Bridal Party Assist
Planning your wedding can feel like a full-time job. Fortunately, you’re not alone! Your bridal party and family members not only stand by your side on the big day; they each play a special role in the planning process.
Bride and Groom
Traditionally, the bride made most of the decisions when planning her wedding, but this is no longer the case.
The groom contributes by researching caterers, photographers, florists, DJs, bands and other vendors. He schedules a meeting with the officiant, arranges accommodations for out-of-town guests and transportation for the wedding party. It’s also the groom’s responsibility to choose the groomsmen, and collaborate with his parents to create his half of the guest list. He will order wedding attire for himself and his groomsmen, and schedule tuxedo fittings if needed.
The bride most often holds the overall vision of the wedding day, and selects vendors according to her vision. She chooses wedding attendants, a bridal gown, accessories and bridesmaid dresses. She is responsible for collaborating with her parents to finalize her half of the guest list. She should graciously respond to any correspondence regarding the wedding, and write thank you notes to each host, hostess and gift-giver.
Maid or Matron of Honor
A maid of honor is an unmarried attendant, whereas a matron of honor is a married attendant. Some brides choose both a matron and maid of honor, or two maids of honor. The maid or matron of honor plans and hosts the bridal shower and bachelorette party. She is the bride’s lady in waiting on the wedding day, helping her with anything she needs. The maid or matron of honor is also the first to offer a toast to the bride and groom during the reception.
The best man is responsible for planning the bachelor party before the wedding day. He ensures the groomsmen are dressed and on time for the wedding, which may involve advance communication. He hands the rings to the officiant during the ceremony, and delivers the officiant’s fee and gratuity following the ceremony. He toasts the couple following the maid or matron of honor’s toast, and socializes with guests during the reception.
Bridesmaids help plan and attend pre-wedding events for the bride and groom. They assist the bride on her wedding day, helping her to the restroom, holding her flowers or bringing her Kleenex. The bridesmaids pose for photos, socialize at the reception and dance with guests.
Aside from standing beside the groom during the ceremony, groomsmen often usher guests to their seats before the ceremony. They direct guests as needed and answer any questions regarding parking, restrooms or directions to the reception. The groomsmen should also smile for photos and invite the bridesmaids and single guests to dance during the reception.
Parents of the Bride
Parents of the bride may host the first engagement party, with the groom’s parents welcome to host a second. The bride’s parents may provide input regarding wedding details, and the mother of the bride will undoubtedly want to help her daughter select her bridal gown. The mother of the bride should select her wedding day attire first, and then inform the mother of the groom so they can coordinate outfits. The father of the bride typically opens the reception with a welcome speech or toast.
Parents of the Groom
Parents of the groom can help the couple with their vendor search. They are responsible for planning and hosting the rehearsal dinner. The groom’s father escorts his wife to her seat. In some cases, he will make a toast, or even fill the role of a best man or groomsman.
Since a flower girl is typically young (usually between the ages of four and eight), her only responsibility is to look cute and carry or toss flower petals during the bride’s processional. Parents of the flower girl are responsible for purchasing her gown and driving her to the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner and wedding.
The ring bearer may walk down the aisle by himself, escort the flower girl or walk with another ring bearer. He carries a pillow or box meant to symbolically hold the rings. The young man relies on his parents to purchase his attire and ensure he has transportation to the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner and ceremony.
With a team of friends and family by your side, planning your big day can be a piece of cake.
Written by Tyler Fitzhugh of Voilà! Event Studio, www.voilaeventstudio.com; Header Photo Credit: Laura's Focus Photography