Bridesmaid, another thankless job!
Just as in cricket how the umpire's role is forgotten - the equivalent of that in Weddings must be that of the bridesmaid Most of us would be familiar with the word bridesmaid. She is a member of bride’s side in a wedding. She is a young woman who often is a close friend or relative. She accompanies the bride on the whole day of the wedding ceremony. Usually, the bridesmaid is mostly unwed women of marriageable age.
The key bridesmaid, maybe even called a chief bridesmaid or maid of honour if she is unmarried or is called matron of honour if she is married. There is also someone called the Junior Bridesmaid who is clearly a girl too young to get married, but they are also included as an honorary bridesmaid. In weddings in the United States of America, only the maid. Matron of honour and the best man who is groom’s man are the official witnesses of the wedding.
Mostly in modern times, there was more than one bridesmaid; the bride chooses how many to keep her side. In earlier days no person of status goes unattended and the size of the bridesmaid usually says a lot about the wealth of the family. If there is a large group of bridesmaid it means the family has a higher social status and is rich in the society. In today’s scenario, the number of bridesmaids will depend on many factors, including the bride’s choices, the family’s size and the number of attendants the groom would like to have as well.
A groomsman is the male equivalent and is called an usher in British English. In the United States the role of making a presence with the groom has come up from escorting guests to their seats and the two positions are no longer the same and are filled by different people.
Cultural origin of bridesmaid in Victorian Britain, Norway and Netherlands is it has been customary for them to be younger than the bride. Their job is to carry flowers during the wedding, walk along with the bride and pose for the photos along with the couple.
The duty of a bridesmaid is very limited. They are seeking to attend the wedding ceremony and to support the bride on the day of the wedding. Usually, the bridesmaid in Europe and North America are often asked to help the bride in planning the wedding and the reception. In modern-day weddings, a bridesmaid often participates in planning the events like the bridal shower and even the bachelor party. These are, however considered as optional activities. Judith Martin, who is an etiquette expert says “ it is not necessary for bridesmaids to oblige in honor of the bride nor spend for dresses which they cannot afford”. A junior bridesmaid has no responsibilities other than attending the wedding.
In the United Kingdom, the bridesmaid is called Maid of honour, just the name differs but the duties are similar. They are expected to give emotional support for the bride during the wedding and reception. She also assists the bride with dressing up and also helping her hold her veil, bouquet and wedding dress for the day. If the bridesmaid is an adult, then she signs as a witness in the wedding license. If there is a reception after the wedding, the prospective maid of honor is made to give a toast for the newly weds.