When you’re planning your wedding, one of the big questions is who you’re going to ask to be in your wedding party—and, more specifically for grooms, who you’re going to ask to be your groomsmen.
But, when you ask someone, you begin to wonder, “what does a groomsman do?”
Or, in other words, what are the groomsmen’s duties and responsibilities—both before and during your big day?
Generally, when you ask someone to be a groomsman, you ask them well before your actual wedding day. And so, one of the groomsmen’s biggest responsibilities is supporting you in the months, weeks, and days leading up to your wedding.
What that support looks like will depend on you, your groomsman, and what kind of support you need. It could be something as small as hopping on the phone and listening to you vent about things when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed by wedding planning—or it could be something more involved, such as helping you choose a wedding venue or finalize your wedding attire.
How your groomsmen support you as you plan your wedding is a completely personal and individual experience—but supporting you during the wedding planning process definitely falls under the “groomsmen responsibilities” umbrella.
Groomsmen duties include planning to attend any and all of your pre-wedding events. This includes your engagement party, your bachelor party, and your wedding rehearsal. (Depending on the size of your wedding party, how close you and the groomsman are, and how involved they want to be in the process, your groomsmen might also help the best man plan your bachelor party.)
Now, your groomsmen should do everything they can to be at all your wedding-related events—but if there are extenuating circumstances that prevent them from being there (for example, if the date of your engagement party conflicts with a family wedding, or if your bachelor party is a five-day affair and they can’t get off of work), it’s important to be understanding.
The only exception to that rule is the rehearsal dinner. You need your entire wedding party, including your groomsmen, to be at your wedding rehearsal dinner; that way, everyone knows where they’re supposed to be, when they’re supposed to be there, and what they’re supposed to be doing, which will ensure that your wedding ceremony goes smoothly.
On your actual wedding day, it’s customary to get ready with your groomsmen.
“Getting ready” can mean a lot of different things. If you’re having an afternoon wedding, you might get together with your groomsmen in the morning for breakfast, then spend the rest of the day hanging out before changing into your wedding attire and walking down the aisle. You might make time for groomsmen photos or have a pre-wedding toast—however you want to spend the day with your groomsmen is up to you.
But, your groomsmen should plan to make themselves available for the entirety of your wedding day.
Your wedding day can be a stressful time. Between nerves, last minute logistics, and demands from family and guests, it can be overwhelming, which is why one of your groomsmen’s most important day-of wedding responsibilities is to make sure that your wedding day is as stress free as possible.
For example, if your groomsmen notices that you’re nervous, they might ask you to go for a walk or to play a quick video game to get your mind off your nerves. If there’s a logistical issue (for example, if the bartender is missing an ingredient for your signature wedding cocktail), your groomsmen can step in and take care of it so that you don’t have to.
The point is, your groomsmen are there to support you on your wedding day—and a big part of that is making sure that you’re as stress free as possible in the hours leading up to your “I do’s.”
You asked your groomsmen to be in your wedding party because you wanted them to be a part of your big day—so it goes without saying that your groomsmen need to participate in all parts of your wedding, including your wedding ceremony, wedding photos, and wedding reception.
When you ask someone to be a groomsman, what you’re really saying is that they’re an important part of your life—and you want them by your side for one of the most important days of your life. It’s a big deal—and they’ll want to show up for you in every way that you want and need them to. So, before your wedding, let your groomsmen know what they’re expected to do both before and during the wedding—and then enjoy your big day with them by your side.