They say that no man/woman is an island and never is this truer than when planning a wedding. As a planner myself, I’m very privileged to be a position to get to know the in’s and outs of every wedding I work on and I’m always blown away by the generosity of family, friends and guests towards helping to make the day absolutely perfect for the special couple.
Yet there are so many traditions and expectations that come with being involved in a wedding, especially for the chosen ones; the Bridal Party! Surrounded by your nearest and dearest, your wedding day should go without a hitch; however ensuring that each member of the party knows in advance what their wedding party roles and responsibilities are is a must.
The following hints & tips will help you, and your Dream Team, create a stress-free and simply gorgeous wedding day. You also want to think carefully about who is doing your readings and speeches.
Every Groom’s wingman plays a very important role on your wedding day, as the Best Man, his main responsibilities are:
- To help the groom choose the ushers and ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities, attend fittings of suits and are available to attend the rehearsal (if required).
- Together with the groom, decide on the outfits for both themselves, and the ushers (if the outfits are hired the cost is traditionally the responsibility of the groom).
- Prepare the Best Man’s speech. The Staggered website will be able to help them with this…and the Stag Night!
- Arrange the stag night or stag weekend if the groom is having one. It is probably wise to arrange this to happen at least a few days before the wedding to give everyone a chance to recover!
- Attend the wedding rehearsals and check car-parking facilities at the wedding venue and reception venue. If there are elderly or disabled guests pay particular attention to access for them.
- Ensure that they have the ring(s) and the money for the church fees and any other fees that may arise on the wedding day. If the bride and groom are having a civil wedding the fees will have probably been paid beforehand in advance.
- Upon arriving at the ceremony venue, take control of the buttonholes if necessary and ensure the orders of service sheets have been brought to the venue for handing out to the guests as they arrive.
- *At the required moment, when prompted, hand over the ring(s).
- Join the recession down the aisle. Follow in line after the bride and groom, the bride’s father and groom’s mother and the groom’s father and the bride’s mother.
At the reception
Help the photographer to arrange any formal snaps if necessary.
Announce the speeches and cake cutting if there is no master of ceremonies.
Give the best man speech at the wedding reception.
A girls’ best friend, the bridesmaid has the fabulous duty of wearing a beautiful dress and supporting you on your walk down the aisle; sounds wonderful! Apart from this rather lovely task, there are others that should be addressed by your Bridesmaids:
- Plan and organise the hen night – tiaras and L plates aren’t obligatory!
- Attend all dress fittings and support the Bride in choosing the dresses, shoes and accessories for the Bridesmaids.
- Attend the wedding rehearsal and make sure they know where they need to be and what they need to be doing at all times.
- Walk down the aisle as part of the procession then standing alongside the other attendants before being seated during the wedding ceremony itself.
- Follow the Bride & Groom out of the ceremony venue as part of the exit procession, either two-abreast or being escorted by an Usher.
- Alongside the Best Man, a dedicated team of Ushers are worth their weight in gold. Ensuring that all of the guests are seated, with Order of Service in hand, is just one of the important duties they fulfill:
- Arrive at the wedding ceremony venue before any guests or other members of the bridal party to help to co-ordinate things from the front.
- Stand at either the entrance to the venue (essential for at least one Usher) or mid-way up the aisle prior to the start of the ceremony.
- Hand out the important stuff (orders of Service, directions to the reception venue etc) and inform guests of any essential things they need to know. This could include the fact that the throwing of confetti is not allowed, photography during the service is forbidden, mobile phones should be turned to silent etc.
- Take charge of seating the guests at the ceremony; the guests can either be pointed in the right direction or shown to their seats. The most crucial thing to remember is, when looking from back to front, to seat the Groom’s friends and family on the right and the Bride’s on the left.
- Familiarise yourself with who the VIP guests are (grandparents, brothers, sisters, close relatives and friends of the Bride and Groom may all be part of this clique) and it is critical that they get star treatment and the best seats in the house.
- Be clued up with all things practical – where guests can park, directions, exits and entrance, where the toilets are etc. – this last one may be of particular interest to the Groom before the ceremony begins!