I always suspected that old canard about “bridal” being a corruption of “bride ale” or “bride’s ale” was a load of rubbish, but couldn’t be bothered to seek the proof in the history books. Fortunately, Martyn Cornell is far more studious than am I and so I can leave it to him to prove my suspicions correct:
Just one day into six months or more of continuous “royal” wedding bollocks, and already I’ve made the first sighting of the claim that “the word ‘bridal’ is a corruption of ‘bride-ale’ – a special beer brewed for weddings.” No, it isn’t, all right? I don’t care how many sources you can find that say this – it’s not true.
Don’t believe him? Go read the rest of his scholarly post and see if you can form a cohesive argument against it. Bet you can’t.