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New Zealand Prime Minister is set to be married.  In an recent interview she commented that she felt she was “too old to have a bridal party”.

This poses an interesting question … when are you too old to have a bridal party?

(By the way, “wedding party” is the preferred term as bridal party suggests that there is a bride.  We are proud to have provided our service to many same sex weddings where it has been two grooms!)

We have provided our entertainment and MC services to literally hundreds and hundreds of weddings and have seen a mix of young people who chose to have a bridal party as well as young people who chose to not have a bridal party.  We have also seen older couples making the same choices.

Before we answer this question, let’s first explore … what IS a bridal party anyway?

What is a bridal party responsible for and how did the entire idea of a bridal party start?

Let’s delve into the fascinating history of how bridal parties came to be a “thing”.

The History of the Bridal Party

The entire idea of a bridal party (so far as our research over the years anyway), has shown it mostly started a long time ago. In fact, mostly from Europe / United Kingdom and was something that goes back to the old days of early Christianity and where Paganism is still strong and a world steeped in superstition.

Think a “Game of Thrones” type setting …

A house / village / kingdom has a young man looking for a suitor.  To strengthen their power, they find a young lady from another village / kingdom that would make a good match for the young man.  So it is decided, the young man will ride on the morn to bring the girl back to his people where the local priest will perform the ritual of marriage.

The young man knows that, if he wants to get the girl, he must steal her away (yes, kidnap) from her people.  For this he will need some of his strongest and most loyal men to assist him in the battle that is almost almost guaranteed to happen. Should he fall in battle, he names one of his strongest and most loyal men the “best man”, who will become her suitor if he perishes in his quest to kidnap her.

Yes, this is how the party of grooms men started.  It was essentially a gang of kidnappers forcing a woman to marry someone she may not have even met, much less care for!

Poor girl!  (Talk about being “swept away by Prince Charming!”) Not as romantic as you thought right?

So what about the bridesmaids?

Well, once the girl has successfully been kidnapped by the groom and his men, she is whisked quickly back to his village where a priest will perform the rites of marriage.  Once this has been done, even the girls people will give up and consider her lost, as the holiness vested in the rites of marriage were considered final and absolute. But her people still have a fighting chance of getting her back if they can do so before the ritual of marriage has been completed.

In order to confuse and throw the girls people off the scent, the young mans village dress up other similar looking girls into the same sort of wedding attire that the girl would be wearing.  Then, should the girls rescuers arrive, they will see a number of girls dressed like they might be getting married.  Not only this, it also protected the girl from any demons (which they believed could also interfere) from finding the target girl intended for marriage.

This is how the girls side of the bridal party started.

Thanks for the history lesson … what’s the point?

The point is … we don’t actually NEED to have a wedding party at all.  We are living in a world where (hopefully) the girl is agreeing to the marriage and hasn’t been kidnapped!

However, over the years, the wedding party has evolved to become more of a group of close and trusted friends that can share your day with you and to also perhaps do a few things to make your day run smoother.  It is common to assign each member of the wedding party a small task they are responsible for to make it easier for the couple.

So, essentially, the choice to have, or not have a wedding party really has nothing at all to do with your age.

If you want to give some of your closet friends or family an elevated position of recognition for your wedding day, asking them to be a part of your wedding party, is a wonderful way of telling them you think highly of them.

Also, if you think they could be there to do a few simple things for you to make your day run smoother, this is another great idea.

I’m confused why Jacinda thinks having a bridal party is a thing for young people.

You do you.

It’s completely up to you and age has nothing to do with it.

Warmly,

Nik Reeds