Wedding Party Duties

OK, so you know the best man makes a speech and the maid of honor tells the bride when she needs an extra slick of lip gloss, but what about the other duties in the run-up to the wedding and on the day itself? Choosing your wedding party is a big decision – you’ve got to be sure that each person is up for the task. Follow this guide so that your wedding party isn’t wandering around looking as Clueless as Alicia Silverstone circa 1995.

Bride’s Traditional Duties

  • Say, “Yes!”
  • Make plans and find the professionals
  • Select members of the wedding party
  • Dress to impress and find your perfect gown
  • Select dresses for your maid/matron of honor and bridesmaids
  • Buy them gifts
  • Ask your family for their guest-list suggestions
  • Be certain all necessary paperwork is completed
  • See that all insurance policies will reflect your new status
  • Find a wonderful wedding gift for your groom
  • See that all attendants are aware of the place and time for wedding-related events
  • Keep track of all wedding-planning information in your Shane Co. Wedding Club binder
  • Greet and thank your wedding guests for coming – either individually or as they come through the reception line
  • Join groom for the first dance
  • Dance with Dad
  • Slice wedding cake with your groom and offer him a bite
  • Toss bouquet to single female guests
  • Make sure your wedding certificate is signed and safely stored before leaving for the honeymoon
  • Address, sign and mail the thank-you notes.

For another bride guide, visit:

Groom’s Traditional Duties

  • Buy the ring and pop the question
  • Assist with making plans and finding the professionals
  • Select best man, groomsmen and ushers
  • Select outfits for them
  • Choose gifts for them
  • Buy a wedding gift for the bride
  • Ask family for their guest-list suggestions
  • Honeymoon planning
  • Apply for the marriage license several weeks prior to the wedding
  • Be certain all necessary paperwork is completed
  • See that all insurance policies will reflect his new status
  • Host bachelor dinner or party (unless best man is planning to do so)
  • Make all attendants aware of the place and time of wedding-related events
  • Host the rehearsal dinner
  • Greet and thank the wedding guests for coming – either individually or as they come through the reception line
  • See that best man has envelopes containing wedding-day fees for vendors and/or officiant
  • Lead first dance with the bride
  • Dance with Mom
  • Offer a toast at the reception
  • Slice wedding cake with bride and offer her a bite
  • Toss the bride's garter to the single male guests
  • Arrange for getaway transportation
  • Make sure the wedding certificate is signed and safely stored before leaving for the honeymoon
  • Address, sign and mail the thank-you notes.

Avoid groom doom at:

Maid/Matron of Honor’s Traditional Duties

  • If your “chief bridesmaid” is married, she’s known as your matron of honor; if she’s single, she’s a maid of honor.
  • Plan and host the bridal shower and bachelorette party
  • Give a shower gift to bride
  • Help address wedding invitations
  • Pay for wedding attire
  • Host bridesmaids’ luncheon, unless hosted by bride
  • Help the bride dress for the ceremony and reception (if a male has been selected as an honor attendant, he usually leaves this duty to one of the bridesmaids)
  • Assist the bride with her veil and train before and during the ceremony
  • Hold the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony
  • Carries the groom’s wedding ring if there is no ring bearer
  • Signs the marriage license as a witness
  • Helps the bride gather her train into a bustle for the reception
  • Stands next to the groom in the receiving line
  • Toasts the newlyweds
  • Gives a wedding gift to the bride and groom.

You’ll have it “maid” at:

Best Man’s Traditional Duties

  • Plan and host the bachelor party
  • Give a gift to the groom
  • Pay for own wedding attire
  • Brief the ushers on any special seating arrangements
  • Keep the bride’s wedding ring if there is no ring bearer
  • Bring marriage license to the ceremony
  • Help groom prepare for wedding
  • Make sure that the couple’s honeymoon luggage is ready
  • Double check all honeymoon arrangements such as reservations, tickets and passports
  • Accompany the groom to the ceremony
  • Serve as a formal witness and sign the marriage license
  • See that the officiant and other vendors receive their payment
  • Make a speech and offer the first toast to the newlyweds
  • Usually dance with female members of the bridal party as well as the mothers of the bride and groom
  • Prepare (and usually decorates) the getaway transportation
  • Give a wedding gift to the newlyweds
  • See that all gifts brought to the reception are delivered to the newlyweds’ home.

For the best advice, man, visit:

Bridesmaids’ Traditional Duties

  • Assist with wedding planning
  • Help address wedding invitations
  • Run errands for the bride
  • Assist in the planning and hosting of pre-wedding parties
  • Help keep a record of gifts received
  • Give a shower gift to bride
  • Pay for wedding attire
  • Join the receiving line
  • Circulate and act as back-up hostesses during reception
  • Dance with “partner” groomsman
  • Give a wedding gift to the bride and groom.

For more BM tips, visit:

Groomsmen & Ushers’ Traditional Duties

  • People often get groomsmen and ushers confused. Traditionally, groomsmen will stand next to the groom during the ceremony, whereas ushers will sit at the front after directing the guests to their seats.
  • Groomsmen
  • Run errands for the groom
  • Assist in the planning and hosting of the bachelor party
  • Pay for their own wedding attire
  • Join the receiving line
  • Circulate and act as back-up hosts during reception
  • Dance with “partner” bridesmaid
  • Give a wedding gift to the bride and groom.

Man up at: Best Man and Groomsmen Responsibilities

Ushers

  • Dress formally or pay for selected wedding attire
  • Arrive at wedding site at least an hour early
  • Show guests to their seats
  • Give a wedding gift to the bride and groom.

Allow us to lead you to: How to Pick Your Ushers

Flower Girl/Ring Bearer

Deciding to add a flower child and ring bearer to your wedding party can be a wonderful way to include younger children in your ceremony. But be aware that their roles are more for the cute factor than being functional. Most ring bearers only carry a pillow with fake rings – just to be safe!

Most families will be thrilled to include their little ones. But be sure to ask them before mentioning the idea to the kids. The parents will be the ones making the commitments of time and expense. They will need to accompany their children to any rehearsals as well as to the ceremony. And the parents will also be financially responsible for the special bridal attire.

Read about things to (ring) bear in mind here: