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Groomsmen Duties and Responsibilities

Groomsmen do not typically get the accolades that bridesmaids do, but ask any groom and they will tell you that they are just as important. They have several roles and responsibilities that are critical to the groom and to the matrimonial process in general.

Groomsmen Posing for Photos


Why Groomsmen are Important

Most importantly, they provide emotional support and a helping hand to their friend in need. After all, this is just as much your day as it is the bride’s, and you are just as nervous, exhausted, and overwhelmed. Groomsmen take some of the pressure off of you.

Duties of Groomsmen

There are many groomsmen duties that they willingly take on when they agree to their positions. Here are just a few of the most prevalent jobs of the male half of the wedding party, or an actual groomsmen to-do list:

1. Before the Wedding

a. Purchase or Rent Formal Wear

Groom & Groomsmen Getting Ready

While you may let the groomsmen know exactly what you would like them to wear, that is not always the case. Either way, it is part of the pre-wedding groomsmen’s duties to either rent, buy, or put together a wedding day outfit from pieces they already own.

If you do know what you want, they then have an idea of what is expected of them, so shopping online or in person will be a breeze. You may even have the best man order all ensembles online, and all they will need to do is provide him with their measurements and payment. If this is the case, they should be sure to get this done in a timely manner so they are not holding up everyone else.

Are you having difficulty choosing the groomsmen's attire? It doesn’t have to be so complicated. We recently addressed this issue on our blog.

b. Attend Pre-wedding Events

What groomsmen do before the wedding, regardless of the occasion, is attend each event related to the ceremony. A large percentage of the groomsmen’s duties is that they are expected to show up. This may include an engagement party, couples shower, bachelor party, and a rehearsal dinner. If they are coming from out of town, they should try to make at least one event, since attending all of them may be inconvenient.

Also, while the best man usually makes the toast at the reception, any one of the groomsmen may be asked to speak at another wedding-related occasion, so they all should be prepared, just in case.

c. Help Plan the Bachelor Party

There is probably none of the groomsmen' responsibilities that more fun or rewarding on this list than planning the stag. While the best man is typically the official party organizer, all groomsmen can chip in with ideas for dates, activities, venues, and even destinations, if applicable. No one should ever be radio silent. You chose each groomsman because you and he are close and you trust his judgement.

Each groomsman should know that he will be paying his own expenses, or the groomsmen will split them evenly. Of course, the group will pay for you, too!

d. Select a Gift that Groom Will Love

Each groomsman should either browse your and your future wife's registry for a gift you both already want or need, or put some deep thought into selecting something that both of you will always treasure.

They can also pool their money with another groomsman or all of the groomsmen to purchase a thoughtful big-ticket item with their increased buying power.

e. Be on Time

The groomsmen's responsibilities primarily include punctuality. They will have plenty to do on the day of the wedding, so they must ensure that are well-rested so they will be on point. They should be sure to set their alarms so they get up on time, eat healthy breakfasts, and get moving. All groomsmen should bring their tuxes with them to the venue, and be sure they are available and on-call just in case you need anything. This could mean a drink, a taco, or moral support.

2. During the Wedding

a. Help Out at the Wedding Ceremony

Wedding day groomsmen duties include getting to the ceremony a half hour early or more. Duties of groomsmen include being prepared to help in any way that they are needed, whether they are ushering guests to their seats, or letting the wedding party know of any last minute changes. They should be aware of any special seating arrangements for particular guests. Also, they should remember that even if the wedding has separate ushers to seat people, they may need assistance. This is especially true if there is an abundance of guests.

b. Strike a Pose

Groomsmen might be surprised to learn that posing for more photos than Heidi Klum does in an average day is one of their top duties. Groomsmen are almost always asked to appear in group photos before and after the ceremony.

There may be some silly pictures, but being in them with the friends and relatives is just part of the overall fun. Playing along will be worth it in the end when they see the time capsule of precious memories that the wedding photos become.

c. Party On!

Groomsmen Celebrating

After all the hard work comes some fun playing. That said, groomsmen should be ready to answer guests' questions, such as “Where is the restroom?” and “When is the DJ coming?” After being announced along with the bridesmaids, they will get to sit down with the wedding party, eat, drink, and relax.

As a favor, some groomsmen may be asked to save a dance for the elderly aunt, a bored flower girl, or a lonely bridesmaid. They should also be on hand in case anyone could use some help or someone to talk to.

3. Post Wedding Groomsmen Duties

a. Decorate the Wedding Car

Wedding Car

If it is a local or regional custom, groomsmen will probably be asked by the best man to help decorate the vehicle that you and your then-wife are leaving the venue with. This is usually the same car you will drive to the airport where you will depart from for your honeymoon.

b. Be Available to Pitch In

Once you and your bride leave and the party is over, groomsmen should stick around and see if anyone needs help cleaning or breaking down tables and chairs. Your family may need assistance bringing items to their respective cars, as well.

c. Provide Transportation

They should see if guests from out-of-town need a ride back to their hotels or to the airport. Also, they can offer rides to guests who may be too intoxicated to drive.

d. Returning their Attire if Rented

It is best for groomsmen to return their formal wear as soon as possible. This is especially true if it was rented in the best man's or your name. They should try to bring everything back the following day since many companies have strict next-day policies in place. You don’t want to accumulate late fees.

Selecting your Groomsmen

Not unlike bridesmaids, groomsmen are chosen because they are family members or very close friends. Usually this includes brothers and cousins, as well as the bride’s brothers, your future brothers-in-law. Rarely, grooms choose the spouse or significant other of one of the bridesmaids. This especially applies if you and your bride spend a lot of time together with the couple.

A brother, best friend, or even your father or son may be chosen as best man.He is usually someone very important in your life. It is perfectly acceptable to have two or more co-best men in your wedding if you cannot make a decision.

You can also invite the boys in your family or the children of good friends between the ages of 9 and 14 to be junior groomsmen. They are too old to be ring bearers and too young to be full groomsmen. They should attend most events, with the exception of the bachelor party, and will stand with the groomsmen during the ceremony.

Many ceremonies will include a separate group of ushers, and these are additional male relatives and friends of yours or the bride’s. The only difference between ushers and the groomsmen is that they won’t have to stand with you during the ceremony. However, groomsmen may do double duty as ushers. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a separate position.

Should Groomsmen be Single?

Groomsmen, as well as bridesmaids, do not have to be unmarried. You may select bridal party members that are single, committed, married, in a domestic partnership, or of any other status.

It is only important that you comprise your wedding party of those that you care about and also care about you in return.

How Many Groomsmen Should you Have?

There really is no set number of groomsmen, but it is suggested that you pick anywhere between six and ten attendants for a wedding with approximately 200 guests. Or, another suggestion is to pick a groomsman or usher to seat every 50 guests invited. Of course, this is not written in stone. The number really all depends on how many men (or ladies) you feel fit the job description.

Should there be an Equal Number of Groomsmen and Bridesmaids?

Groomsmen and Bridesmaids

Many couples try to balance the number of groomsmen with the number of bridesmaids, which is wonderful for a symmetrical look at the altar, and also provides everyone with a partner to walk down the aisle with, but it sure isn’t necessary. There is no rule saying that it has to be done that way, and, again, it all comes down to who you want by your side for the big day. After all, your future wife may have more or less close friends or relatives than you do.

If you are worried about someone walking down the aisle alone, have one groomsman walk two bridesmaids, or two groomsmen walk one bridesmaid. It’ll be a modern twist on the usual tradition.

Walking Down the Aisle

You have a couple of choices here. Your best man could lead the processional, followed by the groomsmen. They will walk down the aisle one by one or two at time. Then the bridesmaids will follow, then the maid or matron of honor will be behind them, and then, finally, the bride walks down the aisle with her father.

Alternatively, and more commonly if you have the same number of bridesmaids and groomsmen, is the escorting approach. Each groomsman will walk a bridesmaid down the aisle. Before this, the best man will escort the mothers of the bride and groom to their seats. The maid or matron of honor will walk before the bride and her father without an escort.

Where do Groomsmen Stand?

Once the bridal party is at the altar, they may stand with the bride and groom throughout the entire ceremony. If this is the case, the groomsmen will gather on the right side, with each groomsmen that comes forward taking his place closer to groom. The bridesmaids will do the same thing, just to the left of the bride.

It is necessary to stand? Actually, it really isn’t. Traditionally, the whole wedding party was expected to stand, but they are not expected to at every wedding. It truly is the choice of you and your fiancé. There are even some situations where it is inconvenient, if not downright impossible, to remain standing.

For example, during a Catholic ceremony, guests are expected to sit, stand, and even kneel as part of the worship. Other couples just seat their wedding parties in the first and second rows of the venue, even during a secular event. Further, many just have the best man and the maid or matron of honor stand while everyone else in the party may sit.

Proposing to Prospective Groomsmen

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Have you ever heard of a groomsmen proposal? It is when you ask the special men (or ladies) in your life to become a member of your half of the wedding party.

As a considerate groom, you should ask your prospective groomsmen at least nine to ten months prior to the wedding. This ensures that everyone involved can plan far in advance by saving the date and arranging travel plans if they do not live in the area.

Of course, asking a friend or relative to be a groomsman is a sign of love, trust, and respect. It is reflective of a strong bond. So, how would you ask these people to share your special day with you on such a deep level?

There is a number of ways. You could be funny and creative or heartfelt and touching. It really all depends on the type of relationship that you have with each groomsman candidate. You also have to figure out if you intend to ask everyone at the same time, or if you want to ask each person individually.

You could be quite creative with your groomsmen proposal, or you can choose to keep it simple. It all depends on their styles and personalities as well as yours.

Weddings are a time to honor friendships as well as the commitment of you and your true love, so give a lot of thought to your groomsmen proposal ideas to show the possible groomsmen just how much you love and appreciate them and their support.

There are many simple groomsmen proposal ideas. For example, you can take your buddy or bro out for a couple beers at your favorite bar and spring the question on him. Or, if you and your pals have a special pastime that you all enjoy, such as fishing, golf, or basketball, why not arrange a trip or viewing party around your hobby and casually ask them all at the same time?

But, probably the most sophisticated way to propose would be to provide each prospective groomsmen with a special trinket. There are so many examples online that you can choose from. There are groomsmen proposal cards or you can choose a groomsmen box.

If a groomsmen proposal box or groomsmen proposal cards are not enough to express your gratitude, consider other groomsmen proposal gifts.

You may be wondering if groomsmen proposal gifts are actually a thing. They certainly are, and they are a special way to showcase your love and thanks for the special people in your life.

Groomsmen Gift Ideas

If you are still unsure of which gifts best suit the personalities of your nearest and dearest, don’t fret. Check out our recent blog post to give you some inspiration and ideas. You can find it here.

In conclusion, your groomsmen are a strong source of support for you as you work your way to the day that you actually take the plunge. These are men, boys, and possibly women that have always had your back, constantly went to bat for you, and provided you with unconditional love. There is no better way to reciprocate that feeling than by inviting each of them to become an honored guest to the party celebrating the happiest day of your life. So, develop a groomsmen proposal that lets those chosen friends and family members know the special place that they hold in your heart.