A Guide to Wedding Party Roles

Planning a wedding involves a lot of moving parts- and people! One of the first things many couples decide on is who they want standing up next to them on their big day. Each person in the wedding party plays an important role; so let’s take a look at who’s who!


Best Man

The best man acts as the groom’s guide through all the stages of wedding planning. He is usually by the groom’s side for all the important groom tasks such as selecting the tux, planning the bachelor party, rounding up the groomsmen, and most importantly holding the rings! Many people also joke that the best man’s real job is ensuring the groom shows up! Best men are also usually responsible for giving a speech at the reception.


Maid/Matron of Honor

The MoH might be the most intense role to have in the wedding party. They’re by the bride’s side for the entire planning process. Generally, they provide advice, support, and anything else the bride needs. The maid (or matron if they’re married) of honor is responsible for planning the bridal shower, bachelorette trip, holding the bouquet during the ceremony, adjusting the gown, and also giving a speech at the reception.



Groomsmen are close friends and family members who help the groom prepare for his big day. They have less responsibility than the best man and are usually around to keep things fun and support the groom. It’s not uncommon for groomsmen to double as ushers, such as helping people find their seats. They also get the fun task of decorating the getaway car!



Bridesmaids are the bride’s most trusted friends and family. They’re around to help and support the bride in whatever she needs. They generally help the MoH plan the bridal shower and bachelorette trip, and also often take part in wedding dress shopping. It’s not uncommon for bridesmaids to help with planning tasks such as addressing invites or making wedding favors.


Junior Bridesmaids/Groomsmen/Ushers

Juniors are younger members of the wedding party that aren’t old enough to be full-fledged members, but not young enough to play the roles of ring bearers or flower girls. They’re usually aged 8-14, and wear more age-appropriate versions of the bridesmaids’ dresses or tuxes.


Flower Girl

Flower girls often steal the show (but don’t tell the bride that!). A flower girl is a little one that walks down the aisle before the bride, typically scattering flower petals from a basket.


Ring Bearer

A ring bearer is a young boy that walks down the aisle just before the flower girl. They carry a small decorative pillow with two wedding bands tied to it. Most people opt to use fake rings to lower the chance of them getting lost!


Father of the Bride

The father of the bride has the important role of walking the bride down the aisle. They also traditionally give the bride away to the groom. These days, the bride’s dad might also pick up other wedding-related tasks such as helping with airport pickup, getting family members seated, or giving a toast. Traditionally, the father of the bride foots the majority of the wedding bill but that isn’t always the case these days. The father of the bride also participates in the father-daughter dance at the reception!


Father of the Groom

Traditionally, the father of the groom didn’t play a huge role in the wedding. Back in the day, he might have negotiated the wedding contract, but these days usually they’re responsible for planning and hosting the rehearsal dinner and giving a toast.


Mother of the Bride

The mother of the bride often serves as the unofficial wedding planner. They take on the roles of making sure the bride has everything done. After all, they’ve usually done this before! They might host the bridal shower, or at least attend.


Mother of the Groom

The mother of the groom usually doesn’t have any official role in the wedding, other than hosting the rehearsal dinner. They often help out with whatever needs to be done though. These days many couples have the mother of the groom join the groom in a dance at the reception similar to the traditional father-daughter dance.



The officiate might play the most important role in the wedding. They’re the ones that are responsible for marrying the couple! They also sign the official wedding documents to make everything official as well as leading the ceremony.



In some parts of the world, ushers and groomsmen are the same thing. In North America, ushers are usually trusted male family or friends that guide guests to their seats before the wedding. They might also take up other additional tasks when asked.


Final Thoughts

The wedding party plays a big role throughout the whole wedding process. They’re the bride and groom’s support system through the whole ordeal. They also are heavily featured in the wedding photos, and one of our wedding photographers’ favorite parts of the wedding is seeing the bride and groom interact with their wedding party. Contact us if you’re looking for a wedding photographer or videographer for your big day!

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