Home History Culture Customs, Tradition, and Memories

Bridesmaid and Best Man

Electronic mail message from Judy A. Remmick-Hubert


In ancient times, protection was needed to protect the bride and groom from other tribes who might invade.

In Roman times, it was the tradition that unmarried men escorted the bride to the wedding and married men escort the bride and groom to their new home.

These married men carried vessels of gold and silver....

Digging around superstition, I found that a bridesmaid dressed in a costume similar to the bride to confuse the evil spirits that were eager to harm the young bride. Same was true with the best man, he, too, dressed as the groom to protect him.

The evil spirits truly hovered around our German ancestors and this was there tradition through the dark ages.

Added to the costume to display the differences between bride and groom and the bridesmaid and best man came with small changes through the ages. It is interesting to see how our German ancestors came to copy many cultures.

The Oriental weddings such as the use of flowers such as the bachelor button.... The Greeks wore white....A June wedding from the Romans....

How many have said this little verse:

"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue"?

The old and new part seemed to have originated in England. The "borrowed" is pulled out of very ancient times and it was gold which was "borrowed", a jewel from a relative..... Gold was the symbol of the sun..... which was believed the source of life.

Orange blossoms in a wreath came from Saracerns and the Crusaders brought this idea back to Europe.... The orange tree is an evergreen which equaled "everlasting life". The wealthy could afford such finery.

The Anglo-Saxons, Greeks and Romans had used wreaths of corn and wheat for the emblem of fertility.

To protect the bride from the "evil eye" a bridal veil was used and another tradition from the orient. Some think it's from the Purdah custom which forbide men from seeing the face of an unmarried woman...

It was often the tradition for a woman to wear a veil of a woman who had a happy marriage.

Let's hear your own traditions handed down through your own families.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller
North Dakota State University Libraries
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
Libraries
NDSU Dept #2080
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Tel: 701-231-8416
Fax: 701-231-6128
Last Updated:
Director: Michael M. Miller
North Dakota State University Library North Dakota State University North Dakota State University GRHC Home