Besides the bride and groom, the in-laws and all the other important players on wedding game-day, there are also………. the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen!
Contrarily, compared with English/American tradition, it isn’t as easy to find maids-of-honor and best-men in Italy. They do however; play a very crucial role in the success of wedded bliss.
There are usually at least 2 (1 for the blushing bride-to-be, and 1 for the handsome groom) and are chosen typically from their nearest and dearest friends or family, carrying out various responsibilities up to and on the day of the “I dos”.
To help the future couples out there select the right person for the job, and consequently aid the chosen ones fulfill their duties to the best of their ability, here are my personal – and ironic – suggestions:
Let’s start with the “institutional” role, or otherwise-known-as “bare-minimum” required of the witnesses:
- Arrival in a timely fashion on the wedding day (punctuality).
- Signing of the Marriage Certificate (good penmanship…..as well as staying put in church for the duration of the ceremony!)
- Entrusted with THE rings ( flighty, forgetful friends need not apply)
Now let’s take a peek at the overall “jobs” of these fortunate friends/family from engagement to the send-off of honeymoon!
- Dedication and sacrifice of time leading up to the wedding day, planning events, parties, etc.
- Organization of Bachelor / Bachelorette Parties (usually the goal being “memorable”), including close family members and friends, keeping spending to a minimum but with maximum fun/relaxation/energy…..whatever the occasion calls for!
- Typically involves giving the bride and groom a slightly “bigger” gift than the other guests (an honor!)
- Ready and willing to give their opinions at any and all times throughout all the festivities, from choosing the wedding dress, to the menu, the venue and others, being careful not to override the wishes (or tastes) of the main parties involved with their own!
- A speech at the reception is a must. Thanking. Funny stories. Memorable moments. Funny. Happy. Teary…..as long as it’s from the heart (and while sober).
- Must be done up to the 9’s, without overshadowing the bride! Nails, hair, makeup, dress….
- Reassurance, availability and positivity on the big day for the soon to be man and wife, for any and all complaints, outbursts, terror-stricken panic attacks, crying or annoying unwanted input from others. Basically to put up with everything WITH a smile on your face!
- If necessary, you may be asked to chauffeur the newlyweds home at the end of night could be in the cards, so you sort of have to be there till the end.
- Mingle mingle mingle!!! Make sure guests are having the time of their lives.
- Possibly keep an eye on little things….. the caterer, the food, the site are all running according to plan, all the while, having fun yourself! This is really the pleasure of the Wedding Planner, so leave it to them when possible!
Last but not least, some brides present little booklets at the time they ask their friends to join the ranks of bridesmaids and groomsmen, to give them an idea of how their perfect, dream day should go. An insider’s peek at what’s to come over the next 6-12 months….or less if it’s a shotgun wedding!
Selecting these unforgettable people in their lives is usually done with a lot of thought and care, consideration and love. Remember that. It is truly an honor!!!