The History of Bridesmaids’ Dresses
The tradition of bridesmaids is as old as marriage itself. Women have almost always had their friends, family members, or their ladies-in-waiting to help them on their big day. But bridesmaids’ dresses haven’t always held the same sort of consistent history.
In fact, up until the late 1800s, bridesmaids usually wore dresses identical to the bride’s, a tradition dating back to Ancient Rome. This was a way to confuse evil spirits and potential kidnappers from knowing who the real bride was! The bridesmaids were like the bride’s bodyguards on her wedding day.
After the First World War, bridesmaid dresses started to change out of economic necessity. Money was becoming scarcer, and even the wealthiest families didn’t have the money to spend as they did before. In the early 1900s, disposable income was a thing of the past. Thus, bridesmaids’ dresses began to have a more basic appearance that could transition from the wedding to everyday life with ease. Quickly, this economic necessity transformed into a cultural shift as well. Bridesmaids started to become “cheerleaders” for the bride. So all the girls would all wear the same colored dress to show their support of the marriage.
When society started to flourish again in the 1960s and 70s, lavish wedding events became more popular. This is where color schemes and wedding “themes” started to become popular. Brides started to view their bridesmaids’ dresses as a part of the décor of the event.
Today, it’s becoming more common for each girl to wear a different bridesmaid dress. It’s no longer about being a cheerleader for the bride, but instead it’s about the relationship between the bride and each individual bridesmaid. It creates a different aesthetic that focuses on individuality and distinction. We absolutely love this current look of mixing and matching bridesmaids’ dresses! It makes every woman look beautiful and feel comfortable, while also creating a gorgeous color palette behind the bride!
Who knows where the future of bridesmaids’ dress fashion will go next!
Photo by Olha Photography