You have been asked to be one of the groomsmen at your best friend’s wedding. But just exactly what is a groomsman? What do they do? How much will it cost you? Keep calm there, grasshopper! I am going to tell you everything you need to know about groomsmen in this post. So let’s get to it!
What are Groomsmen?
Groomsmen are individuals selected by the groom to serve as assistants to the groom. Just as brides have their bridesmaids and of course they have the maid of honor, a groom needs his groomsmen, and he will most likely have someone designated as his best man. Groomsmen are usually a close relative or friend of the groom. It might be their father, brother, cousin, or best mate.
A groomsman doesn’t necessarily have to be a male, thankfully gender stereotypes have moved on, and groomsmen can be female without any judgment. If your fiancés best friends are female, then, of course, they can select them to be their groomsman, or they can have a mixture of both male and female groomsmen.
Where Does The Term Groomsmen Come From?
Have you ever wonder about the origins of some of the traditions practice in today’s wedding? Why do we have groomsmen? Well, let’s travel back in time and see how folks use to get married back then.
The groomsmen’s duties were quite different in the 16th century to how they are now, quite dark to be precise. If the bride’s family disapproved of her getting married to the groom, the groom and his friends would kidnap the bride from her family’s home. The groom’s friends would guard the bride preventing anyone from retaking her. They would also stop anyone from taking her away during the ceremony.
The bride’s kidnapping was called marriage by capture, and the groom’s friends who were in charge of assisting with capturing and guarding the bride were called brides knights. So, in essence, today’s groomsmen were formally known as brides knights. Wild, isn’t it?
What Are The Duties of Groomsmen?
The duty of today’s groomsmen is a lot different from the days of marriage by capture. Nevertheless, it is still a huge responsibility. On some occasions, the persons selected to serve as groomsmen don’t quite understand their duties and responsibilities. Furthermore, not everyone has a personality best suited for the job.
Groomsmen should have the groom’s back. They should be well-spoken, warm, dependable, and approachable. Above all else, they should work well with others.
Pre Wedding Day Duties of Groomsmen:
- Acquire Wedding Day Attire – Whether you rent or purchase a tux or suit, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you get a start on this early. Don’t wait until the last minute. Getting fitted and tailoring takes time. If your wedding attire is being purchased and tailored at a location far from your home, make arrangements for fitting and tailoring in advance.
- Groomsmen Gifts For The Couple – With all the tasks that need to be done, you could easily forget to get a couple’s gift. Giving the couple a gift is customary and should be taken care of as soon as possible. If you don’t have any groomsmen gift ideas, take a look at the couples wedding registry.
- Assist With Planning The Bachelor Party – Planning the bachelor party is typically the best man or best woman job. However, he or she will be leaning on you for your support in the planning process. This is especially true if the groom is very sociable, has many friends, and wants a big party.
- Attend ALL Pre-Wedding Events – Groomsmen should make every effort to attend every pre-wedding event except for the bridal party. This means the engagement party, bachelor party, rehearsal dinner, etc. Make no mistake about the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner usually follows the ceremony rehearsal. From my perspective, the ceremony rehearsal is mandatory for all groomsmen. This is where you will learn the flow of the wedding ceremony and how you fit into it. You don’t want to miss this!
- Book Hotel Rooms – It’s your responsibility to make sure you have a place to stay on the wedding day. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this. If the wedding is occurring during the peak wedding season, most accommodation will be booked up fast. When my wife and I got married, we reserved a block of rooms at a hotel close to where we were getting married for our out of town guests.
- Make Travel Plans – This is especially important if it is a destination wedding! Make sure all your travel documents or up to date, passport visas, shots, etc. Purchase your tickets early and plan to arrive at the location at least two to three days ahead of the wedding. This way, you can be well-rested and participate in some of the pre-wedding events.
Groomsmen Wedding Day Duties:
- Help The Groom Stay Relax – One of the most crucial duties of groomsmen is to keep the groom calm. I have photographed countless weddings, and I can tell you they are stressful. Whether they are big or small, it doesn’t matter. The groom will always get nervous! It is your job to help tame this nervousness and set the groom’s mind at ease.
- Make Sure There is Plenty to Eat And Drink – When it comes to drinking, the boys will most certainly not have a problem in this department. However, relying on just alcohol to keep your groom and your self hydrated all day will most certainly be a bad idea. Ensure that your groom has something substantial to eat and plenty of water to drink. Keep the alcohol light and minimal. You don’t want your groom to be a drunken mumbling fool for the ceremony.
- Help Your Groom Prepare For Photographs – Know where the groom’s suit or tux is. Ensure that it is neatly hanging in the closet and not just tossed on the bed or over a chair. Often times, the groom will get ready in a hotel room with his boys. Ensure that the room is big enough to accommodate everyone. If possible, select a corner room. A suite or a couple of adjoining suites would be ideal. Account for all the groom’s attire, shoes, socks, belts, etc. Keep the room as tidy as possible. There is nothing I hate to photograph more than a cluttered space.
- Help The Groom Get Dress – Getting dressed may seem like a simple thing to do, but you would be amazed at how many people struggle with tying a tie or bow tie. And don’t bother to mention pinning the boutonniere on the lapel of a jacket! I have seen boutonnieres pin upside down, too low, too high, and loose. Trust me, nothing is more frustrating than getting ready to take a shot and discovering that the boutonniere is upside down. If you are not good at tying ties and pinning boutonnieres, don’t feel bad. It’s not something you do every day. Just make sure you take some time before the day of the wedding to learn how to do these things.
- Be An Usher To Guests – As a groomsman, your duties could include been an usher to the guests. This means you will be in charge of escorting guests to their appropriate seats. This is not really rocket science. Just be genuinely warm and friendly.
- Prepare Speech For Toast – In general, the best man would be the person giving the toast. But I have seen groomsmen giving toast too. At some weddings, toast is open to all attendants who would like to toast the couple. Ensure that if you are giving a toast, it is short and not a long rambling mess. If you are not comfortable speaking in front of people, be sure to practice before the wedding.
This about wraps it up for groomsmen duties. Whatever you do, keep in mind that the groom’s welfare and experience are your sole charge.
Before closing this post out, I want to touch a little bit on groomsmen’s proposals. What is it, and who is it associated with? Simply put, groomsmen proposal is the modern way for the groom to request his friends and family member’s services as groomsmen for his wedding.
In general, the groom would make such a request to his potential groomsmen with various gifts. Groomsmen proposal gifts should not be confused with groomsmen gifts. The proposal gifts are given to likely groomsmen, and groomsmen gifts are given as thankyous. Either way, the proposal and thankyou gifts are usually similar. They can be small items such as cufflinks, socks, flasks, or more expensive and elaborate such as gift boxes, watches, etc.
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