Bride

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neliha76

Senior Member
france
hello,

i have some problems with the meaning of "bride". I read in WR that it is
a woman who has recently been married

But can a woman who whose marraige is planned be called a "bride" or she must already be married to consider her as a bride ?

Thanks
 
  • GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    It can be either way.

    An alternate definition from another dictionary also includes: a woman who is about to be married.

    The WR dictionary also gives A woman participant in her own marriage ceremony.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    A bride is a woman who is about to be married, is being married, or has recently been married.

    What she may have been before this is not relevant.
     

    abenr

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    panjandrum said:
    A bride is a woman who is about to be married, is being married, or has recently been married.

    What she may have been before this is not relevant.
    I have difficulty believing a bride can be a woman about to be married -- unless perhaps she's walking down the aisle when she is so referred to. In my neck of the woods, a woman who is engaged to be married is a bride-to-be.

    Have I misunderstood something?

    Cheers,
    Abenr
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    abenr said:
    a woman who is engaged to be married is a bride-to-be.
    I think this is splitting hairs a bit.

    During that engagement period, when the young woman is in the throes of selecting dress, veil, shoes, flowers, invitations, etc. and being showered upon by all of her friends and family, I would say she is very much the bride, and can be feted as such.

    In today's times, I think the two are interchangeable.

    For a point of reference, the WR dictionaries do state that a bride-to-be is a "woman engaged to be married." That's not necessarily reflective of exact modern usage, which tends to "shorten" things as much as possible.

    Welcome to the Forums, by the way! :)
     

    abenr

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    GenJen54 said:
    I think this is splitting hairs a bit.

    During that engagement period, when the young woman is in the throes of selecting dress, veil, shoes, flowers, invitations, etc. and being showered upon by all of her friends and family, I would say she is very much the bride, and can be feted as such.

    In today's times, I think the two are interchangeable.

    For a point of reference, the WR dictionaries do state that a bride-to-be is a "woman engaged to be married." That's not necessarily reflective of exact modern usage, which tends to "shorten" things as much as possible.

    Welcome to the Forums, by the way! :)
    Thanks for the welcome!

    I'm not only old, I'm an old-fashioned guy. I don't like word distinctions to be lost because of "modern usage." We lose too many this way. The first that pops into my head just now is "gay." We can no longer use it to mean joyful -- not without a smirk from someone. :)

    Cheers,
    Abenr
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Hand up claiming first-hand direct experience in BE both locally and London.

    The young lady who is about to be married, on Saturday, with my daughter as bridesmaid, is the bride. She has been the bride since the detailed wedding planning began. She will be the bride on Saturday. She will be the bride in all conversations about the wedding forever after the wedding.

    I suppose that in all pre-wedding conversations we could believe that the use of bride implies bride-to-be, and in all post-wedding conversations, bride-that-was. But life isn't like that.

    Reductio ad absurdum - the young lady is a bride only for the zero-duration moment of the marriage.

    Some may not like this, but it is current usage, and it was normal usage way, way back when Mrs P was a bride.

    (Include the direct experience of the other daughter, who was married on Valentine's Day this year)
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    abenr said:
    Thanks for the welcome!

    I'm not only old, I'm an old-fashioned guy. I don't like word distinctions to be lost because of "modern usage." We lose too many this way. The first that pops into my head just now is "gay." We can no longer use it to mean joyful -- not without a smirk from someone. :)

    Cheers,
    Abenr
    And now thanks to civil partnerships you can have gay brides and gay gay brides:)
     

    Kat LaQ

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Note that after the wedding day, she isn't a bride anymore, except as noted above when referring back to the wedding day. She is a bride only from the engagement through the wedding day.

    There are exceptions, of course. If an old-fashioned but perhaps lovable uncle of the groom met them 6 months after the wedding for the first time, he might say, "So this is your lovely bride!" But in general, the bride becomes the wife!
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    Down my part of Ireland we wouldn't refer to an engaged woman as a bride. Engagements in rural Ireland were known to last ages - literally years as "he" waited for the parents to pass away so he could inherit the farm. Small Irish farms could not support two families, and small Irish kitchens could not tolerate two housewives.
    The woman might be referred to as a bride-to-be if the wedding were close, but bride has a temporal relationship to the actual ceremony. The married woman only remains a bride for a short while. (Possibly until just after the first time you see her after the wedding.)
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    It seems to me that a woman is a "bride" in relation to the marriage ceremony. So she is engaged, a fiancée, before the marriage but in relation to that prospective ceremony she is the bride (to be). So as she tries on the dress in the shop she is the bride. She is obviously the bride during the ceremony, and she is the bride at the party afterward and during the honeymoon. After that she might be the "bride" in relation to the relatively recent union, but quickly is a wife.

    It can still be used poetically, or for effect of course. It makes me think of one of my favourite lyrics, from Don McLean's American Pie -

    I can't remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride - so reading about a bride who is widowed is effectively reading about the death of the husband. Brilliant.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    Buddy Holly married married Maria Elena Santiago on August 15, 1958
    and he died on February 3, 1959 - that's not even six months, so I think the Bride title is fitting.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    maxiogee said:
    Buddy Holly married married Maria Elena Santiago on August 15, 1958
    and he died on February 3, 1959 - that's not even six months, so I think the Bride title is fitting.
    Ah, I didn't realise it had a literal element, thanks for the info.

    It's quite a good example, then, of the fact that "bride" outside of the wedding day itself is nevertheless directly linked to just that day as he is stressing the pathos of Buddy's death by how recently he got married.
     

    TimN

    Member
    English, England
    GenJen54 said:
    It can be either way.

    An alternate definition from another dictionary also includes: a woman who is about to be married.

    The WR dictionary also gives A woman participant in her own marriage ceremony.
    I think GJ54 is right here.
    A bride, like a bridegroom is someone who takes part in the ceremony of marriage. Before the event, they are both "potential" bride and bridegroom (there's been many a wedding planned that ne'er came to pass). If a girl was engaged, but the wedding was cancelled, is/was she a bride? As observed higher up, bride to (hopefully) be is the correct term.

    After the event they are definitely wife and husband, not bride and groom. There's more than one guy/girl in the world who would like to re-wind the bride/groom part and say "I most certainly do not!". Outside of the event, the bride and groom exist only in the fond and tearful memories and photo's of the participants. Calling a married woman "The Bride" is simply a harking back to that momentous and seminal event.

    But then, that’s just my humble opinion… ¦:-]
    TimN
    Go ahead, make your day!
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Recalling the days when most brides were still virginal, :eek: it seems to me that the bride was still the bride as long as she still had that bridal "glow" (embarrassment over losing her virginity).

    After settling into marriage for a while, this glow slowly faded away as the "bride" grew more accustomed to her "wifely" duties. :)

    My husband still calls me his bride from time to time as a term of affection.
     
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