9 Traditional wedding role bearers
Starting from proposal till the wedding, there are many people who are involved in planning and execution of the ceremony. Each of them has some responsibility during the ceremony. Each person you know, from family to friends, all have traditional responsibilities chalked out for them. Here we have compiled the traditional roles of the most significant people present for the wedding ceremony.
1. Bride and Bridegroom
As the entire wedding is of the bride and her groom, they obviously become the major responsibility-holders of the entire process. They share a set of responsibilities, which includes:
a. Setting up a budget
b. Choosing the date, theme and site of the wedding
c. Approaching the ceremony officials to discuss the entire ceremony
d. Arranging for flowers, photographers and other things required for the wedding
e. Generate invites for the guests
f. Shopping for the wedding-rings
g. Writing their own wedding-vows
h. Sending thanking notes to all the guests after the wedding.
Apart from the above responsibilities, the couple has to take care of individual responsibilities. While it is the bride’s responsibility to choose her bridesmaids and honor attendants, hosting bridesmaids’ luncheon, giving gratifying gifts to her attendants and buying her groom’s gift, the groom is responsible for choosing his groomsmen and best man, picking her apparel, buying gifts for his attendants and bride, arranging and paying for the marriage license and official’s fee and reserving rooms for the guests.
2. Bride’s parents
After the couple, it’s the bride’s parents who hold the maximum responsibility over their shoulders. Unlike in the past (where the bride’s parents used to be responsible for most of the expenses), today the expenses are taken care of by the parents of the bride and the groom and the couple.
The bride’s parents are responsible for the first engagement party preceding the wedding. They offer assistance and moral support to the bride with the wedding details, like preparing guest-list and thank-you-gifts for the guests. While the bride’s mother is responsible for the bride’s attire, choosing the right attire for a particular point of time and place. It’s her responsibility to make the bride turn up in her best self at the time of wedding.
The individual responsibility of the bride’s father is much less than his contemporary. He escorts his daughter to the ceremony-site. He is usually the last one to leave the reception, being the caretaker of the guests in the party and the payer for all the bills of caterers, band and others.
3. Groom’s parents
The responsibility of the groom’s parents is lesser than the bride’s parents. They hold the engagement party after the bride’s parents do, provide their own guest-list, offer their suggestions for the bride’s attire, hold a rehearsal dinner on the evening before the wedding and – in some cases – share the wedding-expenses.
A maid-of-honor was the term given to a queen’s attendant in Britain. She is most important of all the bridesmaids, and is the bride’s sister, cousin or closest friend, depending on the bride’s choice. When the maid-of-honor is married or mature, she is termed as ‘matron-of-honor’. Interestingly, the bride depends mainly on the maid-of-honor. The latter coordinates the events related with the bridesmaids, such as bridal shower and bachelorette party. She lends her hand to the couple in keeping track of gifts and
On the wedding day, the maid-of-honor helps the dresser and bride’s mother dress the bride and accompanies her to the altar. She acts as the bride’s witness for the marriage license, arranges the bride’s veil and train to avoid any discomfort to the bride and holds flowers. She dances with the best man and organizes the bridesmaids for formal pictures. She is also responsible for all the bride’s wedding possessions till the bride returns.
Of all the people, there is no fixed criteria in choosing the bridesmaids. They can be anyone – single, married, young or old – and their numbers can vary, though twelve is usually the preferred maximum number to be accommodated for the wedding. The bridesmaids help the maid-of-honor in her wedding-planning duties and the bride. They walk in the processional and recessional, and interact with the groomsmen and other guests.
6. Flower girl
The merriest of all the responsibility-holders is the flower girl. She is a child of four to eight. During the procession, she walks ahead of the bride, creating a path of flowers for the latter by scattering flower-petals as she walks. In some cases, she merely walks with a flower-bouquet or –basket. As she is a child, even though her responsibility is simple, she needs to rehearse her part to become comfortable with it. Her attire and travel is paid for by her parents.
7. Best Man
The best man of the groom is like a maid-of-honor of the bride. Married or single, he is usually the groom’s friend or brother. His role is to organize the bachelor-party, take care of the groomsmen’s attire, pick up the groom’s attire before the wedding, take toasts during the rehearsal dinner and arrange for the honeymoon of the couple.
On the wedding-day, he is responsible for getting the groom to the place on time, bringing the bride’s ring, holding the officiant’s fee during the ceremony and acts as the groom’s witness for the marriage license. He organizes groomsmen for the formal photographs, orchestrates the toast during the lunch and arranges for the reception-car for the couple. He is also responsible for returning the rented attire of groomsmen.
The groomsmen have little or responsibility before the wedding. Usually, they help the best man arrange for the bachelor party and keep a check on the groom to know whether they are needed for anything. On the wedding day, they arrive early at the ceremony site to receive the guests. They are involved in the wedding and handle the reception the entire time.
The ring-bearer is a boy responsible for carrying the wedding rings for the couple down the aisle. He is the one who gives the rings to the bride and groom. His attire- and traveling-expenses are handled by his parents.