Bridesmaid Traditions and Duties
The history of the Bridesmaid varies across cultures, religions and time periods. The origin of the role of the Bridesmaid goes back several centuries, when friends of the Bride would dress in the same dress as she had, in order to confuse any evil spirits lurking in the vicinity, ready to snatch the Bride away from her beloved.
In the days when the Groom would kidnap the Bride, Bridesmaids also had the role of safely escorting the Bride to the church by fending off jealous suitors, leaving the Bride for her Groom.
Over time, the role changed to one of “support” from her friends and family members.
The Modern Day Bridesmaid
These early customs continue to have an influence today. It is still the bridesmaid duty to make sure the bride gets to the ceremony safely. Bridesmaid dresses are still commonly chosen in harmony with the look and feel of the wedding.
The most important role of the Bridesmaid or Maid of Honour is to provide emotional support for the busy Bride.
The Maid of Honour is there to help take the stress out of planning a wedding, from major decisions like venue, dress and menus to the finer details like addressing envelopes, making the wedding favours and fluffing the bride’s train.
A Bridesmaid must be able to give advice without giving orders! After all, it is the Bride’s big day and her wishes are paramount. The Groom is often not as involved as the Bride would like and it is your task to step in and help as much as possible with setting up a gift registry and notify the guests where the gift registry is. Another task is to help with seating arrangements and ensure the tables are set as the Bride wished as well as the decor. A great Bridesmaid helps the Bride get into her dress and make up on the day as well as offering refreshments before the ceremony to keep the bride calm and comfortable. As a Bridesmaid you may also have to assist the Bride going to the ladies as the big dress can make it difficult. Emotional support may also come in the form of accommodating an out of town relative and assisting guests getting to their seats.
One of the best duties of a Bridesmaid is to throw the hen party, bridal shower, kitchen tea or the most modern version; a Bachelorette.
Traditionally a Bridal shower was thrown to help equip the Bride to be in her new home. Gifts were brought, mainly kitchen accessories and other household items.
This has changed in recent years as more modern couples live together before walking down the aisle. Most couples are already quite well stocked at home and do not require allot of kitchen and house hold items.
This change has made room for the girls to have as much fun as the guys have had with their stag nights and Bachelor parties. Now days the ladies prefer to get together for an undercover party, filled with phallic symbols, naughty games, sex toys and lingerie. This is a wonderful and fun celebration of the girls last night to party with her friends as a single woman.
A Bridesmaid is there to make sure things run smoothly on the wedding day, which includes being one of the first on the dance floor to get the party going. Another duty as well as an honour is to witness the signing of the marriage register.