The Bridal Party

Why ex­actly do we re­cruit brides­maids and grooms­men? This handy guide re­veals all.

New Zealand Weddings Planner - - Editor’s Letter - PHO­TOG­RA­PHY CAROLYN HASLETT

THE GIRLS MAID OR MATRON OF HON­OUR

Usu­ally the bride’s sis­ter or best friend takes on the role as her right-hand woman or maid/matron of hon­our (matron if she’s mar­ried, maid if she’s not). She helps with ev­ery­thing from the in­vi­ta­tions to the seat­ing ar­range­ments to the brides­maid dresses, and also takes charge of or­gan­is­ing the hen’s party and bridal shower. On the day, she helps the bride get ready, holds her bou­quet at the al­tar and might even sign the reg­is­ter as a wit­ness.

BRIDES­MAIDS

The brides­maids sup­port the maid or matron of hon­our with all wed­ding-re­lated du­ties. These may in­clude or­gan­is­ing the hen’s party, help­ing with DIY tasks such as cre­at­ing ta­ble set­tings and stuff­ing in­vi­ta­tions or en­sur­ing the bride’s train is per­fectly ar­ranged for the wed­ding pho­tos on the big day. Dur­ing the wed­ding re­cep­tion, it’s of­ten the brides­maids’ duty to en­tice guests to hit the dance floor.

FLOWER GIRL

Too young for brides­maid tasks, the flower girl walks down the aisle ahead of the bride, toss­ing petals as she goes. It’s im­por­tant to be mindful of the flower girl’s age and ca­pa­bil­i­ties; if a younger child doesn’t feel like fol­low­ing di­rec­tions on the day, be pre­pared to let it go and move on.

THE BOYS BEST MAN

The best man is the male ver­sion of the maid of hon­our. His tasks in­clude or­gan­is­ing the stag do, mak­ing sure the groom ar­rives at the cer­e­mony on time, pre­sent­ing the rings to the groom dur­ing the cer­e­mony and giv­ing a speech at the re­cep­tion. He’ll also help with set up, if needed, in the days lead­ing up to “I do”, and any other DIY tasks the bride and groom need help with in the months be­fore the wed­ding.

GROOMS­MEN

The grooms­men are the groom and best man’s sup­port net­work. At the cer­e­mony, their role may be to greet and help seat guests, hand out pro­grammes and es­cort the brides­maids to the re­cep­tion. Lead­ing up to the wed­ding, they’ll pitch in where DIY help is needed, and as­sist the best man in or­gan­is­ing the stag do.

PAGE BOY

The page boy’s main re­spon­si­bil­ity is to carry the rings down the aisle – and hope­fully dance with the flower girl. W

QUES­TIONS TO ASK BE­FORE PICK­ING YOUR BRIDAL PARTY

WILL WE STILL BE FRIENDS IN 10 YEARS’ TIME?

Choose the peo­ple that mean the most to you. Fam­ily, for­ever-friends – those who will be with you through good and bad.

IS HE/ SHE SUP­PORT­IVE OF THE WED­DING?

You want a group of peo­ple that are al­most as ex­cited for the day as you are.

AM I CHOOS­ING THESE PEO­PLE OUT OF OBLI­GA­TION?

Don’t choose any­one just be­cause you were a brides­maid for them, or solely be­cause they’re re­lated to you. This is one of the big­gest mo­ments in your life – you want to be sur­rounded by peo­ple that are in your bridal party for all the right rea­sons.

IS SHE/ HE BRIDES­MAID/ GROOMSMAN MA­TE­RIAL?

Be­ing a brides­maid comes with re­spon­si­bil­i­ties – if she has a high­de­mand job that means re­ply­ing to your texts is hard at the best of times, it’s go­ing to be tricky for her to or­gan­ise a hen’s party and make it to your favour-craft­ing ses­sion. Equally, will she be a happy, pos­i­tive pres­ence to have around? Your wed­ding – and the whole lead up – is above all, meant to be fun.

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