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Best Man, Maid of Honor duties

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POSTED February 22, 2012 6:24 p.m.

A popularity contest often comes into play when an engaged couple is selecting friends and family members to be part of their wedding party. Often there is great speculation surrounding who will be bestowed the honor of being a bridesmaid or groomsman and who will win the coveted spots of best man and maid of honor. The pressure could ultimately become a cause of undue stress for the happy couple.

Before making the decisions based solely on who is a best friend or favorite cousin, consider the responsibilities the maid of honor and best man must uphold according to tradition. This may make pairing the right person with the job that much easier.

BEST MAN

This is the groom’s right-hand man. He has a series of responsibilities, none which should be taken lightly.

• Oversees the groomsmen, making sure they are on time for the ceremony, properly dressed and have their boutonnieres on the left lapel.

• Ensures that the groom is dressed and ready for the ceremony. The best man may actually help the groom to dress in his tuxedo.

• Introduces people and breaks the ice.

• Holds the wedding rings until they are blessed. If a ring bearer will be used, it is suggested that faux rings be tied to the pillow and the best man continues to hold the real things.

• Takes care of payment to the clergy and other financial contributions after the ceremony. He may also tie up any loose financial ends with the reception staff.

• Ensures that the groom has the marriage license and will subsequently be one of the signatures on that document as a witness to the marriage.

• Makes sure that honeymoon travel arrangements have been made and may transport the couple to the airport if necessary.

• Returns the groom’s tux (and any from irresponsible groomsmen) to the rental place.

• Arranges the bachelor party if one will be held.

• Writes and issues a toast at the wedding ceremony.

• Dances with the maid of honor.

MAID OF HONOR

The maid of honor - matron if the woman is married - will handle a number of functions for the bride and wedding party to reduce the amount of stress on the bride.

• Helps address announcements or wedding invitations with the bride.

• Arranges the bridal shower with other members of the bridal party and possibly the bride’s mother.

•Makes sure the bridesmaids are aware of dress fittings and any responsibilities the bride has given them to do.

• Assists bride with her train during and after the ceremony.

• Holds the bride’s bouquet during ring exchange or other moments during the ceremony.

• Assists the photographer with identifying key members of the family who will need to be photographed.

• Witnesses and signs the marriage certificate along with the best man.

• Helps the bride and bridesmaids with dressing.

• Organizes a bachelorette party if one will be held.

• Helps the bride and groom depart for their honeymoon.

• Takes care of returning the wedding gown to the bride’s home or to be cleaned.

• May present a speech at the bridal shower.

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