Why Did the Best Man Originally Accompany the Bride?

About the history of the tradition of the best man accompanying the bride not theg room during a wedding.


Why Did the Best Man Originally Accompany the Bride and Not the Groom? At the beginning of history, the best man attended a wedding heavily armed. His duty was to stay with the bride and protect her against other men who might capture her for their own purposes.

Warriors who wanted a bride of their own would "set out with their companions--to wrest the bride from her original groom. . . . It was for this reason, too, that Scandinavians used to hold their weddings under the cover of night. Behind the High Altar of one of the Swedish churches, so it was said, were kept lances with sockets for torches. These served the Best Men in their hazardous task, as weapons and sources of illumination, to detect and repel possible abductors."

As the centuries passed, and the danger of the bride's being kidnapped decreased, only then did the best man escort the groom, while the bridesmaids accompanied the bride.

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