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A Guide To Wedding Party Roles

  |  By Jennifer Gartner
As traditions change it’s hard to keep track of who does what and when. But don’t stress yet: basic wedding party etiquette has actually remained the same. Make your life easy and refresh your memory on some of the different roles and responsibilities of your wedding-day entourage. Mother of the Bride:
  • Hosts/co-hosts an engagement party.
  • Helps the bride shop for her gown and change into it at the ceremony.
  • Compiles a list of ideas for the entire wedding.
  • Keeps track of wedding gifts.
  • Helps compose a guest list.
  • Dances with the groom at the reception. 
Father of the Bride:
  • Hosts/co-hosts an engagement party.
  • Pays for all or part of the wedding expenses.
  • Walks down the aisle with the bride and gives her away.
  • Offers a toast during the reception.
  • Dances with the bride at the reception.
Groom’s Parents:
  • Arrange a meeting with the bride’s parents soon after the couple’s engagement.
  • Pay for some ceremony expenses.
  • Pay for some reception and honeymoon expenses (optional).
  • Help compose a guest list.
  • Plan, co-host and pay for the rehearsal dinner.
  • Father dances with the bride, mother dances with the groom.
Maid/Matron of Honour:
  • Helps the bride in any way she can throughout the wedding planning process.
  • Plans and hosts the bridal shower and bachelorette party.
  • Helps the bride shop for her gown, bridal accessories and bridesmaid dresses.
  • Keeps the groom’s ring safe until the ceremony.
  • Adjusts the bride’s veil and train when she reaches the altar and holds her bouquet during the ceremony.
  • Gives a speech at the reception.
Best Man:
  • Plans the bachelor party.
  • Makes sure the groom has everything he needs for the honeymoon.
  • Picks up anything the groom has ordered.
  • Is responsible for the marriage licence and its delivery to the officiant.
  • Decorates the getaway vehicle.
  • Keeps the bride’s ring safe until the ceremony.
  • Gets the groom and groomsmen to the wedding on time.
  • Offers the first toast at the reception and can serve as the master of ceremonies.
  • Help maid/matron of honour plan and host the bridal shower and bachelorette party.
  • Run small errands for the bride.
  • Help with decor and favours.
  • Give speeches at the rehearsal dinner or reception (optional).
  • Help the best man with his pre/post-wedding responsibilities.
  • Clean up the ceremony site before leaving for the reception.
  • Dance with the bride, both mothers and bridesmaids.
Tip:  Groomsmen often double as ushers by seating wedding guests and “releasing” them after the recessional by walking down the aisle. Providing directions to the reception and handing out programs are also common responsibilities. Flower girl:
  • Precedes the bride down the aisle.
  • Carries a basket of flowers and can sprinkle petals in the bride’s path.
  • Can walk beside the ring bearer.
Ring Bearer
  • Precedes the flower girl down the aisle or can walk beside her.
  • Carries a pillow or a tray with symbolic rings for show.
Tip: Flower girls and ring bearers should be between four and eight years old.  

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