Duty Calls: Ushers and Bridesmaids
Save yourselves loads of stress by clearly defining the roles of those who will be helping you get ready for your Big Day.
As LGBTQ+ people, we have immense freedom to arrange our relationships as we see fit, and this is just as true for the ceremonies we hold to celebrate them. We can choose the wedding traditions we wish to hold onto and those we prefer to discard.
Regarding ushers and bridesmaids, our suggestion is to select the people you want close to you, regardless of gender. These will be the people propelling you through the maelstrom of marriage preparations.
In choosing your Best Whatever or your Whatever-of-Honour, be sure to appoint someone who is cool under pressure, well organised, and dependable. Then be absolutely clear about what is expected of them. We may be rightly overturning stereotypical gender roles these days, permitting much more fluidity and nuance, but trust us, the roles in question here are ones worth defining clearly.
Best Whatever and Whatever-of-Honour
Put this person in charge of making arrangements for the Stag Night or the Hen Do, seeing to everything from timing to transportation. They will also be the one working most closely with you: accompanying you to fittings, addressing invitations, and directing efforts the day before the big event. They will also be coordinating the efforts of your ushers and/or brideswhatevers, especially on the day of the ceremony.
You will want to decide with your partner which responsibilities will go to each side. Then it’s up to each partner to assign the duties and organise their team as they please. If you will be having rings, who will bring them? Who will carry them? Who will be picking up the wedding favours? Who will be placing the flowers? Your Wedding Planner will ensure that you cover all the questions, but it will be up to you to assign the tasks. Your Best Person of Honour will serve as your captain, following up with the rest of your team to make sure that it all happens.
Ushers and Brideswhatevers
These are the friends who will be doing a lot of the footwork, especially during the last few days before the ceremony. Their work is even more crucial for destination weddings. They meet people at the airport or train station, help guests get settled in their rooms, pick up transport or event tickets, arrange for taxis, etc. They will often be the ones helping prepare the venue. On the day of the wedding, they get ready with their side, helping their bride or groom get dressed, standing ready to run any last-minute errands that might be required.
And these are just the very obvious elements.
For ceremonies that will take place in the city where you and at least most of your wedding party live, these responsibilities are weighty and complicated enough. For destination weddings, especially ones in a different country where they speak another language, the services and support of a Wedding Planner are indispensable. Your Planner will bear the weight of managing all of the things you think you’re prepared for, as well as all of the variables that you couldn’t possibly have imagined. Knowing that the situation is well in hand and being expertly take care of will permit you and your friends and family to enjoy your adventure abroad and bask in the glow of excitement.
At most receptions, each table is hosted by an usher or bridesmaid. This is a useful tradition, especially for an event in a different country, as these attendants will have been made familiar with the venue beforehand (where the toilets are located, where people can smoke, etc.)
Clearly identifying the roles and responsibilities of your wedding attendants will help you get your mind off the logistics and focus on the love!