Since Battle of the Bridesmaids is next week here in Springfield, the Power 96.5 Morning Buzz duo Fotsch and McClain asked me in to share a few tidbits of what is expected of the Bridesmaids and the Maid of Honor (MOH), and also the Groomsmen and Best Man. We also talked about some of the things to consider by the Bride and Groom when they choose their attendants. Here is an overview of what we covered.
Who to Choose as Your Maid of Honor (MOH), Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and Best Man??
Brides and Grooms, there are a few things you need to consider before you ask anyone to be your attendant.
1. Before you ask, make sure you have decided where the ceremony will take place. If you have a small venue then 6 Bridesmaids, 6 Groomsmen plus MOH and Best Man may not fit at the altar. You don't want to have to rescind your offer.
2. How many attendants does your partner want? Although it doesn't have to be exactly the same on each side you don't want it too lopsided either.
3. Who is closest to you? You can have a friend for 15 years, but haven't been close over the past few years....so the next question is who can support you the best?...do they have the time and energy to help? ...who can afford the various expenses such as a hotel stay, makeup and hair, dress or suit, the shower and bachelor/bachelorette party, etc? It is a tremendous honor to be asked to be in some one's wedding, but it does come with a price tag as well.
4. Who is expecting to be asked, whether you want to ask them or not? Family dynamics and trying to avoid hurt feelings can play in your decision. This IS your wedding after all, however, hurt feelings among family members do have to be weighed. Remember there are plenty of "jobs", very important roles that still need to be assigned... guest book attendant, gift table attendant, a greeter to welcome guests, candle lighter or a reader during the ceremony.
If someone is predictably not responsible nor organized (chronic procrastinator) take this into consideration in your planning. Your friends will not magically change just because it's your wedding...remembering this will help keep you from being too stressed as the day grows closer.
Be a gracious Bride and thoughtful Groom and do your best to think of your attendants' needs and wishes, their lifestyle, financial situation and family obligations and so on. Be understanding of limitations. If there is some aspect of their role that they can't handle, they should tell you right away and realize they may have to pass, but they can still be involved taking on a role with less responsibility - time-wise and financially.
Once You Choose
Some people have no idea what to do or what their "job" responsibilities or financial obligations will be when you first ask them to be in your wedding party.
#1 rule - Make your expectations clear from the beginning. NOT a list of demands, but share what you are hoping they can do. Make sure everyone understands and is on the same page.
Have a clear conversation about what is expected from them (I'll need you to go shopping with me to pick out the attendant dresses, you'll need to pay for your dress, help MOH throw a coed shower,and help make programs) and what to expect of you (I'll keep you updated every other week by e-mail and I'm willing to pay for your shoes). Once they know what is expected they can make an informed decision on whether they can handle those expectations.
Don't be insulted if they would rather have a role with less responsibility... they don't want to disappoint you and most people do know their own limitations.
Their main purpose is to offer the Bride any support she needs and help the MOH.
GROOMSMEN and/or USHERS:
Their main purpose is to offer the Groom any support he needs and help the Best Man.
MAID or MATRON OF HONOR:
This is the Bride's assistant (her right hand gal). Should have smooth social skills and lots of energy. Role is to give feedback and suggest options, support and reassure the Bride, assist with decisions and keep the Bride CALM on the wedding day.
This is the Groom's right hand man. Role is similar as MOH...assist with decisions, help plan the honeymoon, and keep the Groom CALM on the Wedding Day.
To clarify the MOH and Best Man roles in more detail, check out the books I suggested in the first part of this two part post.
A Wedding Consultant/Planner can help with etiquette, resources and ideas and can help keep your day stress-free by making sure all of your plans fall into place the day of your Wedding.