Bridal Party Roles: What to Know

A bride-to-be celebrates with her bridesmaids and maid of honor at her bachelorette party

Mardie Caldwell

May 24, 2022

So you just got engaged…congratulations! Your engagement can be one of the most fun and exciting seasons of your life. You can’t wait to call your family and friends and tell them the great news. Who you choose to call first may be a great indicator of who you may want in your wedding party.
Choosing the members of your wedding party is one of the most significant decisions you will make and one of the first. But, unfortunately, it can also be one of the trickiest.

Your Maid of Honor & Best Man

The best man helping his friend affix his boutonniere. Photo by Katelyn Bradley Photography First, you need to decide how big your wedding party will be. The bigger the wedding party, the higher the cost, so consider your budget when choosing how many members of the wedding party there will be.
Next, and sometimes the tricky part. Who will be in your wedding party? Generally, your maid of honor and best man are siblings or best friends. There are a few things to think of before making this choice. A maid of honor and best man are often relied on heavily to help prepare for the wedding, so before choosing, consider:

  • Do your choices have time to assist you in preparing for your wedding?
  • Do you feel calm and content when you’re around them?
  • Can you count on them to follow through with any tasks you assign?

If you are unavailable to make a decision about a detail for your wedding would you feel comfortable with the choice they would make?
You and your sister might be very close, but you know she works full-time, has three young children, and is committed to volunteer work that takes up a lot of her time. So, while she would be thrilled to say yes to being your maid of honor, you realize this would add a lot of stress to her life. Plus, she may not even have the time to take care of the tasks you would need her for.
A bride-to-be talking with her sister about being her maid of honor

Honest Communication is Key

Communicating honestly with those you are considering for your wedding party is critical. For example, if you know your sister is too busy, have an honest conversation with her. Ask her if she would be a bridesmaid and explain how you will need a maid of honor with a lot of time available to help you out, and you don’t want to overburden her.
Consider making a list of potentials for your maid of honor and best man. It’s best to let the person you ask understand what you expect from them before they accept. For example, if you are hoping they will be taking a very active role and they thought they just needed to show up in their formal wear the day of the wedding, it will cause some issues.
Just as you need to be honest when letting people know what you need from them, don’t be disappointed if someone you ask lets you know they can’t handle what is required. Honesty is best, so nobody is surprised or let down. You want to keep the preparation for your wedding and your wedding day as stress-free as possible.

What Are the Maid of Honor & Best Man’s Duties?

The best man and maid of honor roles come with a fair share of responsibilities. They help the couple with all elements of their wedding, from planning to helping choose attire. Here is a quick and easy breakdown of what each role is typically responsible for:

Typical Maid of Honor Duties
1. Plan bridal shower
2. Help shop for dress and organize fittings
3. Organize bridesmaid activities
4. Emotionally support bride
5. Do errands and tasks such as tracking RSVPs
6. Help organize DIY projects
7. Plan bachelorette party
8. Help the bride prepare on the day of the wedding
9. Lend a hand in setting up for wedding ceremony and reception
10. Handle any unexpected issues on the day of the wedding.
11. Assists bride with veil, train, and bouquet during ceremony

Typical Best Man Duties
1. Organize suit fitting and pick up before wedding day.
2. Schedule and book the bachelor party
3. Give a speech at the reception
4. Be in charge of rings at the ceremony
5. Keep an eye on weather forecasts
6. Pick up suits before wedding day
7. Ensure groom and groomsmen get to ceremony on time
8. Take care of any chores or tasks the groom needs help with
9. Decorate the getaway car

Feel free to save these lists to your phone to share them with those you ask to be your maid of honor and best man!

A bride and her three bridesmaids posed for a photo by Athena Kalindi Photography at the Rough & Ready Vineyards

Selecting Your Wedding Party

Once you have chosen your maid of honor and best man, you can go on to select the rest of your wedding party. Your bridesmaids will attend your bridal shower and bachelorette party. They will also help with DIY projects you decide to tackle, such as making your own veil, wedding favors, or centerpieces. Of course, the groomsmen should also be ready to help with any tasks.

Both the bridesmaids’ and the groomsmen’s duties will be primarily on the wedding day. They will help you prepare for your big day and assist with any tasks needed, so your day goes smoothly. You may want to assign a bridesmaid or groomsman to be an emergency contact if you feel the maid of honor and best man have their hands full already.

Photo of wedding cake by Ashton Imagery

Your Rehearsal Dinner

A day or so before your wedding, you will have a rehearsal dinner. Rehearsing ahead of time is important, so everyone knows what you expect of them on your wedding day.

Your wedding party will need to know when they are meant to enter for the ceremony. So make sure to go over what order they will walk in and out. It can be helpful to have this decided beforehand and written down, so you can give a copy to each member of your wedding party. We’ve created a Wedding Ceremony Rehearsal Guide, which you can download for free and fill in with your wedding details.

Outdoor Wedding Tasks

If you have an outdoor wedding, you may want to put your bridesmaids and groomsmen in charge of ensuring that your signs and décor have not blown over. In addition, you can have them help guests take advantage of any sunscreen, parasols, or fans that are available.

Another task you might assign groomsmen or bridesmaids is to escort guests to their seats and greet guests. You could even put your flower girl and ring bearer in charge of picking up any napkins or other paper products that may have blown off a table. None of these tasks should take up much time, but it can be helpful to know you don’t have to worry about these details.

Thoughtful delighted young bride sitting while getting ready with her bridesmaids and drinking tea

Pampered, Loved, and Joyful

Most importantly, choose a wedding party that you know will enhance your wedding planning and wedding day experiences. Make sure you ask positive, upbeat, and helpful attendants.

Planning your wedding should be a fun undertaking, and your wedding day should be a day you feel pampered, loved, and joyful.

Pinterest graphic reading Bridal Party Duties: What to Know
Mardie Caldwell
Written by Mardie Caldwell

Mardie has been a successful businesswoman since 1981. The Rough & Ready Vineyards was created out of Mardie’s desire to contribute to the community. Mardie’s vision to serve the community is rooted in her love of Nevada County, and it provided her with the opportunity to revitalize an old Ranch property into a breathtaking wedding venue.

Her innovative mind and commitment to environmental accountability contribute in a positive way to our community and the surrounding area. With the Rough & Ready Vineyards, Mardie seeks to create the best wedding experience for our clients and their guests, creating memories that will last for generations.

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