What are the Roles and Responsibilities of the Wedding Party

Has a relative or friend requested you to be part of their wedding party? Perhaps you’re getting married and want to have your loved ones beside you on that special day and the events beforehand? It’s a privilege to participate in this life-changing occasion, but what are the wedding roles and responsibilities? We’ll explore who…

Has a relative or friend requested you to be part of their wedding party? Perhaps you’re getting married and want to have your loved ones beside you on that special day and the events beforehand? It’s a privilege to participate in this life-changing occasion, but what are the wedding roles and responsibilities? We’ll explore who is in the wedding party and their obligations and expectations.

Who to Include in Your Wedding Party (& is a Wedding Party Needed?)

With all the work that goes into planning a wedding, is a wedding party necessary? Every wedding is unique, and some couples may not include a wedding party. If you choose to have one, it’s essential to know the differences in the parties and their wedding roles. What is a bridal party, and what are the bridal party names? A bridal party typically consists of the maid or matron of honor, bridesmaids, and the mother and father of the bride. What is a groom’s party? The groom’s party is the men’s wedding party with the best man, groomsmen, and the groom’s parents.

Wedding Party Roles and Responsibilities

wedding party
Annette Isabelle Photography
There are traditional wedding party roles and responsibilities, but every wedding party is as individual as the couple getting married. In addition to the groom and bridal parties, there are other roles like ushers, ring bearers, flower girls, and officiants. Religious ceremonies may have other titles. The primary purpose of the wedding party is to assist the couple with wedding plans, help them get ready and keep calm on the big day, and be supportive throughout the marriage.

Maid or Matron of Honor

The Maid or Matron of Honor is the bride’s closest confidant who helps plan the wedding. This person is the head of the bridal party and coordinates the bridesmaids. They also arrange the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and give a speech at the wedding reception party. If the bride’s best friend is male, the responsibilities remain. Some modern brides loathe archaic wedding party tiles and will choose another name for the role altogether. What matters most is that this person is willing and ready to be there for the bride and ease any tensions. The ability to keep a calm head and be a good listener is crucial for this role!

Best Man

The best man is the closest friend or family member of the groom. The best man might be the “best woman” if the groom is close to his sister or has a female best friend. They’ll arrange the bachelor party, see the groom through the wedding planning, and might be asked to act as a witness in the signing of the marriage license. The best man or woman also gives a heartfelt, sometimes comical toast or speech at the reception.


Katie Huff Photography
Bridesmaids are members of the bridal party who support the bride and maid (or man) or honor in planning the wedding and making sure it goes smoothly. The bride should be sure to choose friends that make her happy and offer a lot of moral support. There’s no official limit of the number of bridesmaids, but six or fewer is most common. Brides should consider if “the more the merrier” approach to the number of bridesmaids is more trouble than it’s worth. Bridesmaids (or men) are usually required to purchase a matching dress or color-coordinated formal wear for the occasion and attend the bachelorette and bridal shower celebrations at their own expense.


Annette Isabelle Photography
Wedding party groomsmen support the groom during the wedding events and the couple’s marriage. They assist the best man or woman in planning the bachelor party and keeping the groom calm on the wedding day. Groomsmen (or women) are usually close friends or relatives of the groom, such as brothers or cousins. The number of groomsmen or women should balance the bridesmaids or men, but not a big deal if it doesn’t. They wear coordinating formal attire. These costs and any bachelor events will be at their own expense.


Often groomsmen act as ushers and guide the guests to their seats at the ceremony. However, this is an excellent role for uncles, brothers, or family friends.

Flower Girl

The only one likely to steal attention from the bride is the flower girl. Fortunately, she’s the one that sprinkles petals for the bride to tread on during her walk down the aisle. Flower girls are often the daughter of a family or wedding party member. One is good, but two or three can look like a procession of cherubs.

Ring Bearer

The ring bearer is responsible for handling the rings. Sometimes the best man or woman is charged with holding onto the precious bands, but young boys from the family or wedding party often fit the role with adult guidance. It’s quirky but not uncommon for a beloved dog or pet to trot down the aisle with the rings. That’s fine as long as they also have supervision and can behave.

Mother of the Bride

The bride’s mother is responsible to help the bride’s vision come true while not stepping on her toes. She should expect to be involved as little or as much as requested and be supportive. Duties include helping with the guest list, invitations, and registry, picking out dresses, helping with the ceremony and reception, budgeting, and coordinating accommodations for out-of-town guests.

Father of the Bride

The bride’s father has as much or more responsibility as the mother as he is often expected to foot the bill, though some independent couples might prefer otherwise. Traditionally, the proud papa walks the bride down the aisle, gives a speech, and shares a dance with his daughter.

Mother of the Groom

The groom’s mother assumes the majority of responsibilities for the groom’s side. She makes the guest-list for their family and coordinates with the mother of the bride. Often the groom’s parents are responsible for the pre-wedding rehearsal dinner.

Father of the Groom

Typically, the groom’s father takes on a less intensive role than the bride’s father but should plan and pay for the rehearsal dinner and give a speech at the event.

Wedding Officiant

The officiant proceeds over the ceremony and marries the couple, often an individual ordained by a religious organization. In secular marriages, they can be any legally qualified public servant. Some couples prefer a friend or family member. They need ordainment or legal certification to perform the rites. A popular way to get ordained is through the non-denominational Universal Life Church.

Wedding Party Planning

If you are still in the planning stages of your wedding and are looking for event space or more, contact us today and one of our helpful wedding consultants will assist you!

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