Give Yourself A Hand: How To Divvy Out Wedding Attendant Responsibilities

August 10, 2009 at 2:34 pm 3 comments


Bridal-PartyIn case you haven’t come to the conclusion yet, let me be the first to break the news: planning a wedding – no matter how big or small – is a lot, and I mean A LOT of work.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve never met a bride who didn’t think it was worth it, but generally the journey to the  “I do’s” will log more man hours, more provisions and more “did we do’s” than any other event.  (I mean seriously, what else takes 12-18 months to plan?)  So, it’s important to surround yourself with dependable people who will help make all the planning as stress and worry free as possible.

Below is a list of what’s traditionally done when dividing up responsibilities.  However, and this is a HUGE however, it by no means has to reflect what you do.  Because every couple, family and wedding day is unique, there truly are no right and wrong answers…  There are simply answers, and it’s up to each bride and groom-to-be to choose what those answers will be.  And if you think of all the wedding checklists you view as “guidelines,” instead of rules, you’ll have all the wiggle room you need to accomodate your requirements. 

So, feel to check these out and let the divvying / wiggling begin:  

Maid/Matron of Honor 

  • Responsible for organizing bridesmaid activities and delegating responsibilities accordingly
  • Organizes bridal shower and /or Bachelorette party
  • Stays with the bride on the wedding day to make sure she is dressed, ready and cool as a cucumber
  • Is the last maid to walk down the aisle just before the flower girl’s entrance
  • Holds the groom’s ring for the bride until needed by the officiant
  • Witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate
  • May offer a toast either before or after the best man (optional)
  • Sits to the left of the groom or right of the bride at head table
  • Dances with the best man during the bridal party dance
  • Financial Responsibilities:
    • Own attire except for flowers
    • Own hotel accommodations and travel arrangements
    • Contributing a share for bridal shower expenses

 Bridesmaids 

  • Assist Maid of Honor in planning the bridal shower and /or Bachelorette party
  • Assist bride with errands and addressing invitations
  • Participate in all pre-wedding parties
  • Arrive at ceremony site at least two hours before the event
  • Line up and walk according to height (shortest to tallest) or as previously established by the bride
  • Stand to the left of the Maid or Matron of Honor during ceremony
  • Dance with ushers/groomsmen and other important guests at reception
  • Financial Responsibilities: 
    • Own attire except for flowers
    • Own hotel accommodations and travel arrangements
    • Contributing a share for bridal shower expenses 

Best Man 

  • Responsible for organizing ushers /groomsmen activities and delegating responsibilities
  • Organizes Bachelor party for groom
  • Drives groom to ceremony site
  • Arrives dressed at ceremony site at least 1 hour before ceremony
  • Brings marriage license to the wedding
  • Pays clergy, musicians and other service providers the day of the wedding
  • Stands to the left of the groom facing the guests during processional
  • Stands to the right of the groom facing the officiant during ceremony
  • Holds the bride’s ring for the groom until needed by the officiant
  • Witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate
  • Drives bride and groom to the reception if no driver is hired
  • Offers toast at reception (before dinner)
  • Sits to the right of the bride or left of the groom at the head table
  • Keeps groom on schedule
  • Dances with maid of honor during bridal party dance
  • Oversees return of tuxedo rentals for groom, groomsmen, ushers, and other tuxedo rental
  • Financial Responsibilities: 
    • Own attire except for boutonniere
    • Own hotel accommodations and travel arrangements
    • Contributing a share for bachelor party expenses 

Groomsmen

  • Help the best man with the Bachelor party
  • Arrive dressed at ceremony site at least 1 hour before the ceremony
  • Seat guests as they arrive (ushers)
  • Pass out programs and directions to the reception as guests arrive
  • Roll aisle runner down the aisle after mothers are seated
  • Stand to the left of best man according to height (tallest to shortest) or as previously established by the groom
  • Direct guests to the reception site (ushers)
  • Sit at head table next to bridesmaids
  • Dance with bridesmaids and other important guests
  • Financial Responsibilities:
    • Own attire except for boutonniere
    • Own hotel accommodations and travel arrangements.
    • Contributing a share for bachelor party expenses.

Ushers 

  • Helps best man and groomsmen with bachelor party
  • Arrive dressed at the ceremony site at least 1 hour before the ceremony
  • May distribute wedding programs or maps to the reception site to guests as they arrive
  • Escort guests to their seats as they arrive to the ceremony
  • Responsible for rolling out the aisle runner either just after the mothers are seated, or just before the flower girl walks down the aisle
  • Dismiss guests from their rows after the ceremony. One usher for bride’s side – one usher for grooms side
  • Make sure that guests have not left personal items behind
  • Dance with bridesmaids & other single female guests at the reception
  • Make sure that guests know how to get to the reception site OK
  • Financial Responsibilities:
    • Own attire except for boutonniere
    • Own hotel accommodations & travel arrangements
    • Contributing a share to the bachelor party expenses

 Parents of the Bride 

  • Help the bride prepare guest list., including names, address, telephone number, and all names of individual guests for the bride’s friends and family
  • Help the bride plan the wedding ceremony and reception
  • Select their attire according to the color and theme of the wedding
  • MOB should contact the groom’s mother when she has chosen her attire to inform her about the overall style, color, and length of dress preferred
  • Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out of town guests at a hotel close to the reception site
  • Arrive dressed at the ceremony early (1-2 hours prior) for pictures
  • MOB will be escorted down the aisle by Best Man or Usher just before the processional begins (the last person to be seated)
  • Sit in the left front pew during the ceremony
  • Stand up to signal the start of the processional
  • MOB will be escorted out after the last bridesmaid/groomsman during the recessional, usually by the bride’s father
  • 1st people in the receiving line to greet guests
  • Sit together at the parent’s table during the reception
  • Mingle with the guests at the reception making sure that everyone has a good time
  • Parents of the bride’s financial responsibilities:
    • Host the engagement party
    • Bridal gown and accessories (veil, jewelry, shoes, etc.)
    • Wedding Invitations & postage
    • Gifts for bridesmaids
    • Pre-wedding parties, bridesmaid’s luncheon
    • Photography/Videography
    • Florist
    • Bakery
    • Reception fees such as caterer, food, drink, linens, tables, chairs, etc.
    • Rental fee for both ceremony & reception site
    • Entertainment (DJ or band)
    • Party favors
    • Transportation for the wedding party
    • Own attire, hotel accommodations, travel arrangements.

 Mother of the Groom 

  • Prepares the guest list for the grooms family and friends
  • Selects and purchases wedding attire that compliments the mother of the bride (dresses should not be identical)
  • Along with the grooms father plans the rehearsal dinner
  • Arrives at the ceremony site early for photographs (1-2 hours before ceremony)
  • Is seated by either the best man or usher before the mother of the bride just before the processional
  • Sits in the right front pew next to the groom’s father
  • Is escorted out by the groom’s father just after the bride’s parents exit during the recessional
  • Stands to the left of the MOB & FOB in the receiving line
  • Sits next to the groom’s father at the parent’s table

Father of the Groom 

  • Gives a toast at the rehearsal dinner (to the bride or to both the bride & groom)
  • Arrives dressed at the ceremony site early for pictures (1-2 hours before)
  • Follows the mother of the groom down the aisle as she is seated by the best man or usher just before the MOB entrance
  • Sits in the right front pew next to MOG
  • Escorts the MOG after the wedding ceremony just after the MOB/FOB during the recessional
  • Stands to the left of the MOG in the receiving line
  • Sits next to MOG at the parent’s table at the reception
  • Parents of the groom’s financial responsibilities:
    • Own hotel accommodations & travel expenses
    • Rehearsal dinner expenses
    • Gifts for the Best Man, Groomsmen, & Ushers.
    • Brides bouquet, all mothers & grandmothers corsages, all boutonnieres
    • Officiant’s fee
    • Honeymoon expenses

 Flower Girl 

  • Attends rehearsal to practice her role, but is not required to attend rehearsal dinner
  • Is not required to attend pre-wedding parties such as showers, engagement parties, luncheon’s etc…
  • Arrives dressed at the ceremony early for pictures (usually 1-2 hours before ceremony)
  • Tosses flower petals down the aisle during the processional just before the bride enters
  • Stands behind the maid of honor during the ceremony. If flower girl is very young she may sit with her parents during the ceremony
  • During the recessional walks along the right side of ring bearer just after the bride and groom exit
  • Sits with her parents during the reception
  • Financial Responsibilities:
    • Own attire except for flower basket and petals
    • Own hotel accommodations and travel arrangements

 Ring Bearer 

  • Attends rehearsal to practice his role, but is not required to attend rehearsal dinner
  • Is not required to attend pre-wedding parties such as showers, engagement parties, luncheon’s etc…
  • Arrives dressed at the ceremony early for pictures (usually 1-2 hours before ceremony)
  • Carries ring pillow or ring box with either faux rings or the actual wedding rings attached
  • Follows the maid of honor during the processional (just before the flower girl)
  • Stands behind the best man during the ceremony. If ring bearer is very young he may sit with his parents during the ceremony
  • Walks beside the flower girl to left during the recessional just after the bride & groom exit
  • Sits with his parents during the reception
  • Financial Responsibilities:
    • Own attire except for ring pillow and boutonniere
    • Own hotel accommodations and travel arrangements
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Entry filed under: Wedding Etiquette. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mary Kidwell  |  August 14, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Awww, thanks for the sweet messages, girls! It’s always great to “see” new faces :)

    Reply
  • 2. The Perfect Palette  |  August 11, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    great list- if only it was appropriate to send this out via email to the entire bridal party :)

    Reply
  • 3. AmyJean @RelentlessBride  |  August 11, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    What a great post! Very helpful! :)

    Reply

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