Wedding & Function
Wedding & Function

Wedding Retinue

Why would you need a wedding retinue? Short answer is that no wedding is complete without those cute flower girls, helpful bridesmaids and groomsmen. The long answer is while, traditionally, wedding duties fell to the family and close relatives, today, a couple is likely to get help from their friends too – in some instances, more friends than relatives.

Here is the who’s who of the bridal retinue


this role usually goes to one of your sisters or your closest, most loyal friend - the one who knows when to tell you what you want to hear and when to be brutally honest. The maid of honour is like the ‘chief bridesmaid’, if you will and of all your helpers, she’ll be the one whom you’ll rely on the most.

Since organizing and motivating are key duties of the maid of honour, choose your lovable but scatter-brained best friend only if you’re prepared to do a lot of the heavy lifting yourself.

If she’s single, she is a “maid”; a “matron” if married. If you choose to have both, a maid and a matron, then it’s the former who plays the main role.


The best man is to the groom what your maid of honour is to you, the biggest source of support. Traditionally, he is a brother or the best friend of the groom, and can be married or single. In some areas, it’s customary for the groom to choose his father.

Choosing someone who gets along with the bride is a plus. Also choose someone who won’t party too hard after the rehearsal dinner - you do want him to make it to the ceremony, after all.


You can have as many bridesmaids as you want – although 12 is usually the limit. Bridesmaids can be single or married, and of any age, but girls between six and 16 years old become junior bridesmaids and won’t take on many “heavy” duties. Choose from fun friends who will still be in your life long after the wedding. Those negative, needy, dramatic types need not apply. Sisters and close cousins are usually chosen before friends. Don’t forget your fianc?’s sister!

Out-of-town bridesmaids get a pass on most parties, but they still must send a gift for the bridal shower.


Groomsmen are the male counterparts of bridesmaids and are there to help the best man and the groom with any errands before the wedding. Choose from old friends, cousins, and both the bride’s and groom’s brothers.


The flower girl or girls are usually between four and eight years old. Choose that adorable moppet, a cousin, a niece, a godchild, or a stepchild. Flower girls are not to be confused with junior bridesmaids, who are older and wear tween versions of the bridesmaids’ dresses.

Always include her in your rehearsal so that she’s comfortable with her role and prep her about the amount of attention she’ll be receiving come the day. Just be prepared to deal with disruptions, such as crying or not making it all the way down the aisle.


The ring bearer is traditionally a boy aged between four and eight. He carries symbolic rings, tied to a ring pillow, down the aisle. As with the flower girl, include him in your rehearsal and prep him for the attention. Just be sure to secure the rings to whatever they’re being carried in or on.

For the different wedding roles or responsibilities that your family and friends can carry, read our article here.

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