Defining those duties

Just last week, we were asked to be in our brothers wedding {YAYYYY!} We adore his fiancée and are ecstatic about being a part of their big day in September. While getting in the mindset of being in the wedding party, it seemed appropriate to define some of the traditional responsibilities for wedding attendants. This is such a common question for many people, so what better time to find an answer?!  

General Responsibilities of Attendants

  • Pay for their wedding attire and accessories (excluding flowers).
  • 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.

*** Specific Duties for the Ladies***

Maid or Matron of Honor

  • Helps the bride select the bridesmaids' attire
  • Organizes the bridesmaids' gift to the bride
  • Holds the groom's wedding ring and the bride's bouquet during the ceremony
  • Witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate
  • 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


  • 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
  • Contribute to the bridesmaids’ gift to the bride
  • Host a shower, bridesmaids’ luncheon, bachelorette, or other pre-wedding party or get-together

*** Specific Duties for the Dudes***

Best Man

  • Coordinates the groomsmen and ushers' gift to the groom.
  • Organizes the bachelor party for the groom, if there is one.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Greet guests and escort them to their seats.
  • Know the seating order; review special seating arrangements prior to the ceremony.
  • Help guests who need directions to the reception site.
  • Be on hand to assist any guests who are infirm or disabled.

For the FULL rundown of duties according to an etiquette expert, visit the Emily Post site.


*Photo courtesy of  {bridesmaids} Jill Thomas Photography and {groomsmen} Rebekah Westover Photography