YOUR BIGGEST CHEER SQUAD AND SUPPORTERS
Behind every great wedding is a bunch of people putting in the hard yards to bring it together and make it happen. They’re your bride tribe, entourage, support team, wedding squad. No matter what you call your bridal party, their aim is to cheer you on, help keep you sane, and offer practical assistance for your big day.
First things first – do you need a bridal party?
In short, the answer is no. Officially, all you need are two witnesses to sign the marriage certificate. However, most couples opt to have a bridal party that will be there to offer love, support, and encouragement throughout the wedding planning process. Traditionally, these may include:
- Maid/Matron of Honour
- Best Man
- Flower Girl
- Page Boy
The size of the squad may look different, as may the make up. Sometimes the bride’s best friend is male and therefore named Man of Honour. Similarly, a groom may have a Best Woman. There may be the inclusion of Junior Bridesmaids/Groomsmen (typically tween years), or a beloved furry friend may even make an appearance.
So, who gets to stand by your side? Well, that is completely up to you! Relationships can be tricky and there’s no one answer – we’ve given some considerations and alternative options in this article here.
What roles and responsibilities do the bridal party have?
It’s important to state up front that it’s a good idea not to offload all the tasks to the bridal party. There are certain decisions and arrangements that should be handled by the couple alone (think budget, style of wedding, honeymoon plans).
It’s also helpful to keep in mind that each member of the bridal party brings a different skill set and capacity. Some are fantastic organisers, others may be detail-challenged. Some have mountains of time, others may arrive the day before. Even financially-speaking, some may be able to cover all associated costs, whilst others can only contribute in a small way. Delegate tasks that are appropriate, and above all, communicate!
With that being said, we’ve outlined below some of the roles and responsibilities you may choose to entrust to your bridal party:
Maid/Matron of Honour and Bridesmaid Responsibilities
- Be prepared to be a sounding board, offer advice when wanted and assistance where required. Your job is to calm the bride, contribute to the solution if possible, and make things easier for her.
- Coordinate times to go bridesmaid dress/shoe/accessory shopping, and have fittings. Life gets busy. We all know it. Coordinating schedules and ensuring availability is one of the best gifts you can give your bride.
- Join the bride in her pursuit to find the perfect dress. If she’s asked you to come along then she values your opinion. Balance loving honesty with encouragement and excitement when she finds THE ONE!
- Plan pre-wedding events like the Bridal Shower and Hens Party. These celebrations require effort in and of themselves, so help as much as the bride would like.
- Assist with ordinary tasks and errands (addressing envelopes, crafting wedding favours, picking up dresses). As the wedding day nears, there are many ways to be practically helpful.
- Attend and participate in the ceremony rehearsal (even if it requires walking down the aisle for the 17th time to ensure the music lines up with the procession).
- Contribute to or cover costs associated with being a bridesmaid
ON THE DAY
- Look after the flower girl and page boy (if required) before walking down the aisle. They may need some extra reassurance or a reminder of what to do.
- Adjust the bride’s train when she reaches the end of the aisle, and hold her bouquet during vows.
- Sign the marriage certificate as witness.
- Check the bride’s hair and makeup during the day. She’ll appreciate an extra bobby pin or heads up that it’s time to reapply lipstick.
- Ensure the bride is well fed and watered. It can be incredibly easy to forget to eat and drink with the busyness and nerves of the day.
- Help the bride to the bathroom. Yes, we went there. It’s a thing. Big dresses mean the need for octopus arms so that one can attend the call of nature. No need to be shy, it’s a bonding experience.
- Prepare a speech or toast to the groomsmen and couple. Sharing cute anecdotes is no longer just for the boys. Whether it’s the MOH or a team effort from the bridesmaids, go in prepared.
- Join in the dance floor enthusiastically! There’s nothing worse than seeing awkward members of the bridal party drag their feet to the dance floor when requested by the couple. Have fun and let loose a little!
- Be amongst the last to leave. If there are items that need to be taken home or put aside for later collection, ensure this is arranged (chat with our team at Factory51).
Best Man and Groomsmen Responsibilities
- Be prepared to be a sounding board, offer advice when wanted and assistance where required. The groom may be on top of things, or out of his depth. Your job is to be his wingman and make his life easier.
- Coordinate times for groomsmen attire. Your input may be required on the style of suit, tie, and accessories. Or, you may be simply required to show up and ensure the suit fits. Taking this one step further, it pays to double check the fit close to the wedding day… you don’t want those gym gains creating a Hulk moment.
- Plan the Bucks party. This is both a role and responsibility. By all means have fun, but don’t do anything that’s going to jeopardise a relationship (or the groom’s appearance for the wedding day).
- Assist with ordinary tasks and errands. PSA: This is not just for the girls! Guys can pick up suits, build arbours, or tie ribbons onto invitations.
- Attend and participate in the ceremony rehearsal. Yes, you may have the most mundane task as you stand at the front whilst everyone else practices… but at very least, put on a smile and don’t grumble about it.
- Contribute to or cover costs associated with being a groomsman
ON THE DAY
- Don’t forget the rings! Even if the page boy will be walking down the aisle with them, they are your responsibility until that moment.
- Be on time – or early – to the ceremony. It’s prudent to allow extra time for unforeseen circumstances (aka traffic).
- Offer calming words to the groom before the ceremony. Nerves can take a grip, so he may need a drink or tissue/hanky.
- Ensure the groom is well fed and watered. We’ve all seen the effects of alcohol on an empty stomach, so be a good friend and make a timely encouragement to eat and have water.
- Sign the marriage certificate as witness.
- Prepare a speech and toast to the bridesmaids and couple. Forget the pressure to be a comedian, just share something heartfelt and you’ll be onto a winner.
- Join in the dance floor enthusiastically! If the couple are expecting the bridal party to dance together, then make sure you know how to lead your partner. We have Google and YouTube these days, so there’s no excuse. Rip up the dance floor!
- Steal a moment away to decorate the getaway car if needed. Just don’t go MIA during speeches or the first few songs.
- Be amongst the last to leave. See if anyone needs any practical help before calling it a night.
Remember Your Manners
Weddings can take a lot of effort and sometimes place a strain on friendships! Your bridal party have no doubt put in time and energy over a number of months, so it’s only right to show them appreciation. Whether that’s in the form of words, with a gift, or a combination of both – be sure to thank them sincerely. Here’s to the gift of friendship!