Wedding Duties & Roles

Duties of the Bridegroom:

  • Books the minister, organist and church
  • Arranges for the singer in the church - if there is to be one.
  • Organises the bridal car, and transport for himself and his bride after the ceremony.
  • Organises the best man's outfit (bought or hired). Their suits should not clash with one another or with the bride's dress. The bride is usually consulted! The bridegroom is not expected to pay for the best man's suite.
  • Arranges for the provision of alcohol and other drinks at the reception.
  • Organises the honeymoon and makes hotel reservations.
  • Makes an appointment at the lawyers to draw up a marriage contract.

Duties of the Bride:

  • Decides (in consultation with her fiancé) who is going to be in the wedding party.
  • Decides what her bridesmaids, flower girls etc. are going to be wearing. This should be discussed with them, especially if they are paying for their own dresses (as they often do today). If the dresses are made especially for the occasion, the bride could arrange to pay for the making and the bridesmaid or flower girl for the material.
  • Arranges for her own bouquet to be made, as well as those of the rest of the wedding party (corsages for the mothers etc.).
  • Buys the wedding ring for the bridegroom.
  • Compiles the guest list with her fiancé.
  • Arranges for the flowers for the church and reception venue.
  • Chooses the color scheme for the wedding.
  • Writes thank-you letters to the guests for each gift, message or congratulatory card received.

Duties of the Best Man:

The best man is the bridegroom's right hand, and organises matters for him on request, e.g. the wedding car.

  • Carries the rings in an inner pocket, and waits for the bridegroom in the vestry until they enter the church. He stands to the right of the bridegroom in the church and escorts the bridesmaid out of the church.
  • Proposes the toast to the bridesmaids.
  • Organises a stag party for the bridegroom.
  • Returns hired clothes and glasses after the wedding.
  • Pays for his own suit. Although the bridegroom may decide to give the best man a suit, he is under no obligation to do so.

Duties of the Maid of Honor or Chief Bridesmaid:

  • Helps the bride to dress.
  • Arranges the bride's veil and train at the church door.
  • Keeps a watchful eye on the flowergirls and pages (if there are any) when entering the church.
  • Arranges the bride's train in front of the pulpit.
  • Holds the bride's bouquet while the ring is being put on her finger.
  • Cuts the wedding cake after the bride and bridegroom have cut their first slice, and offers cake to the guests.
  • Pays for her own dress, if that is the agreement reached between herself and the bride. The bride is not obligated to pay for the dress.
  • Also sometimes precedes the bride down the isle.

Duties of the Bride's Parents:

  • The bride's mother generally helps to plan the wedding ceremony and the reception. She arranges - usually in consultation with the bride - for people to do the flower arrangements in the church and for waiters and waitresses if the catering is not being done by professional caterers or in a hotel/restaurant.
  • Her parents can suggest a master of ceremonies, if the bride has no one special in mind, and ask him if he would be prepared to act in this capacity.
  • Their most important task is to receive the guests at the reception and put them at ease - an often-forgotten task these days - which makes these special occasions warm and informal.

Duties of the Flower Girl:

  • These little girls, who can be nieces or children of friends, have a mainly decorative function. They either precede the bridal couple or enter the church just behind them. The idea is that their presence will contribute to the happiness and colorfulness of the occasion.
  • As the name indicates, each one carries a bunch or basket of flowers.

Duties of Master of Ceremonies:

  • Although he is not part of the Wedding Party, the Master of Ceremonies contributes greatly to the success of the reception. He is usually a good friend of the family or a family member who speaks well. It also helps if he knows some guests.
  • His first task at the reception is to welcome the guests on behalf of the parents responsible for the wedding. He also introduces the various speakers. Although he does not have to make a speech himself, a few one-linters here and there will add to the enjoyment. If there is music - between speeches or after the last speeche - he announces this, just as he announces the various toasts and when the meal is to be served. He also makes sure that the guests have a full glass with which to drink the toasts.

Speeches

Speeches and the cutting of the cake are at the heart of the reception and traditionally take place in the following order:

Champagne or Buck's Fizz will be passed around to all guests.

The first speech is given by the bride's father, godfather, family friend or relation. This speech introduces the bride to the groom's family, usually with praise and tender memories and ends with a toast to the couple.

The bridegroom then makes his speech, ending by thanking the guests for attending, and proposing a toast to the attendants.

The best man's speech introduces the groom to the bride's family. This speech is expected to contain funny stories about the groom. He also reads out any cards or telegrams from absent friends.

The cutting of the cake is then announced by the toastmaster or best man. The couple make the first cut together, then the cake is taken away to be sliced, before being handed out to the guests.

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