If you've recently been asked to be a host or hostess for a loved one's wedding, it's important to know which tasks are expected of you on the big day. Hosts and hostesses play a role in making sure that guests are properly accommodated at the wedding, and can assist in giving the ceremony the feel that the couple has intended.
Before the Wedding Day
Now that you're part of the wedding party, it's proper etiquette to attend any pre-ceremony showers or celebrations you are invited to. You should also be on time for the wedding rehearsal, so that you'll know where to stand, how to direct guests to their seats and whether you are needed for the ceremony, the reception or both events. Communicating with the bride regularly before the day of the wedding will also help you to get clear details on what to wear for the wedding. In most cases, the wedding host or hostess is permitted to wear anything in keeping with the level of formality of the ceremony, but the bride or groom may have specific preferences of which you should be aware.
Wedding Ceremony Duties
At the wedding ceremony, the wedding host or hostess stands in front of the wedding site (usually the doors of the church or chapel) to greet guests who are entering the wedding. The hostess or host also makes sure that each guest has signed the guest book, and provides wedding programs for each attendee. It is also appropriate for the wedding host or hostess to direct guests to the right side of the chapel for the wedding; the bride's family and loved ones usually sit on the left, and the groom's family members are seated on the right.
Wedding Reception Duties
If you are asked to be a wedding host or hostess for a wedding reception as well, you'll be responsible for removing the guest book from the wedding ceremony site and taking it to the reception area. Guests should sign the guest book at this location as well, especially if there are guests attending the reception who were not at the ceremony. It is best to leave the ceremony location earlier than the guests, so that you can be in position to greet everyone as they enter the celebration. Wedding hosts and hostesses also check the reception location to ensure that everything is in place (such as centrepieces, flower arrangements and adequate seating) before the guests, remainder of the wedding party and bride and groom enter.