Learn the history of bridesmaids dresses and see the tailoring work that goes into bridesmaids dress alterations.
The History of Bridesmaids Dresses
Bridesmaids are part of the bridal wedding party and are usually close friends and relatives of the bride. The group can consist of a maid/matron of honour, chief bridesmaid, junior bridesmaid and flower girl.
The maid of honour is the unmarried witness for the bride alternatively the matron of honour title is given to a married woman in the role. Otherwise, there's the chief bridesmaid position though this can be a separate spot.
The junior bridesmaid is a younger member of the group who has little to no other duties. Whereas, a flower girl is a young child who often sprinkles petals down the aisle.
The bridesmaids dresses are chosen to match the colour scheme of the wedding and each other. They also compliment the bridal gown and fit the location of the ceremony.
These are all modern styles which have evolved over the history of bridesmaids dresses. The Western tradition is believed to have its origins in Roman Law.
Ten witnesses were required for a wedding and split between bridesmaids and groomsmen (their male counterparts). They dressed exactly like the bride and groom respectively. This was an attempt to confuse evil spirits and jilted suitors.
There's also a biblical reference from the Book of Genesis (29:24, 46:18) in which Jacob marries Leah and Rachel. Both women are attended to by their actual handmaidens who would have been servants or slaves.
Bridesmaids became increasingly popular as wedding planning did and dressing like the couple continued. The size of the bridal party then became an expression of affluence as traditionally the bride's family paid for the event.
Now, however, the bridesmaid duties have expanded to involve pre-wedding parties and they may buy their own outfits. See the evolutions of bridesmaid dresses through the twentieth century.
Bridesmaid Dress Alterations
Bridesmaid dress alterations provide the best fit for the bridal party so they're the perfect compliment to the bride. Here's some designer bridesmaid dress ideas from evening gowns in our studio.
Elie Saab Dress
We're letting out the centre-back on this Elie Saab dress through the zip. We'll then let out the top of the zip and shorten the hem.
Zuhair Murad Dress
We're lifting the shoulders on this Zuhair Murad dress, taking in the waist and removing one of the panels. We'll finally shorten the hem and finish as original with a baby lock.