Wedding Ettiquette: Being in the Bridal Party

Image courtesy of David Schwartz Photography

At least a few times a month we are asked about what responsibilities are expected when a bride or groom asks you to be in their wedding party so today we thought we'd share our knowledge. Being asked to be in the bridal party is an absolute honor but, you must remember that this duty includes so much more than standing along side the bride and groom on their big day. In reality, being an attendant in a friends wedding means much more. In general, attendants are supposed to assist the bride and groom whenever possible in addition to paying for their attire (with the exception of flowers) as well as attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and other pre-wedding events if possible. They should also give the bride and groom an individual gift or contribute to the gift given from the entire bridal party. These great tips come from Emily Post's wedding etiquette!

From our experience we've seen other, more specific duties that the Maid/Matron of Honor and Best Man are entrusted with. The Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor are to hold the rings during the ceremony of the Bride and Groom, respectively. The Maid/Matron of Honor has the honor of assisting the Bride in choosing the Bridesmaid's attire, and in cases where there is no wedding coordinator/planner hired the Best Man is responsible for remitting the couple's payments to their vendors.  Although the Best Man and the Maid/Matron of Honor are two key participants in the bridal party, the rest of the bridal party have the equally important role of ensuring that all runs smoothly on the big day. The Maid/Matron of Honor is responsible along with the bridal party to plan both the bridal shower and bachelorette parties. The Best Man and rest of the groomsmen/ushers are responsible for planning the bachelor party.

The question was raised to the ACE Team this week about weddings with only 1 attendant...and we'd say that the rules stay the same. The Bride will still be expecting a shower and most likely a bachelorette party as well....but I think the key to remember is that it is ok to ask your guests to bring a covered dish or to host an afternoon tea and desserts style shower rather than a formal luncheon or dinner shower. Most brides that we come in contact with would not want their bridal party going broke trying to plan an over the top shower, so by all means, ask friends and family for help if you know there is no other bridal party member except for the Maid/Matron of Honor and Best man.

We wanted to share our number one gripe from our clients and from friends when it comes to their bridal party...We hear at almost every wedding complaints from our clients about the unwillingness of their bridal party (men or women) to partake in activities that the bride wants for her wedding day or throughout the planning process. Remember, a wedding day should be joyous and should mark the joining of two people, their families and their friends. I often tell my clients that if they wanted me to wear a monkey suit and a tutu and dance around, I absolutely would, because it is their day, and what they envision...Just as you deserve your day and what you envision. Remember that nugget, and you will do an amazing job as a member of the bridal party.

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