Responsibilities Of Bridal Attendants
Responsibilities of Bridal Attendants
By Lisa D. Frogge
Bridal attendants have an important responsibility in assisting the bride in her wedding preparations and on the day of the event. Since bridal attendants are typically sisters or close friends of the bride; it is quite an honor to be chosen for this role. A clear understanding of the expectations and expenses will enable one to determine whether she can fulfill this important position.
The bride may choose one or more attendants depending upon the size of the wedding and the ceremony venue. Keep in mind that the groom will need to select an equal number of attendants as well. While a bride and groom may have a large number of friends and relatives that they wish to include in the ceremony, placing too many people on the altar area can detract from the ceremony itself. Consider assigning some individuals to other aspects of the ceremony or reception if this is the case. The focus of the guests should remain clearly on the bride and groom and the commitment they are making to one another. They will appreciate not peering through a crowded platform to do so.
The Maid or Matron of Honor is the “leader” of the bridal attendants and stand closest to the bride during the ceremony. Sometimes a Matron of Honor is a bit uncomfortable with the term “Matron”. Remind her that the designation is based on marital status rather than age! The main duties of the Maid of Honor are to help the bride in the planning process of the wedding. She may assist the bride in choosing her wedding gown and selecting the dresses for the bridal attendants. The Maid of Honor helps the bride to order the dresses and ensure they arrive in time for alternations to be made. The Maid of Honor and other attendants often host a bridal shower for the bridal. Since multiple showers may be held in the bride’s honor, the Maid of Honor is a wonderful resource in setting the invitees at these events to determine that no one is overlooked or left off the guest lists. She is also responsible for arranging a bachelorette party to be held a few weeks before the wedding. The Maid of Honor and other attendants may also assist the bride in selecting and writing out the invitations, selecting decorations and wedding and bridal shower favors and may help with catering and cake selections.
Traditionally, the bridal attendants are responsible for all costs associated with their attire, the bridal shower and the bachelorette party, as well as wedding party gifts for each of these events. In addition, if the attendants are from out of town, they are responsible for their travel expenses to and from the wedding. Many times a bride will offer to assist in these costs. It is best for attendants to be clear about what expenses they will be expected to bear. If they are unable to take on the costs, it is much better to decline the honor at the onset rather than drop out of the wedding at a later date.
On the day of the ceremony, the Maid of Honor makes sure the bride gets to the ceremony location and assists the bride with her dress, makeup and hair. Since the bride traditionally is not seen prior to the wedding ceremony, the Maid of Honor communicates the bride’s wishes to other attendants and family members. The Maid of Honor signs the marriage license as a witness, holds the groom’s ring until the officiate requests it during the ceremony, and holds the bride’s bouquet while the bride is participating in the exchange of rings or lighting of the unity candle. The Maid of Honor also makes sure that the bride’s train and veil are adjusted at all times during the ceremony for display and safety as the bride moves about the altar.
The actual duties of a bridal attendant are varied according to the expectations and needs of the bride. However all bridal attendants offer moral support, understanding and friendship to the bride. They lend a listening ear during a hectic time and troubleshoot the inevitable problems that arise during the entire process. The main reason a bride chooses her attendants is the trust she has in their ability to assist her in one of the most important days of her life.