Bridal Party

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History of the Bridesmaids

As late as the 1900’s, Bridesmaids were a part of a “security detail” of sorts. It was believed that evil spirits would attempt to harm the bride and groom during the wedding, so the bride would surround herself with other women who would wear the same type of dress as the bride in order to confuse the evil spirits. (Same applies to the groom and the ushers.) Since then, the belief in the evil spirits has waned and bride now stands out from the party with a very distinctive dress, but the tradition of matching bridesmaids dresses has continued.

As for the number of bridesmaids, the size of the party stemmed from a couple different ideas. In Roman times, it was required that a wedding had to be verified by 10 witnesses, thus 5 bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen. In other cultures, the number of attendants was a status symbol, the greater the wedding party, the wealthier the family. Today, the size of the wedding party is determined by several factors including availability of willing participants, standing room space, and cost, just to name a few.

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