A few weeks back I wrote all about friends, about how you need them, and how they'll be there for you on your wedding day. But what I didn't relay to you was some good old fashioned wedding planner advice on how to include your bridal party in your wedding.
Maid/Matron of Honor. Married or single this person is meant to be your right hand. She's in charge of the bachelorette party, maybe even plans a bridal shower. Duties a maid of honor can appropriately be asked to do: address invitations, keep record of the gifts (I suggest a google doc, check out my template here, tutorial found here), help with the dress, carries the train, signs the marriage license, arranges your veil, and holds the bridal bouquet at the altar; she dances with the best man and arranges everyone for pictures (you know, 'hey Uncle Jerry it's time for the family photo'), and she definitely helps unbutton or untie your dress before heading off for the night.
Bridesmaids. Help with any set up tasks or DIY projects, keep the bride calm and happy, carry around an emergency kit, remind the Bride to reapply lip gloss, and in general, have a great time, so the Bride knows it's okay to have a good time too.
Best man. Plan the bachelor party, pick up groom's attire before the wedding, hold the rings, signs the marriage license, organizes the groomsmen for photos ('come along gentleman'), and readies the get away car.
Groomsmen. Help with any setup tasks like moving chairs or tables, loading boxes and unloading liquor, keep the groom from getting too inebriated before he says I do, have backup copies of his vows, greet guests and help seat them as needed, have a great time but follow the rules so the Groom doesn't get in trouble or have to worry about you.
Of course I strongly encourage blurring gender lines, if you have a special someone who you want to be a bridesman or a groomswoman, you should feel 100% supported in doing so. The people you ask to be part of your big day should be people who care about you, who want to help you get married happily, but also they should be just who you want them to be. There's no point in asking people to be in your bridal party that you don't actually like or want to be around for an entire day.
Need more guidelines on what each wedding member should do? Check out this article from Bride and Groom. And don't be afraid to make your wedding the way you want it, it's about you and your fiancé and how you're choosing to express and commit your life together.
Prosperity, Love & Happiness,
Photo credit to Ali Leigh Photography