Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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

always the bridesmaid

If someone is always the bridesmaid, they are always the second most successful or important person in a situation and never the most successful or important. Ian McEwan, favourite for every literary prize from the Booker to the Whitbread but always the bridesmaid, finally won something for `Atonement'. Note: People sometimes use the full expression always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Her win in this race helped to destroy the idea that she is always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
See also: always, bridesmaid

always the bridesmaid

used to refer pityingly to someone who seems always to be allocated to a subsidiary function, and is never invited to take the lead.
The expression probably originated in the words of a 1917 song by Charles Collins , Fred W. Leigh , and Lily Morris : ‘Why am I always the bridesmaid, never the blushing bride?’.
See also: always, bridesmaid
References in periodicals archive ?
Now Nicci, who plans a medieval theme wedding, will have another pal, Sarah Lee and her daughter Anna, 10, as bridesmaids at the wedding in Stansted, Essex, in September.
Flower girls are also called bridesmaids among the royals.
Essense of Australia, Stella York, Martina Liana wedding dresses, and Sorella Vita bridesmaids dresses can be found in over 1,200 retail locations in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and throughout Europe.
I like being a bridesmaid and I love strangers, so I just went ahead with it," Glantz said in her Manhattan apartment.
Kieron and Carl had a total of 12 bridesmaids who donned wedding gowns for their big day at the Devonshire Dome, Buxton.
A thoughtful bride will ask her bridesmaids to help select the dress, preventing this type of rancor.
With all the choices in bridesmaid gowns available, every member of the wedding party should be happy with the final results and spend the wedding day celebrating with the bride and groom.
Rose Byrne, who plays bridesmaid Helen, advised: "Be obedient to the bride and start saving for your dress.
THE saying "always a bridesmaid never a bride" perfectly sums up this routine, overhyped comedy.
Kate's sister Pippa will be chief bridesmaid for the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
So where can you find a decent bridesmaid dress for less than $150?
Most brides have at least one bridesmaid on their wedding day, whose responsibility it is to make the bride feel special and take care of her," says wedding expert Sarah Mason.
Front row, bridesmaid Sian Alwena Jones, bride Sian Evans and bridesmaid Sian Cossey.