Traditional Wedding Party Roles

Who does what in the wedding party?


Every bride and groom need a good wedding party behind them made up of their nearest and dearest. It can get confusing though understanding which role each member of the wedding party has to play, so we’ve made a special list to help you understand who does what.

The Bride

The bride’s most important role is to look stunning on her big day! She also plans the whole wedding from start to finish, along with the groom.

The Groom

The groom is typically trusted to arrange the wedding transport and accommodation for guests. Often the groom researches and books the honeymoon, sometimes leaving the location as a surprise for his bride.

Maid of Honor/Chief Bridesmaid

This is the bride’s right hand woman. She lends support, both emotional and practical, throughout the whole of the wedding planning process. She can oversee the table dressing, arrange the hen party, holds the bride’s bouquet, straightens the train and veil and is generally a massive help!

The Best Man

The best man’s most important duty is to organize the buck’s party, and to make sure the groom survives it and makes it home in one piece. He is also responsible for getting the groom to the church on time, will witness the signing of the register and hold the rings if there’s no ring bearer. Other duties include making a best man’s speech which results in the toasting of the bride and groom, and possibly flirting a lot with the maid of honor too!


These girls are usually a group of the bride’s close friends or family members. They assist with the planning of the hen party, and can be expected to help make favor boxes, dress tables and write invites and place cards. On the day of the wedding they should see that the gifts are safely stored away, and help keep the bride calm.


The groomsmen usually consist of the groom, the best man, fathers of the bride and groom and any brothers or close male family members. They contribute towards the buck’s party and often double up as ushers on the wedding day.


The role of usher is an important one as they help guests find their seats and ensure they are all looked after. They also hand out buttonholes and supply guests with confetti cones, and make sure every guest has collected up their belongings upon leaving the church.

Mother of the Bride

The mother of the bride’s involvement usually depends on how involved the bride wants her to be! Typically she will help choose the bride’s wedding dress, attend fittings and go to the hen party. At the wedding she will dance with the father of the groom.

Mother of the Groom

The mother of the groom should play host to the bride’s family after the engagement is announced. She should also provide the bride with a list of guests she’d like to invite. Whether or not you choose to invite them depends on cost and contributions. She will also host the rehearsal dinner and dance with the father of the bride on the wedding day.

Father of the Bride

Traditionally, the father of the bride would pay for the wedding celebrations, but nowadays the cost is usually divided between the couple, with their families contributing what they can. The role of the father of the bride includes going with the groom to choose the suits, and then riding with his daughter in the wedding car before giving her away at the altar. He will make a speech, and dances with his daughter after the first dance.

Father of the Groom

The father of the groom may contribute towards the cost of the wedding, although it’s not a traditional role. He would traditionally pay for the rehearsal dinner. The father of the groom will dance with the bride’s mother after the first dance.

Flower Girl and Page Boy

These roles are usually filled by young children, typically between three and eight years old. The flower girl walks down the aisle in front of the bride, scattering petals from a small basket. The page boy can hold the bride’s train, or carry the rings down the aisle on a cushion.

The Ring Bearer

This job can be performed by the page boy, but you can have a separate ring bearer, to carry the rings down the aisle in front of the flower girl and the bride. It can be a young child or, in some cases, a well-trained pet.

The Candle Lighter

In some Christian weddings, a young person (typically aged between nine and twelve) will light the candles at the altar. This should be done just before the mother of the bride takes her seat, and before the bride arrives. After the service the mother of the bride may light candles for family members.


A reader is someone asked to perform a reading during the ceremony. It may be selected by the bride and groom, or chosen by the reader as they feel it is appropriate. has a wide selection of readings and poems, to be found under the ‘Speeches’ tab, should you need any inspiration!


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