One of the first decisions a couple should make in the wedding planning process is selecting their wedding party (also known as wedding attendants). These people often provide emotional and sometimes financial support during the wedding planning process. Wedding attendants are usually close friends and family. However, if you can’t narrow down your wedding party, try offering some of the special people in your life to read a passage, light a candle or sing during your wedding.
Wedding Party Attendants and their roles:
Bride and Groom’s Parents
The bride's and groom's parents play an important role in the wedding. Many parents give emotional, financial and organizational support. They may also be apart of the unity candle ceremony. Make sure you remember to thank them for all that they do, and some couples put together a wedding photo album for their parents or frame a few special pictures. Don't forget you may want to give them a special gift to commemorate the day.
Father of the Bride
The big job for fathers in Christian weddings is to walk his daughter down the aisle. Traditionally, the father would answer the question, “Who gives this woman away?” Fathers of the bride are often left out of the wedding planning process, so make sure you try to include him. You can have him help pick out the song for the father-daughter dance. And also ask him to practice dancing with you or take a dance lesson or two to help add to his memories of your wedding.
Mother of the Bride
The mother of the bride typically wants to be involved in the entire wedding planning process, be honest in what she can do to help, and what conflict she may be causing with your vision of your wedding day.
Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor (If Married)
The Maid of Honor typically helps with the entire wedding planning process, but is specifically in charge of planning the bridal shower and the bachelorette party. If there is no ring bearer, the maid of honor holds the groom’s ring and also holds the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony. The maid of honor is also one of the official witnesses on the marriage certificate. Be sure to select someone you are close to, as this job requires a lot of time and effort and is considered a great honor. She is the bridesmaid in charge (the head bridesmaid).
The best man is usually a close friend or family member. His role in the wedding is to hold the bride’s ring, be an official witness of the wedding ceremony, make a toast to the wedding couple at the reception and to support the groom.
Ushers (AKA - Groomsmen)
Ushers are usually close male friends and family of the groom. The ushers' big job is to escort guests to their seats before the ceremony. They are also there to support the groom and attend the bachelor party. There should be an equal number of bridesmaids and ushers
The flower girl is usually between the ages of 5 to 12, and her job is to toss flower petals down the aisle for the bride to walk on. This tradition stems back ages, as it was believed that jealous demons lived in the ground and it was bad luck to brush up against them. The flower girl has the option to stand at the altar during the ceremony or sit with her family. In the Middle Ages, flower girls carried wheat as an offering to the gods of fertility.
The ring bearer is typically a boy between the ages of 3 to 7. The ring bearer’s job is to carry the rings down the aisle on a pillow. Often faux rings are tied to the pillow and the Best Man and Maid of Honor hold onto the real rings for safekeeping. The ring bearer has the option to stand at the altar or sit with his family.
A page boy is typically 7 to 10 years old and is responsible for carrying the train of the dress down the aisle. The longer the train, the more page boys are needed.
Copyright 2007, Updated 2015, Erica Tevis, Little Things Wedding Favors
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