USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘bridesmaids’
Customs
Protection
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Bridesmaids Origin

Context:

The informant is a 29-year-old Caucasian female who will be called JH. She is of Irish and English descent and knows of this folklore from her family, more specifically her mother. This folklore piece is told in her words:

Main Piece:

My Mom told us that in old British tradition the reason you would have bridesmaids is because women had to travel great distances for arranged marriages, and you would dress like other girls to fool highwaymen and wayward outlaws from snatching the right bride. Which means your bridal party had to be willing to take your place.

Notes:

In Ancient Roman times weddings seemed to be heavily surrounded by the kidnapping of the bride. The best man also plays a part in protecting the bride from being kidnapped by disapproving family members or vengeful neighbors. This would explain the need for bridesmaids to blend in with the bride, so she can’t be easily spotted. This was also to protect her from evil spirits. Bridesmaids have become a way to share the bride’s wedding with women who are closest to the bride. The events prior to the wedding are a way for the bride to bond with those women and share special moments that she will remember after.

For more on the origin of the Bridal party/ best men/ bridesmaids, check out:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/57821/21-historical-roles-and-responsibilities-wedding-party

Festival
Foodways
Material

Bridal Punch

Title: Bridal Punch

Category: Food/Recipe

Informant: Lisa L. Gabbard

Nationality: American, caucasian

Age: 58

Occupation: Housewife

Residence: 5031 Mead Drive/ Doylestown PA, 18902 (Suburban Home)

Date of Collection: 4/8/18

Description:

Ingredients:

– Ginger-ale/Seven-Up

– Pastel Sherbet Ice-cream in Wedding Colors

– Alcohol (Clear Consistency)

– Ice

Directions

– Combine Ginger-ale and alcohol in a large punch bowl or serving container. Add sherbet ice-cream to the combination and then ice.

Context/Significance:

Bridal Punch is served during the wedding reception of a couple. The bridal punch is based primarily on the colors of the ceremony, but specifically the color of the bridesmaids dresses. The punch can be served as either an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage. Bridal punch is greenly served alongside cake and cocktails. Bridal punch is allowed to all guests in attendance alongside the bridal party specifically.

Personal Thoughts:

Bridal punch reiterates the theme/colors of the wedding and promotes social drinking amongst guests/patrons to the couple. Bridal punch seems to honor the bridesmaids specifically during the wedding reception; As an almost “thank-you” to their involvement in the ceremony.

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