wedding lore

Bridesmaids

The bridesmaids at a modern wedding attend to the bride and generally help her out. Sometimes they assist with her hair and dress. Perhaps most importantly of all they look cute.

History

In centuries past the role of the bridesmaid was not simply to look attractive and wait on the bride. Their main purpose was for protection.

Evil Spirits

A wedding is a happy, important day and - for the religious - one blessed by their god. As such it was considered a natural target for evil spirits. It was believed that they would attempt to infiltrate the wedding and curse the bride.


One role of the bridesmaids - along with the groomsmen or ushers - was to protect against this. Bridesmaids would be dressed in their finery, sometimes in near identical clothing to the bride. In this way they would confuse the evil spirit and distract it from its real target.

Clearly this was a dangerous task as the bridesmaids themselves could become tainted with the evil spirit's curse. Being a bridesmaid was a display of great loyalty and devotion to the bride.

Thieves

It wasn't just otherworldy spirits that would threaten the wedding. There was also the more down to earth problem of thieves. A wedding brought out people dressed in fine clothes and jewelry and there were also the many wedding gifts. As such a wedding was a natural target for thieves.


Part of the job of the bridesmaids was to act as a lookout. It was part of their job to watch out for suspicious people and activity and ensure it was stopped.

Today

Today the role of the bridesmaid is mainly ceremonial, however it remains one of great importance and is a huge honour. Whether children or adults, many girls and women like nothing better than to attend the bride at a romantic wedding.