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always the bridesmaid, never the bride

Said of one who is never the most important person in a particular situation or the winner of some particular thing. When will I get a promotion? I'm so sick of being always the bridesmaid, never the bride. This is the fifth time I've come in second place—always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
See also: always, bride, never

give away

1. To give something (to someone) for free; to donate something (to someone). In each usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "give" and "away." I wish I hadn't given away all my old video games. I'd love to play through them all again! She's been giving money away to her friends and family ever since she won the lottery. Oh, I gave those recipe books away to Aunt Rosie. She's more interested in them than I ever was.
2. To yield something for far less than it is worth. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "give" and "away." How could you just give away my cleats for $5 at the yard sale? I could have gotten good money for them on eBay! If I accept this offer, I'm basically giving the house away. No, we're going to give them a counteroffer of a much more reasonable price.
3. To relinquish something; to willingly give up control of something. I would think long and hard before you give away your controlling stake in the company. Everyone claims they care about their privacy, but they've been more than willing to give it away for the sake of using social media.
4. To present the bride to the bridegroom during their marriage ceremony. My father sadly passed away two years ago, so my uncle agreed to give me away at my wedding. I went through intense physiotherapy so that I would be able to walk down the aisle and give away my daughter.
5. To reveal or make known some secret or hidden aspect of someone, something, or oneself. I'm terrible at keeping secrets. My face goes beet red and gives me away every time. I have to be careful during interviews so I don't give away the plot to the movie. Margaret had been embezzling money from the corporate account for years, but she finally gave herself away when she claimed her two-month trip to Paris as a business expense.
6. To be disadvantaged by some variable, especially weight, height, or time, during a competition. The young junior wrestler had to fill in the 189-pound spot, giving away 15 pounds to his opponent. The cyclist had already given nearly 20 minutes away at the start of the race, but he still managed to catch up to the leader of the race in the final stretch. The new striker gave away four inches to the other team's defender, but has still managed to send a header past him and into the net.
7. To allow something to be taken or used as an advantage by one's opponent. Our defense gave away three goals in the first quarter, so we were fighting an uphill battle for the entire rest of the game. They're never going to win if they keep giving so many penalties away.
See also: away, give

happy is the bride that the sun shines on

proverb Sunny weather on a wedding day is good luck. It's a gorgeous day for a wedding, which is wonderful news—happy is the bride that the sun shines on.
See also: bride, happy, on, shine, sun, that

war bride

A woman who marries a serviceman—often one from another country—in wartime. I was a war bride. I met your father when he was stationed in Germany, where my family was living at the time, and we married soon after.
See also: bride, war
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

give someone away

 (to someone)
1. Fig. [for the bride's father] to give the bride away to the groom. (Customarily done just prior to the actual marriage ceremony.) Mr. Franklin gave Amy away to Terry just as he had done in the rehearsal. He was reluctant to give his daughter away.
2. Fig. to reveal something secret about someone to someone else. Please don't give me away. I don't want anyone to know my plans. Alice did everything she could to keep from giving herself away.
See also: away, give

give someone or something away

to reveal a secret about someone or something. I thought no one knew where I was, but my loud breathing gave me away. We know that Billy ate the cherry pie. The cherry juice on his shirt gave him away. I had planned a surprise, but John gave away my secret.
See also: away, give

give something away

 (to someone)
1. to donate to, or bestow something upon, someone. I gave the old clothing away to Tom. I gave away my coat to Tom.
2. to tell a secret to someone. Please don't give the surprise away to anyone. Don't give away my secret.
3. to reveal the answer to a question, riddle, or problem to someone. Don't give the answer away to them! Don't give away the answer!
See also: away, give

Happy is the bride that the sun shines on.

Prov. It is supposed to be good luck for the sun to shine on a couple on their wedding day. Our wedding day was a sunny one, and most of my relatives made sure to remind me, "Happy is the bride that the sun shines on."
See also: bride, happy, on, shine, sun, that
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

give away

1. Make a gift of, bestow, as in I decided to give away all my plants. [c. 1400]
2. Present a bride to the groom in a marriage ceremony, as in Her father gave Karen away. [c. 1700]
3. Reveal or make something known, often unintentionally; also, betray or expose someone. For example, She gave away her true feelings, or He gave away his accomplices. This idiom is sometimes put as give oneself away, as in If you don't want the family to know about your gambling, don't give yourself away by spending your winnings . [Late 1800s]
See also: away, give
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

give away

1. To relinquish something; give something to another: The store is giving away free samples of cheese. I gave my old clothes away to charity.
2. To present a bride to her bridegroom at a wedding ceremony: Very often, the father gives away the bride. I gave my daughter away at her wedding.
3. To reveal something or make something known, often accidentally; divulge something: The preview gave away the film's surprise ending. The tone of the teacher's voice gave the answer away.
4. To betray someone: I tried to pass for a local resident, but my accent gave me away.
See also: away, give
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
'Was mine!' the bride repeats, and her parasol breaks in her angry hand.
'And when I look back--' the bride cries, interrupting.
"And thus having end of this merry wedding, The bride lookt like a queen; And so they returned to the merry greenwood Amongst the leaves so green."
The train of withered mourners, the hoary bridegroom in his shroud, the pale features of the aged bride, and the death-bell tolling through the whole, till its deep voice overpowered the marriage words, all marked the funeral of earthly hopes.
Two brides, elaborately dressed in white, with ribbons, laces, and pearls, and crowned with orange-blossoms whose satiny petals nodded beneath their veils, were surrounded by joyous families, and accompanied by their mothers, to whom they looked up, now and then, with eyes that were content and timid both; the faces of all the rest reflected happiness, and seemed to be invoking blessings on the youthful pairs.
The fair Quiteria appeared somewhat pale, which was, no doubt, because of the bad night brides always pass dressing themselves out for their wedding on the morrow.
In the other were the bride, Mr Crummles, Miss Snevellicci, Miss Ledrook, and the phenomenon.
This gentleman, who personated the bride's father, had, in pursuance of a happy and original conception, 'made up' for the part by arraying himself in a theatrical wig, of a style and pattern commonly known as a brown George, and moreover assuming a snuff-coloured suit, of the previous century, with grey silk stockings, and buckles to his shoes.
The bride, with the four bridesmaids, forming a group previously arranged and rehearsed; the collector, followed by his second, imitating his walk and gestures to the indescribable amusement of some theatrical friends in the gallery; Mr Crummles, with an infirm and feeble gait; Mrs Crummles advancing with that stage walk, which consists of a stride and a stop alternately--it was the completest thing ever witnessed.
After a most pathetic leave-taking, Mr Lillyvick and his bride departed for Ryde, where they were to spend the next two days in profound retirement, and whither they were accompanied by the infant, who had been appointed travelling bridesmaid on Mr Lillyvick's express stipulation: as the steamboat people, deceived by her size, would
'I have had a charming letter from the bride, this morning, dated Cologne.
Calica-Sotto notes the emergence of the jet-setting Filipino bride: 'A good number of today's brides have destination weddings in venues such as castles in Europe, ranches in Australia, beaches in Mexico and exotic islands around the Philippines and the world.
The horoscopes of the bride and groom are also checked for a good married life.
She is also the founder of Brides To Be Flowers and Events.
50.1% of respondents encountered bride kidnapping for coercion into marriage in that or another form.