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If you have ever wondered why bridesmaid dresses have a striking similarity to the bride’s dress? The reason goes back to an old tradition that bridesmaids were the protectors of the bride to be 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 bridesmaids provide help to the bride on her wedding day in helping with her dress, keeping her calm, and providing all around support on the bride’s big day. Historically, bridesmaids and bridesmaid dresses had a significant and serious responsibility in the wedding.
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 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 grooms 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 fiend or a jealous old flame that intended to harm the bride and groom, the similarly dressed wedding party was supposed to add the element of confusion if such a situation were to arise.
Another interesting fact in the history of the bridesmaid actually comes from the Bible. In the Bible, bridesmaids are referenced to as a “maid” in the story when Jacob married two women. The two women each brought their own maid, who were helpers in the wedding.
During the Victorian age, the position of the bridesmaid was more akin with modern bridesmaids. In the Victorian age, bridesmaid’s duties were to arrange 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 of the past.
Today brides have bridesmaids for all kinds of reasons. While some have bridesmaids who are their closest friends, and make them part of the early planning stages to picking out bridesmaid dresses together. There are also other brides that follow certain cultural or traditional standards for their wedding. Regardless of what the reason is, your wedding day is your special day, and whether you go traditional or modify it in some way you should enjoy the preparation leading up to your day.
Information, Research and How To Topics on Bridemaid Dress Styles: