Bridesmaid dresses are the source of practically endless jokes, from their one-wear wastefulness to their (really, let’s be honest) over-the-top ruffles. But once you get past the odd colors and fabrics, have you ever wondered why the bride’s best friends all need to be wearing matching dresses in the first place?
The joke goes that the dresses are there to make the bride look even better on her special day, but the very first bridesmaid dresses actually looked exactly like the bride’s, according to Mental Floss.
The tradition began back around the Ancient Roman times and was a bit…sinister in its reasoning. Apparently, well wishes could bring evil spirits (and would-be suitors that the bride had rejected) to the festivities. Their friends were dressed the same as the bride in order to act as decoys against potential threats, spiritual or otherwise, long enough for the bridge and groom to say their vows.
Essentially, it was the uniform of the bride’s bodyguards--which admittedly sounds a lot cooler than the frilly frocks look.
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