When you’re looking online for appropriate bridesmaids gifts, you may come across some crazy traditions and roles bridesmaids used to play. While you might think you’re asking a little too much of your bridesmaids for your upcoming nuptials, spare a thought for the bridesmaids who followed these traditions below.
The Double Act
These days, it’s considered in bad taste to dress in a similar dress to the bride. In fact, doing so has broken up families and friendships. However, in Victorian times, wearing the same outfit as the bride was encouraged. To confuse evil spirits who wanted to ruin the bride’s day, the bridesmaids had to dress the same or similar to the bride to confuse the evil spirits and drive them away. However, by doing so, the bridesmaids possibly thought they were at risk. Therefore, you’d have to hope the bride and groom put up some very generous bridesmaids gifts.
Garlic Not Geraniums
If similar dresses to the bride weren’t enough to confuse and drive evil spirits away, then maybe the assortment of posies would be. Bridesmaids used to have to carry bouquets of herbs and grains down the aisle, opposed to the bright and beautiful flowers they get to carry now. Garlic was a firm favorite and worked not only as a deterrent to evil spirits, but to mask poor hygiene as well. Showers were a rarity in Victorian times.
Weddings in Anglo-Saxon times weren’t all about warding off evil spirits. One of the best bridesmaids gifts you could give your girls was the gift of a husband, and that’s what newlyweds would aim to do. Right before the bride would toss the bouquet, she’d take off her shoe and throw it for one of the bridesmaids to catch. Then, that bridesmaid would throw the shoe towards the men. Whoever she hit would be the one she would marry. Of course, it was all a bit of fun, but there’s every reason to believe some of those hits did end in marriage.
The Popular Bridesmaid
Traditionally, if an unwed woman’s calendar was filled with engagements as a bridesmaid, she was one step closer to never finding the love of her life. In fact, if she was the bridesmaid three times and still had no offer of her hand in marriage, she was destined to be alone. However, that curse could be broken if she was bridesmaid another four times.
It’s clear to see bridesmaid traditions have done a full circle, and it’s relieving to know these traditions are largely long-forgotten. If there are any bridesmaid gifts worth giving, it’s the knowledge that you won’t be throwing shoes at your bridesmaids or making them dress the same as you.