Duties of the Best Man

Probably the person with the most responsibility on the wedding day, the best man should be someone dependable, preferably a good organiser, and someone you can trust.

Duties include: Assisting the groom, but also assisting the bride, bridesmaids, members of the wedding partyand guests. The best man generally organises the stag party and makes sure the groom doesn’t come to too much grief! He helps with the groomsmen and ushers, making sure they know their duties.

He helps organise the grooms clothing and accessories for the day, and usually takes responsibility for looking after any hire clothes etc. after the wedding. He organises transport, looks after the rings, and minds travel tickets/documents. On the wedding day, he makes sure he is fully dressed in good time to assist the groom in any way possible.

He gets the groom to the church on time and stands on his right ready to proffer the wedding rings when necessary during the ceremony. The best man and chief bridesmaid are usually the witnesses. He pays the sacristan and musicians. He assists the bride and groom and the wedding guests in getting transport to the reception.

After the wedding meal, he announces the cutting of the cake while drinks are being distributed for the toasts. He formally calls on the bride’s father to make a speech. When the bride’s father has offered a toast to the bride and groom, the best man asks the groom to speak on behalf of himself and the bride. After the groom makes a toast to the bridesmaids, the best man replies on their behalf and makes his own speech. He reads out any telegrams or cards.

When the couple are going away, the best man looks after the groom’s clothing and helps the bride and groom get away. Then he returns to the reception. He orders taxis if necessary for departing guests and personally escorts the bridesmaids home if need be. He pays the band/musicians and checks that no guest has left anything behind. He assists in transporting any gifts to the bride’s parents’ home. He makes any last minute payments on behalf of the couple and returns any hire clothes or accessories.

The Mother of the Bride

The bride’s mother is the official hostess at the wedding and plays a large part in the preparations and organisation of the wedding. She assists the bride in arranging the ceremony and reception and helps organise the guest list. She involves the groom’s mother in the guest list plan and also checks what the groom’s mother will be wearing to the ceremony! She is seated in the left pew at the front of the church and is the last person to be seated before the ceremony. She is also the first person to be escorted out (by the groom’s father) when the ceremony is finished.

She is the first person in the receiving line at the reception to greet guests. She organises the sending out of wedding cake to relatives. She is a support to the bride in the organising of the wedding from planning to completion.

The Chief Bridesmaid

The chief bridesmaid has no formal duties but is expected to assist the bride in her preparations for the wedding. This can include helping with fittings for the bridesmaids dresses and accessories as well as her own. She may organise a hen night or party for the bride. She assists with the invitations and gifts. She attends all the pre-wedding parties with the bride and looks after the bridesmaids before and during the wedding day. Along with the best man, she is usually one of the witnesses.

She helps the bride to dress and arranges her veil and holds her bouquet during the ceremony. She may stand beside the groom in the receiving line and she sits at the top table. She may help the bride change if the bride wishes, and she should let the best man know if the bride or groom need any assistance.

The Bridesmaids

The bridesmaids have no formal duties but generally try to assist the bride wherever they can. They attend pre-wedding parties with the bride and may give one for her. They meet at the bride’s home the morning of the wedding to dress and receive their bouquets. They follow the chief bridesmaid in processions entering and leaving the church. During the ceremony they stand at the bride’s side, behind the chief bridesmaid. After the wedding cake is cut they may serve it to guests. Alternatively they may socialise generally among the guests and participate in the dancing.

The Father of the Bride

The father of the bride is the official host at your wedding and gives the bride away during the ceremony. He sits beside his wife at the ceremony and escorts the groom’s mother when leaving the church. He greets the guests first in the receiving line. He makes a speech and toasts the bride and groom.

The Groom’s Parents

The groom’s parents are honoured guests at the wedding. The groom’s father dresses in accordance with the rest of the wedding party. The groom’s mother should consult with the bride’s mother about clothes for the wedding day. Before the wedding, they attend the rehearsal dinner. They may give a special wedding gift to the bride. They are seated in the front pew on the right and usually are seated just before the bride’s mother takes her seat. They participate in the receiving line at the reception. They send a note to the bride’s mother (who is the official hostess) after the wedding.

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