Most modern weddings still include at least a few bridesmaids, and brides are now often letting bridesmaids choose their own, unique dresses (to the relief of bridesmaids)!
But the tradition of the bridesmaid has been around since Roman times. According to Roman Law, ten witnesses had to be present at a wedding ceremony to ward off evil spirits and vengeful suitors present at weddings. They dressed similarly to the bride and groom to cause confusion about who was getting married.
This belief and the practice of wearing similar dresses carried through for centuries, even in Victorian England, where people thought curses could be placed on the couple by their enemies.
Fortunately for the modern bride, she gets to stand out in her own dress!