How To Choose Your Wedding Party: Roles & Responsibilities

Getting married is one of the most important days of your life, so it’s only fair that you want to share in the excitement with your loved ones! Having a wedding party is a great way to include your closest friends and family in the process, and can also help to spread the responsibilities of wedding planning around.

But what exactly are the roles in a wedding, what are their responsibilities, and how do you choose your wedding party? We’ve done a deep dive into wedding party roles to help you feel confident when it comes to putting your wedding party together, and to make the entire wedding experience smooth for everyone involved!

What roles can you give in a wedding: wedding party roles & responsibilities

While being asked to be in a wedding party is a great honor, it can come with some big responsibilities. Whether you’re the one getting married or have been asked to be in a wedding party, here is what you can expect with the different wedding party roles.

Note that this list covers the traditional roles of who is in a wedding party, but remember that there are no rules. You can have as many or as few people in your wedding party as you like, they can be any gender, and you can even make up your own roles! Your wedding party should be a reflection of the most important people in your life, so lead with your heart and use this list merely as a guide.

Maid of honor

The maid of honor, matron of honor or man of honor is perhaps the most important role in a wedding party, and is usually the bride’s best friend or sibling. In the leadup to the wedding, the role of the maid of honor is to help the bride with any wedding decisions or planning such as helping the bride choose a wedding dress or organizing shopping trips and dress fittings for the bridesmaids’ dresses. As the “lead bridesmaid,” it is also the role of the maid of honor to plan the bachelorette party alongside the other bridesmaids, and to help organize a bridal shower with the mother of the bride.

On the wedding day, the maid of honor is like the bride’s right-hand person. Their role is to provide emotional support, keep the getting-ready process running smoothly, and to assist with details like fixing the veil or bustling the dress. And if the bride can’t maneuver her dress into a restroom smoothly, it’s the maid of honor to the rescue!

A bride getting help from her bridesmaids


The bridesmaids or bridesmen are the other close friends or family of the bride, usually of a similar age. Their role is to support the bride and maid of honor in planning the wedding, and on the big day. The bridesmaids usually walk down the aisle before the bride makes her appearance, and often stand at her side during the ceremony.

A group of bridesmaid standing behind a bride

From picking up breakfast on the morning of the wedding, to helping the elderly wedding guests to their seats, the bridesmaids may take on extra jobs to help make the bride’s day run smoothly.

Best Man

The best man (or woman) is there to support the groom, taking on many of the same roles as the maid of honor. From planning the bachelor party to making a speech at the reception, the best man plays a pivotal role in the wedding and is considered the “lead groomsman”. The best man is often the sibling or best friend of the groom, and is there to support him in the lead up to and on his wedding day.


The groomsmen or groomspeople are usually the groom’s best friends, and play a similar role as the bridesmaids. Their duties are to help organize wedding events such as suit fittings or the bachelor party, and to support the groom on his wedding day. The groomsmen are usually paired up with a bridesmaid to walk down the aisle at the beginning of the wedding ceremony, and will stand next to the groom during the vows.

A bridesmaid and groomsmen walking together

Flower Girl & Page Boy

The roles of flower girl and page boy are usually taken by young children close to the couple getting married, such as their child, niece or nephew, or child of a friend. The flower girl is typically a young girl who walks down the aisle with the bridal party scattering petals, and the page boy is her counterpart. However, these roles are very flexible and any young children can be invited to throw petals at the beginning of your wedding. How cute!

A boy wearing a boutonniere

Ring Bearer

The ring bearer is the person who carries the wedding rings up until the ceremony, and is often the job of the best man. However, this could be a great role for a teenage relative you want to include in the wedding, or even your dog!

Parents of the Bride & Groom

For many parents, seeing their child getting married is one of the most special days of their lives. To honor this, the parents of the couple getting married play an important role in the wedding day.


Traditionally, the father of the bride pays for the wedding, however this is becoming less and less of a societal expectation. Instead, he may choose to pay for the flowers, the drinks, or nothing at all!

However, it is still common for the father of the bride to walk his daughter down the aisle, to make a speech at the reception, and to have a father-daughter dance.

A bride holding her father's arm


The mother of the bride is typically involved in the whole wedding planning process, helping her daughter to make venue, catering and dress decisions. The mother of the bride will also often host the bridal shower, inviting close family friends and relatives to celebrate the bride, give gifts and share advice for this new stage in her life.


Sometimes the parents of the groom will host the rehearsal dinner, but on the wedding day itself the father of the groom doesn’t have many formal responsibilities. However, he may choose to make a speech, host guests, or lead the wedding party to the dance floor! 


Like the father of the groom, the mother of the groom is there to support her son in the leadup to and on his wedding day. She may also host the rehearsal dinner the night before, which is a dinner for the wedding party to talk through the next day and get excited! The mother of the groom will usually have a mother-son dance with the groom, too.


The role of the ushers is to guide guests to their seats at the wedding ceremony. The ushers can be groomsmen, but usually are other friends or male relatives of the bride or groom. The ushers typically wear boutonnieres, but don’t wear matching suits with the groomsmen. 

Wedding party vs bridal party

When planning a wedding, there are lots of different terms to know. What is a bridal party? What is a wedding party? Is it an actual party?

In this case, both the wedding party and the bridal party refer to a group of people involved in your wedding, but they’re slightly different.

The wedding party is anyone that is involved in the wedding alongside the couple. Using the list above as reference, it can include bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ushers, the officiant, and anyone else with a special role in the wedding. The bridal party, however, is just the group of bridesmaids chosen to support the bride.

How many bridesmaids is normal?

While many brides opt for about 3 bridesmaids, it’s worth noting that there is no “normal” when it comes to your bridal party. You may choose a large group with 5, 8 or even 12 bridesmaids, or you may prefer to keep it small with only a maid of honor, or no bridesmaids at all!

Once you’ve chosen the size of your bridal party, you can then start planning the bridesmaids dresses and choosing the bridesmaids’ bouquets

How many groomsmen is normal?

Again, there is no rule, but it is common for couples to try and match the number of groomsmen and bridesmaids.

Are all wedding party roles mandatory?

No! If you’ve wondered how many people are in a wedding party, or whether you have to have them all, then know that you can do whatever feels best for you. All you really need to get married is your fiance and an officiant, the rest is just a bonus!

How do you determine roles in a wedding party

Choosing who is in your wedding party is an important decision. These are the people who will be beside you on your big day, and the ones who you want to honor and thank for their support over the years.

Start with siblings

Siblings are an obvious choice to have in your wedding party, or even as a maid of honor or best man, as they’ve been there with you from the very beginning. But on that note, there is no rule that they have to be there! Go with your heart, and choose the people that you feel truly closest to.

Closest friends

Next, of course, come your best friends. Whether they’re friends from childhood, college or are more recent friends, you want to choose people for your wedding party who will be there to support you.

Consider your relationships with the person

While narrowing down your wedding party can be hard, remember that it’s your wedding and there is no obligation to have everyone in your wedding party! Whether it’s a sibling, cousin or friend, make sure that you are choosing people that you genuinely want up there with you at the end of the aisle, rather than who you feel should be there.  There are no rules!

Some wedding party roles FAQ

Who should be your maid of honor?

Choosing your maid of honor is, well, an honor! Consider your closest friends and family, and opt for whoever you feel closest to. Ideally, your maid of honor will have known you for years, and can help you reflect on your life before marriage.

A bride standing with her wedding party

Is a maid of honor a bridesmaid?

Yes, the maid of honor is considered the “lead bridesmaid.” These days, many of the roles such as planning the bachelorette party and finding dresses are shared amongst the bridal party, but the maid of honor is still the bride’s right-hand-woman.

How old should a flower girl be?

Generally, a flower girl can be between 4 and 10 years old. Of course she can be younger, but remember that weddings can be overwhelming for young children!

How many ushers should there be?

The general rule of thumb is to have 1 usher for every 50 guests, so larger weddings will have more ushers. This will help the arrival of the guests at the ceremony run smoothly.

Wedding roles that reflect you

As you’re planning your wedding, choosing your wedding party is an important step. While you should have an understanding of the typical wedding party roles and responsibilities, the realities of choosing your bridesmaids, groomsmen and other wedding party members should be totally personal.

Whether you’re planning a large wedding bash with a big bridal party and multiple events, or are having a micro-wedding with only your nearest and dearest, there are no rules when it comes to your wedding party. 

And once you’ve chosen your wedding party, the fun can begin! You can now start choosing outfits and decor, and don’t forget to check out Ling’s Moment for premium faux flower wedding decorations, bouquets and wearable arrangements.

Back to Blog