Having wedding roles for friends on your big day isn’t just about getting the party started and having a good time. While having your closest friends beside you will make your day more relaxing and exciting, assigning different roles at a wedding gives couples an opportunity to honor the relationships that have shaped them as individuals and as a couple. As you start to ask friends to take on wedding party roles, it’s important to know the different responsibilities you’re asking of them. This list of wedding party roles will help you find the perfect way to include friends in the ceremony and reception.
Two of the main wedding roles for friends are the maid of honor and best man. However, these wedding party roles come with more responsibilities. These friends are responsible for planning and organizing bachelor and bachelorette parties, and they’re also expected to attend showers and parties and help coordinate with the rest of the bridal party in the months leading up to the wedding. They also have a few different roles at a wedding. Beforehand, they’ll help get ready with the bride and groom, and they’re often asked to hold onto the rings during the ceremony. At the reception, they often both give a toast.
At the top of a wedding roles list are the bridesmaids and groomsmen, and there’s no limit on how many bridesmaids and groomsmen you can have, and at smaller weddings, couples may just have one or two friends stand by them during the ceremony. No matter how many you have, these are the most fun wedding roles for friends. From attending the bachelor and bachelorette parties to getting ready with you before the ceremony, they’ll be with you every step of the way. During the reception, they’ll help get the party going, and they may even decorate your car before the big send-off.
Junior bridesmaids and groomsmen are alternative wedding party roles for friends or family members who are too young to be bridesmaids or groomsmen but are too old to be flower girls or ring bearers. These wedding party roles don’t have any real responsibilities before the wedding day, but they often get ready with the rest of the wedding party before walking down the aisle and standing beside the couple during the ceremony.
Today, fewer couples are choosing to have strict gender-based wedding parties. However, as you make programs and wedding websites, it’s important to figure out the best titles for these roles. One of the most popular alternative wedding party roles is a wedding council instead of a bridal party. As you create your own wedding party, you can have a groomsfriend, friend of honor, bridesmen, groomsladies, men of honor, and best women all stand next to you. These nontraditional wedding party roles make everyone feel honored and included throughout the wedding.
Ushers are typically included on a traditional list of wedding party roles, and their main job is to escort guests to their seats. They typically wear an outfit that is selected by the couple to match the colors of the wedding. However, as more couples opt to let guests sit wherever, ushers aren’t as commonly seen on a wedding roles list.
On a full list of wedding party roles, guestbook attendants play a small part, but this is still a meaningful way to include friends. Before the ceremony starts, they’ll greet guests, pass out programs, and ask them to sign the guestbook. They can also help direct guests on where to put cards and gifts, so you’ll want to make sure they know the details of the wedding in advance.
The different roles at a wedding also include those who are involved in the actual ceremony. If you have musically talented friends, consider asking them to perform a song at your wedding. You can also invite friends to read a meaningful passage or poem during the ceremony.
The officiant is also one of the nontraditional wedding party roles for friends. While this was traditionally a pastor or religious leader, couples are also starting to choose close friends and family members to take on this significant role. As you choose an officiant for your wedding, think about those who have played a meaningful role in your lives as individuals and as couples, and be sure to ask someone you think would be fairly confident speaking in front of a large group.
As you think about your wedding roles list, you want to include your loved ones and friends in ways that are meaningful to you. While there are traditional roles, there’s no one way to organize a wedding. Thinking through nontraditional wedding party roles and the responsibilities you’re asking people to take on will surround you with love and support as you write the next chapter in your love story.