The Wedding Guild Series: Expectations of the Best Man & Groomsmen
Wedding Party Duties: What’s Expected?
Best Man & Groomsmen Edition
We’ve all seen the movie with the groomsmen who get out of control at the bachelor party – you know the one we’re talking about, but did you know that there is more to being a groomsmen than throwing a bachelor party and standing next to the groom during the ceremony while looking your best? Being asked to be a part of this special moment in the couple’s life is an honor and should be treated as such. Remember, this is not just a one day event. Being a groomsmen means supporting the couple throughout the engagement.
Traditionally, groomsmen have been male as the title suggests, but we are seeing more grooms focus less on the title and more on the people who are important to them. In which case the couple may choose an alternate name for the group.
Every wedding and couple is unique, but the following information covers the most common responsibilities and expenses one should anticipate when asked to be a best man or groomsmen.
What Groomsmen Should Expect to Pay For
Bachelor Party: The best man will generally take the reins on this, but the cost is typically divided evenly between the best man and groomsmen so that the groom’s expenses are covered. Be sure to plan accordingly! What the groom will enjoy? Discuss ideas thoroughly with the group, and consider who will be attending to help decide on the activity. Most importantly: Make sure everyone is aware of the cost before booking!
Wedding Gift: Groomsmen typically offer a gift to the groom, usually given at the bachelor party. Each groomsmen can give an individual gift or join with other members of the group for a larger gift.
Apparel: It’s the groomsmen’s responsibility to cover the cost of their attire. Furthermore, when buying or renting apparel, plan enough time to get a proper fitting! If rented, it is also the groomsmen’s responsibility to return their tux or suit after the wedding. The Best Man is traditionally tasked with returning the groom’s suit or tux (if rented) or taking it to the cleaners (if owned).
Travel & Lodging: Groomsmen should expect to pay for their own travel and lodging. This also includes transportation (in general) although some destination weddings may provide transportation for their guest and wedding parties. Check dates for festivities leading up to the wedding and plan travel accordingly. For a lower cost option regarding lodging, consider arranging to stay with friends in the area, but never ask to stay with the bride and groom.
What Groomsmen Should Expect to Do
Attend Rehearsals: Plan to attend both the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. And be on time! Punctuality is both considerate and appreciated. Being on time to these events is more than important, as this is where the wedding party receives instructions regarding photography schedules and personalized duties for the ceremony. An effort to attend other pre-wedding events allows you time to get familiar with the rest of the wedding party and helps make the special occasion all the more fun!
Help the Groom Prep: The day before the wedding the Best Man should help the groom prep for his honeymoon by making sure the groom has everything ready to go such as: passport, tickets, luggage, snacks, etc. This is especially important if the groom will not be going back to his house, hotel, etc. before leaving.
Get Ready: The groomsmen will usually meet with the groom and get ready together in a central location. Be on time to meet with everyone. Help make sure everyone has every part of their attire (ties, cufflinks, boutonnieres, etc.) and is looking their best. During this time, help keep the groom at ease and make sure he eats and drinks plenty of water.
Arrive On Time: The Best Man is responsible for making sure the groom and groomsmen have transportation to the ceremony site from the location at which you are getting ready. It is the Best Man’s responsibility to make sure the groom is on time.
Be a Witness: The Best Man will typically serve as one of the witnesses and sign the marriage license.
Get Familiar: Groomsmen should familiarize themselves with the venue in anticipation of guest questions. Guests might ask for parking instructions or help locating the nearest restroom.
Say Cheese!: Become familiar with the photography schedule and location and plan accordingly. Arrive on time and smile.
Help Usher: Groomsmen may be asked to greet and seat guests and hand out programs.
Prepare a Toast: The Best Men generally prepares a speech so plan accordingly! Prepare something fun, memorable, and most importantly, personal! It’s okay if toasts include something a little embarrassing, as long as it’s appropriate for all guests in attendance.
Get the party started!: Dance with the bridesmaids or in groups, but dance! There’s nothing worse than an empty dance floor at a wedding. Take responsibility to keep the energy up and the dance floor shakin’. Get out there and bust some moves!
Load Up: Groomsmen should offer to help load gifts into a designated vehicle at the end of the night. If staying at a hotel, groomsmen should help get gifts, cards and personal décor to a pre-determined designated area.
Fun fact: Contrary to common belief, it’s not the Ring Bearer who actually holds onto the rings at the ceremony. This duty falls to the Best Man and it’s his job to hold onto the rings until asked to hand them over by the officiant.
And remember…. Always ask the groom (or Best Man) if there is anything else you can do to be there and offer support throughout the engagement. Again, each wedding will be unique. Communication is key to knowing what your role will be through this process.
Now get out there a be the best groomsman there ever was!