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Wedding Party Responsibilities

Bridesmaids, groomsmen, commitment crew, wingmen. Whatever you want to call them, who you choose for your wedding party is a very important decision. So before you start asking anyone and everyone to be part of this special group, you first need to learn what their responsibilities are and how to choose the best person for each role. Here’s a checklist of wedding party roles, along with a detailed list of their jobs and duties.


What are the main wedding party responsibilities?

Wedding party responsibilities are the tasks you can reasonably expect people who fill these roles to help you with. For example, weddings with a lot of DIY components will need more assistance from their wedding party. 

However, it’s important to remember that every person and every wedding is different, so there’s no such thing as an all-encompassing list of wedding party responsibilities. It varies from person to person and wedding to wedding. But as long as you use the below information as a guideline and a starting point, you can be confident knowing what you can ask them for help with. So without further ado, here are the wedding party roles, what their jobs and duties are, and some tips for how to choose the best possible people for each.

Responsibilities of the maid/matron of honor

You only need one person to fill this position, but their own marital status will determine what they’re called. If they’re unmarried, refer to them as the maid of honor. If they’re married, use matron of honor.

Think of your maid or matron of honor as your second in command. It’s their responsibility to assist you with any major wedding planning decisions that your partner is not directly involved in, such as wedding dress selection. They’ll also likely be in charge of the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and most bridal party communication. The best maid or matron of honor is highly organized, great at communication, and genuinely interested in helping your wedding come together as perfectly as possible.

Maid/Matron of honor jobs and duties range from hilarious to practical. They can even be a mixture of both, like holding your wedding gown up as you use the restroom. Here are some fair expectations you can have for anyone who accepts this role in your bridal party:

  • Act as the team lead for the rest of the bridal party, answering questions and sharing announcements or reminders as needed.

  • Create a communication system between you and the rest of the bridesmaids.

  • Organize and help pay for the bachelorette party.

  • Join you for wedding dress shopping and give their opinion, if you ask them for it.

  • Provide personal assistance for a variety of wedding day tasks such as holding your bridal bouquet and running last-minute errands.

  • Troubleshoot any minor issue that come up for you on the day of the wedding and work with your planner or coordinator if necessary.

  • Give a toast at the rehearsal dinner (avoid doing speeches at the reception!)

  • Your shadow on wedding day - to fluff your train, help you with potty breaks, get you a drink, put your bags in your getaway car

  • Get (and keep) the party going at all times by setting the tone, dancing the night away, and ensuring you enjoy yourself as much as possible.


How to choose a maid of honor

Think of your closest family members and friends. Determine who will keep you grounded and organized. Ask yourself who you can picture standing right beside you during this very important moment in your life.


Brides are often intimidated by this decision because they don’t want to let anyone down. The truth is this: You have to go with your gut and do what’s best for you. Consider who will make the experience the best it possibly can be. If you’re really stuck, you do have the option to choose two people. Just make sure they get along or have the potential to mesh personality-wise so they can work together as a team.


Another important thing to consider when choosing a maid of honor is their lifestyle. Do they have young children or live in another country? If so, it may be harder for them to spend time putting out wedding fires and joining you for dress appointments. Having the right availability (and/or the financial means to gain the free time) may even put one potential maid of honor above another in your decision-making process.


If you do feel that someone else may have expected you to ask them to fill this role, have an open conversation with them about it. Let them know what your thought process is for choosing your maid of honor. Emphasize that you love and value them just as much. And strongly consider asking them to be a bridesmaid if you haven’t already.


Responsibilities of bridesmaids and junior bridesmaids

Bridesmaids are people you’re close to who you’ll have fun with before, during, and after the wedding. While bridesmaids are typically adults of drinking age, junior bridesmaids are younger. Junior bridesmaids can be included in bachelorette celebrations if there isn’t alcohol being served. the activities are age appropriate, and their parents approve. You can also have junior bridesmaids participate in the bridal shower and wedding but not the bachelorette party.


Bridesmaids are a group of relatives, childhood friends, school friends, and even very close work friends who join you in celebrating your wedding before the big day. Although they have fewer responsibilities than the maid or matron of honor, your chosen bridesmaids can set the tone for your bachelorette party and getting-ready process on the day.

Jobs and duties include:

  • Help the Maid/Matron of Honor planning any showers and bachelorette party

  • Contribute their opinions on bridesmaid dresses (if invited to).

  • Assist the maid of honor with any dilemmas the bride faces throughout the process.

  • Be available to assist the bride on wedding day

  • Be sociable with wedding guests.

  • Get people on the dance floor.

  • help keep the wedding party members in check.

  • stick around after the reception to help with clean up and loading


How to choose a bridesmaid or junior bridesmaid

Siblings, close cousins, and best friends from school and work are a great place to start. You can mix and match important people from your childhood and professional lives. Or, if you’re fortunate to have one big friend group, you can include everyone from the same social circle. Either option is fine. Even if you group people together who are strangers, they’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other through all the wedding activities. And they’ll have at least one great thing in common to bond over: You!



What is a best man?

The best man is the groom's right-hand man (or woman) at the wedding. Usually a close friend or relative, this person is asked to stand by the groom's side to support and assist in any way possible before and during the wedding.

What is the role of a best man?

If you're wondering what does a best man do, it's important to realize that this role involves making sure everything runs smoothly on and before the couple's Big Day. The best man is often in charge of the groomsmen, as he plans the bachelor party, helps them dress for the wedding, and even organizes their transportation to the ceremony. He is also responsible for lending a hand during pre-wedding events and the reception. Above all, he is there to support the groom. The Best Man has many of the same responsibilities as the Maid/Matron of Honor!

Who is usually the best man at a wedding?

The best man is often the groom's closest friend or relative. Sometimes it's a brother, childhood buddy, cousin, or even the groom's father or uncle. There are no rules around who the groom can and cannot choose. Note: if the father of the groom is acting as best man, be sure to secure a male that is not in the bridal party to escort the grooms mother to her seat.


What about the Groomsmen?

The groomsmen are a special part of every wedding party, but what is a groomsman anyway? The groomsmen are the male (but can also be female!) attendants to the groom on his special day. The groom traditionally chooses his closest friends and relatives to be his groomsmen—the select few tasked with the special honor of both supporting him throughout the wedding planning process and adding positive energy to each wedding event. Yes, a lot of it is fun and games, but take your role as a groomsman seriously—you're helping one of your best friends plan and enjoy what can often be a stressful, jam-packed and nerve-racking day. The responsibilities and duties of the grooms are often the following: 

  • Get your own formalwear

  • Attend all pre-wedding events like engagement party, bachelor party, ceremony rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner

  • Co-plan the bachelor party

  • Give a thoughtful gift to the groom

  • Provide support to the groom for the entire wedding day

  • Happily participate in all wedding photos as requested

  • Stick around to help clean up after the party is over

  • Help decorate the getaway car

Ring Bearer

The role of a ring bearer is simple, and the perfect job for a young man under the age of 8. They will simply walk down the aisle carrying the rings, but not the real ones. Let’s be honest, trusting a kid with your sentimental and very expensive jewelry is a risk. One we aren’t on par with! This role is more of a cute tradition than anything, so don’t take it too seriously and don't feel like you have to have a ring bearer. Have fun and let your little one have fun too.

Flower Girl

Similar to the ring bearer, a flower girl is a traditional role. This job entails walking down the aisle, alongside the ring bearer, dropping flower petals along the way. Your flower girl should also be under the age of 8.  As with the ring bearer, have fun with this wedding role. For example, consider letting her walk with the family dog! You will also want to make sure you are clear on your venue's rules regarding petals. Some venue's do not allow silks and may also require that petals be cleaned up afterwards, so that is something you will want to discuss when booking your florist.

One thing to consider with the Ring Bearer and Flower Girl roles is that if you include them in your ceremony, it is implied that they are also included in the reception especially if they are the children of family members or other wedding guests - this could cause some hurt feelings among your guests if you have opted for a kid free reception but are still allowing these children to attend that portion of your wedding. 

Other non-wedding party roles


Usher / Junior Usher

The role of an usher is sweet and simple but an outdated role for wedding day. They will stand at the entrance of your ceremony space or venue, to greet guests and guide them to their seats. They typically wear suits but can dress according to the bride’s clothing recommendations for guests. Many times, this role is assigned to friends or family members of the bride and groom that aren’t in the main wedding party. 


Personal Attendant

Never heard of a personal attendant? No problem! This person will assist the bride on the day of the wedding (and sometimes help with pre-planning) but is not a bridesmaid. It is usually a friend or family member who didn’t make the cut for your wedding party, and therefore a great way to avoid any hard feelings or guilt. They can still be included in a lot of the festivities that bridesmaids are, including the bachelorette party and getting ready for the wedding together.  Sometimes, they’ll even wear the same style of dress as the bridesmaids, but in another color.

Wedding Guest Book Attendant / Wedding Program Attendant

If you haven’t heard of a wedding guest book attendant or program attendant, it’s because they aren't a thing anymore. These are outdated roles but are a good option for family members who desire to be involved and who you don’t want in the wedding party. The wedding program attendant is assigned with passing out programs as guests enter the venue. Whereas the guest book attendant makes sure that guests sign the guest book when they arrive for your ceremony. They might also watch the gift table, to ensure cards are placed in the correct place and that nothing is stolen.

Frequently asked questions about wedding parties:

Is it called the wedding party or bridal party?

Depends on who you ask and there isn't really a right or wrong answer because they both mean the same thing. In modern times, it's more common to refer to it as the wedding party.


What should the wedding party pay for?

The wedding party should pay for their own travel, bachelor/bachelorette party, their wedding attire along with their own hair, makeup, shoes, and accessories. Destination weddings are a bit different! If you plan on having your wedding at a far off destination outside of North America, that is a huge expense you are asking people to take on - not to mention the time they will have to take off of their job - for you! For this reason, you should expect to cover the bulk of your wedding party's travel and hotel expenses for your destination wedding.


Do you need a wedding party?

You don’t need a wedding party and many couples today are choosing to not have one. 

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