How many bridesmaids will be in your wedding? Why do we have bridesmaids?
At one time, a bride had a court of maids and the primary reason was to fool evil spirits, yes that’s right, evil spirits. Bridesmaids clothed themselves in a similar fashion as the bride; it was to confuse ill presences hovering around the wedding. The ill presence could be in spirit form, or the human kind that just might have intentions to kidnap the bride. Don’t you know it is difficult to nab the correct woman when her maids are dressed in similar attire! This superstition of dressing the bridal party the same, also offered protection from an ill-doer wanting to steal her dowry, which is confusing to me, did she have that on her person?
In Rome, law demanded that witnesses come to the wedding to add confusion to the spirits that had evil intent for the bride and groom. eHow’s “History of Bridesmaids” states that: “female wedding attendants came to a marriage ceremony in garments akin to the bride’s, while male wedding attendants–the forebears of ushers–wore attire that resembled the groom’s own clothing. This supposedly threw off bad luck that could be directed towards an easily identifiable bride and groom.” Honestly, I never really knew why the wedding party wore the exact same outfit.
We have photographed all varieties of bridal party clothing; men who are required to wear a dark suit of their choice and matching ties, or bridesmaids that wear a dress of their choice all in a similar color, people in casual clothing; parties in all matching dresses, all matching tux’s. I think bridal parties, at least partially, are breaking from the old tradition.
The tradition of kidnapping brides has pretty much died off, though, I can’t say for sure if evil spirits still hang out weddings. That is definitely out of my realm. In the past, no person of social status was unattended, the more the status, the bigger the wedding bridal/grooms party, a nice way to show off the family’s wealth. So, why do we still have a bridal party in modern times? From what I can tell, a girl likes to have her friends around her on a special day, and a guy likes hanging with his buddies to celebrate. And let us not forget the added bonus of the parties that friends often help throw for the bride and groom leading up to the wedding!
On the wedding day; the bridesmaid is kind of like an executive assistant and helps the bride with her needs on her wedding day. She is someone who the bride can lean on and celebrate with.
I am guessing the bridal party exists today for a multitude of reasons. They definitely are a big help to the bride and groom, fulfilling little tasks, tying loose ends last minute etc. Tradition certainly plays a role, although, I am convinced that the average bride and groom are probably not familiar with the true beginning of having attendants. Moral and emotional support given by the party on this important day is definitely a reason to have close friends around. The end result is a nice support system of friends that always end up having a laugh and a good time! It seems like a very nice tradition and a way to bond with friends!