What Is a Wedding Party (And Do You Need One)?

What Is a Wedding Party?
  • A wedding party is a group of people chosen by the couple to support and celebrate them throughout their journey from engagement to marriage.
  • The people chosen to be in a wedding party are typically close friends and family members of the bride(s) or groom(s).
  • They are responsible for certain duties, both before and during the wedding itself. Some of these duties including:
    • Planning pre-wedding activities such as showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties.
    • Helping the bride and/or groom get dressed and ready on the day of the wedding.
    • Participating in the ceremony by standing nearby while a couple exchanges their vows.
    • Historically, members of the wedding party would be the witnesses to a marriage, and would sign off on any sort of legal documentation necessary.
What?s the Difference Between a Wedding Party and a Bridal Party?
  • A?wedding party?is the term for the entire groom of people who participate in the ceremony alongside the couple?the maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and any children such as flower girls or ring bearers.
  • The?bridal party, however, is just the group chosen by and supporting the bride.

Traditionally the bridal party is made up of only women. However, as more and more couples are choosing to do things in their own way, the bride is no longer confined to choosing just women to be in her support crew. Thus the term ?wedding party? (or even ?commitment crew?) is the more modern, all-inclusive term used to describe the special people chosen by the couple to surround and support them.

Who Should Be in My Wedding Party?

There are three categories of people who usually considered for inclusion in the wedding party:

  1. Siblings:?Any siblings, including step-siblings or future siblings-in-law, are often first on the wedding party list.
  2. Close family:?Cousins or other relatives near in age to the couple are also often a good fit for the wedding party.
  3. Best friends:?The bride and/or groom?s dearest pals are another good choice for the wedding party?but they should be friends that have, or will, stand the test of time.
Traditional Wedding Party Roles

Here?s a quick breakdown of the titles and roles you?ll find in a traditional wedding party, as well as lengthier explanations for what each of these roles are expected to do.

  • Pro Tip:?While these are the textbook divisions of matrimonial labor, however you choose to assign responsibilities is completely up to you and your partner. If you want to plan your own bachelorette party, skip it entirely, or skip having a wedding party for that matter, do what feels right for you. However you seek outside support during your planning, make sure you articulate nicely and clearly what you need from each of the important people in your life so that they can help you have the meaningful, important day you?re hoping for.
Quick Look at Traditional Wedding Party Roles
  • Best Man: the groom?s main dude.
  • Groomsman: the groom?s auxiliary dudes.
  • Maid of Honor: the bride?s main lady.
  • Matron of Honor: the bride?s main lady, but she?s married.
  • Bridesmaid: the bride?s auxiliary ladies.
  • Junior Bridesmaid: usually tween-age family members or children of close friends.
  • Flower Children: usually somewhere between the ages of 3 and 12; petal-tossers.
  • Ring Bearer: usually somewhere between the ages of 3 and 12; ring or sign holder.

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