host & hostess duties at a wedding


Congratulations! You have the honor of being chosen to represent the happy couple and their families at their wedding.

After the idea sinks in, you'll probably have more questions than answers when it comes to host and hostess duties.

Depending on the size of the wedding, you may or may not share the responsibility with another couple or couples. Traditionally, two couples will greet the guests at the ceremony and reception sites. One couple may be chosen from the bride's side, one from the groom's. Old rules don't necessarily apply today. Each family may have more than one host couple if the wedding is large. They may be Godparents, close friends or family, singles or couples.


Most of your duties as host and hostess will be on the wedding day but you'll also be a guest. Prior to the special event, attend any bridal showers and parties that you are invited to. Provide support and assistance to the bride and groom as any friend or member of the family would.

On the day of the wedding, dress appropriately. Check with the bride in advance to see if there is any special requests for attire. Usually you can wear what you wish, but if you're looking for a new dress or suit, ask about the general style and colors that will be utilized and dress accordingly. Remember, your appearance is very important, so be well-groomed and wear something comfortable and attractive. It's common for the host and hostess to receive a boutonniere or corsage, which you should receive before the ceremony. You may also be asked to help pin or hand out flowers on other honorees as they arrive.

Your main responsibility as host and hostess will be to greet guests before the wedding ceremony and later on at the reception. Of course, it's important to arrive early to each. You may be asked to assist with a quick cleanup after the ceremony and to transport any items to the reception site if it's at a different location.

Greet the guests graciously and introduce yourself if you don't know them. Point them in the direction of the guest book, coat racks, and gift table. You may offer to carry the gift to the table. Later on, you can kick back and have some fun. Try to keep an eye on the door and meet any late arrivals to give them a quick update.

People may leave temporarily and then come back. This can be confusing after meeting many new people all in one day. To determine if they are new arrivals, look to see if they are carrying a card or gift. Often, a new guest will have a look of bewilderment on their face and will scan the area to decide where to go next. These are easy indications that your greeting abilities are needed once again.

You may also be asked to dismiss tables in turn for lunch or dinner if it is buffet style. Find out the order, making sure that parents and grandparents go right after the wedding party. Depending on the number of guests, you may wish to announce how dinner is served so that the guests don't get restless. Pay attention to keep everything running smoothly.

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today's tip

Represent the couple well. Smile often and make the guests feel comfortable and most welcome.