How being a bridesmaid is like being a high school cheerleader
First, some terminology:
cheerleader = bridesmaid
team = marital couple
game = ceremony
coach = priest/preacher/officiate/etc
game book = Bible
Being in a wedding and being a cheerleader are some of the few times when it's considered cool to be wearing the same outfit to an event. Besides wearing a planned uniform, there are special shoes and usually hair or make-up considerations. The goal is to look similar without being too clone-like. Usually, these uniforms cost more than they should. As in any event with a bunch of women/girls there is the possibility for some drama and neither cheerleaders nor bridesmaids are immune to this. In preparation for the big game the cheerleader often decorates the locker room or makes goodie bags for the team in the same way that a bridesmaid does nice little things to help out the bride (making programs, preparing an emergency day-of kit, etc.). A pep-rally may be thrown for a team while a shower is thrown for a couple. Hanging out with the team before the game is common (ok, I was a very stereotypical cheerleader and the cheerleaders and football players hung out at the head coach's house the night before a game). This is similar to hanging out with a bride the day of the wedding or the day before. There are usually photographers at both events and while they aren't exactly there to get photos of you (as a cheerleader or bridesmaid) it's pretty much a sure bet that they will take some. And while you aren't the center of attention you get to be known pretty well because you're standing in front of everyone, and as a cheerleader your name is on your megaphone and as a bridesmaid your name is in the program. As a cheerleader you carry pom-poms and as a bridesmaid you carry a bouquet. You have a formation that you stand in for both a wedding and a football game. This formation is something you have practiced getting into. Cheerleaders have a captain and bridesmaids have a maid of honor. For both events rain is a bad sign but you'd stand out there through it if asked to. After the game everyone goes out and celebrates just like a wedding reception (ok, maybe not EVERYONE goes out and celebrates but it's just lame not to). There's music - at a game in the form of a band and at the reception either band or dj. And when there's music there is dancing. There's usually a couple people acting a fool. I'm sure there must be more, but the last thing here... in the south both football and getting married are a big deal making the positions of cheerleader and bridesmaid all the more popular.