Wait, So THAT's Why Bridesmaids Wear Matching Dresses?

Photo: Getty Images.
Your best friend just got engaged! After the flurry of congratulations, toasts, and Facebook announcements, you know what comes next: the "will you be my bridesmaid" conversation. It’s a huge honour, but even in the flush of the moment, you can't help but think about the dress. A dress that, in all likelihood, will not only be pricey (and perhaps unflattering), but will also be identical to the dresses the other bridesmaids are wearing.

But did you ever stop to wonder where the tradition of matching bridesmaid dresses actually came from? Well, it turns out it has nothing to do with aesthetics. Its origins are actually connected to warding off demons.

In a video for Buzz60, Patrick Jones explains that the custom dates all the way back to ancient Rome, when everyone in the bridal party, including the bride herself, wore matching outfits. That way, anyone trying to make off with the bride — be it another suitor or just an evil spirit — would be confused, and unable to determine which one was the newly wedded woman. So while shelling out for a dress you might only wear once may be a pain, at least you are not at risk of being possessed or kidnapped (we hope).

To learn more about the origins of matching dresses and other wedding traditions (like carrying the bride over the threshold), watch the video below.

More from Living


R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
A look at the subcultures around the world that colour what we wear — and why.
Watch Now
The craziest trends, most unique treatments, and strangest subcultures in the beauty world.
Watch Now
Explore the world's most vibrant cultural and culinary centres—in 60 seconds, of course.