You just started planning your fairy tale wedding and you would like nothing more than to include all your close family and friends on your special day, but you‘re not sure how. Here’s a quick overview of each member of the wedding party, their roles and some of their duties.
Maid of Honor (or Matron of Honor)
The maid of honor’s role is to assist the bride on her wedding day — to lend her support, be reassuring, alleviate some stress and to even be a shoulder to cry on. She’s usually the bride’s sister or her best friend. The maid of honor will usually host the bridal shower and organize the bachelorette party. She can also assist the bride during the wedding planning process by accompanying her to various appointments (dress, cake, venue, etc). She’s also in charge of coordinating all the bridesmaids on the day of the wedding — making sure everyone is on time.
Another one of her duty can be to help the bride get dressed for the wedding as well as helping the bride manage her train, veil and bouquet during the entire day. She will hold the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony. The maid of honor can act as a legal witness for the bride by signing the marriage license after the wedding ceremony. She can also make a toast to the happy couple at the reception — usually following the best man‘s toast.
The best man is usually the groom’s brother or his best friend. His duties are similar to the maid of honor’s duties. He will lend his moral support to the groom during what is sure to be a nerve-wracking day, but he can also help out with some of the wedding planning tasks, such as organizing the bachelor party or decorating the newlyweds‘ car. He’s also in charge of coordinating all the groomsmen for the day.
During the ceremony, the best man can be in charge of carrying the rings for safekeeping in his pocket. The best man can also act as a legal witness for the groom by signing the marriage license after the wedding ceremony. At the reception, the best man usually is the first one to make a speech and toast the happy couple.
The bridesmaids’ role is to assist the bride on her wedding day and in the months prior to the big day. The bridesmaids can help the bride, or the maid of honor, keep track of wedding gifts or RSVP responses. They can also help the maid of honor organize the bridal shower and the bachelorette party. They can help keep an eye out for the ring bearer and flower girl before the ceremony.
Groomsmen are usually close friends or family members that hold a special place in the groom‘s life. On the wedding day, they will escort the bridesmaids down the aisle, and they can also act as ushers before the ceremony starts. They will also help the best man plan the bachelor party or decorate the newlyweds‘ car.
The role of the flower girl is to walk down the aisle carrying a small basket full of petals and look cute as a button in the process. If your ceremony venue doesn’t let you drop fresh flower petals down the aisle, the flower girl could also carry a small bouquet or pomander down the aisle. Another idea would be for the flower girl to carry a flowered wand with ribbons.
The role of the ring bearer is to carry the rings down the aisle. Usually the rings are securely attached to a nicely decorated pillow. The ring bearer and the flower girl can also walk down the aisle together. If you’re not comfortable with having the real rings on the pillow, you can use fake rings for the ring bearer to carry, and give the real thing to the best man for safekeeping.
The role of the ushers is to help seat your guests, answer general questions, hand out ceremony programs or wedding booklets, and help with the aisle runner. Ushers can be family members (brothers, cousins or brother-in-laws) or friends of the couple. They usually wear the same attire — tuxedos or suits — as the groomsmen
The role of the pages is to help the bride walk down the aisle by carrying her cathedral or royal length train for her. Pages are usually a little older than the ring bearers.
About the Author: Nadine Elliott, freelance writer for WeddingMuseum.com.
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