There are the obvious duties of the Bridegrooms party such as organizing the stag and the speeches, but what are the duties on the wedding day? Specifically, what are the duties at the ceremony?
The BEST MAN
Firstly – it’s to get the groom there! Soberly for starters. If it’s a marriage (Priest or Registrar) they are NOT ALLOWED to conduct the marriage if they can smell alcohol from the Groom, or they believe him not to be 100% sober. They are conducting a legally binding contract signing, so if the Groom seems not to be in a fit state and sound of mind to do that – then they pull it!
DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN. Having a couple of drinks (a glass of bubbly perhaps) in the morning for some Dutch courage is plausible but that’s it. (Also, remember drinking swells the face up at the time, so in a couple of hours time when you are suppose to be looking your best, you skin will have sunken a bit…….not a good look!)
For a celebrant led wedding – I’m more relaxed, I’m happy for you to have a glass of bubbly under your chair for the ceremony if you like! Seriously though – the primary aim of the Best-Man is to get the Bride-Groom to the wedding in one piece and keep him there!
The second main ceremonial responsibility of the Best-man, is to have the RINGS.
This means they need to have the rings ahead of the ceremony starting of course! It would be good if they can have them a couple of days before so that they can get them professionally cleaned too. You might be asked to source the ring box or a pouch or cushion – however the couple would like the rings to be presented to them. You might also be put in charge of a ring warming. This is a lovely touch where the guests ‘warm’ the rings with their love, blessings, prayers and best wishes as they are either passed around the guests at the start of the ceremony, or during the incoming at the door. If there is a ring warming or any other ceremonial touches – the Celebrant will liaise with you on the day.
If there are two best-men, it might be that the wedding bands/rings are with one, and then the Vows are with the other. ‘May I have the rings/Vows please’ – so you step forward.
The Groomsman are there for the Groom/Bridegroom. A bit like the Best man, but they don’t have a specific job – other than they are support and are seen as Key members of the Grooms party. They are not the ushers. Groomsman would be a physical part of the ceremony and wedding party – so if you are having, like the American’s do, a horseshoe of your wedding party standing around the couple in the ceremony space, then this is them. They are there to support. They might pair up with a bridesmaid walking down the aisle at the end, but overall, they are the ‘wing men’.
Whilst the Best-Man is there 100% to be by the Grooms side, the Groomsman are the ones to support and run around if anything needs getting for the groom (not the guests) – like a glass of water, or a tie pin, or the button holes, or anything the Groom may have forgotten. Think of them as the male version of Bridesmaids. They are the Grooms support. In some weddings, especially DIY ones’ the Groomsman might be the one’s liaising with Suppliers or making sure the rooms are ready or helping move things like flowers from one room to another if you are re purposing things.
The ushers are in charge of the Guests and the ‘shepherds’ of the day.
They are the ones that make sure all the guests are where they need to be at the time they need to be.
So you might have one outside the venue – this reassures people they have found the right place. Then you might have one further in – showing check in, or coats or sending guest onto the ceremony room. Once in the ceremony room, have one or two ushers on the door – make these your best ones. This is where you want to put the Usher that knows the most amount of wedding guest.
He can welcome in the right fashion, set the right tone, and then also double up as the Usher that helps the photographer when the photographer needs to find the right family members for the official photos.
The ushers are the go –between so the ones that are great problem fixers, or really hospitable, or really good at herding guests! There main job is guest ushering.
A good team of Ushers will make the wedding run so smoothly.
The Grooms job for the ceremony, is simply to turn up in good time (90 mins pre ceremony ) and be on hand for anything else that his soon to be wife (for example) has instructed him to do ! J And then just to take a moment to breath and get ready to greet his bride – or other groom.
If you are a sociable sort of Groom, its nice for the Groom to be in the ceremony room and able to welcome guests if you choose.
That said, if the Groom is confident his team of Ushers has it all in hand, he doesn’t need to come till about 30 mins pre ceremony. REMEBMBER this is for a celebrant led ceremony. The Groom will need to be onsite for the Registra interview if that’s the route you choose. Personally, I like the groom to be there about an hour before hand so that we can have a catch up, he can introduce me to his Groomsman, his best men and the ushers and we can have a briefing about the day ahead and the roles that everyone has and the expectation of it all.
The Groom can stand at the top of the room, with his back to everyone if he doesn’t want to be sociable. It’s a case of ‘please stand’ and away we go!
Plates and candle holders: @borrowed_hire
Hair Piece @bunnylovesevie
Make-Up & Hair Styling: @gemmalouisebridal