It’s wonderful for your groom to be surrounded and supported by those he’s closest to, especially on your wedding day. But did you ever wonder where the practice of having groomsmen originated?
Back in the Ancient Roman days it was required by law to have ten witnesses at a wedding. Not only were they to show up, but they had to dress similarly to the bride and groom. No, no one was trying to make a fashion statement. The point of this was to fool the evil spirits intending on causing harm and ill will to the couple. If you have that many people who look the same, those evil spirits got confused since they couldn’t tell who was the bride and groom, and who wasn’t.
Now the groomsmen had other duties besides helping avoid the evil spirits’ mischief. There were the Bride’s Knights – friends of the groom who had the responsibility of being body guards to the bride. Their main duty was to make sure the bride arrived safely to the wedding, then later arrived safely at the home of the groom.
Another possible origin for groomsmen originated centuries ago when a man would go with his friends to another village with the intent to kidnap a bride. The groomsmen would fight off angry relatives, and later be present at the wedding to ensure no one tried to steal her back.
Thankfully we live in a more civilized age, where marriages are based on love and romance and the groomsmen are there to offer their moral support of the bride and groom.