Fashion

The alarming reason bridesmaids traditionally wear matching dresses

Posted by
Harriet Hall
Published

Sure, sure, it’s great to be asked to be a bridesmaid at your friend’s wedding – but after the ‘eeeee’ has worn off, the heavy realisation of the task’s reality sinks in: matching, one-size-fits-all peach or lavender satin dresses.

The thought of standing in front of a hundred people dressed in some mal-fitting bias cut monstrosity is enough to bring out hives on the most confident of us.

So is it true that the bride just doesn’t want to be shown up? What’s the deal with the matching dresses?

According to Mental Floss, who decided to get to the bottom of this once and for all, the tradition dates back to Ancient Rome, when the bride and her bridesmaids all wore identical dresses.

bridesmaids

The bride and her decoys

Legend of the time said that weddings might attract evil spirits, or jealous ex-suitors. In order to protect herself from these eventualities, the bride would surround herself by decoys.

By having her bridesmaids wear the same dress as her, the evil spirits or exes – should they appear – would be confused for a moment, giving the betrothed couple ample time to complete their vows without intervention.

By the time the Victorian era came around, this fear had faded, giving the bride the chance to let herself shine.

Sadly, not all brides got the memo and many today continue to dress their bridesmaids in matching pastel hues.

Probably time to nip this one in the bud…