The Responsibilities of the Wedding Party



Weddings are a time of great tension for the bride and groom, as well as their families and the bridal party.  It is helpful to remember that the stress everyone is feeling now has a deadline; that is, there is a definite date when it will all be over with.  The trick is to survive until then! is providing information on wedding responsibilities as a public service.  Our website specializes in the savvy bride, with print your own wedding stationery templates and blank wedding stationery, custom candy wrappers, wedding accessories, bridal shower gifts, books on weddings, wedding ebooks, wedding white umbrellas, wedding favors, wedding articles and information on obtaining your own birth certificate,  Please take a moment to take a look at some of our pages--you might find them useful, too!


The Bride's Family

Mother of the Bride

Father of the Bride 

Maid/Matron of Honor


Flower Girl


The Groom's Family

The Groom

Mother of the Groom

Father of the Groom

Best Man


Ring Bearer


Mother of the Bride


Before the Wedding

  • Assists the bride to select her wedding gown and accessories, colors, and the bridesmaids and maid of honor's gowns.

  • Helps in the preparation of the guest list.

  • Helps to record any gifts that have been sent before the wedding.

  • Selects a dress that will complement the colors of the wedding.

  • Assists in the details of ceremony and reception.

  • Often selects and purchases the brides wedding night attire; usually presented to the bride at the bridal shower.

At the Ceremony

  • Arrives at the ceremony before the bride and her party.  Typically, the bride's mother does not ride in the same car as the bride and her father.

  • Is responsible to bring the guest book and unity candle to the ceremony.

  • Stands at the head of the receiving line.

  • Serves as the official hostess at the wedding and reception.

  • Brings the unity candle, guest book, and card box to the reception.

  • Gathers gifts and the card box after the reception, takes these to a pre-arranged destination so that the couple can receive them after their honeymoon.

Father of the Bride


Before the Wedding

  • Assists in the preparation of the guest list.

  • Rents/purchases wedding attire that matches that of the groom and groomsmen.

At the Ceremony

  • Typically, rides with the bride to the ceremony.

  • Escorts the bride down the aisle on his left arm.

  • Stands to the left of the bride's mother in the receiving line.

  • Acts as co-host, along with the bride's mother, at the reception.

  • Helps the bride's mother gather card boxes and gifts after the reception.


Maid/Matron of Honor


Before the Wedding

  • Assists the bride in wedding and bridesmaid gown selection.

  • Purchases the dress/gown she will be wearing at the ceremony.

  • Helps the bride address the invitations.

  • Plans and hosts bridal showers for the bride.

  • Records the wedding gifts that were received at the bridal shower.

  • Collects the bows and ribbons on the shower gifts and designs mock bouquets.

  • Helps the bride assemble and decorate the wedding favors

  • Helps the bride decorate the reception hall

  • Attends the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

At the Ceremony

  • Arrives at the dressing site at least two hours before the ceremony to assist the bride with her gown.

  • Helps to organize the bridesmaids and their gowns.

  • Is responsible for her own dressing arrangements.

  • Arranges the bride's veil train before and throughout the ceremony.

  • Holds the groom's ring (if it is not being held by the Ring Bearer); holds the bride's bouquet during the ceremony.

  • Signs the wedding certificate as a legal witness.

  • Stands to the left of the groom in the receiving line.

  • Is often invited to be the godmother to the couple's first child.


The Bridesmaids


Before the Wedding

  • Acts as assistants to the maid/matron of honor in planning bridal showers.

  • Is responsible for the purchase and fitting of their bridesmaid's gown.

  • Helps the bride with the reception wedding favors.

  • Assists with tasks and errands before the wedding.

  • Helps the bride and her family decorate the reception hall.

  • Attends the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

At the Ceremony

  • Typically, will arrive at a pre-designated site to dress for the wedding with the other bridesmaids and maid/matron of honor and to have photographs taken.

  • Walks down the aisle, usually one-by-one, in the bridal processional, preceding the maid/matron of honor, the flower girl, the ring bearer, and of course, the bride and her escort.


The Flowergirl


Before the Wedding

  • The parents of the flower girl pay for her wedding attire, as well as arrange for its alterations.

  • Attends the wedding rehearsal, and depending on her age, the rehearsal dinner, along with her parents.

At the Ceremony

  • Arrives dressed at the dressing site or ceremony, depending on arrangements.

  • Precedes the bride and her father down the aisle.  Typically, the flower girl carries a basket of flower petals, which she is to scatter before the bride as she walks down the aisle.


The Groom


Before the Wedding

  • Assists in the preparation of the guest list.

  • Purchases or rents wedding attire.

  • Accompanies the best man and groomsmen to fittings of their formal wear.

  • Purchases a wedding gift for the bride.

  • Purchases gifts for the best man and groomsmen.

At the Wedding

  • Arrives at the site of the ceremony, usually one hour before the ceremony for photographs.

  • Brings the marriage license to the ceremony.

  • Makes the necessary payments to the presiding official, musicians, etc.


Mother of the Groom


Before the Wedding

  • Assists in the preparation of the guest list.

  • Selects attire to complement that of the mother of the bride.  It is customary to ask the mother of the bride what color and style of dress she is planning to wear, to insure that the colors worn by the two mothers will not clash, and the styles (long, short, formal, etc.) will be complimentary. 

  • Plans the rehearsal dinner.

At the Wedding

  • Arrives at the ceremony site one hour before the wedding in the dress she will wear.

  • Stands to the left of the bride's parents in the receiving line.


Father of the Groom


Before the Wedding

  • Assists in the preparation of the guest list.

  • Optionally rents or purchase formal wear that matches that of the groomsmen.  The father of the groom may also properly wear a conservative suit.

  • Plans and hosts the rehearsal dinner.

  • Proposes a toast at the rehearsal dinner.


At the Wedding

  • Arrives at the ceremony site approximately one hour before the wedding.

  • Stands to the left of the groom's mother in the receiving line.


The Best Man


Before the Wedding

  • Hosts the bachelor party

  • Rents his own wedding attire.

  • Attends the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner

At the Ceremony

  • Sees that the groom is properly dressed for the ceremony and makes transportation arrangements for the groom and himself to the ceremony.

  • Arrives with the groom approximately one hour before the ceremony for photographs.

  • Supervises the groomsmen.

  • Holds the bride's ring during the ceremony unless the ring has been tied to the ring bearer's pillow.

  • Signs the wedding certificate as a legal witness.

  • Forwards payment from the groom to musicians, presiding official, etc.

  • Proposes a toast to the newlywed couple at the reception.

  • May make transportation arrangements for the newlyweds, maid of honor and himself from the reception.

  • Transports or arranges transport for the newlywed couple to the airport or honeymoon suit.  Under no circumstances does he reveal the newlywed couple's plans.

  • Organizes the return of any rented formal wear.

  • Is often invited to be the godfather to the couple's first child.



      Before the Wedding

  • Groomsmen either purchase or pay for the rental of their own wedding attire, which generally includes the shoes as well.  Generally, the groomsmen rent their attire from the same store so that it will match or complement the groom's formal wear.  If one or more of the groomsmen is geographically unable to do this, the formal wear selected by the groom has a manufacturer and model number that can be matched at another store.

  • The groomsmen also assist in the arrangements and finances for the bachelor party, which can be held the day before the rehearsal if necessary, so that groomsmen who live out of the area can attend.

  • The groomsmen attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

     At the Ceremony

  • The groomsmen typically arrive dressed in their formal attire one hour before the ceremony for photographs.

  • Unless alternate arrangements have been made, they are responsible to decorate the transportation the bride and groom will be using after the ceremony.

  • Arrange to fold and distribute the wedding programs.

  • Ensure that the immediate relatives of the bride and groom; that is, grandparents, godparents, etc. have their flowers before they are seated.  Flowers are pinned on the left.

  • May be responsible for lighting the candelabras, depending on the customs of the church.

  • Seat the guests attending the ceremony.  Before seating, inquire if the guest is attending at the invitation of the bride or groom.  The brides guests are seated on the left; the groom's guests are seated on the right.

If the guest is female, the groomsman offers his right arm.

If the guest is male, the groomsman walks along the guests left side.

If a couple is being seated, offer right arm to the female, and the male guest follows a step behind.

  • Leave several rows of pews unseated in the front rows; both sides of the immediate family will be seated there immediately before the beginning of the ceremony.

  • Immediately before the processional of the bridal party, escort first the mother of the groom, then the mother of the bride to the pew reserved for immediate family.

  • After the mothers have been seated, but before the bridal procession, two of the groomsmen may roll the aisle runner for the bridal procession to walk on.

  • Depending on instructions during the wedding rehearsal, the groomsmen may escort the bridesmaids down the aisle after the ceremony, or may indicate to the guests, pew by pew, when they may leave their seats after the ceremony.

  • Check for and remove any items left in the pews or in back of the church.

  • Collects ceremony decorations such as baskets, pew bows, aisle runners.


Ring Bearer


      Before the Wedding

  • The parents of the Ring Bearer pay for the Wedding attire.  This is typically formal, matches the groom and groomsmen attire, and is rented.

  • Should attend the wedding rehearsal, usually the night before the ceremony.  May be invited to the rehearsal dinner after the rehearsal, along with his parents; however, depending on the Ring Bearer's age, his attendance may be waived.

     At the Ceremony

  • Unless instructed differently, the ring bearer arrives at the ceremony an hour before it is to be held.  Because the ring bearer may be very young (under four is not recommended), his parents may be instructed to bring him a half hour before the ceremony.

  • The Ring Bearer carries a pillow with the wedding rings on it.  He typically walks behind the last bridesmaid either escorting the flower girl, or alone.  If alone, he walks before the flower girl.

Tell a friend about this page:





White Umbrellas & Parasols



Personalized Labels & Wrappers


Wine & Champagne

Water Bottle Labels

Save the Date Magnets

Candy Bar Wrappers

Mini Candy Wrappers

Candy Roll Wrappers


Keepsake Marriage Certificates


Party Favor Pouches & Ribbon



Printable Wedding Invitations


Printable Wedding Stationery

Printable Wedding Programs

Wedding Stationery Templates



Personalized Gifts

for Your Wedding Party


 Bridesmaid's Gifts

 Groomsmen's Gifts

 Wedding Party Gifts






How to Make a Towel Cake


Articles about Weddings


About Wedding Programs


Wedding Traditions


Printing Your Own Invitations


Wedding Party Responsibilities


Wedding Stationery Etiquette


Wedding Financial Responsibilities


The Bride's To Do Checklist

The Groom's To Do Checklist


Wedding Links


Contact Us


© 2003, by M. A. Woodman
All rights reserved