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Bridesmaids' Dresses

If you dread showing your selection of dresses to your bridesmaids, consider this: The earliest tradition in bridesmaid fashion involved dressing the bridesmaids exactly the same as the bride. As with many older traditions, the idea was that by setting up lookalikes, any troublesome spirits in the area could not fixate on the bride.

That custom gave way in Victorian times to dressing bridesmaids in white dresses but short veils, to contrast with the bride's voluminous veiling and train system. When society's fears of evil spirits subsided and commercial dyes became more available, those first hideous dresses made their appearance. In colors like lime green, harvest gold, tangerine and fuchsia, those dresses all ensured that the bride would be the best-looking girl in the church.

Not that any bride would ever consciously do this.

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