(Closed) A “Hostess” at the wedding

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2532 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Maybe she means sort of like the DOC? The person who will tell people things in case they ask or direct the vendors where to go if needed or keep track of the timeline of events throughout the night?

Post # 4
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

I clicked on this because I thought you were referring to one of us 😉  I would just clarify with the bride.  If you start by offering to help in any way necessay, hopefully she’ll detail her vision more clearly.

Post # 5
4485 posts
Honey bee

The bride and grooms are the hosts of the wedding. No one else can have that job. The parents might possibly be paying for a portion but the couple is still hosting the party. If the couple was not hosting, that would make them guests which they most certainly are not.

As far as ‘work” for the bridesmaids is concerned, a maid of honor can handle everything. The only ‘work” she has to do is sign the marriage certificate as the bride’s legal witness. (The best man signs for the groom). Beyond that, they have no responsibilities other than to show up.

A day-of coordinator is something entirely different.

Post # 6
7152 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

My hostesses will be showing guests to their seats and “watching” the framed picture that guests will be signing. We won’t have programs, but they usually pass these out also. They also will “guard” the gift table and helping out wherever needed.

Post # 7
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

When I did this job many years ago I watched over the guest book and made sure people knew where to put their gifts. I was a kind of “greeter” who got them situated as they came in. It was nice in that I got to be part of the behind the scenes action without having to be a bridesmaid.

Post # 8
1135 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

@Ember78: Obviously she knows that she is not the “hostess” at the wedding.  She is referring to a job that she was asked to do by the bride, which has a specific meaning and duties.  Her issue is that the bride hasn’t been very clear about what she wants her hostess to do.  The couple is hosting the wedding and they are asking assistance from friends, who they have given a title to.  No need to take issue with the title they choose.


@yogigal: I would imagine that your job mostly has to do with the guests, whereas the Maid/Matron of Honor is taking care of the bride.  But as PPs have said, I think you should talk to the bride and clarify.  “I’m so honored you’ve asked me to help out this weekend, but I’m wondering if you can clarify exactly what it is you’d like me to help with so that I make sure I’m being as helpful as possible!”  Something like that should help.  Good luck!

Post # 9
687 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We are planning to have a smiliar “helper” for both our wedding ceremony and reception — ultimately it’s someone to help ensure things go smoothly when we have to be behind closed doors (ie: making sure guests to do come in while we’re taking pictures, the ushers are set when the time is right, my mother is keeping her head on straight, etc).  Pretty much a DOC… But ask the bride how you can help her and I’m sure she’ll explain! 🙂

Post # 10
5388 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

When I was a hostess I:

  • Handed out programs
  • escorted male special guests (the ushers escorted the female special guests)
  • watched the guest book
  • put the gifts in the correct place


Post # 11
824 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011 - The Tribute Golf Club

I’ve been in a house party and also a hostess.  I handed out programs for one wedding and for the other I watched over the guest book and helped guests find their escort cards at the reception.

Post # 12
1696 posts
Bumble bee

@Ember78: I don’t agree that ‘only the bride and groom can have the job of being hosts at the wedding.’ In fact, in as much as most wedding traditions are about honouring the bride and groom; and in as much as it is rather boorish to act on your own behalf to invite people to come and honour you; it is generally more gracious to at least pretend (even though the bride and groom still pay the bills) that someone else is the hostess — usually the bride’s mother or close relative or family friend. I’ve been the hostess in this role, and what that meant was issuing the invitations in my name, overseeing menus and seating plans, greeting the guests at the door as they arrived and bringing the piper his dram, introducing people to one another, signalling the caterers when to begin serving, signalling the speakers when to begin toasts to the couple, signalling the band when to begin the music, serving the cake after the bride and groom had their ceremonial slice, chivvying the spinsters and then the bachelors onto the floor for their chance at bouquet and garter, waving goodbye to the bride and groom as they headed off into the sunset to begin their wedding trip, saying goodnight to every guest as they left, calling cabs for the last few inebriated guests, securing the rental items at the end of the evening, paying off the band and the piper,  and signing the caterer’s invoice at the end of the night.

I’ve also been what we would call “chatelaine”, which is a stand-in for a hostess. The invitations were issued in the bride’s name and she did all the prior arrangements like overseeing menus and seating plans; but I acted on her behalf during the reception during any times when her role as “bride” prevented her from fulfilling her duty as “hostess”. In this case there were no toasts to the couple , the bride served the piper’s his dram and her guests their cake with her own hands, and the couple stayed to the end to say  goodnight to each departing guest (as did the energetic two-year-old ring-bearer who undertook her duty to hand every guest a package of Jordan almonds so seriously that *no-one* escaped empty-handed!)

In this case, though, it sounds like the role of “hostess” is more like the restaurant “hostesses” who check people in at the door, and show them to their seats. It’s an oddly commercialized usage of a term that is already in use at a social event, but it’s a good sign that brides are realizing their guests are entitled to more personal attention than they are able to provide when they are also busy beeing the bride.


Post # 13
7 posts
  • Wedding: December 2012

What is the actual title? I don’t want to say hostess…..because I am the hostess. Usherettes?

Post # 14
1269 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

It’s Hostess, just like restaurants have hostesses that greet you when you enter the a restaurant. A hostess has been hired by the hosts of the party to act this way on their behalf. 

Post # 15
846 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

i was a hostess at my friend’s wedding. i stood at the door and greeted the guests, handed out the programs, and made sure the grandparents got their corsages and boutonnieres when they arrived. i was also asked to videotape the ceremony and hand out bubbles during the receiving line so people could blow them when the couple left the church.

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