Duties of the Wedding Party
Thankfully your bridal party will take some of the organisational strain off your shoulders when preparing for your wedding. I’ve listed below the traditional duties of a wedding party. Feel free to ignore this list. After all, there are no rules saying you have to follow traditions if you don’t like them. If you have any other suggestions or ideas, they will be incorporated into your ceremony.
Maid of Honour
Maid of Honour is single; a Matron of Honour is married . It is OK to have a male Maid/Matron of Honour. His title would then be “Honour Attendant.” Duties include:
- Provides emotional support for the bride.
- Coordinates the bridesmaids.
- Helps bride with shopping for her wedding gown.
- Helps bride choose bridesmaid’s outfits and accessories.
- Assists bride and bridesmaids with making arrangements for fittings and accessories such as dying shoes, etc.
- Helps bride with other wedding tasks such as addressing invitations, recording wedding gifts, etc.
- Plans the bridal shower.
- Helps the bride and bridesmaids dress before the ceremony.
- Holds and hands the bride the groom’s ring during the ceremony.
- During the ceremony, she stands next to the bride, adjusts the bride’s veil and train, and holds the bride’s flowers when needed.
- Serves as the legal witness of the marriage and signs the marriage certificate.
- Stands next to the groom in the receiving line.
- May offer a toast at the reception.
- Helps bride change into her going-away outfit and takes care of the wedding dress arranging for it to be put in storage or taken to a place of the bride’s choosing.
- Helps to ensure that the honeymoon luggage is in the right place when the bride and groom leave for their honeymoon.
Best Man (if Male) — Honour Attendant (if Female): The Best Man or Honour Attendant:
- Provides emotional support to the groom.
- Assists the bride’s parents in arranging transportation for the wedding party.
- Assists with making hotel arrangements for the groom’s family and out-of-town guests.
- Arranges the bachelor party/dinner.
- Coordinates the ushers/groomsmen.
- Offers the first toast at the rehearsal dinner.
- Helps the groom dress the day of the wedding.
- Drives the groom to the church/ceremony site.
- Carries the bride’s ring and gives it to the groom during the ceremony.
- Either drives or rides along with the bride and groom and maid of honour from the church to the reception.
- Offers the first toast at the reception and read congratulatory telegrams and messages.
- The best man sits at the bride’s right at the head table at the reception.
- Dances with the bride and attendants.
- Confirms honeymoon travel arrangements the day before the wedding and insures that the groom has the tickets, etc. when the bride and groom leave for their honeymoon. He also loads the bride’s and groom’s luggage for their honeymoon in their car and assists with their get-a-way.
- Returns groom’s and usher’s rented clothing to rental facility.
- Run errands for the bride during the wedding planning process.
- Assist in making favours and decorating the reception hall.
- Assist in addressing invitations and announcements.
- Assist Maid of Honour with bridal shower.
- Pay for their own attire.
- Bridesmaids participate in bridal shower.
- They attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
- May assist in caring for the flower girl or ring bearer before the ceremony.
- They march down the aisle/to the ceremony site, in the processional and may stand in the receiving line.
- Walks down the aisle/to the ceremony site just before the bride carrying a basket of flowers to strew in front of the bride. This custom symbolizes a beautiful path ahead.
- Walks down the aisle/to the ceremony site just before either the flower girl or the bride carrying a pillow with symbolic rings.
Pages or Train Bearers:
- For a very formal wedding, they carry the train of the bride as she walks down the aisle.
- Usually children of either family who light the candles just before the mother-of-the-bride is seated.
- Assist groom and best man with errands and bachelor party/dinner.
- Responsible for clothing rental.
- Attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
- The ushers should arrive at the church or wedding site at least one hour before the ceremony and escort guests to their seats if there is seating. Seating friends of the bride on the left and friends of the groom on the right.
- When ushering guests, the groomsman/usher should offer his/her right arm to a woman. The woman’s male guest/escort should follow behind you. If a male guest arrives alone (without a female guest), he should walk on the usher/groomsman’s right. Unless the male guest has a physical handicap, the usher does not offer his arm.
- Act as escorts to the bridesmaids.
- One or two of the ushers will escort the bride’s mother and the groom’s parents down the aisle/ceremony site at the beginning of the ceremony.
- May pull the runner into place as the bridal march begins and pull it back after the ceremony.
- Escort the bridesmaids at the end of the ceremony.
- Escort the bride and groom’s family from the church after the ceremony, then return to direct the departure of guests from the pews.
- The Groom’s parents are seated just prior to the mother of the bride at the ceremony.
- Be available to give guests directions to the reception.
- Provide bridesmaids with transportation from the church/ceremony site to the reception.
- Decorate the get-away car.
- Dance with the bridesmaids at the reception.
The Bride’s Parents:
- The mother of the bride helps guests who ask for gift ideas.
- Assists in making the guest list.
- May accompany the bride when shopping for her gown.
- Toasts the couple at the rehearsal dinner.
- The father of the bride escorts his daughter down the aisle and stands next to the mother of the bride in the receiving line.
- The mother of the bride is the last person to be seated before the ceremony and is the first in the receiving line.
- Dances with his daughter after her first dance with the groom.
The Groom’s Parents:
- Traditionally host the rehearsal dinner.
- They stand in the receiving line.
- Often pay for the liquor and bar service at the reception.
There are some things that need to be taken care of the days before and the day of the wedding that the bride and groom will need assistance with. These duties should be assigned to members of the bridal party, family members or special friends:
- Decorating the reception hall.
- Decorating cars.
- Pouring the champagne before the toast.
- Check to be sure everything is running smoothly and they have what they need:
- DJ or band
- After the reception is over, assign someone to take care of:
- Cake top, the anniversary layer of the cake, and the cake knife and server.
- Toasting goblets.
- Guest book and pen.
- Have someone responsible for transporting the gifts and cards from the reception to the bride and groom’s home. Have a roll of tape available to secure the cards to the proper gifts.
- Two witnesses are required 18 years or over to sign Wedding Certificate, they can be members of the wedding party, friends or family.
DJ or Emcee should announce:
- The person giving the blessing
- The best man giving the toast
- The first bridal dance
- The father/daughter dance
- The mother/son dance
- The formal cake cutting
- The tossing of the bouquet and garter