Roles of Bridal Party Members

portlandcenterstageEach member of the bridal party has his or her own specific duties. If you’re the bride, you’ll want to let each person know what you’ll need them to do. If you’re in the bridal party, you’ll want to find out what might be expected of you so there are no embarrassing omissions. Traditions have dictated over the years what each role means, but today’s brides and grooms are customizing everything, so be sure to check where you’re needed.

Maid of Honor

This lady is the first mate to the captain, the bride. She’s in charge of making sure the bride has everything she needs to get ready on the morning of the wedding including her makeup and hair products, her dress and accessories. She’s also traditionally the one to throw the bridal shower and offer up the bachelorette party supplies. There are expenses that you’ll incur as the chief bridesmaid. If you can’t afford to pay for the parties as well as your dress and shoes, think about either declining to be the Maid of Honor or asking someone to share expenses for the parties with you. Often, the other bridesmaids will step in.

Best Man

The Best Man typically throws the bachelor party. On the big day, he is in charge of getting the groom to the church on time. He’s the one who drives the groom to the ceremony. He will usher family members to their seats and walk the Maid of Honor down the aisle and escort her out after the ceremony. He’s also in charge of holding the wedding rings until they are presented during the ceremony. Often, he will sign as a witness on the marriage certificate. He’s also on the front lines scouting for any problems that may creep up the day of the wedding. He may be asked to hand out checks to vendors who have to be paid such as the restaurant, pianist, etc.

Image by divemasterking2000 on FlickrGroomsmen

The groomsmen are there to stand up for the groom and offer him moral support. They help usher family and friends to their seats at the ceremony. They are also the escort for a bridesmaid and are partnered with her for the first dance at the reception. There is some expense involved in being a groomsman. You’ll need to rent a tuxedo and shoes. You’ll also need to travel to the site and be part of the rehearsal the night before. If you can't afford the hotel or clothing expenses, think about declining the offer.


After the Maid of Honor, you’re the ones who’ve got the bride’s back. Is she missing anything? Does she need anything to eat or drink? Does she want help with her veil? You’re also there to walk down the aisle in a procession before her. You’ll need to pay for a dress and shoes plus any jewelry the bride would like you to wear. It’s suggested you help pay for the bridal shower and bachelorette party as well. At the wedding, you dance with the groomsman you’ve been paired up with and mingle so the bride sees everyone mixing and having a good time.

Flower Girl

Image by soundfromwayout on Flickr

Often a niece of the bride or groom, this little girl dresses in a mini version of the bride’s gown and is the first to walk down the aisle. She throws rose petals from a decorated basket and stands with the bridesmaids. If she is very young, she may go back to her seat with her parents. Her role after that is just to be adorable.

Ring Bearer

This is the little guy who brings the rings down the aisle, typically with or behind the flower girl. He carries them on a pillow with strings attached to hold the rings. Often he’s given plastic rings and the Best Man holds onto the actual rings. Once he makes his entrance, he usually sits down with his parents. Then, he gets to show off his dance moves at the reception.

Don't forget the bridal party gifts. Find some fun ideas on Wedding Party Gifts.

3 Responses to Roles of Bridal Party Members

  • Gabrielle says:

    It is neat to see all the responsibilities that everyone has at a wedding. My best friend is getting married in a week! So this is good information to know.

  • Mel says:

    Thanks for your information. That is really helpful for me to plan my friend's wedding.

  • Andrea says:

    I love that first picture. Its rustic and classy at the same time. I like the fact that it shows everyone involved. Sure its the brides day, but everyone had a part in that special day.

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