Attention bridesmaids and groomsmen. Have you been asked to be your best friend’s maid of honor or your brother’s best man? Are you aware of the responsibilities that go along with that honor?

It’s more than standing next to them as they say, “I do.” There’s a whole list of duties that go along with the two titles, so before accepting to fill those shoes, make sure you’re up for what’s expected of you.

Maid of honor duties

Ceremony and reception: Help the bride in picking out a wedding location. This process can be very stressful for her and she might need your help in making a decision.

You’ve got mail: Invitations are the first real impression of the big day to come. Help her out when ordering and choosing the right colors for the invites. Offer to help address them, too.

The gowns: Go with the bride when she starts shopping for her wedding dress. It’s important that she receives honest feedback on what looks best on her.

As for the bridesmaid dresses … those could be a difficult task for everyone involved. Don’t be picky, but offer your opinion and try to consider all the girls in the wedding party.

Where to sit: Seating arrangements can be a nightmare for the bride and groom. Help her out with suggestions and draw out the tables and list who sits where. Stash the drawing in your purse. This could save the big day in case there are any mix-ups.

Party time: Host and plan the bridal shower and the bachelorette party. These two parties are the biggest responsibility for the maid of honor. Make both events relaxing and fun for the bride-to-be. These can be costly, so have some money saved up.

Organization: Always be aware of any changes going on in the wedding. People will come to you with questions, and you don’t want to give them the wrong answers. Also, it’s important to keep the bridesmaids in order and up-to-date on wedding events. You wouldn’t want the bride-to-be upset that one of her bridesmaids couldn’t attend the wedding shower because of a mix-up.

Arriving: Make sure the bride gets to the ceremony on time and that she has everything she needs. Make a checklist for yourself and for her.

Getting ready: Help her get dressed and make sure her makeup and hair look perfect.

Messenger: Help the bride communicate with her family or the groom if she needs to.

As the guest arrive: Make sure there aren’t any problems and visit the reception room a few times before the ceremony starts. If you’re too busy assisting the bride-to-be, ask one of the other bridesmaids for help.

Time alone: If the bride needs some quiet time before the ceremony make sure she gets it and get everyone out of the room.

Autographs: Be a witness when the marriage license is signed.

Flowers and ring: You’re responsible for holding the bride’s bouquet and the groom’s ring during the ceremony. Don’t drop anything and remember when it’s your turn to hand the items back.

Decorations: When the new couple leaves the reception, have the car or limo decorated. The best man can help with this.

Speech: During the reception, it’s your job to make a toast to the bride and groom. Know what you’re going to say beforehand so you don’t goof it up.

Best man duties

Ushers: Help your buddy in choosing the ushers for the wedding. Once that’s established, let them know they have been chosen and what their duties are.

Party time: Plan and host the bachelor party. It’s the groom’s last weekend out as a single guy; make all the necessary arrangements.

Seating arrangements: Compile a list of special seating arrangements for family members during the ceremony and make sure the ushers have a copy.

Tuxes: Make sure to pick up your tux and the groom’s tux (if needed) the day before. Be certain everything fits well and there aren’t any problems.

Documentation: Make sure the groom has the appropriate paperwork he needs for the ceremony and honeymoon. Hold on to it for him or make sure you know where he placed it so you can remind him later.

Transportation: It’s your job to get you and the groom to the ceremony on time, and same thing for the reception. If the whole wedding party is driving to the reception together make sure everyone has a ride and arrives at the same time.

Autographs: Be a witness when the marriage license is signed.

Rings: It’s your responsibility to look after the rings until the ceremony. Keep them in a safe place.

Grooming: Your friend is going to have a lot on his mind. Help him get ready and make sure everything lines up and looks good.

Decorations: When the new couple leaves the reception, have the car or limo decorated. The maid of honor can help with this.

Money: Ensure all fees are paid out to the necessary people (church, reception hall, caterers). It’s not your job to pay the bills, just deliver the goods.

Speech: Play master of ceremonies if there isn’t one, and announce speeches, cake cutting and first dances. Don’t forget your speech. Make sure you know what you’re going to say beforehand.

Cleaning up: Take charge of the presents and make sure they are safely put away. Return your tux, as well as the groom’s tux, and any other accessories that might need returning.

Sure, it sounds like a lot of work, but keep in mind you were chosen to be in this position by a loved one or a best friend. It’s a huge honor, so make the most out of it and make the bride or groom proud she or he chose you. Overall, just be there for your friend and provide support. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event for him and her and you can really make a difference.


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