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Bridal Party Responsibilities

Bridesmaids, commitment crew, bride VIPs. Whatever you want to call them, who you choose for your bridal 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 bridal party responsibilities are and how to choose the best person for each role. Here’s a checklist of what bridal party roles brides typically fill, along with a detailed list of their jobs and duties.

Bridesmaids, groomsmen, commitment crew, wingmen. Whatever you want to call them, who you choose for your bridal party (also referred to as the 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 what bridal party roles, along with a detailed list of their jobs and duties.

 

What are the main bridal party responsibilities?

Bridal 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 bridal 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 bridal 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 bridal 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 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 (Facebook Group, email chain, Slack chat, etc.) 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 related-tasks such as holding your bridal bouquet and running last-minute errands.

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

  • Give a toast at the reception.

  • 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 endless hours of Pinteresting table decor. 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 plan, pay for, and attend all wedding-related events the bride is involved in.

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

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

  • Lend a hand with wedding decor tasks and DIY projects.

  • Be sociable with wedding guests.

  • Get people on the dance floor.

  • Keep the groomsmen and other wedding party members in check.

 

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!

 

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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.

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. Here's a full rundown of your groomsman responsibilities and expectations. 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 and 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

  • Be on your best behavior - limit your drinking and allow the groom to be the one having the most fun

  • 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.

Other non-bridal party roles

 

Usher / Junior Usher

The role of an usher is sweet and simple! 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 bridal party. It’s great for uncles, as well as older cousins.

 

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 bridal 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 are becoming less common. These are slightly outdated roles but are a good option for family members who desire to be involved and who you don’t want in the immediate party. The wedding program attendant is assigned with passing out programs as guests enter the venue. Whereas the guest book attendant oversees that people sign the guest book. 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 bridal parties:

What is the groom's bridal party called?

The groom’s bridal party is referred to as the groomsmen or groom's people if the group includes members who don’t identify as male.

 

What should the bridal party pay for?

The bridal party should pay for wedding gifts, travel, pre-wedding events, plus their wedding attire along with their own hair, makeup, shoes, and accessories. Destination bachelorette parties or weddings may drive up the cost but on average members of the bridal party should expect to spend between $1,200 to $1,700 each.

 

Do you need a bridal party?

You don’t need a bridal party, especially if you plan to elope. But if you like the idea of getting ready with a big group of friends and having a bachelorette party, then a bridal party may be a good choice for you.