wedding roles for friends

Jobs for Everyone – Roles In the Wedding Party for Women

Other Roles Besides Bridesmaids

I am sure my dilemma is not as serious as others, although it has caused me more stress than I expected it to in planning my wedding. My fiance has confided in me that he would prefer to keep the wedding party smaller as, in his opinion, having lots and lots of people standing up in the wedding can take away from the two people getting married. He really wants it to be our special day.

I completely understand what he means and so, at this point, our wedding party is his two brothers, my sister and longterm best friend as the co-maids of honor, and his sister as a bridesmaid. I am fine with this set up and like it because all of our family members are included. (we are all close and have a lot of fun together), But I feel like I am leaving out my college friends (5 girls I am very close to) and would like to find a special way to include them other than having 5 more bridesmaids as this would be a very lopsided, uneven amount and would be against what my fiancee (and I) would prefer. He suggested asking them to be “bridal attendants” and offered that this may be a special way to include them. I wasn’t familiar with the term and didn’t know if this was proper wedding etiquette or what it typically meant. Do you have any other suggestions of ways to include these ladies in my wedding and if so what their “wedding title” could be? I can’t wait to get this detail taken care of so I can enjoy the rest of my wedding planning! Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Wedding Queen

I completely understand your desire to have a smaller wedding party but please note that the number of men and women do not have to be equal. The term wedding attendant is just another name for bridesmaids and groomsmen so I’m afraid this won’t work in your case.

There are many roles which can be delegated to your college friends. During the ceremony some can perform readings, hand out programs, bells or any tossees you might provide. If one of the friends is familiar with all of the family members and many of the friends you can ask someone to shadow the photographer to help with with the “who’s who” in order to get the best candid shots. During the reception someone can oversee the guestbook.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful.

The Wedding Expert

There are plenty of jobs you can give to those who aren’t bridesmaids. Usherettes is a good choice or asking people to be in charge fo the guest book. Some ceremony related ideas include asking friends to light candles. In a Jewish wedding it is also not uncommon to have a friend be the glass bearer (carrying up the glass that will be shattered at the ceremony’s conclusion). You can also ask friends to escort your grandparents or other more elderly relatives.

The Guys Opinion

This might be a little out there, but I recently heard of somebody asking a close friend to marry them. Getting ordained online takes no time and if you’re not having a religious ceremony it might be a good way to include close friends. This person was extreamly honored to be asked. Obviously you want somebody really close to do this because it is a real commitment. Another idea I have heard of is having a bridesmaid who is walking down the aisle with her son who will be the ring bearer so that another friend did not have to pick another groomsman.

The Bride Next Door

I echo the general sentiments of everybody else, which is to have her help out, attend stuff, help set up, help you get ready, and all the other behind-the-scenes stuff without being a bridesmaid. Some ideas include:


  • Readers- Anywhere from one to three readers may be needed at a wedding ceremony. This is a great role for a friend.
  • Candle lighters – A friend can light remembrance candles or other ceremony candles.
  • Gift bearers – In some Christian ceremonies gifts will need to be carried to the altar before communion.
  • Train Help- Have a close friend help carry the dress train or just walk with the bride up the aisle.
  • Program attendant- Ask someone to hand out programs at the ceremony to each guest.
  • Bubbles or rice attendant- Make sure someone is asked to hand out the bubbles or rice after the ceremony.
  • Guest book attendants- Have someone with the guest book directing people to sign it as they arrive.