What do you call the people getting married at a wedding, i.e., the bride(s) and groom(s)? I was going to call them the "celebrants" but then I found out that "celebrant" is used for the preacher or whoever officiates at the ceremony. I want a word for the people who are taking the vows.

P.S. Is there a Latin-based word analogous to "officiant" or "celebrant"? The officiant read the wedding vows to the ________s?

What about "the principals"? Would that work?

  • 6
    The betrothed..
    – deadrat
    Commented Aug 22, 2015 at 19:19
  • The wedding party would include bride and groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen, ushers, and anyone else participating in the ceremony.
    – ewormuth
    Commented Aug 22, 2015 at 19:29
  • 8
    The doomed, in some cases. But for some reason they are often referred to as "the happy couple".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Aug 22, 2015 at 19:35
  • 1
    or "future newlyweds" ?
    – Graffito
    Commented Aug 22, 2015 at 21:36
  • 1
    @Graffito Or "future divorcees"? :)
    – Barmar
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 19:03

3 Answers 3


Betrothed seems right:

(adj.) "engaged to be married,"

(n.) "the person to whom one is engaged;" e.g., "The preacher read the vows to the betrothed."

Source: Collins English Dictionary, via Dictionary.com

  • This is a very reasonable answer, and it is at least a little bit better than the answer that civitas posted two years ago making the same suggestion. But what would make it upvote-worthy (in my opinion) would be the inclusion not merely of an example of the word's use in a sentence (which you've provided) but also a definition of the word itself, from a reputable dictionary, with a link (if possible) to the relevant dictionary page online. Please consider adding such a definition to your answer.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 18:52
  • Very nice, Taylor—thanks for making the extra effort. +1
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 19:43
  • My pleasure. Thanks for adjusting the formatting!
    – Taylor
    Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 19:44

the affianced, the betrothed, the engaged

  • These are better than "bridal couple," which doesn't sound gender neutral to my ear. Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 21:58

"The bridal couple" is what I would use.

  • This has become more relevant since the introduction of "Civil ceremonies", which in the UK can be between two people of either gender. The terminology seems to simply be "the couple". Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 13:14
  • The happy couple is a common phrase: they may not stay happy, but on their wedding day they definitely are (by convention). Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 19:20

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