Grooms unite! If you’ve selected your wedding day wingmen but aren’t really sure what to do with them or how to coordinate with them during the wedding preparations, read on for the Wedding Fair’s guide to keeping your groomsmen on side.
In a wedding, the focus is so often fixed firmly on the bride… according to common convention, it is the bride’s day. But there is another, equally important, individual who is so often forgotten: the groom. Well, I say forgotten, but there is one group of people present whose sole purpose is to be there for the groom: his groomsmen. These guys are handpicked for this honour by the groom as a reflection of their importance in his life. In turn, the groomsmen have the privilege of standing beside their best mate or relative on their big day, but also willing to give up some time/money to be involved and to put up with some inevitable pre-wedding stress.
It can be easy for a groom to get carried away and forget that these people are his friends and are there by choice. So here is a guide to how a groom can do his best to ensure they carry out their roles well and are happy doing so.
A Position of Honour and Respect
Being a groomsman is a position of honour for those chosen. The select group may be chosen for a variety of reasons, but they are never picked lightly. You are entrusting some of the most important aspects of the day to these guys, so it is within your interests to pick wisely.
As a general rule, we guys don’t talk about our emotions an awful lot. Wedding days are perhaps the exception that proves the rule though. So drop subtle hints to your groomsmen that this not something for them to take as a joke, or a given; you thought long and hard over who to give this responsibility to.
Keep Them In The Loop
One sure-fire strategy that will span the wedding curriculum is to plan ahead. Obviously much of the planning will just be between you and the bride; that said, it won’t hurt to keep the groomsmen in the loop so they know what’s happening. After all, guests may go to your bridal party with their questions ahead of the big day so they don’t have to bother you and the bride with them, so it pays to have the groomsmen on top of all the details. Also, if your groomsmen know what wedding tasks you’re working on, they may be able to help out with pointers – like recommendations on a boutique beer for the reception or the name of an awesome band.
Make sure that when you choose your suit style, it accurately represents the realistic resources of your groomsmen party. A moderately priced suit, and there are no shortage of rental competitors from which to choose, will help stop any tension over money. It may be the difference between a good friend being able to stand with the group, or sitting it out. As the groom you may fancy wearing a suit of gold, but don’t expect your groomsmen to be happy expending the same amount.
Share Your Day
Remember that you are the groom. Everybody will respect you as such, but be willing to make some concessions. There is no groom’s version of the notion of bridezilla. Let’s keep it that way.
Should your groomsmen require rides, couches to crash on etc, do your best to help them out. Although the day is about you and your bride, they also want to take part in celebrations and make sure they run smoothly. It’s also the groomsmen’s time to celebrate being a close and trusted friend of yours.
One great tradition during the rehearsal dinner is the giving of gifts. When the groom shows his appreciation in front of the wedding party and parents, be sure it is in good taste. Flasks and pocket watches, inscribed mugs and stationery, are all great… but, like many popular gifts, they are also a bit impersonal and repetitive.
Try to think of something that will show your (or their) personality and inspire memories. It is acceptable to give differing groomsmen gifts, based on the individual relationship. This may prove to be a task, but will ring true. Your gift should be genuine and represent your appreciation for the friendship they have shared with you and the effort they have made to be there.
Regard Their Time as Valuable
As has been mentioned, the travel and expense the groomsmen may be incurring should be a consideration. Participating in the ceremony and the reception are obvious expectations, and traditionally there is a rehearsal the night before the wedding. The bachelor party may occur that night, but more likely it will be held even earlier.
Any more events than that and a groom may be asking a groomsmen to incur a greater expense and to give up more time than they can. This is especially true for the already married and the family man who may be travelling with a wife and kids. Don’t demand more than a fair share of their time for events… but also make sure they realise up front that part of their role as groomsmen is to help with some of the wedding preparations, not simply show up for the fun stuff.
The Bachelor Party
Respect your groomsmen’s wishes during your bachelor party as well. Let them which activities you are (or aren’t keen on), but also allow yourself the luxury of following along with their plans on this one. Again, no need to prima donna or micro-manage the event (you have another wedding tasks to work on!), this can be their night out as well. Ignore the Hollywood stereotypes and engage in activities which you will all enjoy, or just appreciate their efforts.
Being a groomsman in a good friend’s or family member’s wedding is an honour. Being asked to stand behind your cousin, or buddy, or both, is a compliment equal to none. Every time wedding photos are shared, your best friends will also be smiling back. Whether it’s the coveted Best Man position or not, treat your groomsmen with all the respect they have earned by being your friend for so long.
This post was written on behalf of the Wedding Fair, one of the UK’s largest wedding shows with hundreds of industry leading exhibitors. Josh assists on the marketing side of the event encouraging as many happy couples-to-be to attend. Follow them here @TheWeddingFairs.