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I wrote the following:

A bright red carpet ran all the way from the entrance to right beneath the altar. Enclosing it on both sides, were two rows of long benches—each of them with a tiny ribbon shaped as a wedding dress. Together they looked like a gathering of ancient souls; spirits who had come from the past to congratulate the newly committed lovers.

“And now you may kiss the bride,” the priest finally said. The groom nodded, and then turned to look at his new wife.

Are newly committed lovers and new wife good enough for those passages? Or is there a better way to refer to the bride and the groom? (I don't want to use couple because I already used it too many times).

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migrated from ell.stackexchange.com Sep 8 '13 at 16:47

This question came from our site for speakers of other languages learning English.

I think this is more appropriate for Writers, but since it was migrated here already I don't currently have a way to do anything about it. I definitely don't think this is an ELL question; this looks to me like writing advice for how to vary up the ways you refer to things. I'm investigating how to get around the re-migration issue; in the meantime if you want to delete this question and re-ask on Writers, where you're more likely to get the answers you want, you're more than welcome to do so. – WendiKidd Sep 8 '13 at 16:17
Ha, this question passed through all the SE writing/language sites. – Alexandro Chen Sep 8 '13 at 17:39
Yeah, I think most people use newlyweds. You could use newly married. – user0000001 Sep 9 '13 at 17:41
up vote 4 down vote accepted

For a couple who have just married:

  • Newlyweds

For a couple about to marry, these are best I can come up with:

  • Impending newlyweds
  • Bride and groom
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I'd go with "newlyweds." – Lauren Ipsum Sep 8 '13 at 19:10
I suppose I could make up a word: Nearlyweds. – Dale Hartley Emery Sep 9 '13 at 0:23
^^ BING BING BING WE HAVE A WINNAH!! – Lauren Ipsum Sep 9 '13 at 1:35
We can also say "twain". – Sweet72 Sep 10 '13 at 15:34

From the moment they say their vows and for the next few months or so, a couple are called "newlyweds".

During the wedding, they are called the "bride and groom". A recently-married woman is sometimes referred to as "so-and-so's bride".

A couple who are soon to be married are generally called an "engaged couple". The woman is often called the "bride-to-be". I don't recall hearing a man called a "groom-to-be", but I'm sure readers would instantly know what you mean. I've heard such a couple called "fiancées", but that may be technically incorrect, as "fiancée" in the singular refers just to a woman: a man is a "fiancé".

"New wife" is a perfectly good phrase. "New husband" would also be fine.

"Newly committed lovers" is not a commonly-used phrase. "Lovers" in current English is usually understood to mean two people who have a physical relationship but are not married. The meaning has really changed over the last few decades. You might want to be careful about this: A hundred years ago to call two people "lovers" did not imply a physical relationship; today it pretty much does. So if you referred to two people as "newly committed lovers", I think most modern readers first impression would be that you mean that they are not married but have made some less formal commitment to each other. To use it for a married couple would at the least seem odd and might be confusing.

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