For context, we totally understand certain wedding rituals: the bride dressed in white, the ceremonial exchange of rings, reception following the vows and the like. While these customs surely have their roots in tradition, another widely observed behavior—bridesmaids wearing similar dresses—actually goes way back to ancient Roman times, during which bridesmaids would not only dress like one another, but also like the bride. (Surprisingly, this was not the origin of bridezilla.) The reason? The bride was surrounding herself with decoys acting as a simulacrum of sorts to confuse evil spirits said to gate-crash weddings and other happy events. Essentially, the bridal party’s function was to keep the wedded couple safe from demons. Fortunately, the stakes are much lower today, when the bride tends to worry less about malevolent forces and more about the label on the back of her dress.