Expert Advice · Uncategorized

Welcome to the Wedding (Party)!

With the holiday season come and gone, many couples have become engaged, and perhaps you know of a pair in the early stages of planning their nuptials. One of the most important decisions while planning a wedding is who to choose to be in the wedding party. If you are chosen by a happy couple to be in their wedding party, and find yourself at a loss regarding your new responsibilities, look no further! Here is a guide to all the roles within a wedding party.

weddingparty

*image from pinterest.com

Maid/Matron of Honor

The Maid or Matron of Honor is typically someone the bride has been very close with for most of her life. Many women chose their sister, cousin, or childhood friend, however, a bride may choose whoever she thinks can handle the responsibilities of the role, and will respect her wishes regarding the wedding. If the woman she chooses is unmarried, they are referred to as the Maid of Honor, if she is married, they are called the Matron of Honor. The Maid/Matron of Honor is the bride’s go-to person for all things wedding related from the moment of asking them to be in the wedding party, until all the guests leave the reception. It is a position that comes with many responsibilities and one should consider giving up the role if they feel that they cannot perform the duties. Here is an overview of some of the tasks that come with being a Maid/Matron of Honor.

maidofhonor

*image from reeseoreo.com

Before the Wedding:

  • Ringleader of the bridesmaids- as Maid/Matron of Honor, you are the leader of the bride’s half of the wedding party. It is your job to make sure all bridesmaids are on the same page about everything regarding the wedding, including costs related to dresses, bridal shower, and bachelorette party. Also, it is the job of the Maid of Honor to resolve any bridesmaid drama so the bride doesn’t have to deal with it.
  • It is the responsibility of the Maid of Honor to plan and host the bridal shower. This can be accomplished with the help of the other bridesmaids, or the mother of the bride, or groom if appropriate.
  • One of the most fun parts about being the Maid/Matron of Honor is planning the bachelorette party. Whether it’s a crazy night in Vegas reminiscent of The Hangover or just getting all the girls together for a nice dinner followed by movies and gossip, it will be a night the bride will never forget.
  • At the request of the bride, Maid/Matrons of Honor often help the bride pick out her wedding dress, as well as the bridesmaid dresses.
  • The Maid/Matron of Honor is responsible to help the bride with whatever aspect of wedding planning and preparation she needs, whether it is addressing invitations or cake tasting.
  • The Maid/Matron of Honor is expected to pay for her own transportation, dress, lodging and all other wedding related expenses, as well as give a wedding gift.

Day of the Wedding:

  • As ringleader of the bridesmaids, it is the job of the Maid/Matron of Honor to make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be at all times. This includes helping girls into their dresses, and that everyone gets their hair and makeup done.
  • Before walking down the aisle, the Maid of Honor should help the bride arrange her train and veil.
  • Unless previously arranged otherwise, it is the job of the Maid/Matron of Honor to sign the marriage license as a witness.
  • The Maid/Matron is to hold the grooms wedding ring during the ceremony until it is time to place it on his finger. Can’t figure out where to put it? Your thumb!
  • The Maid/Matron of Honor also holds the bride’s bouquet during the vows.
  • Often the Maid/Matron of Honor will make a toast and speech following the Best Man’s
  • Ultimately, the Maid/Matron of Honor’s job is to do her best to ensure that the wedding is the best day of the bride’s life. Whether this means ensuring the florist delivered the correct corsages, fixing everyone’s hair for pictures, or just being a shoulder to lean on, the Maid/Matron of Honor is the bride’s main support system on this monumental day in her life.

Bridesmaid

Like the Maid/Matron of Honor, bridesmaids are people who the bride is very close with, and has often known for a long time. Sisters, cousins, childhood or college friends are common choices, but the bride may choose whoever she likes to stand with her at the alter. Sometimes, as a symbol of bringing two families together, the bride will ask the grooms sister(s) to be a bridesmaid. The main job of a bridesmaid, aside from paying for her own expenses, is to assist the Maid/Matron of Honor with planning the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and any other wedding details.

bridesmaid

*image from etsy.com

Before the Wedding:

  • Help pick out the bridesmaid dress
  • Help the Maid/Matron of Honor plan and host the bridal shower
  • Help the Maid/Matron of Honor plan the bachelorette party
  • Assist the bride with any wedding detail she asks
  • Attend the rehearsal, rehearsal diner, and any other pre-wedding functions

Day of the Wedding:

  • Help ensure all members of the bridal party have had their hair and makeup done
  • Assist with any details that have not yet been taken care of
  • Walk down the aisle with assigned groomsmen
  • Along with the Maid/Matron of Honor, it is your job to support the bride, and ensure the ceremony and reception go as smoothly as possible.

Best Man

The Best Man is the groom’s counterpart to the bride’s Maid/Matron of Honor. He acts as the ringleader of the groomsmen, and has an important role in both the ceremony and the reception. The Best Man is traditionally a person the groom is very close with, and has known for most of their life. Oftentimes grooms choose their brother, cousin, or childhood friend. The duties of the Best Man are as follows:

Dude best man

*image from headoverheels-audrey.blogspot.com

Before the Wedding

  • As ringleader of the groomsmen, it is the duty of the Best Man to ensure that all groomsmen are on the same page about everything regarding the wedding such as the cost of matching tuxes, and cost of the bachelor party.
  • Most of the planning of the bachelor party typically falls on the Best Man, with help from the other groomsmen.
  • The Best Man should make sure that every man in the wedding party has their tux rented in the correct style and hue decided upon by the bride and groom.
  • The Best Man must attend the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner, as well as any other pre-wedding functions.
  • Unless explicitly informed otherwise, it is understood that the Best Man will pay for his tux, transportation, and any other costs incurred relating to the wedding, as well as give a wedding gift.

Day of the Wedding

  • It is the responsibility of the Best Man to get the groom to the ceremony and dressed in a timely fashion.
  • If she is not walking the bride down the aisle, the Best Man seats the Mother of the Bride before the ceremony begins.
  • The Best Man walks down the aisle with the Maid/Matron of Honor following all the other bridesmaid/groomsmen pairs, but before the ring bearer or flower girl if there are any, and if not, they are the last person down the aisle before the bride.
  • The Best Man holds the bride’s wedding ring during the ceremony.
  • The Best Man along with the Maid/Matron of Honor signs the marriage license as a witness.
  • If they will need one, it is the Best Man’s job to coordinate a getaway car for the bride and groom.
  • Traditionally, the Best Man gives the first toast and speech of the reception.

Groomsman

Similar to the Best Man, groomsmen are often people the groom is very close to and have known for a long time. Brothers, cousins, childhood or college friends are common choices. If the bride has a brother, he is often asked to be a groomsman at the groom’s discretion. The main duty of a groomsman is to help the Best Man with his planning duties, supporting the groom, and helping the wedding day go as smoothly as possible.

groomsmen

*image from clker.com

Before the Wedding:

  • Help the Best Man plan the bachelor party
  • Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner as well as any other pre-wedding functions
  • Help pick out the tuxes for the groomsmen
  • Assist the groom with whatever he needs leading up to the wedding

Day of the Wedding

  • If there are no ushers, help guests find their seats
  • Help decorate the getaway car
  • Walk down the aisle with the designated bridesmaid

Mother of the Bride

Traditionally, the mother of the bride is heavily involved in the planning process when putting together a wedding. However, this is not always the case, and her level of involvement is often left up to the bride. Some of the duties of the mother of the bride can include:

Before the Wedding

  • Help the bride and groom find a ceremony and reception site
  • Compile the names and addresses of those on the guest list, and consult the groom’s family on who they want to add to the guest list
  • Serve as the main contact for vendors if there is no wedding planner
  • Help the bride pick out her wedding dress
  • Coordinate her own outfit along with the mother of the groom
  • Support the bride to the best of her ability during the journey from engagement to marriage

Day of the Wedding

  • Help the bride get into her wedding dress
  • Do her best to keep the bride blissfully happy on her big day
  • Walk the bride down the aisle if her father or another male figure has not already been asked to do so
  • Transport gifts to the newlywed’s home after the wedding

mothers

*image from signsbyandrea.com

Mother of the Groom

Traditionally, the parents of the groom are in charge of planning and paying for the rehearsal dinner. Often this responsibility falls on the mother of the groom. In addition to the rehearsal dinner, the mother of the groom typically coordinates outfits with the mother of the bride to match levels of formality, length of dress, and agree on a color to both wear. The mother of the groom can be much more involved in the wedding planning process, but that is usually left up to the discretion of the bride.

Father of the Bride

Traditionally, the father of the bride pays for the bulk of the wedding. However, these days there is not necessarily that expectation, and each bride and groom and their families can coordinate expenses their own way. Luckily for brides and grooms alike, dads are good for a lot more than writing checks! There are few “typical” jobs for the father of the bride to take care of when it comes to wedding preparations or on the day of the wedding, aside from walking the bride down the aisle and the father-daughter dance. Some dads will want that to be their maximum involvement aside from enjoying the ceremony and reception, while others are happy to help with any detail. As long as you don’t ask Dad to help with something you know he will detest, and make it clear how much you appreciate it, most dads are thrilled to be involved in this special time in your life.

fatherofthebride

*image from signsbyandrea.com

Father of the Groom

The father of the groom is often involved in the planning of, and paying for the rehearsal dinner. There are not many “traditional” roles for the father of the groom during the planning process or during the ceremony, however, most brides would very much appreciate their future father-in-laws offering a helping hand during the planning process and throughout the big day.

FatherOfTheGroom

*image from shstoneware.com

Flower Girl(s)

While certainly not a necessity, flower girls are an adorable touch to any wedding and a great way to include a younger girl that is an important part of the bride or grooms life. Flower girls are typically between the ages of 3 and 8, and are the last one(s) to walk down the aisle before the bride and whoever is escorting her. The flower girl’s parents are responsible for covering the cost of her dress and other accessories. Flower girls attend and participate in the rehearsal, but the rehearsal dinner is up to the discretion of the bride and groom.

flowergirl

*image from pinterest.com

Ring Bearer

Ring bearers are also an optional feature of a wedding ceremony, but can serve the same purpose of a flower girl; to incorporate a young boy who is very close to either the bride or groom into the wedding festivities. Ring bearers walk down the aisle carrying the wedding “rings” on a small pillow. He will walk down the aisle after the maid of honor and best man, and before the flower girl. The parents of the ring bearer are responsible for incurring the costs of renting a tux and purchasing a pillow and “rings”. The ring bearer participates in the rehearsal, but attending the rehearsal dinner is up to the discretion of the bride and groom.

ringbearer

*image from classybride.com

Regardless of your relationship to the newly engaged couple, or what role you have been asked to fulfill in the wedding party, be gracious and appreciative. Being asked to be part of a wedding party is an honor, and should be treated as such. It is a sign from the bride and groom that you are so important to them that they can’t imagine starting this new chapter of their life together without you by their side.

*tips and tasks from theknot.com and laurenconrad.com

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