From bridesmaids to groomsmen, maids of honor to best men, the main role of the bridal party is to keep the bride and groom as anxiety-free as possible. Whether this means simply shuffling into the right positions at the right times or arranging the most high-octane, Michael Bay-esque bachelor party ever will vary widely depending on the couple.
There is, however, one universal: knowing the basic in's and out's of what’s expected of you in the lead up to the big day will go a long way towards keeping the process as low stress as possible for everyone involved – you included!
So, without further ado, here is all that the wedding party needs to do before walking down that aisle. Bridesmaids
A bridesmaid is part-sister, part-fashion consultant and part-worker bee. Her duties include:
•Helping with the shopping.
Bring out the wedding magazines: the bride may ask you
for help in finding her dress and picking wedding colors and themes. She may also have you help select the bridesmaid dresses, or she will simply send you a link and ask for your sizes. You will be responsible for purchasing your dress, shoes, and all accessories.
•Partying it up, pre-wedding style
. From the bridal shower to the bachelorette party, you’ll be expected to participate in all of the pre-wedding festivities. The maid of honor (MOH) may also ask you to help make and pay for arrangements, and you’ll definitely need to pony up for a great wedding gift.
•Attending the rehearsal dinner
. The rehearsal dinner is crucial for knowing how it’s
going to go down the next day. And, if there are any extra pre-wedding parties
, make sure to track and attend them as well.
•Standing in the receiving line
. This one is optional, so be sure to ask at the rehearsal dinner whether or not you’ll be lining up.
•Being the life of the party
. Both before the wedding and during, the bridesmaids help greet the guests and make everyone feel comfortable. And, hey, if you love dancing, no one’s going to complain if you get the dance floor buzzing, too.
•Giving the MOH a helping hand.
If the MOH is there to calm the bride, you’re there to calm both the bride and
the MOH. Keep your eyes peeled for signs of stress and be ready to pitch in! Looking for even more tips for being the world’s best bridesmaid? Check out this
for a few extra pointers. Maid of Honor Extras
Being the (MOH
) comes with a <>few more responsibilities, including:
• Keeping a record of who sent what
. The bride will turn to you to track gifts, and potentially RSVP's as well.
•Planning the pre-wedding parties.
While any friend is allowed to plan the engagement party
, the bridal shower and bachelorette party fall squarely on you.
•Keeping track of the bridesmaids
. Whether it’s making sure everyone gets to the
rehearsal dinner and ceremony on time, arranging for makeup and hair styling, or enlisting the team to help greet guests, the MOH is in charge of herding the bridesmaids from place to place.
•Signing the marriage license
. Along with the best man, you will be a witness and signatory to the marriage license—depending on the state.
•Being the chief therapist
. There’s no two ways around it: being the MOH may very well mean a lot of late night sobfests. Charge up that phone! Groomsmen
Groomsmen, just like their bridesmaid counterparts, are there to support the groom throughout the wedding process. The groomsmen duties include:
•Paying for wedding gear
. From tuxes to ties and those gleaming, fancy shoes, make sure you know what
gear to buy and get it ordered pronto so there’s time for tailoring.
•Partying it up.
Between the engagement party, bachelor party and rehearsal dinner, it’s up to you to party it up in a big way. The best man may also ask you for help in planning and paying for the bachelor party.
•Painting the getaway car
. Contact the bridesmaids and begin plotting nefarious plans for decorating the honeymoon getaway car.
•Buying a wedding present
. Whether you pool your resources with the other groomsmen or go solo, make sure you get the couple something good – not
something that could be pasted to a college dorm wall.
•Lending your arm.
On the big day, make sure you arrive 45 minutes to help escort guests to their seats – particularly those who are elderly. For Christian ceremonies, this will mean seating the guests of the bride’s family on the left, while Jewish ceremonies will be the opposite. That arm will also be used for escorting a bridesmaid down the aisle. Best Man Extras
The best man is the leader of the groomsman. As well as the groomsmen’s duties, the best man must also help in:
•Picking out formal wear
. You will also guide the groomsmen in buying or renting their own.
•Planning the bachelor party.
Whether you head to Vegas or go snowboarding, it’s up to you to make sure the party’s festivities match the groom’s party style and to arrange all of the little details, like hotel and flight bookings.
•Helping make it official
. Sign as a witness on the marriage license and make sure to pay the officiant after the ceremony. (The groom will provide the cash, but he’ll be busy celebrating after the nuptials).
•Preparing a speech
. You’ll be the first one to toast the couple after the ceremony, so get writing
! In Short
Weddings are a time for celebration. With the entire bridal party working to make the day go smoothly, it should be just that. So get to know your duties, buy your formal wear, and get excited for the big day!