You have chosen your bridal party, they have enthusiastically accepted, now what do you expect them to do? Besides generally helping you out whenever you hit crisis point, they do have some basic duties. Give them this list so they know where to start.
The Groom's right-hand men
Usually the groom's best friend or brother plays the part of best man, he is the groom's biggest source of support.
- The buck party - Strangely enough, this supportive friend is in charge of the last hoorah. If done in accordance with tradition, the party resembles nothing like support - it often includes nudity, childish humour and alcohol. A good best man will ensure the groom makes it home safely and that the buck's party isn't too close to the actual wedding - so no one falls asleep at the church.
- Coordinate the fittings for the groom and groomsmen,
- Pick up the groom's attire before the wedding and
- Attend the rehearsal dinner.
On the day
- Along with the rings, he ensures that the groom arrives to the ceremony on time.
- Signs the marriage certificate.
- Coordinates the groomsmen for formal photos.
- Dances with the maid of honour or chief bridesmaid.
- Makes an Oscar winning speech at the reception.
- Prepares the get-away car for the couple to head off to their romantic, well-deserved honeymoon.
After the wedding
- See that the groom and groomsmen's formal wear is returned on time and
- Help the best man orchestrate the Bucks Party.
On the day
- The groomsmen arrive at the ceremony a little early so that they can greet and seat the guests as they arrive and hand out the Order of Service.
- Look after the guests with special requirements.
- Stand at the end of the aisle and keep the groom company while looking good
- After the ceremony they escort you and the other bridesmaids down the aisle and out to the cars,
- Each of them wear and pay for their matching formalwear and
- Finally they hopefully keep the groom relaxed and feeling supported through the whole day.
An usher usually is only required to carry out duties at the ceremony.
- Their main purpose is to greet and seat the guests appropriately and to hand out the Order of Service,
- They may also be required to assist the groomsmen in seating people in their correct places at the reception and
- Of course they should make themselves available to the groomsmen and best man in case any of them need any help throughout the day.
Typically the pageboy provides the cute factor to the day (very important indeed). His main role, other than looking gorgeous, is to walk down after the bride carrying the rings tied to a cushion. Sometimes if the pageboy is very young the best man and the bridesmaid will hold the real ones and the pageboy carries the symbolic rings only.
The pageboy is usually between the ages of four and nine.
The Golden Girls
Chief Bridesmaid or Matron of Honour
This role is usually filled by the bride's best friend, sister or very close relative. The only difference between the two is that the matron of honour is married, whereas the chief bridesmaid is not.
- Looking after the bridesmaids, flower girl and pageboys
- Help with invitations
- Shopping with the bride,
- Help the bride decide on the colour and style of bridesmaids' dresses
- Running errands
- Organising the hen's night or weekend, bridal shower and any other pre-wedding celebration, other than the engagement party.
On the day
- Help the bride dress, and often get hair and makeup done with the bride and the other bridesmaids,
- Lead the procession down the aisle,
- Hold bouquet during the ceremony,
- Sign marriage certificate,
- Be prepared to make a speech at the reception - if the bride has begged you enough!
- Dance with the best man,
- See that any remaining cake is kept safe and reserved and
- Help transport gifts from the reception to the bride's home.
Just like the chief bridesmaid, the bridesmaids' purpose is to support the bride in her decisions and frantically work at keeping the bride calm and sane.
The main duties include:
- Buying your own dress and accessories,
- Assisting with all pre-wedding festivities,
- Helping put together bonbonnieres (wedding favours),
- Addressing and enveloping invitations,
- Following the chief bridesmaid down the aisle,
- Sitting at the bridal table with the rest of the bridal party,
- Keeping a record of gifts given at the pre-wedding and wedding parties,
- Attending all rehearsals dinners and ceremonies,
- Acting as host at the reception by introducing people, directing them to the bathroom, bar or their tables and
- Dancing with the matching groomsman.
What show is complete without the 'ah' factor? As the pageboys provide the cute factor the flower girls add the sweetness factor to the ceremony.
As the name suggests, flower girls often scatter flower petals down the aisle in front of the bridesmaids and bride.