The bride fills the female role in a wedding ceremony, and the bridesmaids and maid of honor complement her honorary role. The word, bride, has its roots in the Teutonic word for “cook”, and Teutonic is simply one of the ancient Germanic languages. Prior to a bride becoming a wife, the wedding procedure must be completed – either with vows, rituals, sexual intercourse, or a combination of such. All cultures have different ways of enacting the marriage ritual. The male, in an opposite-sex marriage, is the bridegroom. He then becomes the husband. The new wife usually assumes the last name of the husband.
The bride wears a diversity of attire including a white wedding dress, tiara, veil, and, sometimes, a garter. The white wedding dress was formally introduced by Queen Victoria, and the white color symbolizes purity, virginity, happiness, chastity, and innocence. The tiara is a jewelled headdress that resembles a crown. It can be semi-circular with a higher front and gently sloping sides worn at the top of the head or at an angle. It can also be called a coronet. The lifting of the veil symbolizes the anticipation of sexual intercourse. Ideally, the uncovering symbolizes the sexual intercourse to follow. Long-flowing hair sometimes symbolized virginity, but the veil plays that role now. Roman brides, for instance, wore an bright flame-colored, fulsome, and magniloquent veil. As you can see clearly, veils were used long in the West before Judeo-Christian involvement.
Brides can style their hair in a classic, romantic, glamorous, modern, bohemian, native-american, or tropical way.
Even dresses have their very own nuances. The silhouettes can be a-line, ball gown, empire, mermaid, princes, goth, or sheath. The necklines could be halter, high neck, off-the-shoulder, Queen Anne, strapless, or v-neck. Sleeves can be long, short, sleeveless, or strapless. Colors can be yellow, silver, purple, red, silver, or white. Prices can range from $500 and less to $3,000 and up. Maybe your bride would like a dress in chiffon, crepe, organza, satin, shantburg, silk, taffeta, tulle, or velvet. There are lots of options for embellishment, e.g., beading, embroidery, floral/print, and lace. Should the dress be floor length, knee length, or ankle length? Several wedding gown dress designers showcase their lines online in virtual storefronts or at runway-style fashion shows.
Both grooms and brides should make decisions in wedding plans like the cakes, music, attire of themselves and their best men and bridesmaids, food, wine, destination (of course), indoors vs. outdoors, and table and flower arrangements. It’s a good idea for men to be wise and let the bride choose what’s most important to her – unless you have a strong personal reason for not wanting to.
Invitations can be blue, green, pink, red, white, and any other colors of the rainbow that the graphic artist has in mind. Different colors can be used for place cards, invitations, escort cards, save the date, menu cards, and thank you cards. They can be handmade or have silk-screen or thermographic printing. The cards can have themes to match the place too.
In virtually all cultures, the bride is the star of the wedding ceremony and arrangements.