A bridal is someone who is getting married. It is also used to describe a bride’s family, friends, and bridal party. Bridal parties usually include bridesmaids, groomsmen, and flower children.
Bridesmaids are typically women who offer support to the bride and groom. They often participate in the processional and recessional. They help seat guests, and may decorate the reception. Traditionally, the maid of honor is the bride’s best friend. The mother of the bride often plays an important role as well, especially for the ceremony.
Ring bearer: Typically a boy, the ring bearer is responsible for carrying the couple’s wedding rings down the aisle. He or she will be assigned a wedding attire by the bride’s parents. This is a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. At this time, it was common for rich brides to wear layers of velvet and furs.
Father of the bride: Usually playing a less important role than the mother of the bride, the father of the bride is responsible for several important tasks on the wedding day. His duties may include walking the bride down the aisle, escorting her to the ceremony, and performing the father-daughter dance.
Best man: Another very important person, the best man is a supporter of the bride and groom on their wedding day. He will usually be the one to carry the bride’s ring down the aisle, orchestrate toasts, and lead the best man’s speech. After the ceremony, he will sign the marriage license as a groom’s witness.
Flower child: Traditionally, the flower child will be between four and eight years old. Their roles in the ceremony and reception include sitting with the family, scattering petals, and helping with formal duties. Depending on the age of the flower child, they may also be involved in the rehearsal dinner.
Maid of honor: Traditionally, the bride’s best friend or sister, the maid of honor is the bride’s right-hand woman on the wedding day. She helps to make decisions regarding the ceremony, and offers emotional support. In modern times, it is increasingly popular for the mother of the bride to play a special role during the ceremony, as well.
Father of the groom: Though the role of the father of the bride is smaller on the run up to the wedding, the dad of the bride is still a major part of the ceremony. His responsibilities are varied, but usually include arranging transportation and paying for the ring bearer’s attire.
Groomsmen: These men will provide support for the groom during the ceremony and reception. During the reception, they will be involved in the seating of guests and the delivery of wedding gifts.
Maid of honor: Traditionally, a bride’s best friend, the maid of honor is the bride’s first and last line of defense on the wedding day. She will also be involved in many of the other functions, such as removing the wedding rings from the pillow and helping the best man write his speech.