Wedding Bells: The Duties

For today’s edition of Wedding Bells, I will be going over all the various duties and responsibilities for everyone included in a wedding. Get ready to take notes!

Wedding Bells: The Duties
Right after we got engaged my fiancé and I began to think about everyone we would invite to be a part of our wedding. Like most newly engaged couples, we really didn’t have a clear understanding as to what everyone’s roles would be so I hit the books and did some research… I buried my nose in books such as The Knot’s Book of Wedding Lists (suggested to me by fellow Team LC member, Ilana) and etiquette queen Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition, and studied up on the various duties typically expected of everyone involved in a wedding.

From the Maid of Honor down to the Ring Bearer, there are laundry lists of responsibilities associated with each role that no one in their right mind would (or should!) ever know by instinct. Since I noticed that many of you were curious about this too, I thought I’d put together an easy to follow breakdown on the various duties for everyone involved in the wedding party. Check it out below and get ready to take notes!

Maid of Honor

The maid of honor has one of the most important (and demanding) jobs out of the bridal party. Not only does she need to be responsible, she must be very close to the bride as well and be able to keep her cool, calm, and collected throughout the entire process. Duties include the following:

  • Assists the bride with all wedding related shopping: the dress, bridesmaid dresses, accessories
  • Helps organize hair and makeup for the bridesmaids
  • Plans and hosts the bridal shower and bachelorette party
  • Witnesses and sign the Marriage Certificate
  • Attends the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • Carries an emergency kit for the bride on the day of the wedding (although if you have a planner or day-of coordinator, they usually hold onto this)
  • Holds the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony
  • Stays by the bride’s side at all times and oversee the bridesmaids
  • Holds onto the groom’s ring during the ceremony
  • Helps make favors and address invitations
  • Gives a speech and toast during the wedding reception
  • Acts as air traffic control for the bride, wedding planner, and family
  • Responsible for paying for her own travel, attire, and accessories
  • Gives the bride both a shower gift and wedding gift
  • Helps out however and whenever she can
  • Encourages guests to get on the dance floor during the reception

Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids should be a dependable group of ladies consisting of the bride’s closest friends and/or family (sisters, cousins, etc.). Traditionally, if the groom has any sisters, they are included in the wedding as bridesmaids. Duties include the following:

  • Assists Maid of Honor however they can
  • Helps Maid of Honor plan and pay for the bridal shower and bachelorette party
  • Greets guests at the reception and encourage mingling
  • Purchases their own attire, transportation, and accessories
  • Attends the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • Assists the Maid of Honor in helping everyone get on the dance floor

Best Man

Like the Maid of Honor, the Best Man should be a reliable guy who is very close to the groom. Duties include the following:

  • Plans bachelor party
  • Helps the groom however he can
  • Makes sure the groom and groomsmen are on time to all wedding related events
  • Attends rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • Holds onto the bride’s ring during the ceremony
  • Oversees the groomsmen and ushers and helps coordinate attire
  • Transports the groom to the ceremony
  • Seats the Mother of the Bride at the ceremony
  • Helps arrange getaway car for the bride and groom
  • Gives the first speech and toast during the wedding reception
  • Witnesses and signs the Marriage Certificate
  • Delivers wedding gifts to the newlywed’s home (although usually this gets passed onto the parents since it’s more convenient)
  • Responsible for paying for his own travel, attire, and accessories
  • Encourages guests to get on the dance floor during the reception

Groomsmen

Like bridesmaids, groomsmen should be the groom’s closest friends and/or family (brothers, cousins). Traditionally, if the bride has any brothers, they are included in the wedding as groomsmen. Duties include the following:

  • Assists Best Man however they can
  • Helps Best Man plan and pay for the bachelor party
  • Greets guests at the reception and encourages mingling
  • Purchases their own attire, transportation, and accessories
  • Attends the wedding ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • Assists the Best Man in helping everyone get on the dance floor
  • Escorts guests to their seats
  • Decorates the wedding car

Ushers

Typically, ushers are not photographed with the bridal party, although they are important—however, not absolutely necessary! Ushers are good friends of the groom who help greet guests and get them to their seats. According to the basic standards of etiquette, there should be one user for every fifty guests. Duties include the following:

  • Arrives at the location early to help set up, light candles, etc.
  • Greets guests upon arrival and assist with seating
  • Passes out programs and encourages mingling

Flower Girl

A flower girl is always a nice touch! However, they are not mandatory. Usually, a flower girl should be between the ages of 3 and 6 years old. Duties include the following:

  • Goes down the aisle before the bride and her father, sprinkling flower petals in the bride’s path
  • Her parents pay for her dress and accessories
  • Attends the rehearsal, however the rehearsal dinner is optional and attendance is up to the bride and groom

Ring Bearer

The ring bearer is usually a young boy between the ages of 3 and 6 years old. Again, the ring bearer isn’t necessary, however is it cute. Usually the ring bearer carries a decoy ring down the aisle for caution. Duties include the following:

  • Goes down the aisle before flower girl, carrying the wedding “rings” on a small pillow
  • His parents pay for his attire and accessories
  • Attends the rehearsal, however the rehearsal dinner is optional and attendance is up to the bride and groom

These duties are based on tradition and can obviously be tailored to your needs and preferences. Some people prefer to not even have attendants, and that is totally fine!

Next time I will be sharing a few creative ways to ask your bridesmaids to be in your wedding!

Have you ever been in a wedding? If so, share your best nuggets of advice below!

Xx Alex
Team LC

Sources: The Knot Book of Wedding Lists, Emily Post, The Wedding Book, Bride & Groom
Photo: The Long Haul
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