Choosing your Wedding Attendants banner image

Rochester Wedding Vendors

Choosing your Wedding Attendants

On your wedding day, you want to be surrounded by the people who mean the most to you. Put time and care into your choice of attendants.

It’s easy, when you’re first engaged, to want to share your excitement with everyone close to you. You should be careful at this time, however, of asking attendants before you have put some thought into it.

How many bridesmaids, or ushers, do you need?

There is no hard and fast rule, but a good guideline to follow is to choose one attendant for every fifty people you have at your reception. The more formal your wedding reception, the more attendants you should ask. Don’t feel that you have to have the same number of bridesmaids and ushers.

Your maid of honor. Who do you choose?

Your maid, or matron, of honor should be the woman you are closest to. If you are having a hard time deciding between a sister and a friend, or two friends, you may want to have co-maids of honor to avoid hurt feelings. Your maid of honor should be someone you can rely on during the pre-wedding and wedding day’s events. She should also have the time to devote to helping you with any special tasks or duties.

Maid of honor’s responsibilities

  • She usually helps in the planning & shopping for the wedding.
  • She helps with any special duties, such as addressing invitations or helping make favors for wedding guests.
  • She throws the “bachelorette party” for the bride, either a week before, or the night before the wedding.
  • She arrives early at the bride’s house on the day of the wedding to help her dress, or just to keep her calm.
  • She holds the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony and adjusts her veil or train.
  • She serves as a witness on the wedding certificate.
  • She may toast the bride and groom at the reception.

Choosing your bridesmaids

They should be your closest friends and relatives. They can be either single or married. Some things to consider when choosing your bridesmaids:

  • It is customary (but not required) to include a close relative of your fiance, such as his sister.
  • You should be sure your attendants will be reliable and dependable. You will need them at many pre-wedding and wedding day events.
  • You should keep in mind the costs involved. Between shower gifts, wedding apparel and gift, your attendants can spend from $200 to $1000 each. Be sure they can afford this. You may want to offer to help them with the costs. If they are from out-of-town, there are additional travel expenses to consider. (The bride is traditionally responsible for their accommodations while they are in town.)
  • Don’t be hurt if you are refused. Some women simply cannot afford the time or money it would take to be in your wedding.
  • Avoid hurting anyone’s feelings. Add another bridesmaid rather than leave someone out who will be hurt by that. But don’t carry this to extremes. You can’t have everyone at your reception in the wedding party!
  • Don’t assume a friend would not want to be in your wedding. Ask, and allow them the opportunity to decline if they choose.
  • Traditionally, pregnant women did not serve as attendants, although that no longer applies.
  • You may want to consider having any children of your own or your fiance as attendants.


Bridesmaids’ responsibilities

  • They pay for their wedding apparel, including shoes and headpieces.
  • They are responsible for travel expenses to and from the wedding.
  • They share in the costs and responsibilities of giving the bride-to-be a shower. They purchase a shower gift, either singly or jointly.
  • They attend pre-wedding and wedding day events.
  • They assist the bride on the wedding day.
  • They may stand in the receiving line, and should mingle and dance with guests at the reception.
  • They should be cautious about drinking much alcohol before they perform all of their wedding day duties.

Bride’s responsibilities to her attendants

  • You should be considerate of attendants’ feelings and opinions. Although you are honoring them by asking them to be in your wedding, they are also honoring you by doing so.
  • You (or your family) should provide lodging for them if they are from out-of-town.
  • You should be considerate of their schedule when setting up fittings and other events.
  • You should give a special gift to each attendant to thank them for being in the wedding. You may consider giving a necklace or earrings for them to wear in the wedding.

The men in the wedding

Unlike the female attendants, who have pre-wedding responsibilities, most of the men’s responsibilities are to help out at the wedding and reception.

Choosing your best man

This is very much like the bride selecting her maid of honor. There are many duties for the best man to perform on the wedding day, so he should be someone you can absolutely rely upon. Many young men choose their fathers to be their best man.

Best man’s duties

  • He helps the groom get ready for the wedding and provides transportation to the church.
  • He is responsible for providing the decorations for the cars and getting them decorated.
  • He pays the celebrant his or her fee for the groom. (The groom provides the money.)
  • He may carry the groom’s wallet, keys, and other items.
  • He carries the wedding rings for the bride and the groom.
  • He witnesses the marriage certificate.
  • He usually offers the first toast at the reception.
  • He hosts the bachelor party for the groom. He is also responsible for getting the groom home from the bachelor party.

Choosing groomsmen

The groom chooses men who are close to him. These can be friends, members of a sports team, or business associates.

Groomsmen’s responsibilities

  • They either buy or rent the designated wedding apparel.
  • They seat the guests at the wedding.
  • They dance with single women. They may stand in the receiving line.
  • They are responsible for their travel expenses if they are from out-of-town. (The groom or his family is responsible for their lodging.)
  • They purchase a wedding gift for (or give money to) the bride and groom.

Other attendants

Aside from bridesmaids and groomsmen, you may have to consider having other attendants, such as:

  • Flower Girl (usually four to six years old) or Junior bridesmaids (usually aged six to twelve).
  • Ring bearer (usually four to six years old).
  • Train carrier.
  • An “unofficial” attendant. This is usually an older woman, close to the bride, such as an aunt. She fills the job of wedding consultant, telling the couple when to cut the cake, or perform other wedding day duties.

You may ask other friends or relative to perform other tasks. These may include doing readings at the wedding, handing out programs at the wedding, or serving cake and champagne at the reception.

Keep in mind

Your wedding day is very special, but also very nerve-wracking. Try not to let your nervousness affect your relationships with your attendants. Try to remain as relaxed as possible.



Future Upcoming
Rochester Bridal Shows

Rochester Wedding Expo, TBD 2024

Click here for your free tickets


Rochester Bridal Expo, February 2, 2025

Click here for your free tickets


Rochester Bridal Fair, TBD 2025

Click here for your free tickets

Presented by, Rochester's wedding planning site

Rochester's wedding planning site!


Rochester's Largest Bridal Shows video


Free Magazines



bridal party in front of church

bridesmaids holding beautiful wedding bouquet

wedding party celebration at church entrance

bridesmaids in church

bride and maid of honor on church steps

groom and best man on steps