In early Anglo-Saxon traditions, the men in the wedding party were referred to as the “Bride’s Knights” instead of the groomsmen. This was because they were responsible for being her protectors before, during, and after the ceremony. Today’s wedding party roles and responsibilities are a bit less…demanding, however, it can be a bit confusing with all the different wedding party roles. Which roles do you pick for your wedding, and who do you give them to?
Maid of Honor
Assign your Maid of Honor as soon as possible. This should be someone extremely close to you. Responsible for the bridal shower and other various wedding day details, like helping the bride get dressed, looking out for the bride’s dress train, and toasting the bride at the reception, the Maid of Honor is probably the most crucial party member to you. She is like a second pair of eyes and hands for the bride, and there to provide you with the emotional support you will need to stay sane during this whole process.
Typically the amount of bridesmaids you have will be determined by the size of your wedding. If you are having a large formal wedding, then up to twelve bridesmaids can be acceptable. A smaller, less formal wedding will constitute fewer. As for who you appoint in the bridesmaids positions, they should be your closest gal pals and should be willing and able to help with smaller wedding planning tasks such as stamping wedding invitations and crafting wedding centerpieces, etc.
Your hubby-to-be will want to appoint a Best Man. This role is typically responsible for acting as his right-hand guy, advisor, and aid throughout the process. He will most likely be the one responsible for planning the bachelor party, paying the officiant’s fee, making sure the groom is on time for the ceremony, and of course, toasting!
Just use your bridesmaids rules for choosing groomsmen; more for larger weddings, fewer for smaller weddings. However, the groomsmen can also double as ushers. This can be handy if you are trying to whittle the wedding party down.
Mothers & Father of the Bride
Your mother can be responsible for as much or as little as you want. A lot of brides appoint these lovely ladies as their wedding-day contact so that they can relax knowing that “mama’s got it.” Your pops is responsible for footing most of the wedding bill, walking you down the aisle, and most importantly, the father/daughter dance.
Mother & Father of the Groom
(Photo by: dparkphotography)
Once again, the mother of the groom can assume whatever role your man wants her to. She also has the privilege of dancing with her wonderful son during the reception. Your superhero father-in-law is usually responsible for footing the cost of the reception dinner, and trying not to tell every cheesy joke he knows.
This is pretty much non-negotiable. You will need an officiant to receive and witness your consent to marry each other so you can be, well…legal!
Other wedding party roles you can have but are certainly not required to fill include: Ushers, candle-lighters, flower girls, ring bearers, and pages (or train bearers.)
Ok brides, that about wraps it up. How are you narrowing down your wedding party? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!
Are you having bridesmaids drama? Do you wish you could sail them all out into the middle of the ocean and leave them there? Fear not! We have gathered together the most common bridesmaid offenders and have offered possible solutions. Don’t go starting up that sailboat just yet!
The One with Dress Issues
This is the oldest bridesmaid problem in the book. She doesn’t like the style, color, or material of the dress you’ve picked out, and she’s not afraid of being VERY vocal about it. There is a solution to this and it involves a bit of compromise. If you can get your ladies to at least agree on either the style or color of their dresses, then you can let them choose on the other. Letting your maids feel like they are in some amount of control over what they will be wearing will usually diffuse most anxieties before they get out of control.
The One with Money Problems
Weddings are expensive affairs, and the bridesmaid’s portion is nothing to be taken lightly. If you are choosing unreasonably priced dresses and wedding locations, you’re going to hear some grumbles about money. Make sure you are taking into account your bridesmaids situations. Are they students, single-income household, etc? Once you have considered this information, determine your bridesmaids budgets and plan accordingly. If you are still getting complaints, try to determine whether or not you can help cover a bit of the cost of someone’s dress if their participation is important enough to you.
She doesn’t like the dress. She’s too busy to help you plan. She doesn’t like the other bridesmaids. She has too much stress in her life to worry about your wedding too. What if you’re saddled with a bridesmaid who won’t stop complaining? First, sit down and have a talk with her to find out if there’s a reason for this. Maybe you two are close and she is sad over “losing” you to your hubby. If you’re still not able to hash things out, then ask her as politely as you can if she wants to resign her duties as bridesmaid and ask someone else.
The One Who Doesn’t Get Along
If you unfortunately have a couple of bridesmaids who are not getting along, then stress not. This is pretty common and there are steps you can take to ensure that an all-out cat fight does not occur. First, if the issue is just that your maids are not familiar enough with one another then just organize a little ladies night out at a bar or club. They can have a few cocktails, let their hair down, and really get to know each other. If the problem is that they just don’t like each other, try getting together with them for logistics separately on different days. You can also try seating them farther apart at functions like rehearsal dinners, and showers, etc.
The One Who Doesn’t Pull Her Weight
What if one of your bridesmaids is not quite measuring up in terms of her moral support or willingness to help with certain tasks? First, ask yourself or her if there’s a reason she doesn’t seem interested in helping. Maybe your wedding has stirred some negative emotions in her life based on past experiences. Once you’ve had a chance to talk all that over and she is STILL not pulling her weight, then it’s time to have a chat. As nicely as you can, communicate your needs and give her a few simple tasks to see if she can handle them. If things are still not working out, then remember it is YOUR special day and you can replace anyone in your bridal party if it’s not working out.
That’s it brides-to-be! Are you having bridesmaid drama? Tell us about it in the comment section below.