Cart is empty Close mini cart

Your cart is empty

Browse our services

Who Holds the Rings? (And Everything Else You Need to Know About Bridal Party Roles)

Written by Anna Currell
August 31, 2023

If you’re preparing to get married (congratulations!), you might have some questions about responsibilities. Although many weddings follow rigid traditions, the truth is you can do whatever feels best for you when it comes to bridal party roles. This day is ultimately about what makes sense for you as a couple. Keeping in mind that every wedding will look different and none of the rules are set in stone, here are a few answers to some commonly asked questions about bridal party roles.

#1: What are the typical responsibilities of the maid of honor?

Typically, the maid of honor is a close friend or relative tasked with organizing any events before the wedding, like a bachelorette party or bridal shower, and anything else that the bride needs help with. The maid of honor might attend the wedding dress fittings or help with things like deciding on bridal jewelry and accessories. The maid of honor also traditionally gives a speech at the reception and stands next to the bride at the altar, holding her bouquet and helping with her veil if needed. All weddings look different, and all maids of honor will have their own unique roles, but the most important thing to remember is that they’re there to help the couple with whatever they need. 

#2: What are the duties of the best man?

Just like the maid of honor, the best man is often a close friend or relative that traditionally helps the groom with wedding planning and any other events surrounding the big day. The best man will typically arrange the bachelor party and help with suit fittings, and also traditionally gives a speech at the reception. The best man might also hold the wedding rings during the ceremony and will give them to the groom when the time comes to exchange rings. 

#3: What are the duties of the bridesmaids and groomsmen?

The main role of the bridesmaids and groomsmen is to be a total support system for the couple. Not only are they there to help with anything the couple needs, but they’ll also assist the maid of honor and best man. They’re there to make sure the day (and any event leading up to the wedding, like the rehearsal dinner) runs smoothly. They might communicate with the DJ, wedding planner, or photographer to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks and the vibes stay happy. They also might be in charge of deciding a wedding hashtag for social media, collecting photos of the day, or starting the party at the reception — someone’s gotta be the first on the dance floor!

#4: Can I have more than one maid of honor or best man?

You can absolutely have more than one maid of honor or best man. There are no hard and fast rules about how you include the people who are special to you in your wedding. If you have two best friends, two siblings, or two (or more) important people in your life and you can’t imagine getting married without them standing by your side, then feel free to name them maids of honor, best men, or best people. Remember that bridal party roles are steeped in tradition, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to any that don’t make sense to you. 

#5: How many groomsmen and bridesmaids should there be?

There’s no set number for bridesmaids and groomsmen, but lots of couples choose to have an even number. Traditionally, groomsmen and bridesmaids will be paired together to walk down the aisle, so an even number can help to make sure nobody’s left out. However, if the couple doesn't want to do a ceremonial procession, or if the bridal party isn’t going to physically stand next to the couple during the ceremony, the number of groomsmen and bridesmaids is totally arbitrary and up to the couple. 


One thing to consider about choosing your bridal party is the cost associated with any bridal party role. If you decide to pay for their dresses, suits, or outfits, the costs could add up quickly; and on the other hand, if you want your bridal party to pay for their own, you might want to make sure each of the people you ask to support you on your wedding day are able to afford these items. The same idea applies to your rehearsal dinner and bachelor or bachelorette parties — the more people in your bridal party, the more expensive these supporting events can get. 

#6: Can a bridesmaid be a man? 

Bridesmaids and groomsmen, contrary to the gendered titles, can be any gender at all. The purpose of selecting your bridal party is to have special people in your lives stand by your side as you commit to your partner. Your bridal party can include your friends, siblings, family members, or anyone else special to you. Gender doesn’t have to play a role in determining whether or not a person is in your bridal party. You can adjust the titles as necessary to reflect their roles in both your life and your wedding: instead of the best man or maid of honor, maybe you just want to call this role your best friend. Instead of groomsmen and bridesmaids, you can call them friends of honor, the ‘I Do’ crew, bridesmates and groomsmates, etc. This is another great opportunity to get creative.

#7: Who gives speeches at the wedding reception?

Traditionally, the parents of the couples, the maid of honor, and the best man will give toasts at the wedding reception. However, the couple can ask anyone to give a speech. For example, the maid of honor might have a fear of public speaking, or the close cousin who introduced the couple might be the more natural choice for marking the occasion. It’s a good idea to select the people who will give toasts ahead of time so they can prepare their remarks and so that there’s no confusion during the reception. 

#8: Who holds the wedding rings during the ceremony? 

Traditionally, ring bearers will bring the rings down the aisle. Couples normally give this title to a nephew or niece, or someone they’d like to include in the wedding ceremony who might not be in the bridal party. Then the ring bearer will give the rings to the best man, or whoever the couple entrusts with holding the jewelry while the ceremony takes place. 

If you’re getting married, or if you’re about to be in someone’s wedding, make sure that the wedding rings are in great shape before they’re handed off to the ring bearer. Get them professionally cleaned before the big day to make sure they’re in good condition. Send them into our professional jewelers at Quick Jewelry Repairs for a deep cleaning and polishing so they sparkle during the ceremony and represent the beginning of a beautiful marriage.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments