Selecting Attendants

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Topic: Choosing Wedding Party Members
Timeframe: ASAP

The honor of attending a bride or groom on her or his wedding day is accompanied by specific duties both prior to and on the wedding day.

Maid of Honor

This person will serve as your confidante, aide, consultant, and general shoulder to cry on. The maid of honor may share some of the pre-wedding legwork. She may address invitations, help record and display your gifts, host a bridal shower, help shop for a wedding gown and bridesmaids’ apparel, and arrange to have dresses fitted and shoes dyed.

The maid of honor will serve as your legal witness and sign your marriage certificate. She will help you and the bridesmaids dress and ensure that your going away and honeymoon clothes are packed and in the right places. She will hold and hand you the groom’s ring at the appropriate time, will adjust your veil and train, and will hold your flowers as needed.


Generally your (and his) sisters, cousins, and friends, they may help run errands, make favors, decorate the hall, and address invitations and announcements. They may host, individually or jointly, a bridal shower.

Junior Bridesmaids

These are younger girls (generally 9 through 14 years of age) and are sisters, cousins, or nieces. Try to involve them in more than just the wedding day; ask their attendance at showers and other pre-wedding parties.


These are generally nieces, nephews, or other close relatives between the ages of 4 and 8. There are usually one or two flowergirls and one ringbearer. If two flowergirls are used, they should be about the same size.

According to tradition, the flowergirl drops petals for the bride to walk on, but she may simply carry a small floral arrangement. The ringbearer may precede or escort the flowergirl down the aisle. He carries prop rings attached to a decorated pillow with ribbon.

Pages or Train Bearers

These children, usually 7 to 10 years old of either sex, are the only people to follow the bride down the aisle, always in pairs. Their outfits should match those of other young attendants.

Best Man

The best man provides emotional support to the groom. He arranges the bachelor dinner, assists the bride’s parents in arranging for transportation for the wedding party, confirms honeymoon travel arrangements the day before the wedding, and makes certain that the groom has the proper tickets, passports, etc. He is the first to offer a toast at the rehearsal dinner and reception.

On the day of the wedding, he arrives early to help the groom dress, makes sure the groom’s going away clothes are packed, loads the bride’s and groom’s honeymoon luggage in the car, and drives the groom to the church on time. He will serve as your legal witness and sign your marriage certificate. The best man receives the clergy’s fee and the marriage license from the groom for presentation to the officiant at the appropriate time. He carries the bride’s ring and presents it to the groom for the exchange of the rings.

The best man either drives the couple to the reception or rides with the couple along with the maid of honor. He assists the couple in leaving the reception and returns the groom’s rented clothing as soon as possible.


These are relatives and friends of the groom and bride. Their purpose is to seat guests and act as escorts to the bridesmaids. They should arrive at the church, fully dressed, one hour before the ceremony. The bride and groom should select an usher to escort their mothers down the aisle. One or two ushers will unroll the crash. After the ceremony, selected ushers escort family members out, then return to direct the departure of guests from the pews. These men may also offer short toasts to the couple.

Be sure to check out the Attendant’s Numbers Worksheet under: For Brides: My Bridal Suite

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