A wedding is often a major event, and one where many different people are involved. Typically, these participants are referred to as the wedding party and may include the bride, groom, best person, maid of honor, groomsmen, flower girls, and pages. Depending on the location, religion, and style of the wedding, these people may also be called the couple’s attendants.

While some people choose to have just the bride’s maid of honor, or MOH, serve as the main organizer for the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner, the mother of the bride may play a similar role. She is there to offer support, and to assist with the shopping for the dress and other items related to the wedding day. She may also play a larger role at the wedding itself, assisting with things like bustling the gown and affixing the veil.

Generally, the bride’s closest female friends and family will make up the bridal party, or sometimes bridesmaids. This group usually is a combination of women and men, although mixed-gender bridal parties are becoming more common. They will help plan the bridal shower and other events leading up to the wedding, and on the day itself, they will walk ahead of the bride down the aisle. They may also serve as ushers, greeting guests and showing them to their seats.

In many countries and cultures, the bride wears a white dress, purchased only for the occasion, with a veil or headpiece. Traditionally, the bridal veil is long and flows down the back to symbolize virginity. The practice originated with the Greeks, and later, Romans, who believed that a bride should be pure and unstained. The bridal wreath, a crown of orange blossoms, is a Christian substitute for the gilt coronet all Jewish brides wore during their ceremonies.

Many couples have their attendants carry a special bouquet of flowers down the aisle, and some have their youngest relatives or friends serve as flower girls. In addition, some people choose to have a page boy and/or ring bearer, who carry small versions of the couple’s rings down the aisle.

Some brides may enlist her brother or close male friend to be the man of honor. Others opt for the maid of honor to be a male friend or sibling, or even their father. The role of man of honor can be a big responsibility, as it is his duty to stand up for the bride in front of everyone at the ceremony. He may also be responsible for planning the bachelor party and/or rehearsal dinner.

It’s not uncommon for some couples to have their parents pay for the wedding, but it’s not a requirement. Regardless of who pays for the expenses, it is important to make a budget before choosing members of the bridal party and enlisting family and friends to take on specific duties. This way, the couple can ensure that they are getting the most bang for their buck.

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