The members of your wedding party don’t just fill a cute role or make the day look more stylish. They play specific roles that are important to the success of your ceremony and reception.
The bride’s close female attendant, usually her sister or best friend. She is a confidante, adviser, and errand runner for the bride.
Father of the Bride
Fathers can be a crucial support system for their daughters during wedding planning. This role can also involve being a leader during the ceremony and reception. They can take on a variety of duties including giving a speech, ensuring the bride has what she needs to walk down the aisle, and executing some time-honored wedding day traditions.
Traditionally the father of the bride escorts his daughter down the aisle during the wedding ceremony. This symbolizes the passing of his daughter to her new husband.
The Father of the Bride also says the first speech at the reception and shares a special father-daughter dance with his daughter. Other responsibilities include being the go-to person for any bride-related questions and overseeing the closing of the reception.
The best man is the groom’s most trusted friend and should be able to keep him focused on what’s really important in life. His duties include planning the bachelor party, presiding over the rings during the ceremony (or escorting the ring bearer if there is one), signing the marriage license, and directing the wedding party and ushers during the recessional.
The best man also often leads the group of groomsmen in collecting money and buying a gift for their pal, and helps him and his crew pick out their wedding day attire. He typically gives a solo toast at the reception, representing his crew. And, depending on the couple’s plan, he may also escort the maid of honor out of the room ahead of the newlyweds.
Maid of Honor
The bride’s closest confidante and adviser, the maid of honor is typically a sister or close friend. In the lead-up to the wedding, she may host bridal showers and kitchen teas and help plan the hen’s night. On the day of the wedding, she may liaise with vendors and act as back-up hostess by directing guests to restrooms and answering general questions.
She assists the bride with getting ready and holds her bouquet during the ceremony. She also signs the marriage license as a witness and gives a toast at the reception. Traditionally, the maid of honor is unmarried, but today it’s just as common for married women to serve in this role. If two bridesmaids don’t get along, the MOH mediates their conflict so it doesn’t add stress to the bride.
Groomsmen are the groom’s close single male friends and family who stand with him during his wedding ceremony. Like the Maid of Honor, they are usually a confidant, advice giver, task doer, errand runner and general support system for the groom.
During wedding ceremonies they often escort other men down the aisle, out of the church after the ceremony or into the reception venue. They may also help usher guests to their seats or offer transportation for out-of-town wedding guests.
At the reception, they are expected to mingle with guests and make sure everyone has a good time. They’ll listen to and applaud any speeches and boogie down (tastefully) when it’s dance floor time. They also help clean up at the end of the night.
A bride’s best friends, sisters or relatives typically fill this role. They help her with planning, offer emotional support and buy her a present for the big day. On the day of the wedding, her duties include holding on to the bride’s bouquet and, if there is no ring bearer, wearing the groom’s ring when the ceremony begins.
The head bridesmaid, also known as the maid of honour or matron of honor, is in charge of the rest of the bridesmaids and usually knows the bride better than anyone else. She should avoid stirring up any friend drama for the sake of the bride and ensure everyone is in their place when it comes time to walk down the aisle. The bridesmaids also take on the responsibilities of escorting guests to their seats or, if children are involved, looking after the flower girl and page boy.