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The Role of Your Wedding Party

Emily Post said it best in the Wedding Etiquette book, “Wedding attendants give help and support during the wedding preparations, serve as witnesses to a couple’s marriage, and as ambassadors and assistants at the wedding reception.” (6th Edition). Your wedding party should be a source of peace and joy and not of headaches and heartaches.


First things first, the selection. It’s your wedding day, so you can select as little or as many attendants as you want. The average is between 3 to 4 on each side, no need for equal numbers if you have a hard time pairing them up, and you are perfectly fine with having members of the opposite sex as attendants. When choosing your wedding party attendants, choose people that you know will not only bring meaning to your day but that you trust.


Financially, the bridal couple is responsible for covering the cost of the bouquets and boutonnieres, gifts for the attendants as a thank you, and the rehearsal dinner. As a courtesy, it is recommended that the cost of hair and makeup is covered by the bride when she wants everyone to have the same hairstyle and makeup look done by the same hair and makeup team. If part of your wedding party is from out of town, helping them find accommodations for the wedding day (i.e., hotel room blocks) is encouraged.


The bride squad as a group is responsible for covering the cost of their own attire, attending the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, help plan any pre-wedding event (i.e., bridal shower and/or bachelorette), help the bride to the facilities the day of the wedding, and be moral support to the bride. The groom squad as a group is responsible for the same except their pre-wedding event would be the bachelor party and the groom won’t need help in the facilities. And yes, even the groom needs moral support on the big day!


The Maid of Honor and Best Man are responsible for witnessing the marriage license, holding the real rings during the ceremony if there is no ringbearer or if the ringbearer is too young, giving the speech during the reception, and helping collect the bride and groom’s gifts and cards at the end of the night.


If your bride and groom hired a wedding coordinator, don’t assign coordinating roles to your bridal party. Let your wedding party know that you have a professional who is being paid for to take care of all those little details the day of, that your wedding party is there to be a part of your day and enjoy the day with you.


Lastly, always remember it is YOUR wedding. As much as we love to consider the input of our dearest and nearest, this day is YOUR day. Permit yourself to say, “I appreciate your input and will consider it.” And then do what YOU think is best for your wedding day.

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