A bridesmaid wearing a red dress and a groomsman wearing a gray suit entering The 228 through the front door arm in arm. The doorway is draped with red and white decorative fabric.

Understanding what’s expected of people in the wedding party is important. This is true if you’re getting married or if you’re someone invited to take part. Each member of the wedding party has to undertake certain wedding party duties.

Maid of Honor Duties

The maid of honor performs the tasks of the typical bridesmaid but also undertakes other wedding party duties. She assists the bride with keeping in touch with the bridesmaids. She makes sure they do what they’re supposed to do when they’re supposed to do it. The maid of honor plans or helps plan the bachelorette party, and possibly the engagement party and bridal shower. The maid of honor should enlist the other bridesmaids to help with planning and expenses. A potential MOH on a tight budget should inform the bride right away and perhaps decline this honor. The maid of honor’s duties include being the point person on the wedding day. She may also keep everything running smoothly unless there’s a wedding planner. The MOH often needs to make a toast to the happy couple at the reception as well.

Bridesmaid Duties

Being a bridesmaid involves less than being the maid of honor. These ladies need to buy the dress (and sometimes accessories to go with it). The bride may ask them to help choose their dresses. This allows them some input in their wedding attire. Bridesmaids need to show up for the wedding itself, the reception, the rehearsal, and the rehearsal dinner. They attend the engagement party, wedding shower, and bachelorette party. Bridesmaids pay for transportation and accommodations for the wedding. They pay for some wedding shower and bachelorette party expenses and help plan these events. They should expect the bride to ask for help with wedding-related jobs. These may include helping shop for her dress or a DIY project or two. Bridesmaids give a wedding gift (and maybe a shower gift, depending on their budgets). If the cost or stress of taking part in the wedding party is too much for you, decline the honor.

Best Man Duties

As with the maid of honor, the best man has more wedding party duties than the groomsmen. The best man serves as the point person for the groom. He helps coordinate with the other groomsmen. He helps choose the outfits for the groomsmen and organizes the bachelor party. The best man attends the engagement party, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and the wedding and reception. The best man holds the wedding rings and witnesses the marriage license signing. He helps distribute fees and tips to the officiant and other wedding vendors. The best man makes a toast at the reception. He makes sure someone delivers the presents where the happy couple wants them after the wedding. He also ensures that the rented formalwear from the groomsmen and groom gets returned in a timely manner.

Groomsmen Duties

Just like the bridesmaids, the groomsmen rent or purchase their wedding wear and attend the pre-wedding festivities. They help the best man plan the bachelor party and may act as ushers before the ceremony. Groomsmen need to purchase a wedding present as well. Groomsmen also need to book their own accommodations and make travel plans in a timely manner at their own expense. Sometimes the groomsmen get ready with the groom before the wedding.

Man of Honor, Bridesmen, Best Woman, and Groomswomen

These days, many couples include these less traditional roles. Include these wedding party members in the wedding prep and festivities in ways that make the best use of their skills, which may not exactly match the traditional roles. Try to ensure they’re comfortable. With mixed wedding parties, it may be best to have showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties be co-ed.

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