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Attendants

Being asked to be a member of the wedding party is an honor. As an attendant, whether you are a bridesmaid or groomsman, you have been chosen to be a loving, supportive witness to the couple's marriage.

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Many questions may arise when you accept your role in the wedding party. 

For answers to these and other related questions, check out the Wedding Etiquette section of the Etipedia.

Although attendants' duties will vary based on the size and style of the event, here is a brief overview of certain tasks common to most weddings.


Typical Responsibilities of Attendants


  • Pay for their wedding attire and accessories (excluding flowers).
  • Arrange and pay for their own transportation. (Wedding hosts should provide the accommodations.)
  • Be timely and communicative regarding travel arrangements and acquiring attire.
  • Understand the specific duties involved (see below).
  • Arrive at specified times for all wedding-related events.
  • Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner; attend other pre-wedding events when feasible.
  • Give an individual wedding gift to the couple, or contribute to a group gift from all the attendants.
  • Assist the bride and groom whenever possible.
  • Be attentive to other guests at the wedding and reception.

Specific Duties


Maid or Matron of Honor

  • Helps the bride select the bridesmaids' attire.
  • Organizes the bridesmaids' gift to the bride.
  • Makes sure bridesmaids have their attire.
  • Holds the groom's wedding ring and the bride's bouquet during the ceremony.
  • Witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate.
  • Stands in the receiving line, if there is one.
  • Helps the bride during the reception (gathering guests for the cake cutting, dancing, the bouquet toss).
  • Helps the bride change into her going-away clothes, and takes care of the bride's wedding dress and accessories after the reception.

Nice, but optional

  • Helps address invitations and place cards.
  • Assists in hosting or organizing a pre-wedding party, if the bridesmaids decide to have one.

Bridesmaids

  • Attend the bridesmaids' luncheon, if there is one.
  • Supervise flower girl(s) and ring bearer(s) if asked.
  • Assist the bride at the reception as requested.
  • Participate in activities such as a receiving line and a bouquet toss.
  • Contribute to the bridesmaids’ gift to the bride.

Nice, but optional

  • Host a shower, bridesmaids’ luncheon, bachelorette, or other pre-wedding party or get-together.

Best Man

  • Coordinates the groomsmen and ushers' gift to the groom.
  • Organizes the bachelor party for the groom, if there is one.
  • Makes sure that the groom's wedding-related payments are prepared; delivers prearranged payments to officiants, assistants, musicians, and singers at the ceremony.
  • Sees that the groomsmen and ushers arrive on time and are properly attired.
  • Instructs the ushers in the correct seating of guests.
  • Keeps the bride's wedding ring during the ceremony.
  • Witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate.
  • Drives the bride and groom to the reception if there's no hired driver; has the car ready for the couple to leave after the reception and may drive them to their next destination.
  • Offers a toast to the bride and groom at the reception; dances with the bride, the mothers, the maid of honor, and other single female guests.
  • Gathers and takes care of the groom's wedding clothes (returning rental items on the next business day).

Groomsmen and Ushers

  • Attend the bachelor party, if there is one.
  • Contribute to the ushers' gift to the groom.
  • Lay the aisle runner, if one is used, before the processional.
  • Greet guests and escort them to their seats.
  • Know the seating order; review special seating arrangements prior to the ceremony.
  • Hand each guest a program, if programs are provided.
  • Remove pew ribbons, close windows, re-roll the aisle runner, retrieve any programs or articles left behind after the ceremony.
  • Help guests who need directions to the reception site.
  • Be on hand to assist any guests who are infirm or disabled.
  • Dance with the bride, the mothers, the bridesmaids, and other single female guests.
  • Coordinate the return of rental clothing with the head usher or best man.