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If you’re confused by the meaning of the bridal party as opposed to the wedding party, you’re not alone. The good news is that there isn’t much of a difference between the two terms.

The bridal party is made up of women chosen by the bride to support her on the day of the outdoor tent wedding. However, as spouses are breaking more wedding norms, the term bridal party members has evolved. Traditionally consisting of only women, it is now more inclusive, leading to the use of terms like ‘wedding party’ or ‘commitment crew’. Instead, couples refer to both the bridal party and groom party (typically the groomsmen) as the wedding party to be more inclusive. Keep reading to learn more about who’s in the wedding party, who you should invite, and what their duties are.

What Is a Wedding Party?

The wedding party describes the entire group of people who participate in the wedding, like the bride and groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and parents.

The wedding party plays a crucial role in the wedding planning and provides support throughout the process.

The party is picked by the couple to support and celebrate them from their engagement to the marriage. Those in the wedding party are responsible for tasks leading up to and during the wedding, like:

  • Planning bachelor/bachelorette parties
  • Attending dress or suit fittings for their wedding attire
  • Participating in the wedding ceremony and reception

They also attend various pre-wedding events like the rehearsal dinner and bridal luncheons.

Typically, the maid of honor or best man are the witnesses when the couple signs legal documents. Parents often act as hosts during the reception.

Who to Include in the Wedding Party

**Choosing your wedding party could be difficult. The last thing you want is to offend anyone. To keep things simple, you should include siblings, close family, or best friends. Be careful when asking a friend to be in your wedding, though. This person will be a part of your special day forever. You’ll want to make sure it’s someone who will stand the test of time. Flexibility and inclusivity are key, allowing you to choose wedding party members regardless of gender, reflecting the trend towards more gender-inclusive wedding parties.

Traditional Wedding Party Roles

Here’s a quick breakdown of the typical roles and duties in a wedding party:

  • The maid of honor and best man will support the bride and groom throughout the wedding day. They are also responsible for writing speeches at the reception and helping with wedding preparations.
  • The bridesmaids and groomsmen both offer support to the bride and groom. However, they have less significant responsibilities, but they may be asked to help seat guests or decorate the reception. Wedding party members can wear what makes them comfortable, whether it’s a bridesmaid dress, a tuxedo, or a well-fitted suit.
  • Flower girls and ring bearers are charming additions to the wedding party. These roles are held by children, like a niece, nephew, or younger sibling. The flower girl throws petals down the aisle in preparation for the bride, while the ring bearer delivers the rings to the groom or best man.

It’s important to remember that these roles and duties are not set in stone. As the bride and groom, you have the opportunity to switch roles or omit them entirely. The wedding planning process is evolving, allowing for more inclusivity and flexibility in wedding party roles and responsibilities.

Do I Need to Have a Wedding Party?

You absolutely do not need to have a wedding party. That choice is for you and your spouse to make. There are plenty of reasons why a couple would decide not to have one. You may have too many family members or close friends to choose from and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Maybe you’d prefer for just you and your spouse to be at the altar. It’s common for those eloping, having a small wedding, or getting married for a second time not to have a wedding party. The choice to have one is up to you and your spouse.

Plan Your Outdoor Tent Wedding Reception at Windows on the Water

If you’re planning an outdoor tent wedding, then look no further than Windows on the Water. Our wedding experts know that your wedding day is the day of your dreams, and we’ll do everything to make it a reality. Our team has years of experience crafting memorable wedding experiences.

Windows on the Water offers the most exceptional and accommodating lakeside tent wedding venue in Central New Jersey. Call (609) 208-9475 or complete a contact form to schedule an appointment. We’re eager to help make your wishes come true.