Wedding Party

Who’s Who in a Wedding Party…

Our wedding party is full of family and friends near and dear to us. But what exactly is everyone doing? Well, here’s a guide for those of us needing to know who does what in a wedding. Thanks to theknot.com for some of their information on this subject! 🙂

Maid & Matron of Honor

The bride’s right-hand for the duration of the planning process — she’s there to supply a second pair of eyes and provide emotional support as needed. In general, the maid of honor heads up the bridal shower and handles numerous wedding day details, which might include toasting the bride and groom, signing the marriage license, adjusting the bride’s train at the altar, holding her bouquet during vows, and collecting gift envelopes at the reception. She also should help the bride get dressed, taking care to frequently remind her that she looks beautiful. She is the last bridesmaid to walk down the aisle before the bride, holding the groom’s wedding band on her thumb.

Best Man

This guy acts as groom’s valet (personal aide and advisor) through all stages of wedding planning. He’s a fashion consultant, bachelor-party master of ceremonies, and commander-in-chief of the groomsmen brigade. His duties include (but aren’t limited to): getting the groom to the ceremony on time; giving the wedding officiate his/her fee after the ceremony; signing the couple’s marriage license; and holding the bride’s wedding ring at the altar. He also is famous for his toasting skills and dancing savoir faire.

Bridesmaids

Trustworthy gal pals and female family members who form the bride’s entourage (and ostensibly work well together). They are a support team for the maid of honor, helping with pre-wedding tasks when asked (addressing invites, making bridal shower favors, planning the bachelorette party, and more). Bridesmaids are often expected to hit the dance floor running and play surrogate hostesses to guests.

Groomsmen

A posse of male family and friends who assist the groom in planning and preparing for the big day. Their chief responsibility? To help the best man plan and pay for the bachelor party and to support the groom. It’s also common to have groomsmen do double duty as ushers, leaving their posts in time to process with the rest of the bridal party. They also get to decorate the getaway car, dance with dateless ladies at the reception, and act as a resource for confused guests.

Father of the Bride

In traditional wedding circles, this guy takes care of the checkbook — that’s no small feat. In addition, brides’ dads have picked up additional to-dos along the way. Dad’s chores might include airport duty, coordinating maps/directions to the wedding site, scouting potential wedding reception venues, doling out tips to wedding day staff, and a variety of toasting and hosting tasks.

Father of the Groom

He used to get away with fading into the woodwork, but nowadays he’s suited up for action. In terms of cost contribution, the groom’s dad traditionally pays for a few major items, notably the rehearsal dinner. He might also fulfill numerous dancing, toasting, and “manly” obligations (i.e., escort elderly women, move tables, address problematic service). It’s nice, too, if he checks in with the bride’s dad occasionally to offer moral support.

Mother of the Bride

The mother of the bride may serve as wedding planner, guest list moderator, traditional reception hostess, fashion critic, and cheerleader. Other possible duties include researching family and ethnic wedding traditions, attending the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner, and dancing the night away at the reception. The nature of the bride’s mother’s role is entirely up to the bride.

Mother of the Groom

The groom’s mom can assume any of the bride’s mom’s responsibilities, if she’s up for it. Dole out to-dos diplomatically to prevent conflicts. She attends the bridal shower, and is escorted down the aisle during the prelude. Her shining moment? The mother/son dance.

Pastor

The cleric who performs the marriage ceremony.

Ushers

Males (or females) who escort guests to their seats before the ceremony. Ushers are often employed in addition to groomsmen — this way you can involve other important guys in the big day, including pre-teen relatives who may not have been up for planning a lascivious bachelor party.