Who's Who in the Wedding Party: Roles and Responsibilities

Once you're engaged, the first order of business is deciding who will be in your wedding party. The wedding party is made up of the bride and groom, along with the attendants who will stand...

Once you're engaged, the first order of business is deciding who will be in your wedding party. The wedding party is made up of the bride and groom, along with the attendants who will stand beside them on one of the biggest days of their lives.

The wedding party is responsible for helping the couple plan, keeping them sane, and cheering them on during the big day. They have several notable duties, including taking photos with the bride and groom on the wedding day, planning special pre-wedding events like the bridal shower and bachelor and bachelorette parties, and helping the couple get ready before the ceremony. They also usually have a special seat at the reception.

It's your special day, so feel free to tailor the group to fit your vision. Don't be afraid to have a wedding party as small or as large as your heart desires! Let's take a closer look at each member of the wedding party and their individual responsibilities.

Wedding Party Roles

The Maid of Honor

There's no bigger honor than being asked to serve as a bride's maid of honor! The maid of honor has many important responsibilities, including being the head of the bridesmaids. She helps the bride with planning, organizes events like the bridal shower and bachelorette party, and serves as the bride's right-hand woman throughout the wedding planning process. The maid of honor is usually the bride's sister or closest female friend.

Maid of honor duties include:

  • Helping the bride with wedding planning
  • Leading the bridesmaids in planning events
  • Hosting or co-hosting the bridal shower
  • Attending all pre-wedding events
  • Spreading the news about the couple's wedding registry
  • Helping the bride get ready on the big day
  • Serving as one of the signers of the marriage license
  • Holding the groom's ring during the ceremony
  • Helping the bride change for her honeymoon and storing her gown safely
  • Assisting as a hostess during the reception
  • Making sure the bride eats and stays hydrated
  • Troubleshooting any problems that arise
  • Decorating the getaway vehicle for the couple

The Bridesmaids

Asking your girls to be your bridesmaids is a sweet celebration of friendship. Bridesmaids are usually the bride's closest female friends and relatives, but they can also consist of any close friends who have supported you. Bridesmaids are asked to wear a particular dress to the ceremony, take pictures with the wedding party, and stand beside the bride at the altar.

Bridesmaid duties include:

  • Helping the bride shop for dresses
  • Assisting the maid of honor with planning events
  • Getting dressed with the bride before the ceremony
  • Attending all pre-wedding events
  • Offering support along the way
  • Sharing important details with other guests
  • Helping with any crises on the big day
  • Being social and making guests feel welcome
  • Getting the party started on the dance floor

The Best Man

Once you pop the question, it's time to ask your best friend to stand beside you as your best man. The best man has many important responsibilities, including being the groom's right-hand man throughout the wedding planning process. He's also in charge of rallying the other groomsmen and planning the bachelor party. The best man is usually the groom's brother or closest male friend.

Best man duties include:

  • Helping the groom choose wedding attire for the groomsmen
  • Ensuring all groomsmen have their clothing ready
  • Attending all pre-wedding events
  • Supporting the groom with wedding planning
  • Acting as the groom's support system
  • Holding the bride's ring during the ceremony
  • Planning and hosting the bachelor party
  • Serving as one of the signers of the marriage license
  • Ensuring all groomsmen are in the right place at the right time
  • Assisting as a host during the reception
  • Dancing with the maid of honor during the first dance
  • Helping decorate the getaway vehicle
  • Giving a wedding toast at the reception
  • Helping collect presents at the end of the night
  • Coordinating transportation for the couple's honeymoon
  • Ensuring all service providers are paid and tipped

The Groomsmen

The groomsmen are the groom's closest friends who will stand by his side at the altar. They usually wear matching attire and take pictures with the wedding party on the big day. Make sure you have all your best friends standing beside you to celebrate your marriage!

Groomsmen duties include:

  • Supporting the groom throughout wedding planning and on the big day
  • Attending all pre-wedding events
  • Assisting the best man with planning and paying for the bachelor party
  • Helping decorate the getaway car with the bridesmaids
  • Ushering guests to their seats before the ceremony if needed
  • Getting ready with the groom on the wedding day
  • Dancing with bridesmaids and single female guests during the wedding
  • Helping carry away gifts after the wedding if asked

The Junior Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Junior bridesmaids are a sweet way to include younger female friends and relatives. They usually wear age-appropriate dresses and stand among the bridesmaids. Junior groomsmen, on the other hand, are young boys who are too young to be groomsmen but still stand beside the groom at the altar.

The Ring Bearer and Flower Girl

The ring bearer is a young boy who carries the couple's rings down the aisle during the ceremony. He usually ranges in age from three to eight years old. The flower girl, typically between four and eight years old, walks ahead of the bride scattering flowers or holding a small bouquet. These roles bring an adorable touch to the wedding ceremony.

The Parents of the Bride and Groom

Traditionally, the bride's parents serve as the hosts of the wedding reception. They coordinate invitations, plan the details, and ensure everything runs smoothly. The father of the bride walks his daughter down the aisle. The groom's parents, on the other hand, reach out to the bride's family following the engagement to introduce themselves and may host the rehearsal dinner. The mother of the groom might share a special dance with him at the reception.

The Ushers and Officiant

Ushers help escort guests to their seats before the ceremony, guiding and assisting attendees. They provide a helpful presence without being part of the wedding party. The officiant, whether a priest, rabbi, minister, or a close friend, is responsible for performing the wedding ceremony.

Optional Additional Roles

Additionally, there are various optional roles that can be incorporated into the wedding party, such as pages, candlelighters, shushavim, chuppah carriers, koumbaro/koumbara, and hattabin. These roles vary based on cultural and religious traditions.

While there are general expectations for each role within a traditional wedding party, feel free to customize your group to best suit the concept of your wedding. Your wedding party will be by your side throughout the planning process and during the celebration, so it's important that the group is made up of your closest family and friends. Include all of your favorite people! Don't forget to thank the members of your wedding party for their love and support with the perfect wedding party gift.