Members of the wedding entourage play very important roles in a wedding. The wedding entourage are well-chosen from the bride and groom's sides of the family, or from their closest set of friends. The wedding entourage's duties are mainly to assist the about-to-be-married couples in all aspects related to their wedding, and ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Here are the basic members of the entourage and what they do:
Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor
The Maid of Honor is the primary attendant attendant with the most honors and duties of the bridal party, and is considered the equivalent of the groom's best man. She is usually the bride's sister, cousin or closest friend. The Maid of Honor plans and hosts the bridal shower and bachelorette party. She assists the bride with her dress and make-up, and arranges her veil and train before, during and after the ceremony. The Maid of Honor holds the bride's bouquet during the exchanging of wedding rings and witnesses the signing of the marriage.
The Best Man is the chief male assistant to the bridegroom during the wedding. Like the Maid of Honor, this role is generally given to someone close to a groom, such as his brother or his closest male friend. The Best Man is responsible in organizing a Bachelor or Stag Party for the groom. He assists the groom on the wedding day, ensuring that the groom gets to the wedding on time. The Best Man acts as a legal witness to the marriage. He gives a speech at the wedding reception, and offers the first toast to the Bride and Groom.
The bridesmaid attends to the bride during the preparation and the wedding itself. If the bride has any task or errand, the bridesmaid makes sure it gets done. A bridesmaid is often a close friend or sister, and often there is more than one bridesmaid.
A groomsman attends to the needs of the groom during the preparation and the wedding ceremony. He is also in charge of running errands for the groom. The groomsman helps in ushering guests to their seats before the ceremony, and escorting the bridesmaids down the aisle during the ceremony and reception.
A young girl not usually more than 8 years old. Her primary role is to carry a small basket full of flowers and drop the flower petals as she walks down the aisle.
A young boy not usually more than 8 years old. The ring bearer walks down the aisle carrying a satin pilow that contains a pair of wedding rings.
A young boy who usually marches next to the ring bearer. The coin bearer carries the arrhae, or 13 coins, which represents groom's pledge of his edication to the welfare of his wife and future children.
A typical Filipino wedding has a long list of "ninongs" and "ninangs", or Godparents. Ninongs and Ninangs stand as principal sponsors and witnesses in the ceremony. They are expected to provide guidance and counsel to the couple during their married life.
Composed of 3 pairs: the Candle Sponsors to light up the wedding candles during the ceremony; the Veil Sponsors to drape and pin the veil on the groom's shoulder and over the bride's head; and the Cord Sponsors to tie the cord around the shoulder-area of the Bride and Groom.