Duties of the Wedding Party

Thankfully your bridal party will be of great help when preparing for your wedding. When they accept their roles in the wedding party, they are also accepting to help the bride and groom. We've listed below the traditional duties of a wedding party. Feel free to ignore this list, or change it to suit your situation, 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 to add to this page, please email us – celebrant@brisbanecivilcelebrant.com

Your duties await…

Maid of Honour/Matron of Honour:

A Maid of Honour is single, a Matron of Honour is married. It is okay to have a male Maid/Matron of Honour. His title would then be "Man of Honour." 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.
  • Helps bride with other wedding tasks such as addressing invitations, recording wedding gifts, etc.
  • Plans the bridal shower and bachelorette party.
  • Helps the bride and bridesmaids dress before the ceremony.
  • May hold and hand 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.
  • May serve as the legal witness of the marriage. 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.

Bridesmaids:

  • Run errands for the bride during the wedding planning process.
  • Assist in making wedding favours and decorating the reception hall.
  • Assist in addressing invitations and announcements.
  • Assist Maid of Honour with bridal shower.
  • Pay for own attire for wedding.
  • Bridesmaids participate and help with bridal shower.
  • If a rehearsal is required, attend rehearsal.
  • 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.

Flower Girl:

  • Walks down the aisle/to the ceremony site just before the bride carrying a basket of flowers to scatter in front of the bride. This custom symbolizes a beautiful path ahead.

Ring Bearer:

  • Walks      down the aisle/to the ceremony site just before either the flower girl or      the bride carrying a pillow with symbolic rings (not your real wedding rings)

Pages or Train Bearers:

  • For a very formal wedding, they carry the train of the bride as she walks down the aisle or to the ceremony site.

Candle Lighters:

  • Usually children of either family who light the candles just before the mother-of-the-bride is seated.

Best Man (if Male) – Honour Attendant (if Female):

  • 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.
  • Attends rehearsal if there is one.
  • 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.
  • May drive or ride along with the bride and groom and maid of honour from the ceremony to the reception.
  • Offers the first toast at the reception and read congratulatory 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 ensures 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.
  • Co-ordinates return of Groom’s and Groomsmen’s and usher's rented clothing to rental facility if applicable.

Ushers/Groomsmen:

  • Assist groom and best man with errands and bachelor party/dinner.
  • Responsible for clothing rental.
  • Attend rehearsal  if applicable.
  • The ushers should arrive at the 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 is traditional but not compulsory these days.

    • 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 to their seats at the ceremony site just before the beginning of the ceremony.
  • May pull the carpet runner into place as the bridal march begins and pull it back after the ceremony.
  • Escort the bridesmaids at the end of the ceremony.

    • 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.
  • Arrange bridesmaids      with transportation from the 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.
  • The father and or mother of the bride escort their daughter down the aisle and stands next to each other in the receiving line at the reception.
  • The mother of the bride is the last person to be seated before the ceremony and is the first in the receiving line at reception.
  • Father dances with his daughter after her first dance with the groom.

The Groom's Parents:

  • They stand in the receiving line.
  • Often pay for the liquor and bar service at the reception, although these days the parents usually halve the costs of the wedding if bride and groom are not paying themselves.

Assign Duties:

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 if there are no waiters/waitresses.
  • Check to be sure everything is running smoothly and they have what they need:

    • Caterer
    • DJ or band
    • Photographer/videographer
  • 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.
    • Gifts. 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.
    • Disposable cameras.

Witnesses:

  • 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 best man giving the toast
  • People doing speeches
  • The first bridal dance
  • The father/daughter dance
  • The mother/son dance
  • The formal cake cutting
  • The tossing of the bouquet and garter

 

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