Etiquette expert Karen Cleveland has joined Weddingbells as a guest blogger solving all of your decorum dilemmas. Read on for tips on how to retain poise from the minute he proposes.
Now that you’ve chosen your attendants you’ll probably soon start receiving questions from these chosen few on what their responsibilities will be on (and before) your big day. To help you get organized we’ve compiled a complete list of who does what.
The maid or matron of honour
· Plays the role of bride’s air traffic controller, helping to ensure the bridesmaid dresses (and required shoes or accessories) are purchased, invitations are addressed and shower gifts are tracked so thank you cards can be swiftly sent.
· Helpfully communicates registry information and assists with the seating chart.
· Helps the bride shop for a dress and other wearables for the wedding.
· Hosts (or co-hosts) a shower for the bride.
· On the wedding day helps the bride with her veil, dress, bustle and other sartorial needs.
· Holds the groom’s ring before the ceremony and holds the bride’s bouquet during her vows.
· Signs the registry, along with the best man.
· Graciously gives a thoughtful toast to the bride and groom.
· Works alongside the best man on the wedding day to assist with vendors and safely storing gifts at the reception.
· After the reception, offers to store the wedding gown until the bride can make arrangements for it.
The best man
· Is the groom’s right hand man, ensuring other groomsmen have their outfits sorted out and that any decorations that need to be taken down from the ceremony are swiftly removed.
· Hosts (or co-hosts along with the other groomsmen) a special day or night for the groom.
· Works alongside the maid of honour on the wedding day to assist with vendors and safely storing gifts at the reception
· On the wedding day, takes the officiant’s payment from the groom and gives it to the officiant.
· Holds the bride’s ring before the ceremony.
· Helps coordinate travel for the wedding day including getting the couple to and from the reception, as well as arranging their honeymoon luggage if the couple is whisking off immediately after the reception.
· Signs the registry, along with the maid of honour.
· Gives the first toast of the reception to the bride and groom.
The entire bridal party
· Lavishes the special couple with love, attention and warm wishes ─ their chief responsibility.
· Attends wedding-related activities including the shower, the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, the wedding (of course) and post-wedding festivities like a next-day brunch or lunch.
· Pays for their attire, with the exception of flowers. The cost of bouquets and boutonnieres are not the responsibility of the bridal party. If pre-wedding primping is arranged, each attendant pays for their own hair, makeup, nails and such.
· Arranges and foots the bill for their own transportation, though it is a nice gesture for the bride or groom to host them if they are from out of town.
· Stands in the receiving line and is generally helpful at the wedding, directing people to the guest book, bar, gifts table and so on.
Karen Cleveland is a Toronto-based etiquette advisor and writer. For more on her column, Finishing School, find her on Twitter.