Who is Responsible for What? Traditional Wedding Roles

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As I plan my own wedding, I get asked by my guests, my wedding party, and other vendors: Who does what? What are the traditional wedding roles for everyone? I am not always able to answer that question, so after much research in my textbooks and online, I’ve figured it out.

Wedding roles

First off, who is traditional anymore in 2017? Traditionally, the bride and groom wouldn’t see each other prior to the ceremony, but I’m having a first look. Tradition states that the parents of the bride pay for the wedding, but more and more couples–including my husband-to-be and myself–are choosing to pay for the wedding themselves. Traditionally, the bride has an engagement ring AND a wedding band, but I only have the engagement ring and don’t plan on adding a band.

That said, it’s clear that tradition has taken a backseat in a lot of marriages as years progress. You’re not required to follow all of these roles, but for the sake of answering everyone’s questions, you’ll find the traditional roles for weddings below.

Wedding Couples’ Wedding Roles
  • Choose date, theme, venue and other details
  • Purchase rings/bands
  • Send invitations and keep track of responses
  • Write vows
  • Choose wedding party
  • Send Thank You notes
  • Change name(s), if applicable
Respective Parents
  • Throw an engagement party
  • Contribute to wedding expenses
  • Purchase attire for wedding
  • Provide a list of guests that to be invited
  • Father of the bride walks her down the aisle
Best Man
  • Provide support for the groom
  • Organize Bachelor Party
  • Coordinate fittings for the groom
  • Holds the bride’s ring
  • Signs the Marriage License
  • Toasts at the Wedding
Maid or Matron of Honor
  • Provide support for the bride
  • Organize the Bachelorette Party
  • Organize any Bridal Showers
  • Coordinate Dress fittings
  • Holds groom’s ring
  • Straightens bride’s dress during wedding
  • Signs the Marriage License
  • Toasts at the Wedding
  • Helps coordinate formal photos
Groomsmen
  • Help the best man organize the bachelor party
  • Help seat people prior to the ceremony
Bridesmaids
  • Help the Maid or Matron of Honor organize the bachelorette party
  • Help the Maid or Matron of Honor with anything else she may need
Ring Bearer
  • Walk the rings (or fake rings, just in case) down the aisle and hand them off to the Best Man and Maid or Matron of Honor
Flower Girl
  • Walk down the aisle just before the bride scattering petals.

These are the basic responsibilities and wedding roles of your various family and wedding party. As mentioned above, traditions are traditions, but if you want to go crazy and do your own thing, it’s your day. And 2017 is the time to go crazy! For my wedding, I will be keeping some traditions and forgetting some.

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