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The Duties of the Wedding Party | What can you ask your attendants to do?

Getting engaged is such an exciting time but, before you go full steam ahead and pick your wedding party, it's important to consider the duties of your wedding attendants and what help you will need with your wedding.
The bridal party
First, it's important to know who is part of the wedding party so that you can look into their roles. In a small wedding party you can have the Bride's honour attendant (Maid of Honour or Matron of Honour), the Mother of the Bride, the Father of the Bride and the Best Man.

However a wedding party can go up to almost any size so you can include some, or all, of the following wedding attendants:

Maid of Honour
Matron of Honour

Mother of the Bride

Father of the Bride

Bridesmaids

Junior Bridesmaids

Flower Girls

Page Boys

Best Man

Ushers (Groomsmen)

Mother of the Groom

Father of the Groom

It's really up to you who you want to include but each wedding party member has their own duties so it's important to consider whether your friend/sister/cousin/groom's aunty will actually be able to help you plan your wedding day.

To help you we have made a comprehensive list of duties for each member of the wedding party so you know you're making an informed decision when you ask people to be your wedding attendants.


The bride and groom

What do the Bride and Groom do?


We didn’t want to ignore these duties, but also think it’s important to highlight that they fall on both the bride and the groom. As the couple tying the knot you will obviously have the majority of the responsibilities and it’s important to share the following load between you!

  • Look at your finances and decide on a budget for the wedding – stick to it.
  • Decide on the style and theme of the wedding.
  • Agree on the venues, date and time of the ceremony and then pay all of the relevant deposits.
  • Book your honeymoon.
  • Order or make your stationary – save the date, wedding invitations and thank you cards.
  • Select who will be in your wedding party.
  • Obtain your marriage license and any other documentation you may need.
  • Book your caterer, DJ, florist, photographer & videographer, wedding cake baker and any other industry professionals you need for your big day.
  • Compile guest list and send out invitations.
  • Organise transportation for the day for both you and your guests – also suggest any hotels to guests that are coming from out of town.
  • Purchase wedding bands.
  • Create seating plan for the wedding breakfast.
  • Buy or make wedding favours.
  • Obtain all travel necessities for your honeymoon; passport, currency, injections, etc. and then pack.
  • Buy thank you gifts for the wedding party and present them at the rehearsal dinner.
  • Turn up on wedding day – get married.
  • Go through all your gifts and write personalised thank you notes.


What does the Bride do?


In addition to the duties you will share with your future husband these following ones are also worth paying attention to:

  • Find a gorgeous wedding dress that fits you and makes you feel beautiful.
  • Pick bridesmaids dresses.
  • Decide how you are going to have your hair & makeup and who is going to do it.
  • Decide on any bridal jewellery.
  • Organise bridal bouquets, corsages and boutonnières for wedding party.
  • If you are taking you groom’s surname, file any name-change documentation – passport, driving licence, bank details etc.
  • Make sure you have something borrowed, something blue, something old and something new – if you’re feeling traditional!


bride and maid of honour


What does the Maid of Honour do?


The maid of honour is the bride’s right-hand woman. Other than the groom, this member of the wedding party will probably be relied on most by the bride, both for practical advice and help, as well as rounding up the bridesmaids, being an emotional rock and all of the following duties:

  • Help the bride choose her perfect wedding dress – try not be too opinionated in this process.
  • Assist bride in picking the bridesmaids’ dresses and accessories and pay for own attire..
  • Contribute to the wedding invitation process – write addresses, stick envelopes, post.
  • Help the bride organise the bridesmaids.
  • Plan and host the bachelorette party.
  • Help with any wedding favours – make or collect and ensure they are correct.
  • Attend the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.
  • Arrange a timetable for the bride on the wedding day, so she does not fall behind and arrives at the church on time.
  • Assist the bride getting ready on her wedding day and be the official ladies’ room attendant for the bride if she needs one!
  • Double check all the bridesmaids’ outfits before they walk down the aisle to make sure there are no wardrobe malfunctions.
  • Walk down the aisle before the bride and her father.
  • Hold the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony.
  • Help serve the wedding cake at the reception and mingle with guests to ensure everyone has a good time.
  • If the bride leaves for the honeymoon from the wedding take charge of the wedding dress.


What does the Matron of Honour do?


This lovely lady is the bride's third in command. The matron of honour doesn't have to corral the bridesmaids like the maid of honour, however she is in charge of the younger attendants on the big day as well as having other duties:

  • Assist bride in picking the bridesmaids’ dresses and accessories – turn up for all appointments and fittings on time and pay for own attire.
  • If asked, help the bride choose her perfect wedding dress – do not be too opinionated in this process.
  • Be the bride’s errand girl – collect bridesmaids’ dresses, shoes, bridal bouquets, corsages and boutonnières, etc.
  • Support the maid of honour in planning the bachelorette party.
  • Help with any wedding favours – make or collect and ensure they are correct.
  • Could be called upon to help decorate the venue.
  • Attend the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.
  • Look after the younger attendants before walking down the aisle and check their attire.
  • Walk down the aisle after the junior bridesmaids but before any flower girls and page boys.
  • Make sure the younger attendants find their seats at the end of the aisle.
  • Mingle with guests at the reception to ensure everyone has a good time.


bride with the mother of the bride and the father of the bride


What does the Mother of the Bride do?


The mother of the bride traditionally has a large role to play when it comes to helping plan your wedding. It’s up to you how much you want to involve her, which is why we have made some of these duties optional:

  • Help the bride choose her perfect wedding dress – try not be too opinionated in this process.
  • If invited, assist the bride in picking the bridesmaids’ dresses.
  • Aid the bride and groom in their guest list compilation, with help from the father of the bride and the groom’s parents.
  • If requested, send out save the date cards and keep a note of formal invitation replies.
  • Make a list of guests for the Ushers.
  • If asked, assist in details of the ceremony and reception – ie. caterer, DJ, florist, photographer & videographer, wedding cake baker, etc.
  • If invited, attend the bachelorette party.
  • Help the bride and groom create a seating plan, with advice from the father of the bride and the groom’s parents.
  • Attend the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.
  • Walk down the aisle ahead of the bridesmaids to signal the start of the ceremony.
  • Organise a guest book and bring it to the venue.
  • Help serve the wedding cake and mingle with guests to ensure everyone has a good time.
  • Receive and take home all gifts from the reception.


What does the Father of the Bride do?


The father of the bride traditionally pays for the wedding, however this custom is quite old and some may say outdated – we’re remaining on the fence in this debate! However, the Father of the Bride still has his fair share of duties:

  • Help the bride and groom in their guest list compilation, with input from the mother of the bride and the groom’s parents.
  • Purchase or rent a suit that matches/compliments the groom’s wedding party.
  • If asked, assist in details of the ceremony and reception – ie. caterer, DJ, florist, photographer & videographer, wedding cake baker, etc.
  • If invited, attend the bachelor party.
  • Assist the bride and groom in the creation of a seating plan, with help from the mother of the bride and the groom’s parents.
  • Attend the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.
  • Ride with bride to the ceremony – tell her how beautiful she looks!
  • Escort the bride down the aisle on left arm.
  • Write father of the bride speech (in advance!) and give speech at reception.
  • Dance second dance with the bride.
  • Help gather gifts after the reception.


bride and bridesmaids


What does a Bridesmaid do?


These lovely ladies, however many you have, may not have quite as many duties as the maid of honour but will still have an important part to play in your wedding. A bridesmaid will need to:

  • Assist bride in picking the bridesmaids’ dresses and accessories – turn up for all appointments and fittings on time and pay for own attire.
  • If asked, help the bride choose her perfect wedding dress – do not be too opinionated in this process.
  • Be the bride’s ‘errand girls’ – collect bridesmaids’ dresses, shoes, bridal bouquets, corsages and boutonnières, etc.
  • Support the maid of honour in planning the bachelorette party.
  • Help with any wedding favours – make or collect and ensure they are correct.
  • Could be called upon to help decorate the venue.
  • Attend the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.
  • Walk down the aisle first.
  • Check for any items accidentally left by guests at the ceremony venue.
  • Be responsible for a few tables each at the reception to check on guests at a regular basis to make sure everyone is happy.
  • Mingle with guests to ensure everyone has a good time.


What does a Junior Bridesmaid do?


The junior bridesmaids are often girls that are a little too young for the duties expected of the adult bridesmaids. They are usually anywhere between the ages of eight to fourteen and often close relatives of the bride and groom, younger sisters or cousins for example. Their duties are rather simple:

  • Join the bride and bridesmaids at some of the dress fittings – turn up for all appointments on time.
  • Wear a dress in a similar colour and style to the adult bridesmaids.
  • Walk down the aisle after the bridesmaids.
  • Dance at the disco after the wedding breakfast.


flower girls


What does a Flower Girl do?


The flower girls are usually little girls between the ages of 4-7 that are a little too young to be junior bridesmaids. However, like the junior bridesmaids, they are often close relatives of the couple tying the knot and therefore included in the ceremony for sentimental reasons. They don't have many duties:

  • Wear a dress the same colour as the bride's with accessories that match the colour of the bridesmaid's dresses.
  • Walk down the aisle after the junior bridesmaids and sometimes sprinkle flower petals.


What does a Page Boy do?


The page boy can be any age between four and fourteen – there's a little more give room with the boys for some reason. Like the flower girls and junior bridesmaids they are close relatives to the bride and groom and depending on age can have different duties:

  • Wear formal attire that matches the groomsmen.
  • Younger (4-7): Walk down the aisle with the flower girls carrying a cushion that the rings are attached to (with ribbons).
  • Older (8-14): Follow the bride down the aisle carrying her train.


groom, best man and ushers


What does the Best Man do?


The best man is the groom's right-hand man. Other than the bride, this member of the wedding party will probably be relied on most by the groom, both for practical help as well as rounding up the groomsmen, planning an amazing party and all of the following duties:

  • Assist the groom in picking the the wedding attire for the groom's party and pay for own attire.
  • Help the groom organise the groomsmen and run errands.
  • Plan and host the bachelor party.
  • Attend the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.
  • Arrange a timetable for the groom on the wedding day so he does not fall behind and arrives at the church in plenty of time (and sober!).
  • Greet all of the guests at the venue and show them to their correct seats – can also hand out wedding programmes if applicable.
  • Look after the wedding rings at the wedding ceremony.
  • Give the first toast to the bride and groom at the wedding reception.
  • Mingle with guests to ensure everyone has a good time.
  • If the bride and groom are leaving for the honeymoon straight from the reception be responsible for their luggage.


What does an Usher do?


To clear the air ushers and groomsmen are pretty much the same. During the wedding they stand in different places with groomsmen standing beside the groom during the ceremony and ushers taking a seat. Other than that there is little to no difference between the two as they both wear the same thing and have the same duties:

  • If invited, assist the groom in picking the the wedding attire for the groom's party and pay for own attire.
  • Be the groom's errand boys – collect wedding attire, boutonnières, shoes, etc.
  • Support the best man in planning the bachelor party.
  • Could be called upon to help decorate the venue.
  • Attend the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.
  • Greet all of the guests at the venue and show them to their correct seats – can also hand out wedding programmes if applicable.
  • Be responsible for a few tables each at the reception to check on guests at a regular basis and make sure everyone is happy.
  • Mingle with guests to ensure everyone has a good time.


mother of the groom and father of the groom


What does the Mother of the Groom do?


While it's traditionally the mother of the bride that gets wrapped up in wedding prep, the mother of the groom can also be an involved member of the wedding party. If you want the mother of the groom involved her duties can be:

  • Host a dinner to introduce the bride to the groom's side of the family.
  • Aid the bride and groom in their guest list compilation, with help from the father of the groom and the bride’s parents.
  • Offer to keep track of RSVPs for the groom's side of the family and make calls to obtain last-minute responses.
  • If invited, attend the bachelorette party.
  • Help the bride and groom create a seating plan, with advice from the father of the groom and the bride’s parents.
  • With the father of the groom, plan and host the rehearsal dinner.
  • Dance with the groom during the mother and son dance.


What does the Father of the Groom do?


The father of the groom may want to be as hands-on as possible with the his son's wedding and if this is the case then there are a few duties he can take on:

  • Aid the bride and groom in their guest list compilation, with help from the mother of the groom and the bride’s parents.
  • If invited, attend the bachelor party.
  • Help the bride and groom create a seating plan, with advice from the mother of the groom and the bride’s parents.
  • With the mother of the groom, plan and host the rehearsal dinner.
  • Dance with his new daughter in law at the reception.


While you're here it's also worth mentioning that it's becoming more and more common/traditional for the Bride and Groom to buy thank you gifts for the members of their wedding party. This something worth baring in mind when considering who, and how many people, you want in your wedding party. For more info on gifts for the wedding party check out our blog - Wedding party gifts: Who can the bride and groom buy for?

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Categories: Wedding
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