So, your friend asked you to be his or her bridesmaid/ bride’s boy, groomsman/ groom’s girl, maid of honor/man of honor, or best man/ best maid. Awesome-now all you have to do is throw on a dress or suit, walk down the aisle, and tell the happy couple how happy you are for them, right?

Wrong.

Being a part of the wedding party entails more than just a simple walk down the aisle and a few gifts. When your friend invites you to the wedding party, you’ll have some work to do as a guest. Here are the duties in detail:

Bridesmaid (or, Bride’s Boy): When one is a bridesmaid or bride’s boy, you are responsible for getting yourself ready for the big day, which includes purchasing your dress, tux, or suit, and accessories (all approved by the bride), attending and helping plan the various pre- and post-wedding festivities (engagement party, showers, bachelorette bash, morning after brunch, etc.). This will also mean taking care of any errands delegated by the maid of honor/man of honor (more on that later). Although you may be doing less than the MOH, you still have a big responsibility to do your part to make the day go smoothly, so be on your A+ game. Other duties may include standing in the receiving line, breaking the ice on the dance floor, and chipping in to buy the bride a present. But, the most important task you have is to serve as a member of the support system surrounding the bride, A.K.A., your friend.

Groomsman (or Groom’s Girl):  The duties you have are similar to that of the bridesmaids/bride’s boys, only these efforts will cater to the needs of the groom. That means purchasing your tux, suit , or dress with accessories, helping plan and attend the bachelor party, and helping the main man of the day keep his cool. You may also have to act as ushers at the reception in addition to those who have that duty. You may also be asked to walk with your partner during the processional and dance with them at the reception to get the party started. Sometimes, groomsmen are asked to dance with any single female guests. Perhaps an opposite equal duty (dance with the single guys) will be passed on to any groom’s girls? I, for one, hope so!

Best Man (or Best Maid): You are the groom’s right hand man or woman. You will be the adviser in all of the decisions he has to make, which includes choosing what his attendants will wear. Additionally, it is up to you to delegate any tasks that need to be done to the other attendants, organize the bachelor party, decorate the getaway car (along with the rest of the wedding party), act as a witness for the signing of the wedding license, and drive the just-married couple to the hotel or airport after the wedding. You also have first dibs on the toasts for the reception so make it good. The best part is that you get to stand by your best friend’s side as he takes the plunge into marriage. Oh, don’t lose the ring!

Maid of Honor (or Man of Honor): You are the second-in-command, this time on the bride’s side. You make sure that the rest of the ‘maids have their wedding day attire and accessories, know what their responsibilities are for the parties leading up (and sometimes surpassing) the big day, and planning the aforementioned parties. You’ll also be helping the bride herself with pre-wedding preparations such as dress shopping, handling invitations and RSPVs, and keeping a record of all the gifts given to the couple at the showers for the purpose of thank-you notes. Also, prepare to be a sounding board for any fears, frustrations, and joys leading up to the big day. You too will be serving as a witness for the signing of the marriage license and will be standing tall next to your friend as she goes into a new life with her hubby. Same thing goes for you too-make sure you have that ring handy!

May this guide serve as a blueprint for what you’ll be doing to help your friend get done for his and her big day. They chose you not only because they feel close to you, but because they know you are more than capable of tackling the work ahead. Congratulations and get going!

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