One of the most important parts of the wedding planning process is figuring out who you want to ask to be in your wedding party—and, as a groom, part of that is narrowing down how many groomsmen you want to stand by your side on your big day.
But, when it comes to your wedding party, how many groomsmen is normal? Does a “normal” number of groomsmen even exist? And, what factors should you consider when figuring out who and how many groomsmen you want in your wedding party?
So, let’s jump right in—is there even such a thing as a “normal” number of groomsmen to have in a wedding party?
And the answer is: It depends on how you define “normal.”
There is certainly an average number of groomsmen. According to data outlined in a 2018 article from The Atlantic, the average wedding in the U.S. has five bridesmaids—and, generally, the number of groomsmen matches the number of bridesmaids, which would make the average number of groomsmen in a wedding five.
So, on average, grooms have five groomsmen.
But, the average number of groomsmen doesn’t equal a “normal” number of groomsmen. A “normal” number of groomsmen is whatever feels normal to the groom. For some grooms, that could mean having 15 of their closest friends and family members standing next to them when they say their wedding vows. To others, it could mean keeping their groomsmen to their best man and one other close friend or family member. And, for others, it could mean skipping a wedding party altogether.
Bottom line? “Normal” is a subjective term; a normal number of groomsmen for one groom could feel like way too many (or way too few) for someone else—so, ultimately, all grooms can do is decide on a number of groomsmen that feels comfortable and right for them and their wedding day.
So, there’s no “normal” when it comes to how many groomsmen to have in your wedding—there’s only what feels normal for you.
That being said, there are definitely things you’ll want to consider when choosing how many groomsmen to have in your wedding party—and who you’re going to ask to take on groomsmen responsibilities—including:
When you’re figuring out how many groomsmen you’re going to ask to be in your wedding party, one factor you should definitely consider is how many bridesmaids or groomsmen your partner is asking to be in his or her wedding party.
Now, do you have to have the exact same number of people on both sides? Of course not! But, many couples prefer having a somewhat balanced wedding party; having 15 bridesmaids and two groomsmen, for example, might look a little off balance when everyone is standing at the altar as you’re saying your “I do’s.”
Your partner’s wedding party count is definitely something to keep in mind as you’re building your wedding party. But again, there is no right or wrong way to do it—so if your partner wants 15 people in their wedding party and you only want two (and you’re both in agreement), then go for it.
Traditionally, the groomsmen stand next to the groom during the wedding ceremony. So, another thing to consider when choosing the number of groomsmen to have in your wedding party is how many groomsmen can actually fit at your ceremony site.
Some wedding venues are smaller than others. If you’re getting married in a smaller space, trying to squeeze 10 groomsmen into that space might not make for the most comfortable ceremony (for you or them). Before you decide on how many groomsmen to have in your wedding party, make sure to consider your wedding ceremony space—and make sure that there’s plenty of room for your groomsmen.
(If there’s not a ton of space, but you still want to have a larger wedding party with guests, you could opt to just have your best man stand next to you during the ceremony—and have the rest of the groomsmen sit in the first few rows.)
Ultimately, who you choose as a groomsman is completely up to you—and you should only choose the people that you truly want to stand next to you on your big day.
But, as newlyweds, you should also consider other people’s feelings when building your wedding party—and whether you’re leaving anyone out that might be hurt if they aren’t asked.
For example, let’s say you have four brothers—but you only ask three of them to be groomsmen? That might lead to hurt feelings. Or, let’s say you have a tight-knit group of friends and you ask them all to act as groomsmen—except for one? That one friend is probably going to feel pretty left out.
Again, it’s your decision—and you shouldn’t feel pressured to ask anyone to be a groomsman if it doesn’t feel genuine. But, before you finalize your groomsmen head count, make sure that you’re considering everyone’s feelings—and, if you anticipate someone feeling hurt, have a plan to talk to them and relieve any hurt feelings or misunderstandings.
When it comes to how many groomsmen to have in your wedding party, don’t worry about whether your count is “normal” or “average.” Build the wedding party that feels right for you—whether that’s two groomsmen, six groomsmen, 15 groomsmen, or any number in between.