members of bridal party smiling with bride

Bridal Party Responsibilities for Every Role

Oct 23, 2020
By Wedding Spot

Bridesmaids, commitment crew, bride VIPs. Whatever you want to call them, who you choose for your bridal party is a very important decision. So before you start asking anyone and everyone to be part of this special group, you first need to learn what their bridal party responsibilities are and how to choose the best person for each role. Here’s a checklist of what bridal party roles brides typically fill, along with a detailed list of their jobs and duties.

What are the main bridal party responsibilities?

Bridal party responsibilities are the tasks you can reasonably expect people who fill these roles to help you with. For example, weddings with a lot of DIY components will need more assistance from their bridal party. But if you choose to have a hands-on wedding planner or even forego a bachelorette party, there will be less your bridal party has to do.

However, it’s important to remember that every person and every wedding is different, so there’s no such thing as an all-encompassing list of bridal party responsibilities. It varies from person to person and wedding to wedding. But as long as you use the below information as a guideline and a starting point, you can be confident knowing what you can ask them for help with. So without further ado, here are the two main bridal party roles, what their jobs and duties are, and some tips for how to choose the best possible people for each.

Responsibilities of the maid/matron of honor

You only need one person to fill this position, but their own marital status will determine what they’re called. If they’re unmarried, refer to them as the maid of honor. If they’re married, use matron of honor.

Think of your maid or matron of honor as your second in command. It’s their responsibility to assist you with any major wedding planning decisions that your partner is not directly involved in, such as wedding dress selection. They’ll also likely be in charge of the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and most bridal party communication. The best maid or matron of honor is highly organized, great at communication, and genuinely interested in helping your wedding come together as perfectly as possible.

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Maid of honor jobs and duties range from hilarious to practical. They can even be a mixture of both, like holding your wedding gown up as you use the restroom. Here are some fair expectations you can have for anyone who accepts this role in your bridal party:

  • Act as the team lead for the rest of the bridal party, answering questions and sharing announcements or reminders as needed.

  • Create a communication system (Facebook Group, email chain, Slack chat, etc.) between you and the rest of the bridesmaids.

  • Organize and help pay for the bachelorette party.

  • Join you for wedding dress shopping and give their opinion, if you ask them for it.

  • Provide personal assistance for a variety of wedding related-tasks such as holding your bridal bouquet and running last-minute errands.

  • Troubleshoot any minor issue that comes up for you on the day of the wedding and work with the planner or day-of coordinator if necessary.

  • Give a toast at the reception.

  • Craft decor, centerpieces, and bridal accessories.

  • Get (and keep) the party going at all times by setting the tone, dancing the night away, and ensuring you enjoy yourself as much as possible.

How to choose a maid of honor

Think of your closest family members and friends. Determine who will keep you grounded and organized. Ask yourself who you can picture standing right beside you during this very important moment in your life.

Brides are often intimidated by this decision because they don’t want to let anyone down. The truth is this: You have to go with your gut and do what’s best for you. Consider who will make the experience the best it possibly can be. If you’re really stuck, you do have the option to choose two people. Just make sure they get along or have the potential to mesh personality-wise so they can work together as a team.

Another important thing to consider when choosing a maid of honor is their lifestyle. Do they have young children or live in another country? If so, it may be harder for them to spend time putting out wedding fires and joining you for endless hours of Pinteresting table decor. Having the right availability (and/or the financial means to gain the free time) may even put one potential maid of honor above another in your decision-making process.

If you do feel that someone else may have expected you to ask them to fill this role, have an open conversation with them about it. Let them know what your thought process is for choosing your maid of honor. Emphasize that you love and value them just as much. And strongly consider asking them to be a bridesmaid if you haven’t already.

Responsibilities of bridesmaids and junior bridesmaids

Bridesmaids are people you’re close to who you’ll have fun with before, during, and after the wedding. While bridesmaids are typically adults of drinking age, junior bridesmaids are younger. Junior bridesmaids can be included in bachelorette celebrations if there isn’t alcohol being served. the activities are age appropriate, and their parents approve. You can also have junior bridesmaids participate in the bridal shower and wedding but not the bachelorette party.

Bridesmaids are a group of relatives, childhood friends, school friends, and even very close work friends who join you in celebrating your wedding before the big day. Although they have fewer responsibilities than the maid or matron of honor, your chosen bridesmaids can set the tone for your bachelorette party and getting-ready process on the day.

Jobs and duties include:

  • Help plan, pay for, and attend all wedding-related events the bride is involved in.

  • Contribute their opinions on bridesmaid dresses (if invited to).

  • Assist the maid of honor with any dilemmas the bride faces throughout the process.

  • Lend a hand with wedding decor tasks and DIY projects.

  • Be sociable with wedding guests.

  • Get people on the dance floor.

  • Keep the groomsmen and other wedding party members in check.

How to choose a bridesmaid or junior bridesmaid

Siblings, close cousins, and best friends from school and work are a great place to start. You can mix and match important people from your childhood and professional lives. Or, if you’re fortunate to have one big friend group, you can include everyone from the same social circle. Either option is fine. Even if you group people together who are strangers, they’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other through all the wedding activities. And they’ll have at least one great thing in common to bond over: You!

Frequently asked questions about bridal parties:

What is the groom's bridal party called?

The groom’s bridal party is referred to as the groomsmen or groom's people if the group includes members who don’t identify as male.

What should the bridal party pay for?

The bridal party should pay for wedding gifts, travel, pre-wedding events, plus their wedding attire along with their own hair, makeup, shoes, and accessories. Destination bachelorette parties or weddings may drive up the cost but on average members of the bridal party should expect to spend between $1,200 to $1,700 each.

Do you need a bridal party?

You don’t need a bridal party, especially if you plan to elope. But if you like the idea of getting ready with a big group of friends and having a bachelorette party, then a bridal party may be a good choice for you.

Now you know all about bridal party responsibilities!

Now that you know who’s who, it’s time to send your maid or matron of honor some fun bridal shower ideas. Then, start looking for bridesmaid dresses your friends will actually like based on your wedding venue and colors.

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.