10 Wedding Roles for Your Friends

Your wedding day is about you and your partner, but what makes the day special is celebrating with your closest loved ones. Most couples want to include their friends in their big day but struggle to find a role for them. Discover wedding roles for friends that are both meaningful and unique.

If you’re planning a civil wedding in San Francisco or another major city, let City Hall Wedding help. We have tips for planning the perfect laid-back ceremony that is everything you want it to be.

A joyful wedding party posing in front of an old brick church, with the bride and groom in the center surrounded by guests in formal attire, all smiling and raising their arms in celebration.

5 Traditional Wedding Roles for Friends and Family

Including your closest friends and family members in your bridal party gives them special recognition but also means that they’ll be right by your side to celebrate the moment you say, “I do.” Explore all of the traditional bridal party roles you can assign at your wedding.

1. Maid of Honor and Best Man

The maid of honor and best man often act as witnesses to your marriage and will see the bride and groom through all special events leading up to the big day, such as the bachelor and bachelorette party. They usually have the responsibility of giving a toast at the reception to showcase their relationship with you and wish you well in your new life together.

2. Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Your bridesmaids and groomsmen don’t have as much responsibility as the maid of honor and best man, but they will also stand alongside you during the ceremony and be part of your processional. There’s no limit to the number of bridal party attendants you can have, but if you want to keep the number small, you may consider using other wedding roles for friends.

3. Junior Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Younger wedding guests can serve as junior members of your bridal party. They will dress the same as their counterparts and stand with the bridal party during the ceremony, but they don’t usually take part in any of the pre-wedding events.

4. Flower Girl

The flower girl could be one of the best wedding roles for friends with a young daughter whom you’re close to. The flower girl is the last one to walk down the aisle before the bride and scatters flower petals in her path so the bride can make a grand entrance.

5. Ring Bearer

Similar to the flower girl, the ring bearer is often a role reserved for a young boy. He will walk down the aisle holding the wedding rings you’ll exchange. Some couples choose nephews or sons of close friends or relatives to serve as their ring bearers.

5 Non-Traditional Wedding Roles for Friends

Whether you’re skipping a traditional wedding party or have a bunch of other friends that you’d like to recognize in addition to your bridal party, the following roles will work perfectly.

1. Alternative Wedding Party

Guests in your alternative bridal party won’t stand up in the ceremony or dress the same as the bridesmaids and groomsmen. However, you can request special photos with them and have them wear a corsage or boutonniere for recognition.

One idea that’s becoming popular with brides is having an alternative bridal party called your “Something Blue Crew.” You can ask a few loved ones to wear a shade of blue to your wedding and gather for a picture with all of them.

2. Ceremony Readers

Many couples ask close friends to deliver a reading during their ceremony. Depending on the length and program of your ceremony, you could ask multiple loved ones to read a poem or religious passage. This responsibility should go to someone who is comfortable with public speaking.

3. Ushers

It’s common to have some friends agree to be ushers on your big day. They have the responsibility of being at your ceremony site early and escorting guests to their seats as they arrive.

If your ceremony and reception take place at different venues, you can also have a friend serve as a host or hostess at your reception. They can help welcome guests to the reception and show them where to find their table number, drop off gifts, leave a coat, and more.

4. Guest Book Attendant

You want everyone in attendance to sign your guest book and offer their well wishes for you and your new spouse. However, some guests might not spot the book depending on the layout of the venue or fail to sign it because of a line forming. Enlist one of your friends to point out the guest book to those who walk by the area and encourage them to sign it.

This person might also go around each table later in the reception to check if anyone still needs to sign.

5. Officiant

One of the most increasingly popular wedding roles for friends doesn’t pertain to your bridal party at all. Couples are recruiting their loved ones to officiate their weddings to make it even more memorable. Rather than having a religious figure oversee your ceremony, a friend who knows your history and love story can make it personalized with anecdotes about you, your partner, and how you act as a couple.

This position arguably involves more responsibility than any other in the wedding. Your friend won’t be able to marry you unless they become ordained. Thankfully, this process is fairly simple and easy to achieve online.

You’ll need to give your officiant enough time to ordain themselves and prepare their words at the ceremony. For this reason, experts recommend asking a friend to serve as your officiant months before your wedding. Leading up to the big day, you can review the ceremony with them and make changes.

Having enough wedding roles for friends is essential if you have many close friends and want to include them in your big day. City Hall Wedding has plenty of tips for choosing a maid of honor to stand by you if you’re torn. Sign up to receive email updates that will help you plan your wedding.

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