anyone would use it today.) Therefore betrothed is also used as an adjective.
    It isn't quite dead yet! :D

    My friend captioned a picture on Facebook: 'Birthday girl with her betrothed' - referring to my friend's daughter and my friend's future son-in-law.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It isn't quite dead yet! :D

    My friend captioned a picture on Facebook: 'Birthday girl with her betrothed' - referring to my friend's daughter and my friend's future son-in-law.
    Perhaps I didn't put that very well? I meant the verb "betroth" is no longer used, not the noun "betrothed". :)
     

    WyomingSue

    Senior Member
    English--USA
    You can use bride-to-be as a substitute noun. For example the woman and her friends go to a store to look for a wedding dress and dresses for the bridesmaids. The sales clerk might ask "which one of you is the bride-to-be?"
    I would not say "she has been a bride-to-be for a year." It sounds better to say she has been engaged for a year.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Not to forget the classic, "affianced".

    I found this wedding script online. It sounds quite classic to me, though it specifies a time frame that sounds very yesteryear:

    "Friends, we have been invited here today to share with (Name) and (Name) a very important moment in their lives. In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives together as husband/wife and wife/husband."

    At some point an engagement must be called something else.

    Jennifer Hudson has been engaged for nine years. That is not an "engagement" that is a "postponement".
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    If I Remember Correctly, which has often proved not to be the case, "His bride-to-be had vanished." is the last line of Booth Tarkington's novel Seventeen. I think 'bride-to-be' is mostly either outdated or used humorously; for information regarding the outfits of the maid/matron of honor and the bridesmaids, I also think the '-to-be' is frequently omitted nowadays in these cases, though.

    Jennifer Hudson has been engaged for nine years. That is not an "engagement" that is a "postponement".
    I guess when (if?) they take the floor for their first dance together as a wedded couple, they'll do so to the strains :D of "The Hesitation Waltz".
     
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