THE BRIDAL PARTY
YOUR HONOUR ATTENDANTS-AN IMPORTANT DECISION
Inherent in the names of these attendant positions is their level of significance.
The titles of "Best" Man and Maid of "Honor," are important roles,
with responsibilities attached.
Neither the acceptance of such an honor,
nor the process of selection should be taken lightly.
Traditionally it is the bride who picks her honor attendant,
while the groom chooses his.
Open dialogue and communication will allow the couple to give one another input,
while leaving the final selection to each.
In many families, the bride's sister is the "automatic" choice for maid of honor
and the best man is the always the groom's brother.
If both families follow that tradition, the process is easy,
but, unfortunately, that is often not the case.
There is a real advantage in choosing a brother and/or sister for these honor positions,
because it eliminates the need to choose one friend over another.
In some cases, the prospective bride or groom select a parent as the honor attendants.
In the South, the groom's father is often his best man.
It is, however, less common for the bride's mother to be the matron of honor,
because, more often than not she is busily involved in wedding-related chores.
Neither the best man nor the maid of honor has to be unmarried.
A married or widowed man retains the title "Best Man,"
while a married or widowed maid of honor is called a "matron of honor."
Divorced honor attendants are perfectly permissible if they
don't offend your religious beliefs or the sensitivities of your guests.
Several Christian denominations have guidelines about who can be honor attendants,
so it's advisable, if you are having a religious ceremony, to check with your officiant.
In some religions, the official witnesses must be of the same the faith
in which the ceremony is conducted.
While on the one hand many young couples are reaching back
to the traditions of the past and incorporating them into their weddings,
there are many prospective brides and grooms who are busy developing new traditions.
The terms "Best Person," "Honor Attendant," "Best woman" and "Man of Honor"
have cropped up recently, because some brides have decided to choose a
man as honor attendant and some grooms have picked a female honor attendant.
Besides the titles, not much else changes.
The respective attendants walk, stand, sit, and behave exactly
as their "other gender" counterparts would have.
As far as dress, a man of honor dresses just like
the male members of the wedding party, and a best woman dresses
like the female members. They each receive the floral tributes
appropriate to their genders (i.e., boutonniere, bouquet).
If the event that there are a large number of attendants,
the bride's male attendants may be distinguished from the groom's
attendants by the color of their vests.
Likewise, the groom's female attendants may wear a dress that
coordinates with the dress of the bride's female attendants,
rather than matching it. It is certainly unnecessary for the "Best Woman"
to wear a back dress or "feminized" tuxedo, any more than a man of
honor would need to wear a tuxedo in a color to match the bridesmaids' dresses.
The number of honor attendants that the bride and groom choose
is entirely up to them.
It's perfectly acceptable to have two best men (e.g., the groom's two brothers)
or two maids of honor.
It's up to the couple to divide the duties amongst the players.
There is no reason for tit for tat.
If the bride has two honor attendants, the groom need not also have two.
TO HELP YOU CHOOSE
According to newlywed couples, the actual choice,
despite the variety of possibilities is still a difficult one.
Here are several guidelines that a bride and groom may use
to narrow the field and make the final selections.
1. Is your relationship to this person one which you anticipate
will last for a long, long time or will you "kick yourself"
every time you look at your wedding album,
because the person you picked has faded from your life?
2. Is this person reliable and can he or she accept the responsibilities
that the position entails or just be interested in looking good and having fun?
3. Is this person upbeat, cheerful and resourceful?
Will this person really be helpful and provide a support system in a very stressful time?
When the final selections are made, the most important criteria
to keep in mind is that the attendants serve an
important function and should not create more work for the couple.
There is no rule that says you must have honor attendants.
If your state or your religion requires a witness,
any adult(s) present at the wedding will do.
Make your choices wisely
and you will not only honor friends and family,
but you'll be creating a support system
that will prove invaluable on your special day,
while strengthening relationships that will hopefully
part of your lives for many years to come.
RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST
THE MAID AND/OR MATRON OF HONOUR
THE MAID AND/OR MATRON OF HONOR tend to as many needs of the bride as possible.
This list suggests just some of the responsibilities one or both can provide to make the day more stress-free for the prospective bride.
1. Attend the rehearsal and the accompanying rehearsal dinner
2. The maid of honor will also help prepare the bride immediately before the ceremony begins (at the church) by touching up her make-up, checking her hair and gown at the last minute, and adjusting her headpiece and veil, and also before she leaves from the reception location
3. Helping the bride shop for her own gown and for the dresses for the bridal attendants.
4. Acts as a legal witness to the signing of the marriage certificate
5. In the absence of a ring bearer, the maid of honor's responsibilities also include holding the groom’s ring.
6. Carries the bride's going-away clothes to the reception and takes the wedding gown with her for safekeeping until the bride returns from her honeymoon
7. Dance with the best man during the first dance of the reception.
8. After the best man toasts the couple, often the maid of honor's responsibilities include a toast as well.
9. Holds the bridal bouquet during the ceremony
10. Folds back the bride's veil and replaces it, if the ceremony includes a kiss, or drinking of wine
11. Straightens the bride's veil and train at various times . . . including during the ceremony, where appropriate, as well as when the bride comes up and goes down the aisle
12. Takes a place in the receiving line at the reception
13. From an emotional point of view, the maid of honour's responsibilities include providing a supportive presence during all the wedding-related events, calming the bride and making certain that she is rested and ready for the ceremony. It is important for the maid of honour to be a true friend to the bride, listening patiently to all of her concerns and worries.
14. She may also help address invitations and assist with decisions, if asked, on flowers, the cake, and other aspects of the wedding.
15. It is also the responsibility of the maid of honour to plan and host the bridal shower. She should make a list for the bride of gifts received, along with the giver’s name and address, to simplify the thank-you note process.
16. The maid of honor's responsibilities also include planning the bachelorette party
17. Keeping track of the groom’s ring
18. Keeping track of bridal attendants, for example verifying that each is properly dressed and on time to the ceremony.
19. Often, the maid of honour will act as the liaison between the bride and other attendants by scheduling hair and makeup appointments, dress fittings, and so on.
The Best Man
The wedding is all about the Bride and Groom, but the Best Man has his share of responsibilities. After all, you are being counted on...to be THE right hand man for the Groom!
BEFORE THE WEDDING DAY
Confirms the honeymoon travel arrangements and picks up tickets before the wedding day
BEFORE AND DURING
Provides emotional support and a supportive presence during all the wedding-related events and assists the groom with all wedding-related preparations
Yes, you are the one who organizes the bachelor party. Recruit as much help as you want, but in the end, it's your job to get it done. So find out what the Groom wants, give yourself time to organize the event, and make sure you go over the list of invitees with the Groom.
OUT OF TOWN GUESTS
Offer to pick up any out of town guests at the airport as they arrive. You will be doing a lot of driving, possibly even driving the Bride and Groom to the reception, or to the airport for their honeymoon, so be prepared - fill up the tank and make sure the car is running well. You may also be expected to do some entertaining with the out of town guests before the wedding day.
Because this typically happens a day before the wedding, your buddy, the Groom, will have lots on his mind...he doesn't need to worry about these small details. You'll need to contact all the groomsmen and make sure they are attending the dinner, make sure they are on time, and be sure they all have directions to the site.
1. Keep the Groom on schedule. If you don't know what the schedule is, it's typically organized by the Bride's side, and they usually distribute copies ahead of time. Make sure you get your copy...deviate from the Bride's schedule - and die.
2. Make sure the groomsmen/ushers are ready and on schedule for the ceremony.
3. Take charge of the ushers by briefing them on special seating arrangements and all their other duties.
4. Drive the Groom to the ceremony site one hour before wedding photographs begin. Of course, you need to make sure he's in his tux, and that you are in your tux as well for the photographs.
5. Traditionally, it's your job to arrange to take the checks for the clergyman, musicians, photographers and other service-providers. But with today's weddings, the responsibility can also be given to a wedding consultant, Father of the Bride, or even one of the bridesmaids. Find out before-hand and be prepared to take care of the checks.
6. Witness the signing of the marriage license.
7. When you're backstage, help the Groom prepare for the final call. Make sure his tie is straight and everything is in place.
8. Hold the Bride's ring for the Groom (if there is no ring bearer) until called. Check for holes in your pockets first, and DO NOT fumble the hand-off!
9. Drive the newlyweds to the reception if there is no hired driver.
10. You will begin the speeches and toasting at the reception. That's the tradition, so don't fight it. If you've never been a good public speaker, be sure to have something prepared ahead of time, and practice!
11. Be prepared to dance with bridesmaids and relatives of the Bride and Groom.
12. Drive the newlyweds to the airport for their honeymoon if there is no hired driver.
13. Arranges for the groom's going away clothes to be at the reception
14. Carries the groom's travel clothes to the reception
15. Your last major task as Best Man is to return all the rented tuxedos to the tuxedo shop. Make sure all the groomsmen and ushers give you their tuxedos in good condition and on time.
BRIDESMAID AND JUNIOR BRIDESMAID
THE BRIDESMAIDS provide backup assistance to the matron and maid of honor and a support system for the bride before, during, and after the wedding
1. Help the maid and matron of honor in performing their responsibilities
2. Assist in making the preparations for and share the cost and responsibilities for the bridal shower(s)
3. Function as mini-hostesses, mingling with and assisting the guests, wherever possible during the ceremony and the reception
4. Attend the rehearsal and accompanying dinner
JUNIOR BRIDESMAIDS provide an opportunity to include younger female relatives and close friends in the bridal party. Their responsibilities are simply to walk down the aisle.
GROOMSMEN (USHERS) AND JUNIOR GROOMSMEN
THE GROOMSMEN OR USHERS provide backup assistance to the best man and a support system for the groom before, during, and after the wedding. Groomsmen and junior groomsmen may wait at the head of the aisle, with the best man, while the bridesmaids enter single file. Or, if you prefer to have the wedding party walk down the aisle in pairs, the junior bridesmaids and groomsmen may walk down in pairs followed by pairs of bridesmaids and groomsmen.
1. Assists with the arrangement of and shares the expenses of the bachelor party
2. Attend the rehearsal and accompanying dinner
3. Arrive at the ceremony at least an hour in advance . . .
4. Usher family members and guests to reserved seating
5. The head usher escorts the mothers of the bride and groom to their reserved seats
6. Hangs aisle ribbons to cordon off reserved seating and rolls out the white bridal carpet
7. Ushers individually escort the bridesmaids down the aisle, after the wedding ceremony
8. Makes and assists with travel and transportation arrangements to the reception for the bridal party and guests (who haven't their own transportation)
9. Helps the bride and groom make their "getaway" after the wedding
JUNIOR GROOMSMEN provide an opportunity to include younger male relatives and close friends in the bridal party. Their responsibilities are simply to walk down the aisle.
FLOWER GIRL AND RING BEARER
THE FLOWER GIRL provides a natural tension breaker and "announces" the bride.
1. She may carry a basket of flower petals down the aisle and scatter them as she walks
2. She may hand individual flowers to guests with aisle seats
THE RING BEARER provides a "foil" for the flower girl. He may walk down the aisle alone, carrying the wedding rings on a satin pillow, or he may walk down alongside the flower girl.
MAID/MATRON OF HONOUR SPEECH
This speech is a big part of the wedding ceremony and usually happens within the first half of the wedding reception before people leave, so you will no doubt have a full crowd when giving your speech.
While the best man's speech is equally important, he will focus more on the groom then on the bride, so it's your job to keep the bride happy and entertain her with your speech. There are a few tips when it comes to giving a maid of honor speech that will almost guarantee it to be a big success and that's what I'm going to show you in this article today.
We all know that the majority of people don't like to speak in front of other people, we tend to get very nervous when we know we have to make a speech and having prepared notes makes life a lot easier on that front as well.
So ladies - you're about to be put in the spotlight... Do YOU know what to say?
Here are some of the things you can talk about in your speech. If you and the bride grew up together, you could talk about all the silly things you did as kids. You should talk about how you and the bride met each other and how you became friends. This is quite a popular way to start a speech, by letting the audience know who you are and how you know the bride. I feel it sets the right tone for the rest of the speech. You can talk about what the bride use to tell you about the groom when they first started dating and make a funny story out of that.
Then if you want to get into a more substantial part of your speech, start talking about how great the bride and groom look together, make a spiritual comment or something meaningful from you to the bride and groom and of course you cannot forget to give them some marital advice then wish them luck on their journey.
Hi! I want to thank all of you for letting me take a few minutes to toast my very dear friend, Gail, and her new husband, Chris. Have you ever seen a more radiant bride? How about Chris, is he looking good or what? I feel like I’m looking at Bride Magazine when I see this picture perfect couple.
My role of distinction today is that of Maid of Honor, and my name is Anna. Gail and I have known each other since third grade, which quite frankly, seems just like yesterday on one hand…and like a million years ago on the other!
We went to the same elementary school – the same high school – and we shared a room in college! We have seen other through the good, the bad and the ugly, and we’ve each learned a lot from each other. I’d like to tell you about some of the things I’ve learned from Gail.
First – I learned that she and I needed to get better at keeping our stories straight! When we were in high school, we may have told a tale or two, and it would probably be the blatant inconsistencies of our stories that gave us away, and a part of me can’t help but think we are lucky to have made it this far!
Second – Our parents were right about some of the boys we dated…I have no idea how they were able to read the minds of those young men, but let’s just say that when the intentions were not
honorable, our parents told us that way before we realized what they said was true!
Third – To not be afraid to give all in a relationship. I have to say that it was watching Gail blend in her relationship that taught me that life lesson. You see, we were both seniors in College the year she met Chris. She was, how do you say, “the older woman” in his life, and as a matter of fact, she kept his age a secret for a long time. After all, he was 19, and she’d already seen her 21st birth date. I think for a while, she tried to let the age thing get in the way, but thank God Chris pursued her, because here we are today!
Lastly, Gail taught me that good friends are hard to find, and that friends are more important than boyfriends. Wow, now that she’s getting married, I wonder if that will still hold true over husbands? I hope so!
I remember the first time that Chris and Gail kissed. It was like my radar was up, because I knew something was going on. When they kissed for the first time, it was in my apartment…and I quickly smothered them with a hug and welcomed Chris to the family as soon as she told me!
I have loved watching this romance bloom. Chris is a great guy! He’s funny, friendly and really easy to get along with. More than that…he’s got a great
bod! The first time my boyfriend met him, he asked if he worked out (like, duh?) and if he had a license for those guns! Really, he’s nice on the eyes, and I love to look at him. Of course, 99.9% of the time when I’m looking at him, he’s looking at our Gail!
Gail has just blossomed since Chris came into her life. She used to be anti-marriage, but somewhere along the way (thank god!) she changed her mind! She’s become happier and has a better outlook on life in general. She’s a genuine person, with no pretences, she is caring, warm hearted, bright, intelligent, and completely self-less!
When I heard Gail and Chris were engaged, I had to know the whole skinny! Turns out he proposed to her on a gondola one night in Long Beach. Now, the fact that they had attended 12 weddings that years had nothing to do with marriage being on their mind…..but I don’t think it hurt either!
I look so forward to the future for these two. They are a perfect match, and I know that they will remain not only lovers, but friends, for all of their life. They just seem to have that certain something about them, and I know that theirs will truly be – a match made in heaven.
Please raise your glasses while I propose a toast:
If ever you are to enjoy life…now is the time! Today should always be your most wonderful day. Let today be the building block for all the years to come, and may your home and hearth be filled with your laughter and that of your children as well, for all the days of your life.
I love you guys! Congratulations!
BEST MAN SPEECH
Adding a touch of humor to your wedding speech can be great idea. But when it comes to adding humor to your best man wedding speech there are few important things to note. Funny and vulgar are two different things. A lot of people, especially men tend to think that to be funny you have to be vulgar and rude and embarrass the newly weds, this is not true.
STAND UP WHILE SPEAKING
Always, always stand up when giving a best man speech or a toast. Make sure you have the gatherings attention first before you speak, and the best way to do that is to stand up and wait for quiet. Standing up is the first rule of any good public speaking and a wedding is no different.
PLAN WHAT YOU SAY
Never try and wing the speech. Giving a best man speech needs to be planned and written down well in advance. My brother started working on giving his best man speech weeks in advance. Unless you are a really confident public speaker, this is the best way to make sure you say everything you wanted to say.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Practice your speech until you know it off by heart. There is nothing worse then giving a best man speech and having to look down at your notes constantly. Fidgeting with paper is a big no no.
KEEP IT CLEAN
If you and the best man have known each other for a while and you’ve had some wild times together, this is not the time to air his dirty laundry. People think that giving a best man speech gives them the right to embarrass the groom and upset the bride, this is not the case. Don’t mention the trip to the strip joint or anything of that sort.
KEEP IS SHORT
No one wants to be bored for hours with your speech. Make it short and to the point and don’t forget to add emotion when giving your best man speech. The wedding isn’t about you, it’s about the bride and groom, don’t forget that.
Hello everyone, I am Mike, Ryan’s best friend and best man! I always joked about Ryan’s inability to marry, and although I always just poked fun, I am still surprised that this guy actually found a girl that wanted him! I mean, what the heck happened? Just kidding.
All joking aside, I could not be happier for Ryan and Marissa. Through thick and thin, these two have beaten all odds and have been able to work around so many different obstacles. I am shocked at the amount they have been through, and because of this, I know that they are perfect together.
Ryan and I have been best buddies since the beginning of high school. I was never a popular kid, and he was the typical football player jock that got all of the pretty girls, while still managing to get high honors. I looked up to him as if he was an idol – I wanted to be respected and appreciated by the entire school class. Although I have quite the figure now, I was scrawny and disliked. I didn’t know how I was going to survive the first week of school, let alone four years! But to my surprise, Ryan was the first person to give me a chance. He was a year older and to me, like a brother. He not only introduced me to the prettiest girls, but he even encouraged me to try out football. I went on a limb and attempted it, just because Ryan had so much confidence in me. Since then, I have been playing football every weekend. Even now, it shocks me that I actually had the self-assurance to do that. Without Ryan’s motivation and kindness, I would still be that disliked kid!
Through the years, we have gone through many trials and tribulations. Although it has been a rough ride, we are still standing, and I couldn’t be more proud. Ryan is the type of person who does not get defeated. If he has to climb as far as he can without stopping, he will. For this reason, I am not surprised that he found one of the greatest girls out there. Marissa is his perfect match – caring, driven, and has such an optimistic perspective on life. We all need someone who will be our other half, someone who is just like us, but willing to push us further. For Ryan, this is Marissa. She is so loving and generous that sometimes you wonder why she is with Ryan! Just joking buddy.
Ryan and Marissa, I’d like to make a toast to your marriage and happiness. I have waited for the two of you to finally say your “I do’s” for three years now. I think I was more excited for your wedding than the two of you combined! All I want is for both of you to be happy, and with one another, I think it’s already a success. No matter what happens to all of us – I can always count on the two of you for friendship, strength, and support. I only wish you the best and I hope that one day I will be an uncle!
Congratulations – you two deserve it!