Beyond Bridesmaids: A List of Wedding Roles

Most people are familiar with the basic positions in a wedding, but there is a plethora of less well-known bridal party ideas out there. Do you have more people you’d like to include in your wedding than positions? Here are some bridal party ideas for traditional and non-traditional wedding roles to give to your twelve best friends, third-cousin-twice-removed, or neighbor’s grandson.

Wedding Roles

By Bethany Noelle Photography

Wedding Roles: Listed.

Bride/Groom:

Okay, okay. So this is a no-brainer. Still, you need at least two people in one or both of these positions, or there really isn’t much of a point to coming up with bridal party ideas, is there? Shop Bridal Gowns Blog Button

Maid/Matron/Man of Honor:

You may have had this special person in mind before your spouse-to-be was even in the picture. This individual is head honcho of the bridesmaids and responsible for planning major events, such as the bachelorette party (they’re pretty much a big deal). Shop Bridesmaids Button

Bridesmaid/Junior Bridesmaid:

All your favorite ladies together at last! Whether you have three bridesmaids or thirty, your best friends will find a way to work together to ensure you look and feel your best, and that everything goes smoothly on your big day. Kennedy Blue bridesmaid dresses

Best Man/Woman:

This person is your right hand on D-day (or your wedding, as everyone except your best bud calls it). Their biggest responsibilities are to protect your rings and pump you up before zero hour.

Groomsman/Junior Groomsman:

A team of your best buds that are a force to be reckoned with. They will completely ignore your attempts to corral them to fittings and have a stag party where everyone is fully clothed. And you will love them for it.

Usher/Junior Usher:

For whatever reason, these people weren’t important enough to make the bridal party, but you feel bad leaving them out completely. So, you assign them to hold doors open and assist the elderly to their seats.

Huppah Carrier:

If you’re having a Jewish ceremony, these people carry the Huppah. It’s unclear whether this is a step up or down from ushering.

Ring Bearer:

This miniature man no longer has the job of carrying really expensive and sentimental rings down the aisle. We can’t see any reason why. Sometimes people use a dog instead, but they don’t typically get to carry the real rings either. Shop Ring Bearer

Flower Girl:

This little lady might just steal the show from you, or she might chicken out beforehand and be carried down the aisle crying. Either way, you’ll have stellar memories to share with her before her own wedding, at which you’ll have to strongly resist the urge to pay her back for her shenanigans. Shop Flower Girls

Page:

A more traditional position, and less common nowadays, these young boys (or girls) hold the bride’s train or escort her down the aisle. If you’re shooting for a Princess Diana look, pages are a necessity. Dig up those nephews or second cousins!

flower girl

photo by Jordan Obinger Photography

Candle Lighter:

If you’re having a unity candle ceremony, typically the couple’s parents/guardians will light the taper candles before the ceremony. You could, of course, choose anyone to fill this role.

Wedding Guest Book Attendant:

This position is perfect for that distant friend or relative who insists on helping out somehow. It’s not really necessary; so don’t be too concerned if you don’t have someone to fill it. People are either going to sign your wedding guest book or not. It’s up to you to decide if someone hassling them will help or hurt the cause.

Passage Reader:

In some weddings, one or more people may read a poem or psalm during the ceremony. This is a good position for teenagers or older relatives that weren’t included in the bridal party.

Wedding Program Attendant:

If you choose to have a wedding program handed out, it goes without saying that you need someone to do the handing out. This is a good job for a junior usher, but comes with its own title (pretty exciting!). Or you could just have the ushers do it.

Rice Attendant (or bubbles, or sparklers, etc.):

You know that fun photograph of the newlyweds rushing off to their honeymoon through a mass of friends and family throwing/holding <insert item here>? Whether you choose the traditional rice, something modern like waving cell phones, or something awesome like an arch of light sabers, you’ll need someone to organize everyone ahead of time.

Personal Attendant:

So, you have an acquaintance who is really organized and on top of things, but you don’t know them well enough to include them in your bridal party. Ask them to be your personal attendant; all the perks of a wedding planner without having to pay them!  (Read more about personal attendants). 12 Reasons Why You Need a Personal Attendant >>

Officiant:

This person is probably the next most important after the couple to be wed. They, like, do the wedding. Do you have more bridal party ideas? Are there any wedding roles we forgot? Fill us in by commenting below!

Leave a comment

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January 03, 2020 16:27

Should I be the ring bearer?

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Maria Ernster
May 16, 2019 07:39

This was a great article!

Wendy C
May 16, 2019 07:39

Interesting read. That’s a lot of roles.

Taylor
May 16, 2019 07:39

SO helpful! I have so many friends who want to be involved!

Ashley Griebel
May 16, 2019 07:39

Love this article. Been trying to piece together these details, and have a lot better understanding now!

Shelby
May 16, 2019 07:39

This is very helpful! Will definitely keep these tips in mind on our big day!

Brianna Mason
May 16, 2019 07:39

Love the ideas to include Family and friends in the wedding! Very helpful when planning!

Sheila Hayes
May 16, 2019 07:39

I never thought I’d some of these. And often times things need to be laid out before someone accepts.

mhepz
May 16, 2019 07:39

thanks for the tips and ideas. our wedding will be this coming August 2018.

Maisong Lee
May 16, 2019 07:39

Very helpful!

Marissa Messer
May 16, 2019 07:39

This was extremely helpful!

Crystal
May 16, 2019 07:39

As I’m stressing trying to figure out everyone’s roles in our wedding, the humor in this article was a pretty welcome change of pace!

Chelsea Meade
May 16, 2019 07:39

Interesting read!

Meagan
May 16, 2019 07:39

Great checklist to keep in my back pocket. Thanks!

Jeralyn
May 16, 2019 07:39

This is interesting! My grandmother will be a bridesmaid and my best friend is the flower lady. I also am having ring security instead of a ring bearer because he is grown. Also, I am having a grooms maid and brides man. This is helpful, wish I had it earlier.

Amber
May 16, 2019 07:39

What a giant list!!

Jordan Huffman
May 16, 2019 07:39

So many people wanting to help! Good to have (even small) roles for many of them!

Alyssa
May 16, 2019 07:39

This was a super helpful article! Thanks so much!

Rachel
May 16, 2019 07:39

I have family who want to help, but I’ve got most of it under control. So it’s good to brainstorm roles beyond wedding planning (something I enjoy doing on my own). Thank you!

Kaytlan
May 16, 2019 07:39

Great advice! With my wedding in a couple of months, I will use this list to help guide me in preparation.

Alyssa
May 16, 2019 07:39

This is a great idea! There are some things I didn’t even think about, thank you!

Christina
May 16, 2019 07:39

I’m still grappling with the idea of a couple of girlfriends, who I’d like to involve somehow. But we have too small of a wedding party for them to be bridesmaids. Trying to decide if the personal attendant idea is more honoring or insulting.

Katherine
May 16, 2019 07:39

Helpful insight into what some of these roles are – and that they even exist! I appreciate a more comprehensive list of ways to include people.

Natalie
May 16, 2019 07:39

Very interesting… I had never heard of a few of these such as a Page

Torrey
May 16, 2019 07:39

Awesome tips – definitely looking into getting someone to serve as my personal attendant!

Marie
May 16, 2019 07:39

This is so helpful! I needed a way to include my finace’s sisters since they are not going to be bridesmaids. I chose to call them my ladies in waiting- is this similar to a personal attendant??

Olivia Johnson
May 16, 2019 07:39

This is a helpful list! Thanks for posting

Gloria
May 16, 2019 07:39

Thank you! all the Information on this post was VERY helpful in deciding who would take what role in my wedding!

D L
May 16, 2019 07:39

This is terrible advice. If it involves work, DON’T DO IT. Tell everyone, “Oh, I wouldn’t dream of making you work at my wedding! We’ve got everything under control, so thank you for offering – but I really want everyone to just enjoy the day.” Working your wedding is not an honor for anyone. Think about it. They’ll be tied to that task while everyone else has a good time at the party. GUEST is also an honor. Bridesmaid/Groomsman and readers are honors. Everything else is silly busywork that screams, “I didn’t have you in the wedding party so I thought up this stupid chore for you to do so you’ll think you’re being honored.”

Nobody, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, needs a “guest book attendant.” Are you afraid the book will run away if someone doesn’t stand beside it? Nobody needs to be told how to pick up a pen and sign their name! Put the thing near the door and put the programs in a basket beside the frickin’ guest book. Favors? Put them beside each plate at the reception.

Personal Attendant is the worst insult of all….you’re the bride’s beeotch for the day. That’s why God created the professional wedding coordinator. Don’t make your FRIEND work. Remember that you love her.

“Junior” Bridesmaid and Groomsman are pointless. They are doing the same thing as the older attendants: walking down the aisle, holding flowers and smiling. There is no need whatsoever to point out that they’re younger members of the wedding party, and kids hate to be reminded that they ARE kids. “Junior” screams, " ‘ou were picked becuz ’ou is a sweeeet weeedle gewl’." Call them a bridesmaid and a groomsman, for pity’s sake. My Maid of Honor was twelve. She didn’t find the job overwhelming.

Lastly….ignore those lists of “duties” the wedding industry published. Their only job is to get the outfit and show up sober for the wedding. If they offer to help, great. It’s not a requirement and shouldn’t be expected. The tradition is rooted in superstition, not free staff for wedding planning. The bride’s friends accompanied her to church so any demons that might be watching would be confused about which the bride was and kept them from cursing her marriage. Over time it evolved into a way to honor special friends. Planning the wedding was the bride’s family’s job. Now it belongs to the bride and groom. Bridesmaid NEVER meant Bride’s Maid. The industry publishes those terrible “duty lists” in order to subconsciously enforce the notion that they’re bad friends if they don’t wait on her hand and foot, and buy the matching dress, purse, shoes, hat, earrings, jewelry and pay for hairstyles, makeup and manicures, of course…… Spend those dollars, maid, or you don’t really love the bride. The Knot’s list for the Maid of Honor once included stocking the couple’s fridge while they’re on their honeymoon, for goodness’ sakes.

Remember: your wedding is one day. You will need those friends for your marriage, when you have a miscarriage, your husband loses his job or one of you winds up in the E.R. Don’t run them off over your One Perfect Day.

Selena
May 16, 2019 07:39

So my mother and “Step Father” are getting married, but I’m to old to be the flower girl. ( I’ll be 17 at the wedding) but I’m not the maid of honor. What is my job? My mom says that I have a “special spot” but I’m not quite sure if she even knows what I’m supposed to do. Please help me out so I have some what of an idea on what I’m supposed to do as the Daughter of The Bride.

@MNeventsplanner
May 16, 2019 07:39

RT @weddingshoppe: New Blog Post: Beyond Bridesmaids: A List of Wedding Roles – Most people are familiar with the basic positions i… http…

Erica
May 16, 2019 07:39

Cool tips!

The Wedding Shoppe (@weddingshoppe)
May 16, 2019 07:39

Need more than a few bridesmaids? Here are some wedding roles you may have missed: http://t.co/WTEDLOndIM

The Wedding Shoppe (@weddingshoppe)
May 16, 2019 07:39

A list of wedding roles and their duties: http://t.co/WTEDLOndIM

The Wedding Shoppe (@weddingshoppe)
May 16, 2019 07:39

Want to include more people in your wedding? Here are wedding roles beyond bridesmaids: http://t.co/WTEDLOndIM

BridesByLisa
May 16, 2019 07:39

who does what? #Bridesmaids: A List of #Wedding #Roles http://t.co/E6GIcQ0mHa

Kennedy Blue (@Kennedy_Blue)
May 16, 2019 07:39

Need more than a few bridesmaids? Here are some wedding roles you may have missed: http://t.co/uPCFutEWHQ

@BridesByLisa
May 16, 2019 07:39

who does what? #Bridesmaids: A List of #Wedding #Roles http://t.co/E6GIcQ0mHa

Kennedy_Blue
May 16, 2019 07:39

Need more than a few bridesmaids? Here are some wedding roles you may have missed: http://t.co/uPCFutEWHQ

The Wedding Shoppe (@weddingshoppe)
May 16, 2019 07:39

New Blog Post: Beyond Bridesmaids: A List of Wedding Roles – Most people are familiar with the basic positions i… http://t.co/swEyohxsif

weddingshoppe
May 16, 2019 07:39

New Blog Post: Beyond Bridesmaids: A List of Wedding Roles – Most people are familiar with the basic positions i… http://t.co/swEyohxsif

The Wedding Shoppe (@weddingshoppe)
May 16, 2019 07:39

Beyond Bridesmaids: A List of Wedding Roles – http://t.co/WTEDLOndIM http://t.co/TKa5yUi3pT

weddingshoppe
May 16, 2019 07:39

Beyond Bridesmaids: A List of Wedding Roles – http://t.co/WTEDLOndIM http://t.co/TKa5yUi3pT

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