Etymology
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wedding (n.)

Old English weddung "state of being wed; pledge, betrothal; action of marrying," verbal noun from wed (v.). Meaning "nuptials, ceremony of marriage" is recorded from early 13c.; the usual Old English word for the ceremony was bridelope, literally "bridal run," in reference to conducting the bride to her new home. Wedding ring is from late 14c.; wedding cake is recorded from 1640s, as a style of architecture from 1879. Wedding dress is attested from 1779; wedding reception from 1856.

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wed (v.)

Old English weddian "to pledge oneself, covenant to do something, vow; betroth, marry," also "unite (two other people) in a marriage, conduct the marriage ceremony," from Proto-Germanic *wadja (source also of Old Norse veðja, Danish vedde "to bet, wager," Old Frisian weddia "to promise," Gothic ga-wadjon "to betroth"), from PIE root *wadh- (1) "to pledge, to redeem a pledge" (source also of Latin vas, genitive vadis "bail, security," Lithuanian vaduoti "to redeem a pledge"), which is of uncertain origin.

The sense has remained closer to "pledge" in other Germanic languages (such as German Wette "a bet, wager"); development to "marry" is unique to English. "Originally 'make a woman one's wife by giving a pledge or earnest money', then used of either party" [Buck]. Passively, of two people, "to be joined as husband and wife," from c. 1200. Related: Wedded; wedding.

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hymeneal (adj.)
c. 1600, "of or relating to a marriage," with -al (1) + Hymen, Greek god of marriage. Compare Latin hymenaeus, from Greek hymenaios "belonging to wedlock;" also as a noun "wedding, wedding song." As a noun in English, "wedding hymn," from 1717.
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groomsman (n.)
attendant on a bridegroom at a wedding, 1690s, from possessive of groom (n.2) + man (n.).
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nuptials (n.)

"marriage, wedding," 1550s, plural of nuptial. Now always plural, but Shakespeare uses the singular.

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honeymoon (v.)
"take a wedding trip," 1821, from honeymoon (n.). Related: Honeymooned; honeymooning; honeymooner. The first TV "Honeymooners" sketch aired in 1951.
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bridal (adj.)
"belonging to a bride or a wedding," c. 1200, transferred use of noun bridal "wedding feast," Old English brydealo "marriage feast," from bryd ealu, literally "bride ale" (see bride + ale); the second element later was confused with suffix -al (1), especially after c. 1600. Bridal-suite is from 1857.
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groom (n.2)
"husband-to-be at a wedding; newly married man," c. 1600 (usually as a correlative of bride), short for bridegroom (q.v.), in which the second element is Old English guma "man."
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bridesmaid (n.)
"young girl or unmarried woman who attends on a bride at her wedding," 1550s, bridemaid, from bride + maid. The -s- is unetymological but began to appear by 1794 and the form with it predominated by the end of the 19c. Brideman is attested from 1610s as "bridegroom;" bridesman is from 1808 as "male attendant on a bridegroom at his wedding."
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splice (n.)
1620s (implied in splicing), first recorded in writing of Capt. John Smith, from splice (v.). Motion picture film sense is from 1923. In colloquial use, "marriage union, wedding" (1830).
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