Being asked to be a bridesmaid is a wonderful honour, and one that most girls feel incredibly lucky to experience.
However, if you’ve never been one before, or don’t know much about the formalities of a wedding, it can seem a slightly daunting task. Worry not, though, I’ve put together the ultimate guide to being a bridesmaid, and outlined your key roles and bridesmaids duties for before, and on the day. Enjoy.
A bit of background…
The history of the bridesmaid varies across cultures, religions and time periods. In early Roman times, bridesmaids formed a kind of bridal troop, who marched alongside to accompany the bride to the groom’s village. This ‘protective shield’ of similarly outfitted bridesmaids was supposed to intervene if any wayward thugs or vengeful suitors tried to hurt the bride or steal her dowry.
However, the Western bridesmaid tradition seems to have originated from later Roman law, which required ten witnesses at a wedding in order to outsmart evil spirits believed to attend marriage ceremonies. The bridesmaids and ushers would dress in identical clothing to the bride and groom, so that the evil spirits wouldn’t know which couple was actually getting married. Even as late as 19th century England, the belief that ill-wishers could administer curses and taint the marriage still existed. In Victorian wedding photographs, for example, it can take quite a bit of inspection to pick out the bride and groom!