The bride and groom are clearly defined parts of any wedding party. They ultimately coordinate most tasks, such as choosing the colors, clothes, date, invitations, guest list, rings, venue, guest attire, and more. So, who are the other people, and what wedding roles and responsibilities do they serve? Today we’ll discuss wedding party roles and who does what.
Sure, the bride and groom are essential for wedding parties, but they are not alone in this important journey. They generally share their special day with friends and loved ones, who also play a vital role in planning the ceremony.
If you’re planning an upcoming wedding, it’s essential to understand each position and the responsibilities associated with it. First, you must know which roles need to be filled.
So, let’s take a look at a wedding roles list:
- Maid of Honor
- Best Man
- Honor Attendants
- Flower Girl/Pet/Child
- Junior Ushers/Junior Groomsmen/Junior Bridesmaids
- Ring Bearer
- Parents of the Bride and Groom
- Candlelighters (Optional)
As you can see, there are many wedding party roles to fill. And each person plays an integral part in planning and executing the ceremony. So, it’s wise to take time and determine who is the best person for each role and ensure that person completely understands their responsibilities.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the responsibilities of some of these roles in more depth.
The role of maid of honor is one of the most important people in the entire wedding party. She is the one whom everyone relies on for solving problems and organizing events. Customarily, the maid of honor is the bride’s best friend or sister.
Maid of honor responsibilities begin before the wedding, where she finds herself in charge of the bridesmaids and related activities. Such activities include the dresses and planning of the bachelorette party. She is also prepared to take on any tasks that the bride and groom are unable to complete.
On the day of the ceremony, the maid of honor assists the bride with getting dressed and stands as a witness to the signing of the marriage license. She also works to ensure the dress and veil look perfect and holds the bouquet at the altar. But, her duties don’t stop there! She brings the groom’s ring, organizes bridesmaids for wedding photos, and also helps the bride change clothes after the ceremony. At this point, the maid of honor also takes care of the bouquet and wedding dress until the couple returns from their honeymoon.
Furthermore, the maid of honor’s responsibilities doesn’t just end at helping prepare for the wedding and at the ceremony. She also pays for her own attire and other costs such as accommodation and transportation generated by her role.
The union of two people also means there are up to four parents who want to play roles on the special day as well. So, there’s are always questions about what the parents do in a wedding, so let’s take a look:
It’s customary for the bride’s parents to cover most of the costs for the wedding, where the bride’s father pays for most of the budget. Additionally, other duties have been added for the father of the bride. These duties can include coordinating directions/maps to the venue, airport duty, toasts, looking at potential reception venues, and other hosting tasks. He also usually walks his daughter down the aisle and gives her away.
In the past, the groom’s father would get away with taking on very few responsibilities. However, this has changed for the most part. There are a few items that the groom’s father customarily pays for, such as the rehearsal dinner. Yet, he can also help with toasts, dances, moving tables, addressing service issues, and escorting guests.
Traditionally, the bride’s mother plays a significant role in planning her daughter’s wedding. Mother of the bride duties include:
- Wedding planning.
- Moderating the guest list.
- Hosting the reception.
- Providing therapy to an overwhelmed bride.
Yet, she can also help with tasks, such as researching wedding traditions, hosting and attending the bridal shower, and the rehearsal dinner.
The groom’s mother can take on any responsibilities from the bride’s mother if she wants to help. Other mother of the groom responsibilities include attending the bridal shower, preventing conflict, and taking part in the mother and son dance.
Other wedding party roles include those who serve as a groomsman or bridesmaid. Let’s take a look at each of the wedding roles:
These men are usually a group of male friends and family who assist the groom with planning his special day. Groomsmen responsibilities include:
- Planning and paying for the bachelor party.
- Serving as ushers.
- Decorating the getaway car.
- Simply supporting the groom.
The bridesmaid role is generally filled by the bride’s closest female friends and family members. Bridesmaid responsibilities include:
- Acting as a support for the maid of honor.
- Helping plan the bachelorette party.
- Addressing invites.
- Choosing bridal shower favor gifts.
- Playing co-hostesses to guests.
The flower girl is usually a little one between the ages of 3 and 8 who walks down the aisle before the bride. She doesn’t have many roles, but the one she does have is important. Flower girl responsibilities include scattering flower petals down the aisle, but this isn’t limited to girls. This role can also be filled by beloved pets and adorable little boys as well.
A young child between the ages of 4 and 8 usually serves as the ring bearer. Ring bearer responsibilities include walking down the aisle before the flower girl. This child carries a small decorative pillow that holds two wedding bands tied to it. The bands are usually fake so that the real ones do not get lost.
As you can see, there are many wedding roles for friends and family that need to be filled. As if planning a wedding isn’t stressful enough, all the support members needed can take time to find. Yet, it’s definitely worth all the effort that went into the event on the big day!
Further Reading: Wedding Anniversary Gifts By Year
Original infographic via weddingforward.com in 2017, content updated August 2021.