A bride is a woman who has become the wife of another man. She wears a wedding dress and takes part in the marriage ceremony. She also may receive gifts from her husband-to-be and from other members of the couple’s family.

The term ‘bride’ appears in many combinations of words, some of which are obsolete; for example, ‘bridegroom’ is the newly married man. ‘Bride-bell’ and ‘bride-banquet’ are old equivalents of ‘wedding-bells’ and ‘wedding-breakfast’; and ‘bride-cake’ is a cake served at the wedding ceremony. The bride’s cake originated in the Roman confarreatio, a form of marriage, in which the essential features 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.

In contemporary usage, ‘bride’ is often used to refer to the bride and groom themselves; they may be called ‘the bride’ or ‘the bridegroom.’ It is also sometimes used to describe the bridal party, or the attendants in the wedding.

There are two main types of bridesmaids: junior and senior. In general, junior bridesmaids wear a shorter dress than their senior counterparts. They may not attend the bachelorette party or be held to the same financial obligations, although their parents will probably pay for their attire and travel expenses.

If you want to include a bridesmaid in your wedding, make sure she is aware of the role she will play and that she understands what is expected of her. The bridesmaid should be a strong supporter and someone who is willing to help out with the logistics of the wedding.

Traditionally, bridesmaids have an important job: escorting the bride down the aisle on her wedding day. In addition to ensuring the bride’s safety, they should also be helpful in answering questions from the guests.

The maid of honor is usually the bride’s sister or closest friend. She is responsible for organizing and executing the bridesmaids’ luncheon, and she buys thank-you gifts for her attendants. She also may act as a liaison between the bride and the groom’s parents on issues of style and budget.

She should be on hand to answer questions and guide the bride on her way down the aisle, as well as during the reception. She should also keep the wedding party’s schedule and check in with the caterer, florist, planner, venue, and entertainment.

To make the bridesmaid’s job easier, try to assign her a specific job or a set of duties during the planning process. This makes it more likely that the girls will be able to focus on the fun stuff.

The groom usually is responsible for the other major tasks associated with the wedding: selecting his groomsmen and best man, buying gifts for them, and helping to arrange and oversee the rehearsal dinner. He also makes sure that the wedding license and officiant’s fees are paid, and he reserves a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.

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