Let’s talk about the cast of characters on your wedding day who does exactly what is going to be up to you because guess what if you’ve been reading our blog you probably know that I am all about making your wedding day a reflection of you.
If that means that there are a couple of guys on the traditionally gals side or vice a versa that does not make any difference. What makes a huge difference is that again your wedding day is a reflection of you, your loved ones and those people who are most important to you. That line up may result in something that doesn’t look the same as a traditional wedding or a traditional T.V. show wedding.
Guess what it doesn’t always happen that way and that’s fine. On in this article, I’m going to talk through that and hopefully help you to see you should embrace it and not be stressed out about it.
The first thing I want to talk about is a glossary of the people in your wedding party. Let’s talk about who these people are and some ways that their roles may vary depending on your situation. First, we have Your Honor attendants and these are traditionally called your maid or matron of honor and you’re best man. Now let’s pick this apart just a little bit. The first thing I mentioned the maid or matron. What is the difference between a maid of honor or matron of Honor? Simply, a maid is an unmarried woman a matron is a married woman. So if your sister is married then technically she would be your matron of honor. Whether or not you choose to adopt these titles is completely up to you, it’s a little bit old fashioned.
I’m going to use the gender-neutral honor attendants to talk about these roles, these people are your most trusted and important friends in your lives. I encourage you to follow your heart when choosing your honor attendants and if you simply cannot bear to choose between multiple people that’s fine. There are no hard and fast rules when you’re planning your wedding. The most important thing is that you are surrounded and supported by those people who are the very closest to you. I encourage you to embrace your individual situation. What does this mean? It means if you are a woman and your best friend for the past twenty plus years has been a man. Have him be your honor attendant, have him be your best person, have him be your man of honor. Or you may feel like you just want to keep things looking really traditional, You want the men on one side and you want the women on the other side. That’s fine too.
This is all about what makes you both feel comfortable and what you want in your heart, so if it does not sit right with you to have your male best friend standing next to you and being your man of honor and he does not want to play that roll, then put him on the groom’s side. It really doesn’t make a whole lot of difference and I can promise you that when you look back on your wedding day ten or twenty years from now this is not going to be important. It might be stressing you out right now trust me to embrace your individual situation,m embrace what you and your fiancee are most comfortable with and go with that. If it means guys and girls are mixed up on the sides that’s OK. It’s fine, just do what you want to do.
Moving on, behind Your Honor attendants are your wedding party. Traditionally these folks are referred to as your bridesmaids and your groomsmen. Of course, as we talked about before you can have gender neutral here. You can mix up the sides, have guys and gals everywhere it all depends on your situation. Symbolically these are the folks helping and supporting you and your fiancee’ under the lead of the honor attendants in the months leading up to the wedding.
So on the wedding day they may be assigned a specific jobs and roles even something as simple as “hey guys your job is to hit the dance floor and get the party started as soon as the D.J. cues up the music” you can ask them anything, it’s ok to ask your wedding party, you can assign them anything, you can ask them to help with anything that you might need.
If you’re doing a D.I.Y. wedding reception as I know many of you are you’re going to need help. So don’t be shy about asking people for the help and delegating them specific tasks and specific things that they can be in charge of. Your wedding party is a rich resource to you, they want to make your day as special as possible, so please feel free to lean on them and ask them for help.
Now let’s talk about your parents and your fiancee’s parents. Mother and Father of the bride and the groom, they will take the front row on the wedding day and you may choose to have your dad walk you down the aisle. I have heard from some who have chosen to give their mother this honor. Also, I have heard of asking both your mom and dad to escort you down the aisle.
Your parents play a really important role at the wedding and I encourage you to remember how special this day is to them and don’t hesitate to make them feel involved by giving them some responsibilities on your wedding day, just like I talked about with your bridal party. Traditionally, the Father’s will give toasts or speeches. Some variations on this would be leading a mealtime prayer. The father can also take the lead with things like tipping the vendors, addressing any service issues, so if there was something going on behind the scenes that needed to be addressed he would be in charge of that. You can really assign anything that you can think of.
So as you’re looking at bridal magazines and blogs and reading up on wedding planning you’re going to see these very traditional things that the dad does and that the mom does, again feel free to tailor to your situation and what you feel most comfortable.
Some dads might want to play bartender and others will be quiet and shy, or they might be a wallflower and totally stick to the sidelines. This is going to be very different depending on the personalities that you have in your lives and the same goes for the mothers. They are there for you and her role on the wedding day is entirely up to you. Everyone’s family relationship tree is unique, embrace that uniqueness rather than feel like you’re tied to traditional wedding roles and rules as for what your mom, in this case, is supposed to be doing.
Maybe your dad is the type of guy who is really shy, he does not want or like to be the center of attention but your mom would love to give a dinner toast or a speech and do the first dance with you and that is awesome! Don’t stress out about bending those traditional wedding “rules”.
Seriously your grandma could be the bartender your grandpa could lead the dance floor, it’s just all about embracing your family and loved ones and really making your wedding day a reflection of them and your relationships with those people.
In all seriousness I do hear couples who are experiencing a lot of stress over what people will think or say if, for example, they don’t do the first dance with their dad, or their mom walks them down the aisle instead of their dad, or they choose not to have little nieces and nephews involved as flower girls and ring bears they are worried about “what if my aunt is mad at me”, “What if my dad’s feelings are hurt” “will people assume this, if I do that” but those types of feelings, I do not want to brush that off I do understand there are a lot of eyes watching you and that can be really nerve-wracking. It can be stressful when you’re dealing with people who may be hurt or feel left out because of the choices that you are making.
The best advice I can offer you is to be upfront and honest with people. Make those decisions and follow your heart about who you truly want to be doing what.
These are roles that carry tradition and weight, but it is your day and guess what you get to be the leader, you get to decide who lands where and who does what. If you decide not to have flower girls and ring bearers and you feel like there might be some hurt feelings over that, address it head-on with a heartfelt and honest conversation. Pick up the phone meet for coffee whatever works, explain the reasoning behind your decision and ask for the understanding of whoever you feel like you might be letting down. Don’t let these things drag out in your head for months. It’s going to stress you out and weigh you down every single day.
Have confidence in your decision and address it straightforwardly and honestly with whoever it may be affecting or whoever you might feel like potentially would have hurt feelings over it. Whew! that was all a little rant, I really think it’s important to reiterate that you and your fiancee’ get to make the rules.
Onward and upward, so now you have your ring bearer and your flower girls, they will come down the aisle before the bride and again with these little people their roles are entirely up to you. I’ve seen lots of weddings where people incorporate their pets, so baby doggies might play these roles, they might walk down the aisle with pretend rings and flowers etc…
In addition think of some overflow roles that can be filled, in the event that you have a lot of close family and friends way too many people to realistically include in your wedding party some ideas for assignments include naming people honorary ushers, they can be included in all of the pre-wedding festivities if age appropriate and on the wedding day they would show guests their seats and could also fill miscellaneous jobs as necessary.
As mentioned earlier in the article, please don’t hesitate to roll out responsibilities to people so even if it’s not somebodies assigned traditional job or role don’t let that stop you. Ushers are a great opportunity to ask for help, and making people feel useful and important. You should not underestimate people. They want to feel useful and they want to help you. They want to make your wedding day as perfect as possible just like you do, so don’t hesitate to ask for help where you need it.
I hope this article was useful to you.
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**This article first appeared on www.yourdjs.com. Electrolinear Entertainment offers fun wedding DJs, Photo Booths, Ceremony Officiants and much more for your special day…