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Welcome to BridalPedia™ -- The Bridal Encyclopedia

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Bridal, Brides and Weddings News Links:
#LoveYourLines Encourages Women to Embrace Their Stretch Marks (bellasugar)
21 Aug 2015 at 6:00pm
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First week of school is done, and I'd give us a 'needs improvement' (orlandos...
28 Aug 2015 at 1:15pm
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Hax: Mom wants to holler over teenagers' squalor (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
11 Aug 2015 at 7:54am
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Hax: New parents find misery in their home (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
30 Aug 2015 at 11:00am
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I Put 10 Mascaras to the Nap Test So That You Don't Have To (bellasugar)
26 Aug 2015 at 3:00pm
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Wimpy arms get a new workout (orlandosentinel)
27 Aug 2015 at 4:01pm
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Kendall Jenner Is Officially a Blonde! (bellasugar)
20 Aug 2015 at 8:18pm
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Back to school: Practical, last-week advice you can use (orlandosentinel)
18 Aug 2015 at 8:50am
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Reality TV Shows About Brides:
Bride Day (TLC)
Bridezillas (WE®tv)
Four Weddings (TLC)
I Found The Gown (TLC)
My Big Far Redneck Wedding (CMT)
My Fair Wedding (WE®tv)
Platinum Weddings (WE®tv)
Say Yes To The Dress (TLC)
Say Yes To The Dress Atlanta (TLC)
Say Yes To The Dress Bridesmaids (THC)
Wedding Reality TV Shows (Facebook - Free Membership)

(from Wikipedia)

A bride is a female participant in a wedding ceremony: a woman about to be married, currently being married, or, in some uses, very recently married (applicable during the first year of wifehood). The term used to mean 'daughter-in-law', as newly married women at one time moved into the husband's family home. Further back, the word possibly comes from the Teutonic word for 'cook'. A bride is typically attended by one or more bridesmaids or maids of honor. Her male partner is the bridegroom or "groom", after the wedding, in marriage, her husband. (In same-gender weddings, two female participants may both be termed bride.) In some cultures, successful sexual intercourse between the bride and bridegroom is a required step to complete ("consummate") the wedding ceremony.

In Europe and North America, the typical attire for a bride is a formal dress and sometimes a tiara. Usually, the dress is bought only for the wedding, and never worn again. For first marriages, a white wedding dress is usually worn, a tradition started by Queen Victoria's wedding. Etiquette once prescribed that a white dress should not be worn for subsequent marriages, since the wearing of white was mistakenly regarded by some as an ancient symbol of virginity, despite the fact that wearing white is a fairly recent development in wedding traditions. Today, brides may wear white, cream, or ivory dresses for any number of marriages; the color of the dress is not a comment on the bride's sexual history. In fact, up until the 19th century, the bride generally wore her best dress, whatever color it was, or ordered a new dress in her favorite color and expected to wear it again.

In addition to the gown, the bride often wears a veil and carries a bouquet of flowers. A garter may also be worn and removed by the groom during the reception.

The term appears in combination with many words, some of them obsolete. Thus "bridegroom" is the newly married man, and "bride-bell," "bride-banquet" are old equivalents of wedding-bells, wedding-breakfast. "Bridal" (from Bride-ale), originally the wedding-feast itself, has grown into a general descriptive adjective, e.g. the bridal party, the bridal ceremony. The bride-cake had its origin in the Roman confarreatio, a form of marriage, the essential features of which were the eating by the couple of a cake made of salt, water and spelt flour, and the holding by the bride of three wheat-ears, a symbol of plenty.

Under Tiberius the cake-eating fell into disuse, but the wheat ears survived. In the middle ages they were either worn or carried by the bride. Eventually it became the custom for the young girls to assemble outside the church porch and throw grains of wheat over the bride, and afterwards a scramble for the grains took place. In time the wheat-grains came to be cooked into thin dry biscuits, which were broken over the bride's head, as is the custom in Scotland to-day, an oatmeal cake being used. In Elizabeth's reign these biscuits began to take the form of small rectangular cakes made of eggs, milk, sugar, currants and spices. Every wedding guest had one at least, and the whole collection were thrown at the bride the instant she crossed the threshold. Those which lighted on her head or shoulders were most prized by the scramblers. At last these cakes became amalgamated into a large one which took on its full glories of almond paste and ornaments during Charles II's time. But even to-day in rural parishes, e.g. north Notts, wheat is thrown over the bridal couple with the cry "Bread for life and pudding for ever," expressive of a wish that the newly wed may be always affluent. The throwing of rice, a very ancient custom but one later than the wheat, is symbolical of the wish that the bridal may be fruitful.

The bride-cup was the bowl or loving-cup in which the bridegroom pledged the bride, and she him. The custom of breaking this wine-cup, after the bridal couple had drained its contents, is common to both the Jews and the members of the Greek Church. The former dash it against the wall or on the ground, the latter tread it under foot. The phrase "bride-cup" was also sometimes used of the bowl of spiced wine prepared at night for the bridal couple. Bride-favours, anciently called bride-lace, were at first pieces of gold, silk or other lace, used to bind up the sprigs of rosemary formerly worn at weddings. These took later the form of bunches of ribbons, which were at last metamorphosed into rosettes.

Bridegroom-men and bridesmaids had formerly important duties. The men were called bride-knights, and represented a survival of the primitive days of marriage by capture, when a man called his friends in to assist to "lift" the bride. Bridesmaids were usual in Saxon England. The senior of them had personally to attend the bride for some days before the wedding. The making of the bridal wreath, the decoration of the tables for the wedding feast, the dressing of the bride, were among her special tasks. In the same way the senior groomsman (the best man) was the personal attendant of the husband.

The bride-wain, the wagon in which the bride was driven to her new home, gave its name to the weddings of any poor deserving couple, who drove a "wain" round the village, collecting small sums of money or articles of furniture towards their housekeeping. These were called bidding-weddings, or bid-ales, which were in the nature of "benefit" feasts. So general is still the custom of "bidding-weddings" in Wales, that printers usually keep the form of invitation in type. Sometimes as many as six hundred couples will walk in the bridal procession.

The bride's wreath is a Christian substitute for the gilt coronet all Jewish brides wore. The crowning of the bride is still observed by the Russians, and the Calvinists of Holland and Switzerland. The wearing of orange blossoms is said to have started with the Saracens, who regarded them as emblems of fecundity. It was introduced into Europe by the Crusaders. The bride's veil is the modern form of the flammeum or large yellow veil which completely enveloped the Greek and Roman brides during the ceremony. Such a covering is still in use among the Jews and the Persians.

The Bridegroom/Groom:
A bridegroom (often shortened to groom) is a man who is about to be married, or who has just been married. His female partner is known as the bride, who is typically attended by one or more bridesmaids and a maid or matron of honor. (In same-gender weddings, two male participants may both be termed groom.) The groom will after that ceremony be called a husband of his new spouse.

The word "bridegroom" is derived from bride and the archaic guma, "man", from the Indogermanic root of "earth" (for "ghmún"), which evolved into Latin humanus and Germanic and English "man" and "groom". Through folk etymology the word became assimilated to groom, meaning a servant.

A bridegroom is typically attended by a best man and groomsmen.

In western cultures, the groom usually wears a dark coloured suit or tuxedo during the wedding ceremony. At the end of the wedding, it is the groom's privilege to remove the bride's garter and toss it over his shoulder to the group of male guests, much like the "tossing of the bouquet" performed by the bride. It is traditional belief that whomever catches the garter will be the next to be married.

Maid of Honor:
The maid of honor is the primary member of the bride's wedding party in a wedding. Specifically, she is the primary attendant with the most honors and duties of the bridal party, and is considered the equivalent of the groom's best man.

In North America, the bride might have several bridesmaids, but the maid of honor is the title and position held by the bride's chief attendant, typically her closest friend or sister. If she is married, the title matron of honor is used. In modern day weddings some brides opt to choose a long-time male friend or brother as their head attendant, using the title "Man of Honor".

The Maid of Honor's duties may be as many or as varied as the bride may wish to impose upon her, but typically, she is responsible for:

Wedding Dress:
The Wedding Dress or Wedding Gown is clothing worn by a bride during a wedding ceremony. Color, style and ceremonial importance of the gown can depend on the religion and culture of the wedding participants.

1. Western Cultures:
Weddings performed during and immediately following the medieval era were often more than just a union between two people. They could be a union between two families, two businesses or even two countries. Many weddings were more a matter of politics than love, particularly among the nobility and the higher social classes. Brides were therefore expected to dress in a manner that cast their families in the most favorable light, for they weren't representing only themselves during the ceremony. Brides of an elevated social standing often wore rich colors and expensive fabrics. It was common to see such brides wearing bold colors and layers of furs, velvet and silk. Brides of a lower social standing often copied the elegant styles of wealthier brides as best they could.

Over the centuries, brides continued to dress in a manner befitting their social status---always in the height of fashion, with the richest, boldest materials money could buy. The poorest of brides wore their best church dress on their wedding day. The amount of material a wedding dress contained also was a reflection of the bride's social standing and indicated the extent of the family's wealth to wedding guests.

Wedding dresses have traditionally been based on the popular styles of the day. For example, in the 1920's wedding dresses were typically short in the front with a longer train in the back and were worn with cloche-style wedding veils. This tendency to follow current fashions continued until the late 1940's, when it became popular to revert to long, full-skirted designs reminiscent of the Victorian era. The trend has continued until today.

Today, western wedding dresses are usually white, though 'wedding white' includes creamy shades such as eggshell, ecru and ivory. One of the first women to wear white at her wedding was Mary Queen of Scots, when she married François II of France. However, white was not then a tradition but rather a choice and one considered inauspicious, since white was the official colour of mourning in France at the time.

White did not become a popular option until 1840, after the marriage of Queen Victoria to Albert of Saxe-Coburg. Victoria had worn a white gown for the event so as to incorporate some lace she owned. The official wedding portrait photograph was widely published, and many other brides opted for a similar dress in honor of the Queen's choice. The tradition continues today in the form of a white wedding, though prior to the Victorian era a bride was married in any color except black (the color of mourning) or red (which was connected with prostitutes). Later, many people assumed that the color white was intended to symbolize virginity, though this had not been the original intention. (It was the color blue that was connected to purity.) Today, the white dress is understood merely as the most traditional and popular choice for weddings, not necessarily a statement of virginity.

2. Eastern Cultures:
Many wedding dresses in China are colored red, the traditional color of good luck. In modern Chinese weddings, particularly in Western countries, the bride usually opts for the white Western dress or changes from a white gown to a red gown later in the day and sometimes a gold colored gown later on.

In northern parts of India the traditional color of women's wedding garments is red, a color symbolizing auspiciousness. Green, a colour symbolizing fertility, is also commonly used. Nowadays many women opt not to wear red, and choose other colors. South Indian weddings traditionally use white or cream colored saris. Indian brides in Western countries often wear the sari at the wedding ceremony and change into traditional Indian wear afterwards (like lehnga, choli, et cetera).

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