Responsibilities of the Wedding Party

Responsibilities of the Wedding Party
by Jennifer LB Leese

Being asked to participate in a friend of loved one's wedding can be a nervous time. Many just don't know what their responsibilities are. Some don't even know that they have responsibilities. They do.
In fact, each of the members of your wedding party has specific responsibilities to perform.
With a little research from the "Source" web sites listed at the end of the article, I have put together a small list for each member of the wedding party.
Responsibilities of: The Maid of Honor/Matron of Honor
...should be prepared to pay for her own transportation and lodging.
...should be prepared to pay for her dress and shoes.
...should take an active role in helping the bride plan the wedding, including helping make decorations and decorating the wedding and/or reception sites.
...pick up and return the female attendants' rented dresses.
...on the day of the wedding she should: help the bride dress, Precede the bride down the aisle, Arrange the bride's train during the ceremony, Hold the bride's bouquet during the ceremony, Carry the groom's ring, or get it from the ring-bearer's pillow, and hand it to the bride at the appropriate time (unless the best man holds both rings), stand in the receiving line, Oversee reception activities and generally assist as a hostess, and Sign the marriage license.
...after the wedding, she should assist in clean-up and removal of decorations.
Responsibilities of: The Best Man
...should be prepared to pay for his own transportation and lodging.
...should be prepared to pay for the rental of his tuxedo.
...should take an active role in helping the groom with any pre-wedding planning.
...pick up and return rented tuxedos.
...may be in charge of planning the bachelor party.
...on the day of the wedding he should: Assist the groom in dressing, Run last minute errands for the groom, Work with the maid/matron of honor and wedding coordinator to handle any last minute details or problems that occur, Assist with ushering if needed, Escort the maid/matron of honor out of the sanctuary at the end of the ceremony, Hand the bride's ring to the groom during the ceremony, May either carry the ring, or retrieve it from the ring bearer's pillow, Pay the minister, organist, soloist, and any others that need to be paid for services rendered during the ceremony if they have not already been paid, Drive the bride and groom or other members of the wedding party to the site if they did not rent a limo, and Sign the marriage license.
...unless the best man is also serving as an usher, he should stay with the groom in their dressing room after the pictures have been taken.
...after the wedding he should: stand in the receiving line, assist with any post-wedding clean-up, removal of decorations, and transporting of the wedding gifts.
Note: It is acceptable for the groom to choose a female to serve as "best man", however she is then called the honor attendant. She should join the men for photos, wear a black dress, or even a tuxedo. She would not escort the maid of honor, though they may walk together, and she should wear a corsage rather than carrying a bouquet.
Responsibilities of: Groomsmen, Bridesmaids, and Ushers
Groomsmen
...should be prepared to pay for his own transportation and lodging.
...should be prepared to pay for his tuxedo.
...serve as an usher. If they are not serving as ushers, they should stay in their dressing room with the groom and best man after the pictures have been taken.
...escort the bridesmaids and stand near the best man during the wedding ceremony.
...should help with set up and with clean-up and removal of decorations after the reception, if requested to do so.
Bridesmaids
...walk down the aisle, either alone or with the groomsmen, and before the maid/matron of honor.
...should help with clean-up and removal of decorations after the reception, if needed.
Ushers
...dress in tuxedos that are similar to those worn by the groomsmen, or in matching suits.
...seat the wedding guests before the ceremony.
...accept gifts at the door if the reception is held at the same place as the ceremony.
...after the ceremony, return to escort the mothers out and to dismiss the guests.
...assist in moving chairs, setting up tables, and putting out centerpieces.
The ushers do not stand in the receiving line at the reception.
Responsibilities of: Ring Bearer, Flower Girl, and Candle Lighters
Ringbearer
...will walk down the aisle after the bridesmaids and either before the flower girl or with her.
...carry a pillow.
...should stand with the groomsmen.
...The ring bearer's parents may be asked to purchase the clothing, or he/she may wear rented clothing.
Flowergirl
...precedes the bride down the aisle and sprinkles flower petals for the bride to walk on.
...stand beside the bridesmaids.

Source: Bridal News Network, WedAlert, iVillage, and Ultimate Wedding.