A bridal retinue yey? or ney?
Bridal Retinue yey? or ney? How many are too many bridesmaids? The answer is not simple. There are a lot of controversial opinions to this. So to say yey or nay to a bridal retinue and decide how much you want is totally up to you. To make the decision easier let’s see how this began in the first place.
Weddings are personal events but they have a cultural aspect too. As cultural events weddings have evolved through time. People have added many customs and practices to weddings. Some are unique to some cultures and some customs are shared among different cultures too. In Sri Lanka, we have a unique wedding culture, but they also have their fair share of outside influences too. With the colonization, western civilization started to blend with our age-old traditions. As an example giving marriage, a legal background is a product of this blend too.
Even though we can’t trace a specific origin for this age-old tradition, of having a bridal retinue. It is said that having a retinue for the wedding started to address a real-world problem in olden times.
Protect the Princess
In some civilizations, some women were considered tokens of the inheritance to the throne. This was due to their ability to birth the royalty or heir to the throne. So people tend to steal brides on their wedding day, to claim ownership of the throne. To avoid the bride being kidnapped these civilizations began to dress few more maidens exactly like the bride and all of them veiled their faces heavily, in order to stop them getting recognized and getting kidnapped. So this practice evolved to become the modern practice of ‘bridesmaids’.
Servants, Slaves, Handmaidens
Also in some other civilizations when royal women get married to royal men they did not come alone, they also brought a bunch of other women too. These women often considered handmaidens who were either servants or salves. There is a possibility that this practice evolved into the tradition of bridesmaids too.
Groomsmen - Fighter friends.
Groomsmen are associated with similar stories too. Some stories say that groomsmen are the rest of the people who would support a tribal leader to steal a maiden that is suitable to be his bride.
Evil spirits! Be gone!!
With the time, the practice of having bridesmaids and groomsmen evolved into many other things as well, most people tend to believe having similarly dressed men and women would confuse evil spirits and protect the couple from evil eyes and ill-wishers.
showing off wealth
In the victorian era, it was a symbol of showing off, family strength, wealth and power. Also, their official wedding colour was white, which was extremely costly to have. Having a large retinue dressed in white only showed off the family wealth.
Today, it is merely a trend to follow. Obviously now we don’t hear any stories about brides being kidnapped.
Some people have friends and family who would love to be a part of the wedding planning. They might even help the couple to get things done, in cases like these people tend to give them those friends and family the tile of the ‘bridesmaid’ / ‘maid of honour’ / ‘best man’ to honour their help.
Some other people tend to have a retinue with them on their big day to make things easier for them, as an example, the bridesmaids would help the bride to carry the veil, to retouch makeup and even to help in bathroom breaks.
For some, it is to make their photos vibrant and fun. Even though it is the day for the couple, some couples love to make it the biggest celebration of their life. Their main motive behind having a big retinue could be great fun photos.
For those who’d like to have an intimate function for their wedding day, they can ditch having bridesmaids and groomsmen.
We hope these insights made your decision easier to choose the appropriate number of bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Let’s meet again with a comparison of pros and cons about having a retinue. Stay tuned. Did you have a large retinue? What is your experience? Let us know in the comments. Don’t forget to share this among friends.