Wedding Tradition Breakdown: Bridesmaids

One of the wedding traditions brides get most excited about is selecting their wedding party. Bridesmaids have the honor of helping a bride prep for her big day and standing next to her as she takes one of the most important steps in her life. But where exactly did the tradition of having bridesmaids come from?




The modern Western tradition of having bridesmaids arose from a few different factors. In ancient times, bridesmaids typically wore the same outfit as the bride and wore veils to confuse jealous suitors and evil spirits. There are also Biblical roots, from Jacob’s wives Leah and Rachel arriving with maids. In ancient China, bridesmaids were also responsible for protecting the bride from kidnappings and were also dressed similar to the bride to confuse identifies.  


Meaning and Role

Although the tradition of bridesmaids comes from a few different sources, they have always served the same role. Bridesmaids, back then and today, are meant to protect and serve the bride. Of course, this has taken on different meanings throughout time. However, the role of a bridesmaid has always been one of importance. Back then, bridesmaids served by dressing the bride and fighting off kidnappers, while today, they help the bride select her dress and keep her nerves at bay. 



Bridesmaids today serve essentially the same purpose as they did back then, just with a few tweaks! Bridesmaids have many responsibilities in weddings today, such as planning the bachelorette party, helping the bride select her dress, standing next to the bride on the wedding day, posing for wedding pictures, and helping entertain guests at the reception. 


Bridesmaids have changed a bit in modern times, though. Historically they were maiden women, but these days they can be anyone that the bride is close to. Bridesmaids can be older women, married women, close friends, distant family members, and even men! All that matters is that the people standing up next to the bride are there to support her on one of the most important days of her life.


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