Aside from planning your wedding date and venue, choosing the people who will be part of your wedding entourage is also one of the firsts and most important steps in your planning and preparing.
Who should you choose to be part of your wedding entourage?
Anyone from the bride and groom's family, relatives and close friends can play a role in the entourage. Remember that members of the entourage are not merely VIPs or wallflowers.
They are chosen to do specific tasks or perform duties for the success of the wedding. Make sure that the people you choose are capable and most-willing to do their share to make your wedding day as best as can be.
Here are the basic line-up of a traditional wedding entourage:
Wedding Officiator. The person who will officiate your marriage. He must be licensed and legally ordained by the law to officiate weddings.
Parents of the Bride/Groom. A wedding is happiest with the blessing of both the bride's and the groom's parents. Next to the bride and groom, they lead the line-up of the whole entourage. Obviously, they are not chosen! =)
Principal Sponsors. The marriage license needs to be signed by two official witnesses. This is the role of the principal sponsors. But more than this, the principal sponsors must also be ready to provide support to the newlyweds not only on the day of their wedding but beyond as well.
Secondary Sponsors. Some couples choose to add Secondary Sponsors to their wedding entourage. They may perform traditional rites such as lighting candles, binding the ropes, clothing the veils, etc.
Best Man. Also called the Man of Honor, he is the groom's personal assistant. The groom's brother or best friend is often chosen to be the Best Man. He should help the groom carry out errands before the wedding, on the wedding day, and sometimes even after the wedding.
The bestman may be asked to keep and safeguard the wedding ring until the big day. He is also in charge of setting up the stag party or bachelor party for the groom and his buddies.
Maid of Honor. Like the bestman, the maid of honor is the bride's personal assistant. If she's already married, she is called the Matron of honor. She's expected to help the bride with all her planning and preparation.
She must accompany the bride to her errands like shopping for her wedding dress, do trial make-ups, send out wedding invitations, contact guests or other members of the entourage, organize schedules, etc.
The maid of honor or matron of honor is also in charge of planning and preparing the bridal shower or the bachellorette party which is supposed to be a surprise for the bride.
On the wedding day, the maid of honor should be ready to assist the bride at all times. She must help the bride with her gown- to make sure that her train and veil are well-arranged as she walks, to hold the wedding bouquet when needed, be the bride's personal messenger, and be the bride's shoulder when needed.
Groomsmen and bridesmaids. They are pairs of bachelors and bachellorettes who will not only march down the aisle, but also help out with the wedding preparations.
Flower Girls. Young girls that are old enough to walk on their own can be chosen as flower girls. They often carry baskets of flowers that are scattered down the aisle as they make their entrance.
Bible Bearer and Ring Bearer. Young boys are often chosen to carry the bible and the wedding ring for the bride and groom.
Ushers and usherrettes. They are men and women who are chosen to greet guests as they arrive on the venue, lead them to their respective seats, ask guests to sign up their guestbook, carry wedding gifts to the table, distribute wedding tokens, and give assistance whenever necessary. The couple can also assign specific tasks to their ushers and
usherrettes before and after the wedding.
Director of the feast. The director of the feast is chosen to oversee this very important occassion. His duty is to make sure that everything is organized and well-taken care of on the day of the wedding. He organizes the rehearsals to make sure that everyone in the entourage is prepared to do their march.
The parents of the bride and groom, as well as the best man and the maid of honor, are often asked to give a wedding speech during the reception. Thus, after completing your list, notify them immediately about their privilege of becoming part of your wedding entourage. This way, each of them can better prepare and take on their duties happily and responsibly.