Your Wedding Party Demystified: Roles & Responsibilities
One of the many rites of passage associated with your upcoming nuptials is honoring your closest friends and family with a place in your bridal party. Besides boasting your wedding theme or colors in matching attire, surrounding you with love and support, and making gorgeous photo backdrops, the bridal party plays an integral role in the planning and execution of many of your wedding details.
The bridal party plays many roles leading up to and on the day of your wedding. Both bridesmaids and groomsmen have specific responsibilities, but as a first-time bride and groom, you may not be aware of all the roles the bridal party traditionally plays. Take a look at the roles and responsibilities of a bridal party.
Maid/Matron/Man of Honor
In the hierarchy of bridesmaids' ranks, the person of honor is numero uno. Whether they be your nearest and dearest friend, a sister, a cousin, or beyond, this most special bridesmaid is the bride's second in command.
Not only will the maid of honor perform as the bride's closest confidant and sounding board, but they also play many significant roles leading up to and during the wedding. Some of the maid of honor's many essential functions may include:
- Planning the Bridal Shower: While some mothers of the bride will inherently expect to plan their daughter's bridal shower, many defer to the maid or matron of honor. Whether the maid of honor is given sole sovereignty in shower planning or the mother is taking the reins, the maid of honor should be available to help plan and execute the bridal shower. The maid of honor might also speak up on behalf of the bride to express style, whims, and wishes that the bride's mother may not be privy to. On the day of the bridal shower, the maid of honor and other bridesmaids should be available to set up, decorate, host, and emcee as necessary.
- Accompanying the Bride to Dress Fittings: While some brides will prefer the intimacy of trying on dresses with just her mother, sisters, and the maid of honor, others will choose to include all the bridesmaids, making a party of it. Either way, be prepared to escort your bride to try on dresses and to any alterations needed.
- Organizing a Bachelorette Party: One of the maid of honor's most significant responsibilities is to plan an epic bachelorette party. As the bride's last night out as a single lady, the maid of honor should consider the bride's wishes and plan a memorable day, night, or weekend. From a sophisticated luncheon with all of her besties to a night out on the town or even a weekend away, there are many fun ways to make this one of the best nights of her life.
- Helping the Bride Get Dressed: On the wedding day, the maid of honor should be available from start to finish. The maid of honor will get ready with the bride, from hair to makeup and getting dressed to taking pictures. A nice touch she might consider is providing a continental breakfast (think bagels and fruit) and mimosas while the bride is getting ready for her big day.
- Being a Wing Woman During the Ceremony: During the wedding ceremony, she might hold the bride's flowers, straighten out her dress's train, and even hold the groom's ring until the rings are exchanged. The maid of honor should remember to wear a smile throughout the ceremony as she is generally caught in the background of ceremony pictures.
- Signing the Marriage License: Witnesses are often called upon to sign the marriage license; typically, this responsibility defers to the maid of honor and best man. Although this is a quick and easy task, it's meaningful; her signature will be eternalized on the couple's marriage license.
- Delivering a Reception Speech: One of the most nerve-wracking responsibilities for many maids of honor is giving a reception toast. She should prepare for this task well in advance to feel comfortable and capture the right vibe. A maid of honor's toast may incorporate anecdotes, memories, jokes, and advice. The speech should only last a few minutes but be memorable.
- Providing Overall Support: From the day they accept the bride's proposal to be the maid, matron, or man of honor, the main focus should be overall bridal support. However, this is most important on the wedding day. Some of the ways they might help the bride include bustling the dress, assisting with bathroom visits (especially if she has a cumbersome dress), providing makeup touch-ups, creating diversions to drama or mistakes that could potentially upset the bride, and being the dancing queen that helps her get the party started.
The best man is to the groom as the maid of honor is to the bride. As the groom's number one guy, the best man may accompany the groom for tux fittings and ring shopping while acting as a trusted advisor.
The best man is also commissioner of fun when it comes to planning a bachelor party. He should consider the groom's interests and plan a night or weekend for his closest friends.
Just as the maid of honor supports the bride, so should the bridesmaids support the maid of honor. The maid of honor has a lot of responsibility and will need all the support she can get. Bridesmaids should be cooperative, helpful, available, and committed to all the planning and pomp that goes into being the best wedding party.
Groomsmen help the groom with various tasks leading up to the wedding, such as planning events (bachelor party!) and organizing details. On the wedding day, they may assist with greeting guests and setting up the venue. Groomsmen escort bridesmaids down the aisle and stand alongside the groom during the ceremony.
Ushers are an important part of the wedding party and are typically good friends or relatives of the couple who were not selected as groomsmen. They are responsible for greeting guests and ensuring they are seated and comfortable before the start of the ceremony. Ushers may also be responsible for escorting family members or other VIPs to their seats.
The officiant is the person who will perform the wedding ceremony and legally binds the couple in marriage. They lead the ceremony, guide the couple through their vows, and work with them to personalize the ceremony with any special traditions or rituals. The officiant plays a crucial role in ensuring the wedding ceremony runs smoothly, and that couple's union is legally recognized.
Besides adding a sweet innocence that will undoubtedly draw a few tears, the flower girl will walk down the aisle, paving the way in flower petals for the bride. The flower girl will wear an outfit of the bride's choosing and will likely be present for photos before and after the ceremony.
The ring bearer, historically a little boy, is a child who presents the wedding rings to the officiant. The ring bearer will typically wear an ensemble similar to groomsmen and will also be called upon for photos.
Choosing Your Wedding Party
While the maid of honor and best man indeed have the bulk of the responsibilities, each wedding party member plays an integral role in the couple's big day. Because it's such a big responsibility and a great honor to be invited into a couple's wedding party, it's important to consider who you ask into the wedding party thoughtfully.
First, consider those closest to you, such as family members, close friends, or others who have played a significant role in your life. It's important to consider the personalities of the people you choose, as they will spend a lot of time together leading up to the wedding. Finally, you want to ensure each person is comfortable with their role and responsibilities and any financial or logistical commitments that may be required.
Choose the Perfect Wedding Venue
You, your betrothed, and your entire wedding party will find plenty of help and the perfect location for your vows at Bella Collina. Let our team of wedding professionals assist you with all of the details to make your special day all that you ever dreamed it would be.
Contact us today to begin planning, with the help of your wedding party, the biggest day of your life.