You've heard of 'the wedding party' but, how formal are all the roles and do you need to fill each one? Today, we'll explain the reason for each role so you can make an informed decision about whether you want or need each person in your wedding party.
Wedding Party Roles Explained: Who Traditionally Does What?
In this article, we're using the most traditional understanding of each role, but you have every opportunity to mix it up. After all, it's your wedding!
Find a venue.
Pick a date.
Choose their wedding style, wedding party, and guest list.
THE BRIDE'S PARENTS
Host the first engagement party
Offer support and assistance to the couple
Sometimes the parents of the bride(s) may pay for the wedding but more often times this cost is usually shared between family or managed by the couple themselves.
MOTHER OF THE BRIDE
Offers guest list support and dress shopping assistance
FATHER OF THE BRIDE
Walks the bride down the aisle
Pays any outstanding bills with vendors after reception is over
THE GROOM'S PARENTS
Host the rehearsal dinner
Parents of the groom(s) may contribute to wedding expenses but may not always be the case.
MAID OF HONOR
Helps the bride(s) plan their wedding day as needed
Coordinates the bridesmaids and planning special events like the bachelorette party, wedding favor projects, running errands, etc.
Signs the marriage license as a witness
Gives a toast to the newlyweds at the reception
Assists the maid/matron of honor with wedding planning duties and tasks as needed
Helps plan special events like the bridal shower and bachelorette party
Bridesmaids cover the cost of their wedding day attire, travel and hotel accommodations
On the big day, the bridesmaids walk in the processional and recessional
Flower girls walk ahead of the bride in the processional and scatters flower petals or carries a basket of flowers
The ring bearer carries the ring(s) down the aisle
The Best Man is the groom’s best friend, brother or relative who is the biggest source for support.
Responsible for organizing the bachelor party and managing the groomsmen.
Plans the attire fittings, picks up the groom’s attire, and in some cases confirms honeymoon travel details.
He brings the bride’s ring to the wedding
Gives a toast at the rehearsal and reception
The Best Man also makes sure the luggage and travel arrangements are made for the newlyweds for their honeymoon
The groomsmen help the groom and the best man with wedding planning and arrangements as needed
They help the groom celebrate at the bachelor party
They pay for their attire and hotel accommodation expenses.
Personalize your ceremony by asking your close friend or a family member to share a passage from a religious text or meaningful manuscript or perhaps a poem or song lyrics.
For many couples, inviting a close friend to sing, play or perform in any capacity makes their event feel extra special. If you do decide to ask someone significant to take part in your ceremony, make sure to let them know as soon as possible so they have plenty of time to prepare.
Your processional escort will walk grandparents and elder family members down the aisle to their seats.
Ushers are often the first people a wedding guest will see when they reach the ceremony venue. This is often a role for the groomsmen who will direct guests to seats.
You can choose an elder from your community, a notable member of your religious group, a family member or a friend. Our team can put you in touch with a non-denominational officiant or guide you if you would like to invite a significant person in your life to become ordained.
UNITY CEREMONY PARTICIPANT
Include your good friends or close family members to light the candles for your unity ceremony.
To help your guests understand what is happening and what to expect, it's common to have an MC at your ceremony. They can announce when the ceremony starts, introduce the wedding party during the processional, hand over to the officiant, and then kick off the reception.
Significant individuals who will sign your marriage documents as an official witness to the legal requirements of your wedding day.