Not sure who you should pick for maid of honour, groomsmen and bridesmaids? Our handy little guide to all the wedding roles and what each member of the bridal party does should help you make those big decisions.
How to choose your maid of honour
This is the big one – your maid of honour will be your W-day heroine, the one who’s there through all the highs and lows of wedding planning. Ideally, it’s a role for your closest friend or sister, but choosing a mate with poor timekeeping and organisational skills won’t cut it – this is a job for someone you can trust 100%.
Try to choose somebody who will be genuinely excited by the run-up to the wedding, and will do a good job of keeping everyone in line from engagement to aisle. From a practical perspective, someone who lives nearby and will be on-hand to help out and accompany you to appointments is a good idea.
What does a maid of honour do?
Erm, what won’t your maid of honour do?! She’ll take primary responsibility for planning your hen do, help with dress shopping, deal with mother-in-law dramas, listen to every wedding story – no matter how boring – with patience and good humour, and still love you when you go a bit bridezilla on her. She’ll be there on the wedding morning to help you get ready, and can be entrusted to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
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How to choose your bridesmaids
If your maid of honour is your organisational wingman, your bridesmaids need to bring the party! It’s a nice idea to choose bridesmaids from different parts of your life – maybe a friend from university, a sister or cousin, and an old school friend.
Choose friends who you trust to feel excited for you and won’t mind you stealing the limelight for the day. Go for mates who are reliable and relatively laid back, too – you don’t want your girls kicking up a fuss about every dress and shoe you suggest for their looks.
What does a bridesmaid do?
You want your girls to be great at planning all the fun bits of your hen do, and to hit the dance floor when it’s demanded of them. Your bridesmaids can also expect to get involved in decoration making and offering general support. On the wedding day itself, they’ll be expected to keep you calm while getting ready, hold your bouquet during the ceremony, help you with your veil, carry your big day essentials and make sure everyone’s having a great time
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How to choose your groomsmen/ushers
This is really one for your groom, but the key decision is who to have as a best man. They need to be organised, confident making a speech in front of a crowd, and able to throw the world’s greatest stag do without leaving your other half tied to a lamppost in Latvia.
As far as ushers go, encourage your fiancé to choose close friends and family – not the whole football team – so he spends the morning of the wedding surrounded by his favourite people. It’s nice for him to ask a brother or male relative from your side of the family to be one of his ushers too.
What do groomsmen/ushers do?
The best man needs to handle payments for suppliers and give a speech that toes the line between funny and Gran-proof! Think of your groomsmen as your wedding hit squad – they’ll be the ones getting everything done on the day, from last-minute decorations to putting out chairs. They’ll also greet guests, hand out orders of service and show people where to sit for the ceremony.
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How to choose your flowergirls
Most little girls dream of being a princess for the day, so flowergirl roles are perfect for younger family members who’ll love dressing up and being in the limelight. Avoid choosing very young children unless their mum is on-hand as a bridesmaid, as they might get stage fright.
It’s best to gauge the reaction with parents before asking older children too – you don’t want to offend them if they think they’re too cool and grown-up for the job!
What does a flowergirl do?
Your flowergirl will walk down the aisle ahead of you, often scattering petals as she goes. The main job is to look pretty and smile for the cameras!
And that's it - wedding party sorted!
Want more? Here are wedding roles other than bridesmaids and ushers and the five bridesmaids every bride needs in her crew