If you have ever wondered why bridesmaid dresses have a striking similarity to the brides dress, the reason goes back to an old tradition that bridesmaids were the protectors of the bride.
They were there to protect the bride from any evil ghosts or spirits that meant to harm the bride.
The bridesmaid dresses worn by the bridesmaids acted as a decoy since they closely matched what the bride wore.
Although today bridesmaids provide help to the bride on her wedding day by keeping her calm, arranging her dress, and providing support on her big day, historically, bridesmaids and bridesmaid dresses played a significant and serious role in the wedding.
Once Upon A Time…
There was a time when bridal kidnapping, otherwise known as marriage by capture was a traditional practice where the woman was snatched by the man that had desired to marry her. This practice was done all over the world in many countries throughout history.
Typically marriage by capture was done in arranged marriages, compulsory marriages, and even elopements.
The early practice of this tradition evolved into the modern wedding party. In the early part of the tradition, ushers and the best men were categorized as the groom’s defense for fighting off the outraged bride’s family as the groom whisked her away.
Bridesmaids and the maids of honor typically were the modern day wedding planners.
The maid of honor was in charge of the wedding and directed the bridesmaids as her worker bees. The bridesmaids made the bridal wreaths as well as assisted the bride in making and arranging all of the ornamental decorations for the wedding celebration.
The bridesmaid dresses were very similar to the bridal gown, and the usher’s clothes matched the groom’s outfit.
While this standardization of dress by the wedding party might appear as some type of formal fashion statement, this custom started as a defense against evil.
Whether it was an evil friend or a jealous old flame that intended to harm the bride and groom, the similarly dressed wedding party was supposed to add to the element of confusion if such a situation were to arise.
Another Interesting Fact About Bridesmaids
This fact about the history of bridesmaids actually comes from the Bible. In the Bible, bridesmaids are referenced to as “maids.” In the story when Jacob married two women, each woman brought her own maid who helped her
During the Victorian Age, the position of the bridesmaid was more akin to the modern bridesmaid. The bridesmaid’s duties were to arrange the flowers and walk down the aisle accompanying the bride to be. As the bridesmaids walked down the aisle, they carried a flower bouquet which also contained herbs such as garlic and some grasses believed to ward off evil spirits. Not completely letting go of the traditions from the past, we see some similarities in the two.
Today brides have bridesmaids for all kinds of reasons. Some have bridesmaids who are their closest friends and make them part of the early planning stages. They pick out their bridesmaid dresses together and involve them in the entire process. There are also other brides who follow certain cultural or traditional standards for their wedding. Regardless of what the reason is, your wedding day is YOUR special day. Whether you go traditional or modify it in some way, we hope you enjoy the preparation leading up to your day.