Your Wedding Day Actors (what the heck does everyone do)

Planning a wedding can be a very involved task, and so is figuring out who is supposed to do what! Here is a brief summary of the most common Protestant Christian wedding day roles. (Keep in mind that most roles can be played by either gender, and by as many people as you want.)

Mother of the Bride
Mother embraces daughter bride

The mother of the bride may serve as your guest list moderator, reception hostess. Other possible duties include attending the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner, and making sure that everyone dances the night away at the reception. As with all other actors, her mother's role is completely up to the bride to be.

bride and father from movie Father of The Bride

Father of the Bride

Traditionally, this is the go-to guy with the “daddy, can you write the check now for the venue?”. Some other examples of the bride to be’s father might include airport duty, coordinating maps/directions to the wedding site, helping to find potential wedding reception venues, giving tips to wedding day service providers, and a variety of toasting and hosting tasks.
Maid or Matron of Honor
Cartoon of bride and maid of honor in gowns

Many times this person is the bride to be’s BFF. She's there to be the brides authorized shot caller when service providers have questions about where to set up and such. She will also provide emotional support as needed. In general, the maid of honor coordinates the bridal shower and handles some wedding day details. Not out of the question for her might be - toasting the bride and groom, signing the marriage license, adjusting the bride's gown at the altar, holding her bouquet. She also should help the bride get dressed, taking care to frequently remind her that she looks beautiful. She is the last bridesmaid to walk down the aisle before the bride, traditionally having the groom's wedding band on her thumb.

Movie promo from Brides Maids looking ready to party

Trustworthy friends and family members who form the bride's entourage (and hopefully work well together). They are a support team for the maid of honor, helping with pre-wedding tasks when asked (sending invites, planning the bachelorette party, and more). Bridesmaids must hit the dance floor running and help to play hostesses’ to guests.

Flower Girl/Child
Cute flower girl cartoon

Little ones aged roughly three through eight who walk down the aisle before the bride, scattering flower petals from a basket. Little ladies are most frequent, but cute little boys could handle this role, too. Most flower children will with their parents after completing their stroll down the aisle.

Mother and groom smiling embracing
Mother of the Groom

The groom's mom may take on any of the bride's mom's responsibilities mentioned before, if she's up for it. Give out to-dos and assist with seeing they are done. She may attend the bridal shower, and is escorted down the aisle during the prelude. This wonderful lady’s shining moment will be when she dances with her son during the reception.

Father of the Groom
Father of groom tender moment helping son with bow tie

In days gone by, this guy would get away with just being low key and taking the event in. Nowadays though, he's may be asked to do all kinds of things. Again, traditionally, as for cost contribution, the groom's dad may want to pay for a few major items. The most notably would be a rehearsal dinner. He might also fulfill requests for special dancing, toasting, and some during ceremony obligations (as in - escort elderly women, move tables, address any potential difficulties). He may check with the bride’s father to see if he might have any opportunities to help out with any other responsibilities.

Best Man
Owen Wilson as angry best man in movie Old School

This guy, usually is the groom's main homie and most of the time -personal aide. He hopefully has looked up how to, and practiced tying whatever kind of neck wear might be in use on the day of the wedding, and can help the groom be sure he knows how to use button studs, and cuff links. This pivotal dude has to have his head in the game when it comes to planning a great bachelor-party. His duties might consist of - getting the groom to the ceremony on time (preferably sober); signing the couple's marriage license as a witness; and having the bride's wedding ring during the ceremony. He also needs some polished skills for toasting and plenty of dancing. Be sure not that the toast doesn't go too far like in the movie Old School though!

A group of the groom to be’s friends who assist the groom in planning for the big day. To help the best man plan and pay for the bachelor party and make sure the groom is always having a good time. Groomsmen may also do double duty as ushers prior to, during and at the end of the ceremony. They also get to “decorate” the honeymoon car, dance with dateless ladies at the reception, and act as a guide for guests.

Junior Bridesmaids Junior Groomsmen Junior Ushers

These are young members of the wedding party, maybe between 9-16 years old. They'll attend all major functions (excluding adult themed bachelor/bachelorette parties, of course) and fulfill the same responsibilities as the older wedding party members. You may choose for the Junior bridesmaids to wear less-sexy versions of the bridesmaid dresses; Junior groomsmen usually wear a tux like the big guys.

Officiant or Minister

The wedding professional who performs the marriage ceremony. Examples include a priest, a rabbi, a minister, or a justice of the peace. They may also help with the preparation of the ceremony, and offer several options for personalizing the flow, and wording of all that will be said during your ceremony. A good minister or officiant will be happy to communicate with you many times to perfect your ceremony and be sure everyone is included to your satisfaction.


Young boys or girls, aged six through nine who carry the bride's extra-long wedding gown train as she walks down the aisle. Sometimes known as "train bearers."

Ring Bearer

A young boy, or girl between ages 4-9, who walks down the aisle just before the flower girl/s, carrying a small decorative pillow (or other fun way) with two wedding bands tied to it (might be a good idea to have the real ones with the best man and maid/matron of honor though).


Those who escort guests to their seats before the ceremony. Ushers sometimes are used in addition to groomsmen. This allows you to include other important guys or girls in the ceremony - including pre-teen, or teen relatives.


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