Who Is In A Wedding Party?

Choosing your wedding party is a crucial aspect of wedding planning, involving selecting close friends and family to support you through your engagement and wedding day.

The wedding party typically includes the Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor, Bridesmaids, Best Man, Groomsmen, Flower Girl(s), Ring Bearer, and may also feature Parents, Grandparents, Ushers, Junior Bridesmaids/Groomsmen, Officiant, Readers, Vocalists, and Cantors.

This group not only stands beside you during the ceremony but also plays key roles in the lead-up to your special day. Deciding who to include involves considering who has been by your side through significant moments and who you want to play a pivotal role on this important occasion.

A wedding party is a carefully chosen group of friends and family who are close to the bride and groom and support them during their engagement, as well as on their special day.

What Are The Roles And Positions In A Wedding Party?

The traditional wedding party consists of attendants who walk down the aisle and stand beside the bride and groom during the ceremony.

You don’t have to fill every single role and position, but this group traditionally includes the following attendants:

  • Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor
  • Bridesmaids
  • Best Man
  • Groomsmen (may double function as ushers)
  • Flower Girl(s)
  • Ring Bearer
  • Parents and Grandparents
  • Ushers
  • Junior Bridesmaid and Junior Groomsman
  • Officiant
  • Readers, Vocalists, Cantors

Who Should Be In The Wedding Party?

Determining who should be part of the wedding party can be challenging and sensitive because it might seem like you’re excluding someone very important.

To help keep things uncomplicated, choose friends that have been by your side through thick and thin as well as siblings and close family members who would be happy to take on some responsibilities.

Traditional Wedding Party Members and their Responsibilities And Roles

Maid Of Honor Or Matron Of Honor

The maid or matron of honor is the bride’s close confidant, the main source of support and helping out with whatever else needs doing before the big day. Most maid of honor’s wedding planning duties typically include but are not limited to:

– planning and attending pre-wedding events such as the bridal shower and bachelorette party.

– may advise on who should be in the bridal party if the bride is indecisive.

– helps the bride select the bridal gown and bridesmaids’ dresses, shoes, jewelry, and accessories.

– coordinates the day of wedding activities and keeps up with the timeline with other bridal party members.

– acts as a liaison between the bride and everyone else to whom the bride is not as close.

– gives a speech at the wedding reception to toast the newlyweds, thanking all those who contributed in any way to making it happen.

The maid of honor is typically the bride’s best friend or sibling.

Man Of Honor

As bride and groom, you have complete freedom of choice, and your maid of honor and best man can also be swapped to the other gender.

For example, the role of the maid of honor can also be appointed to a male and would be titled a man of honor.

As the maid of honor, the man of honor is the highest honor given and assumes the same support to the bride leading to and throughout the wedding day.

Who Should Be in the Wedding Party man of honor

Best Man

We all know the groom needs the best man by his side at every step of this journey.

His best friend or brother, whom he trusts most, will usually take on this role, making him an important part of the wedding party!

He is the male counterpart to the maid of honor.

The best man will stand with the groom and offer support through the big day.

He will plan the bachelor party, write and deliver his speech and toasts, helping make any other arrangements if asked, and hold onto the couple’s rings until they’re ready to put them on.


Bridesmaids are another important part of a wedding party.

They play an active role in planning and shaping the wedding day and are some of the bride’s closest friends or relatives.

They walk down the aisle ahead of the bride on her wedding day and also take care to help plan different parts.

On top of this, one of their responsibilities is to help the maid of honor plan the bridal shower and bachelorette party and help to pay for these events.

Who Should Be in the Wedding Party? - Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids help the bride get dressed, help the ushers escorting guests to their seats as they arrive at the ceremony, mingle with everyone during the reception, and make sure guests pick up their favors when leaving at the end of the event (assuming the couple provided them).


Party roles continue with the groomsmen. Friends or family members of the groom, groomsmen can be involved in many different events during the lead-up to the wedding day.

They traditionally stand next to the groom during the wedding service and may take on more fun tasks such as decorating or preparing a getaway car.

Traditionally, groomsmen are involved in many of the events that happen before the wedding, including helping the best man plan the bachelor party.

If there are no ushers at the wedding, it’s up to the groomsmen to greet guests and show them where their seats are.

Bridesmaids and groomsmen’s responsibilities are very similar in that they support the bride and the groom in any way they might need.

Flower Girl

One of the most anticipated wedding party roles is that of the Flower Girl.

Although the position is not required, it is a very adorable addition to any wedding party.

The flower girl will drop petals from her little flower basket as she walks down the aisle, often accompanied by the ring bearer or page boy, just before the bride has her big entrance.

Often the flower girl is a relative of either bride or groom, such as a niece or sibling, but sometimes friends of either family may be chosen for this role.

Ring Bearer

Another charming addition to every wedding party is including a ring bearer for the ceremony.

This youngster is the one who carries (decoy) rings down the aisle on a small pillow, which would be a very special role for any child.

Typically, this role may go to a young boy of either the bride’s family or the groom’s family, but sometimes friends of either side will take on such responsibility.

In any event, the real carrier of the wedding rings is the groom’s best man, who will safeguard the original rings during the service and return them to the couple when they put the rings on each other’s fingers.

Parents Of The Bride

Mother Of The Bride

Mothers are uniquely positioned to provide their daughters with an added range of assistance during the wedding planning process.

The mother of any bride will be her greatest supporter throughout every aspect of wedding preparations–from picking out dresses together to helping plan parties and coordinating logistics behind closed doors.

On her daughter’s big day, she helps make sure everything is perfect by tending to last-minute details before joining other close female family members on-site so that together they can cheer you down (or walk alongside) until it hits time when we officially say, “I do!”

Father Of The Bride

The typical responsibilities for dads during weddings are limited compared to other members such as mothers and bridesmaids, who often spend months planning outfits together, choosing flowers, deciding where they want things set up for pictures, etc., which is why some couples opt instead for less stress that comes from including their fathers earlier than normal so he can enjoy being present while not having any real responsibility.

On the wedding day, the father of the bride would want to steal away some time with his daughter before she walks down the aisle. This could include doing a “first look” before even the groom will see his bride, eventually accompanying her to church, and walking her down the aisle.

He will also have the opportunity to take part in ceremonial dances, such as a father-daughter dance.

Parents Of The Groom

Mother Of The Groom

Compared to the mother of the bride, the mother of the groom has a slightly scaled-back role in traditional weddings.

But she still has a lot to do, like planning and hosting the rehearsal dinner, being part of the wedding party, walking her son down the aisle depending on traditions (i.e., Jewish ceremony), and participating in the traditional mother-son dance.

Father Of The Groom

The father of the groom has a chance to play an active role in his son’s wedding. He may help organize aspects of the wedding, host the rehearsal dinner, welcome guests on the wedding day, give a speech, and even serve as his son’s best man.

Who Should Be in the Wedding Party? parents of groom


Your grandparents should be given extra consideration during the ceremony. They are the ones who have founded your family and thus, they deserve to be included in the wedding party.

They don’t necessarily need to be part of the actual processional but should be ushered down the aisle and be seated up in the front just before the actual service is about to start.


Naturally, the officiant will be someone you have chosen to preside over your ceremony.

Usually, this person is a member of the clergy (priest, rabbi, minister) or another respected community leader; however, if both spouses are non-religious and want an interfaith ceremony, they might choose a friend who that particular faith has ordained.

The officiant also has the task of having the newlyweds sign their marriage license along with the witnesses and deliver the certificate to the county clerk’s office.


Ushers are often indistinguishable from groomsmen at first sight but are revealed by their slightly different attire and their roles during the ceremony.

They are usually not involved in any jobs leading up to the wedding day, and their primary function is greeting guests, handing out programs, and help guests to their seats and transportation if the ceremony is off-site.

After the ceremony, their duties would normally conclude.

If there are no ushers, groomsmen may take over their role.


Ceremony readers are always picked for their sheer ability to read a passage in its truest form effortlessly.

These readings can be anything from special poems, passages, or essays, and often the readers may get free reign on what they want to say.


Vocalists are a beautiful addition to the ceremony. Their main duty is usually singing celebratory songs during processionals or recessional music, or an intermezzo during the ceremony.


Cantors do not often sing but instead recite passages from scripture at some Jewish ceremonies. They may also lead other aspects of worship such as blessings over wine, bread, candles, or chalices.

Junior Bridesmaid And Junior Groomsman

If you have any teenage siblings or close young family members, you could consider including them as junior bridesmaids or junior groomsmen to complete your wedding party.

The juniors are not expected to participate in any wedding preparations and don’t have any special responsibilities.

They may attend any age-appropriate pre-wedding events except the bachelorette party or the bachelor party.

They would be dressed in teenage versions of adult bridesmaids attire or in a tuxedo at the reception.

How Do You Decide On Who Should Be In Your Wedding Party?

When you’re faced with that question, try not only thinking about who would be appropriate and practical for your big day but also consider what qualities they should have.

For instance, is there an age gap between them or a different social status?

Do they live nearby so that traveling will be easy on all of those involved in planning this special event?

Is he/she someone responsible enough to take care of their duties?

Soak in all of these questions before deciding!

What’s the Difference Between a Bridal Party and a Wedding Party?

A bridal party is the group of people handpicked by the bride to support her during the months leading up to her wedding and on the wedding day.

The wedding party includes both the bridal party and the attendants the groom selects plus people the bride and groom jointly appoint.

Who Should Be in the Wedding Party B&G

In Conclusion

Choosing your wedding party is a big decision and should reflect the people you care about most and who care most about you.

The decision is ultimately yours. 

But hopefully, this guide has helped you clarify any uncertainty or doubts you may have about who is taking on which role and how to decide on the appropriate wedding party size for yourself.

And remember-have fun selecting your wedding party because they will become your to-go people to help you with the most important day of your life!

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