Being asked to join a bridal party is both an honor and a responsibility. When asked to take on such significant and meaningful roles, men and women may recognize the honor but be unsure of what their responsibilities are as couples move forward with their wedding plans.
Bridal party roles can vary depending on certain circumstances, but many couples still want their bridesmaids and groomsmen to perform many of the more traditional tasks associated with their roles. The following are some of the tasks bridesmaids and groomsmen can expect to perform in the months leading up to the wedding and during the wedding itself.
· Maid of Honor: The maid of honor serves as the bride-to-be's right-hand woman as she plans her wedding and gets ready on her big day. Maids of honor typically go gown shopping with the bride and may even choose or offer suggestions about the color and style of the bridesmaids' dresses. Once a dress style and color has been chosen, the maid of honor will make sure everyone is fitted on time.
A maid of honor will also plan the bridal shower, sending invitations and arranging for lodging for out-of-town guests if necessary. Many brides want the details of their bridal showers to be a surprise, and maids of honor should honor those sentiments when possible. A maid of honor also plans the bachelorette party, though many brides do not mind being involved in the planning of such parties.
The maid of honor may be asked to help address save-the-date cards and envelopes as well.
Come the day of the wedding, the maid of honor will ensure the bride's day is as stress-free as possible, helping to address any last-minute issues that may arise. Maids of honor may be asked to serve as the legal witness to the wedding and sign the wedding license before the reception. At the reception, the maid of honor will toast the bride.
· Best man: The best man is the maid of honor's counterpart, helping to plan the bachelor party and toasting the groom at the reception. The best man also tends to hold the rings during the wedding ceremony, and during the day of the wedding, he will coordinate the groomsmen to make sure everyone is ready to go on time. The best man may arrange transportation for the groom and groomsmen on the day of the wedding and may also return the groom and groomsmen's attire the following day if the newlyweds are departing on their honeymoons.
· Bridesmaids/Groomsmen: The bridesmaids and groomsmen serve similar functions, acting as sources of support as couples plan their weddings. Bridesmaids and groomsmen help to plan the bachelorette and bachelor parties and may also be asked their opinions as couples make decisions regarding their weddings. Bridesmaids and groomsmen must be prepared to take pictures once couples have officially tied the knot. They also must help the brides and grooms with any issues that may arise in the hours before couples become husband and wife.
· Flower girl/Ring bearer: Flower girls and ring bearers are often young relatives of the couple, whether they are a young brother or sister or a niece or nephew. The responsibilities of the flower girl and ring bearer are typically limited to the ceremony, during which they will walk down the aisle, either together or individually, before the father of the bride escorts his daughter to the altar or stage.
· Father of the bride: The father of the bride walks his daughter down the aisle during the ceremony, and, along with his wife, may pay for the wedding, though many couples now finance their own nuptials. The father of the bride will dance with his daughter during the reception, and some fathers may even share a special toast for the newlyweds during the reception, though such a toast is not traditionally required.