One common big question related to wedding traditions is: why do bridesmaids wear matching dresses?
So bridal parties have been around since ancient Rome, where there was a law that ten people had to witness each wedding. From these very early days, bridesmaids dressed the same…as the bride.
They were meant to act as a confusing distraction during the ceremony for evil spirits or men who’d been rejected by the bride.
If anyone tried to interrupt the wedding, they would hopefully become disoriented by all of the matching outfits. At least long enough for the marriage to become official (and officially not cursed). This is also why brides started wearing veils. It made them less recognizable to mean-spirited wedding crashers.
Early weddings involved a surprising amount of intentional bride-disguising.
Anyway, a similar tradition of matching bridesmaids grew in feudal China for the same reason. And in both places, the bride and her bridesmaids may have traveled long distances to get to the groom and his family.
So on some of these longer journeys, the “fake brides” may have been more necessary.
Then, in the Victorian era, brides started dressing up more than their bridesmaids, but the bridesmaid tradition had stuck. They continued to wear the same outfit.
Back then, their uniform was a white dress with a veil that was shorter than the bride’s fancy long one.