When choosing your wedding party, take the time to choose the right friends and family to take on each important role, making sure that they are responsible, supportive and will do their utmost to ensure your big day runs smoothly. If you’re not totally sure what each member of the wedding party will be responsible for on your wedding day and in the months leading up to it, use this guide to help you.
The Best Man
The best man is most often the groom’s brother or closest friend and plays an important role in the planning of the wedding as well as the ceremony itself. The primary role of the best man is to be there to support the groom, which means being a good listener and someone who will provide good advice. He’ll also typically organise the stag do, help with the suit shopping and give the best man’s speech at the reception. Other duties may include helping the ushers, greeting guests and running any last minute errands.
The Maid of Honour
Similar to the relationship between best man and groom, the maid of honour is there for the bride and acts as a pillar of support from the start of the wedding planning through to the reception. The maid of honour is there to help with anything the bride may need, whether that’s providing advice or emotional support, helping her find the perfect wedding dress or helping to choose bridesmaid dresses. The maid of honour will traditionally also plan the hen party, organise the other bridesmaids and help the bride get ready on the morning of the wedding, as well as hold the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony.
Bridesmaids have a fun and exciting role, but they also carry a lot of responsibility. The bridesmaids’ principal duty is to provide both practical and emotional support, help the bride get ready and, if needed, assist her with her veil and the train of her wedding dress. Bridesmaids will also be expected to go bridesmaid dress shopping, help the maid of honour plan the hen do and, of course, walk down the aisle before the bride makes her entrance.
The ushers, or groomsmen, are usually close friends or relatives of the groom. Traditionally, their main role is to distribute the order of service and help seat guests for the ceremony, but they’ll also assist wherever they can to ensure the wedding day runs smoothly, which may entail giving directions and organising the guests. The ushers will often also aid the best man in the planning of the stag do and may help him refine the best man’s speech by acting as a test audience. If a couple has a lot of close friends, they may decide to have separate groomsmen and ushers in order to honour each of them. If this is the case, the job of the ushers would simply be to escort guests to their seats during the ceremony.
Mother of the Bride
Many brides will look to their mum for emotional support in the run up to their wedding day, asking for help with planning, dress shopping and a number of other things. The mother of the bride will provide advice and be a source of encouragement for her daughter, steadfast in her kindness and compassion. She’ll
also be expected to shop for mother of the bride dresses to find the perfect outfit for her daughter’s big day, liaising with the mother of the groom about what they’ll both wear to ensure their outfits are complimentary of each other. On the day of the wedding, the mother of the bride will help the bride get ready in the morning and be by her side until she is ready to walk down the aisle.
Father of the Bride
The father of the bride’s main job in the run up to the wedding is to act as emotional support for the bride. Traditionally, the father of the bride would also make a financial contribution to the wedding, though this is not compulsory and is less common in the modern day. If the couple follow tradition, on the day of the wedding the father of the bride will travel with his daughter to the ceremony and walk her down the aisle, and he’ll also kick off the toasts at the reception with the father of the bride speech.
Mother of the Groom
It may seem like the mother of the bride gets all the attention, but the mother of the groom has important duties too and her role in the wedding shouldn’t be underestimated. The mother of the groom will often help to plan the engagement party or rehearsal dinner, keep track of RSVPs for the wedding and should get to know the bride’s family before her son’s big day by liaising with the mother of the bride. She’ll also advise on the guest list, greet guests and will undoubtedly be an essential source of love and support for her son throughout the wedding planning and ceremony.
Father of the Groom
During the wedding planning process, the father of the groom is expected to provide sage advice and emotional support to the groom. He’ll also help with the suit shopping and assist where possible when it comes to running errands as the wedding day approaches. The father of the groom is often invited to get ready with his son on the morning of the wedding and will take on the role of keeping the groomsmen calm and collected throughout the day, as well as greeting guests. Though the father of the bride traditionally makes the speech, the father of the groom should feel free to give a toast to the happy couple.
The Flower Girl
The flower girl’s role is a small but special one. If the couple has a younger relative such as a daughter, sister or niece, asking them to be flower girl is a lovely way to include them in the wedding day. The flower girl’s job is mostly to look adorable walking down the aisle, sprinkling petals as she goes ready for the bride to walk along. Flower girls are generally under the age of seven and make a darling addition to the ceremony and wedding photos.
The Page Boy
Similar to the flower girl, the page boy is typically under the age of seven and may be a son, younger brother or nephew of the couple. The page boy traditionally walks down the aisle alongside the flower girl, looking adorable in the photographs, but he may also take on the role of ring bearer and carry the rings down the aisle.
The Ring Bearer
The ring bearer’s role is one of the most important of the ceremony itself, as their job is to present the wedding rings to the bride and groom. At some weddings this role is given to a flower girl or page boy, while at others the best man is entrusted with this position. Some couples even choose to have a beloved pet be the ring bearer – it’s completely up to you!