bridesmaid

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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

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 classic literature ?
The ring was on her hand, the Bishop's benediction had been given, the bridesmaids were a-poise to resume their place in the procession, and the organ was showing preliminary symptoms of breaking out into the Mendelssohn March, without which no newly-wedded couple had ever emerged upon New York.
Every detail of the day had been so carefully thought out that the young couple, after the wedding-breakfast, had ample time to put on their travelling-clothes, descend the wide Mingott stairs between laughing bridesmaids and weeping parents, and get into the brougham under the traditional shower of rice and satin slippers; and there was still half an hour left in which to drive to the station, buy the last weeklies at the bookstall with the air of seasoned travellers, and settle themselves in the reserved compartment in which May's maid had already placed her dove-coloured travelling cloak and glaringly new dressing-bag from London.
May was enchanted at the idea of going to the country, and childishly amused at the vain efforts of the eight bridesmaids to discover where their mysterious retreat was situated.
May was still, in look and tone, the simple girl of yesterday, eager to compare notes with him as to the incidents of the wedding, and discussing them as impartially as a bridesmaid talking it all over with an usher.
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.
The quarrel appearing to terminate with this reply, Mrs Lillyvick considered that the fittest occasion (the attention of the company being no longer distracted) to burst into tears, and require the assistance of all four bridesmaids, which was immediately rendered, though not without some confusion, for the room being small and the table-cloth long, a whole detachment of plates were swept off the board at the very first move.
There were a great number of speeches made; some by Nicholas, and some by Crummles, and some by the collector; two by the Master Crummleses in returning thanks for themselves, and one by the phenomenon on behalf of the bridesmaids, at which Mrs Crummles shed tears.
The procession consisted of two flys; in the first of which were Miss Bravassa (the fourth bridesmaid), Mrs Crummles, the collector, and Mr Folair, who had been chosen as his second on the occasion.
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
Nor is there compensating influence in the adorable bridesmaids; for, having very little interest in the bride, and none at all in one another, those lovely beings become, each one of her own account, depreciatingly contemplative of the millinery present; while the bridegroom's man, exhausted, in the back of his chair, appears to be improving the occasion by penitentially contemplating all the wrong he has ever done; the difference between him and his friend Eugene, being, that the latter, in the back of HIS chair, appears to be contemplating all the wrong he would like to do--particularly to the present company.
What time Mrs Veneering, carrying baby dressed as a bridesmaid, flits about among the company, emitting flashes of many-coloured lightning from diamonds, emeralds, and rubies.
Of Miss Lavinia, who acts as a semi-auxiliary bridesmaid, being the first to cry, and of her doing homage (as I take it) to the memory of Pidger, in sobs; of Miss Clarissa applying a smelling-bottle; of Agnes taking care of Dora; of my aunt endeavouring to represent herself as a model of sternness, with tears rolling down her face; of little Dora trembling very much, and making her responses in faint whispers.
In the past, the bride-to-be will choose some dresses she loved for the bridesmaids but these may be much more expensive and may not fit all the bridesmaids, which usually does not make the bridesmaids feel comfortable all day in the wedding.
Finding the perfect bridesmaids dress can be challenging, but there are a few things we all know we should avoid wearing to someone'swedding.
Summary: New Delhi (India), June 16 (ANI): American actresses Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens served as bridesmaids for the 'Pretty Little Liars' star Brant Daugherty and actress Kim Hidalgo's wedding in Northern California.