Who’s who in the Wedding Party?
Here is a quick guide of the titles and roles of those usually included in your wedding party.
A male attendant to the groom, the best man is valet, personal aide and advisor all rolled into one. Duties include getting the groom to the ceremony on time; signing the couple’s marriage register; and holding the bride’s wedding ring at the altar. He is also usually renowned for his toasting skills (humour works well here) and dancing savoir faire (he may be required to dance with your mother).
A support team of friends and female family members who work well together, the bridesmaids are usually headed up by the maid of honour. Choose friends who you want by your side when completing pre-wedding tasks such as addressing invitations, making table favours, planning the hen’s party and more.
Father of the Bride
Not just a walking wallet and the guy who gets to foot the bill, the father of the bride can also acquire a myriad of to-do’s along the way, such as airport transfers, and co-ordinating maps and directions to the site, along with his toasting and hosting tasks.
Father of the Groom
Traditionally, the father of the groom pays for a handful of major items such as the rehearsal dinner or the bar bill on the day. He can also step in to carry out support tasks such as escorting the elder generation to their places, addressing problematic service at the venue, along with providing general moral support to the father of the bride.
Usually proceeding the bride down the aisle while scattering flower petals from a basket (or carrying a pomander if they church doesn’t allow for petals), the flower child can be aged anywhere between three and eight. Once they have completed their role, they usually join their parents for the ceremony. They may also offer confetti to the guests to be thrown outside the church following the ceremony.
A handful of male family and friends who assist the groom, the groomsmen are integral to the planning and preparing for the big day, especially in the organisation of the stag party (it’s the best man who foots the bill), decorating the honeymoon car, flirting with single ladies at the reception and offering services such as ushering and direction for confused guests.
Junior Bridesmaids/Junior Groomsmen
Ranging between 9 and 16 years of age, they fulfil the same tasks as their adult counterparts (except for involvement in any X-rated stag or hen parties). Their dresses are more demure versions of the bridesmaid dresses, while the young groomsmen get to wear a tux like the adults.
Maid/Matron/Man of Honour
The bride’s right-hand woman throughout the duration of the planning process and the big day, the maid or matron of honour (depending on whether they have been married or not) provides morale support to the bride. She also leads the bridesmaids, heads up the bridal shower and manages numerous details on the day, which include helping the bride to get dressed, toasting the bride and groom, signing the marriage register, adjusting the bride’s train at the altar, holding her bouquet during vows, and overseeing the collection of gifts at the reception.
Mother of the Bride
The nature of the bride’s mother’s role is entirely up to the bride. She may double as wedding planner, guest list moderator, traditional hostess, fashion advisor and general all-round champion for the success of the overall event.
Mother of the Groom
A possible doppelganger of the mother of the bride, the groom’s mom can step in to take on any of the bride’s mom’s responsibilities if she’s up to it. To prevent each from stepping on the other’s toes, the pre-nuptials should plan clearly defined to-do lists for each ahead of time. She is usually escorted down the aisle during the prelude.
This is the cleric or official who performs the marriage ceremony. Examples include a priest, a rabbi, a minister, or a judicial officer.
A child aged between 4 and 8 years, who walks down the aisle just before the flower girl carrying a small velvet pillow with two wedding bands tied to it (usually replicas are used in the event of the real rings getting lost).
A Jewish term describing anyone close to the bride and groom who helps them plan and prepare for marriage. In many Jewish weddings, there is no traditional wedding party, but certain members of the shushavim (a mom, a sister, or best friend) might perform similar tasks.
A Greek assimilation of the groomsman, in traditional Eastern Orthodox weddings, the vratimi – the groom’s male friends – help the koumbaro carry out his traditional role and perform various rituals.
A Muslim term for male family or friends who help prepare the groom for and participate in the wedding. Among Moroccan Muslims, it’s common for the hattabin to propose to the bride on the groom’s behalf.
In Jewish weddings, individuals close to the bride and groom (usually family members or close friends) may hold up the huppah poles during the ceremony. They are often part of the shushavim
For a comprehensive guide on how to plan your wedding like a wedding pro click here to download our Ultimate Wedding Planner.