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Wedding Party Etiquette

Roles in the wedding party are no longer confined by gender or by age. Male friends or little brothers may serve as attendants to the bride. The groom is free to select his best female friend or an older relative to walk among his groomsmen. No matter whom you choose to serve as an attendant in your wedding, there are still certain rules of etiquette you should follow to help avoid chaos on your wedding day.

Pairing Attendants: Choose as many attendants as you would like for the bridal party. Remember, that the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk in pairs, so try to keep the number equal. There should be at least one groomsmen or usher to seat every 50 guests.

Age Old Traditions: Attendants can be any age. The maid of honor, or honor attendant, is someone exceptionally close to the bride. She (or he) is normally a best friend or a close relative. If the maid of honor is 16-years-old or younger, she is referred to as a “maiden of honor”.

Paying the Bill: All honor attendants, male and female, are expected to purchase their own wedding attire. If the honor attendant is under the age of 18, the parents or the bride and groom can assume responsibility for the bill.

Distinguished Attire: Tuxedos and gowns do not have to be identical. Junior bridesmaids normally wear more modest attire on the wedding day. The bride may choose to distinguish her maid of honor by giving her a slightly different gown. Likewise, the best man and the bride’s father can make minor modifications to their wardrobe.

Child Attendants: The flower girl and ring bearer are normally children between the ages of four and eight. If you do not have any young children in your family, consider opting for a single flower girl, a single ring bearer, or eliminate both positions.

Remember, while certain rules of etiquette still apply, the structure of the wedding party is not inflexible. Feel free to experiment.

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