Best man: The male equivalent to a maid of honor. He helps plan the bachelor party, making sure things don't go in a direction disrespectful of the bride. If there is a co-ed wedding shower, the best man helps the maid of honor with the planning. He traditionally drives the groom to the wedding, keeps the bride's ring, gives the officiant his or her fee after the ceremony, and offers a reception toast.
Bridesmaids: A support group for the maid of honor, they help her organize pre-wedding parties and perform nuptial tasks. It is the bridesmaids who throw the bride a bachelorette party. In keeping with their party hostess image, bridesmaids may be asked to lure guests onto the dance floor during the reception.
Groomsmen: Any number of men who help the best man and the groom with wedding plans. At the ceremony, the groomsmen accompany the bridesmaids down the aisle; they may also act as ushers before joining the wedding party at the altar.
Flower girl: A young girl, aged between three and eight, who walks in front of the bride with a basket of flower petals, which she scatters about. After walking down the aisle, the flower girl sits down for the duration of the ceremony.
Ring bearer: A young boy, aged between three and eight, who walks down the aisle just before the flower girl -- or in front of the bride if there is no flower girl. The ring bearer carries a small, decorative pillow, on which two rings have been attached.
Ushers: For many people, the term usher is synonymous with groomsman. Some weddings, however, feature separate people whose sole job is to seat guests.
Mother of the bride: While not so much a position as a point of fact, the mother of the bride does incur a few responsibilities, including walking her daughter down the aisle if her daughter desires, and being reception hostess, reception toaster, and emotional support for the bride.
Mother of the groom: The groom's mother attends the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner with the rest of the wedding party. At the ceremony, she may be escorted up the aisle during the prelude. And, of course, for weddings that have dancing at the reception, she gets to dance the mother-son dance with the groom.
Father of the bride: He may or may not help with the funding of his daughter's wedding. Other duties might include walking his daughter down the aisle, helping the couple find a wedding site, ferrying guests to and from the wedding site and reception venue, as well as initiating "man-to-man" talks with his future son-in-law about topics from the bachelor party to the groom's place in the bride's family. Heartfelt reception toasts are commonly given by the father of the bride, as well.
Father of the groom: He and the groom's mother might help the bride and groom fund various parts of the wedding -- traditionally, the groom's side paid for the rehearsal dinner. The father of the groom might also help the father of the bride find a wedding location, offer wedding toasts, and address any service problems that arise during the wedding and reception.
Junior bridesmaids: Young women, typically aged between nine and 15, who dress and function as bridesmaids.
Junior groomsmen: Young men, generally aged between nine and 15, who dress and act as groomsmen.
Junior ushers: Usually young men, though they can be young women, aged between nine and 15, who dress the same, and perform the same duties as adult ushers.
Candle lighter: In some Christian ceremonies, boys or girls aged between nine and 12 light candles at the altar just before the mother of the bride is seated. Candle lighters usually dress like the wedding party.
Train bearers: (They are also called pages.) Young boys or girls, aged between six and nine, who carry the bride's extra-long train as she walks down the aisle. Do not use train bearers, however, if your dress does not have a train!