Where did the tradition of having bridesmaids at a wedding come from?
History is not clear on this, but there are several theories. One is that bridesmaids were “stand-ins” for the bride, in case evil spirits, which hated to see anybody happy, tried to do her harm. The bridesmaids would look and dress much like the bride to fool the spirits. Another theory says that bridesmaids, or some crowd of people, were needed to witness the wedding. In ancient Rome, one needed at least ten witnesses to get married. Bridesmaids also may have evolved from a medieval custom of having as many people as possible at a wedding, just in case a former boyfriend showed up to kidnap the bride.