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Roles and Responsibilities

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Roles and Responsibilities For The Bridal Party


Your closest friends mean so much to you, and you want to make them part of your special day. If you are not sure exactly what duties they traditionally perform what follows are a few guidelines.

Maid or Matron of Honor:

  • Help select the wedding gown and the bridesmaids dresses
  • Host the Bridal Shower (with help from the bridesmaids)
  • Walk down the aisle before the bride
  • Hold the bouquet during vows
  • Hold the groom's ring
  • Witness the signing of the certificate

Best Man:

  • Organize the bachelor party
  • Stand next to the groom at the altar
  • Hold the bride's ring
  • Give the payment to the officiant
  • Witness the signing of the certificate
  • Offer the first toast at the reception


  • Co-host the Bridal Shower
  • Assist the bride, for example help address invitations or decorate the reception site
  • Precede the bride down the aisle

Ushers or Groomsmen: (one usher for every 50 guests)

  • Help with the bachelor party
  • Greet and seat guests at the wedding
  • Escort bridesmaids down the aisle after the ceremony
  • Direct guests to the reception site

Choose your attendants with care. Their most important role is to be patient with you and offer emotional support throughout the engagement and wedding. They honor you by agreeing to share in your special day so don't forget to thank them for their efforts. Take a moment to show your gratitude and you will strengthen more than one bond on your most special of days.


Your parents are certainly the most honored members of the wedding party. Let them know how they can be part of the ceremony as well as help with preparations.

The Bride's Mother:

  • Helps compile guest list
  • Assists with ceremony and reception details
  • Informs the groom's mother of her wedding attire so that their dresses are similar in length and style
  • Sits in very first pew behind the bride
  • Is the last to be seated, and the first to be escorted out of the church after the ceremony

The Bride's Father:

  • Rides with the bride to the church
  • Escorts the bride down the aisle
  • Sits in very first pew behind the bride
  • Dances the second dance with the bride at the reception
  • May make a toast at the reception

Flower girl, Ring bearer and other special roles

Many brides wish to include their special friends and relatives in the wedding party in addition to the honor attendants.

Ring Bearer:
Traditionally a boy aged 3 to 8 years old acts as the ring bearer and precedes the bride down the aisle carrying the rings or a facsimile on a cushion.

Flower Girl:
The ring bearer walks with or precedes the flower girl, also aged 3 to 8, who carries a basket of flowers, a single stem, or a bouquet of flowers.

Roles for Family and Friends
There are many ways to include a special friend or relative in your wedding.

During the Ceremony:

  • Light candles
  • Sing as part of the ceremony
  • Read a passage
  • Hand out programs

At the Reception:

  • Pour coffee
  • Serve cake
  • Greet guests
  • Attend to the guest book

It is thoughtful to recognize these special guests with a corsage, seat of honor or a place in the photographs.

Financial Responsibilities: Traditional Roles

In the past the bride's family was expected to pay for the majority of the wedding costs, and many families still elect to shoulder the responsibility of providing a wedding for their daughter. However, for many couples in recent years it has come to be a shared responsibility among the bride and groom and their families.

If your families are interested in helping with expenses, what follows is an outline of the traditional division of costs.

The Bride and her family

  • Invitations and announcements
  • Bridal gown
  • Flowers
  • Photographs
  • Music
  • Reception (site and food)
  • Groom's ring

The Groom and his family

  • Bride's engagement and wedding rings
  • Officiant's fee or donation
  • Marriage license
  • Expenses of the honeymoon
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Bride's bouquet and groomsmen's boutonnieres

The Honor Attendants pay for the following

Maid or Matron of honor and Bridesmaids

  • Apparel and all accessories
  • Transportation to the wedding city
  • Bridal shower

Best man and Groomsmen

  • Rental of wedding attire
  • Transportation to the wedding city
  • Bachelor dinner

Before you sit down with your families to discuss costs, be sure to have a dollar amount in mind and be ready to compromise. If your parents are willing to help pay they should have a say in the arrangements.

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