be a good groomsman.

28 Jul

Good day, Grown Men, and welcome to day two of wedding week! Today, we’re going to throw down the gauntlet for the groomsmen.  The groomsmen is likely the most misunderstood job of the entire wedding as it appears, at first blush, that there’s not much for them to do other than usher, stand, and party.  But I say, “Nay, groomsmen – you’re the infantry, the back up, the groom’s [dramatic pause] men!”  You’ve got an important role, and one that we need to discuss.

Here at You’re a Grown Man,  I try hard not to retread the same content that’s been written about, ad nauseam, all over ye ole’ internet.  Because of this stance, I’m going to just shoot myself in the foot and tell you that there are a number of good sources to get the specifics of the groomsmen job.  I found a solid one on TheKnot.com, but there are others if you simply ask Jeeves.  That being said, today I’m going to cover some of the lesser discussed points of groomsmen etiquette in order to advance the cause of nuptial knowledge (it’s sort of an alliteration, isn’t it?).  Here we go…

-Be supportive in bachelor party planning. While it’s typically the best man’s job to organize the details of the Stag Night, the groomsmen have multiple opportunities to step up and take some of the burden. In my real life, I’m in the midst of being a best man and planning the bachelor party. The other day, I casually mentioned to one of the groomsmen that we should go fishing as part of the weekend.  His immediate response was, “Awesome idea, my brother has a ton of gear, I’ll make sure he brings it, we’re set on fishing.”  Whew.  Thanks, groomsman!  Now I can focus my energies on more important things like figuring out how many PBR’s will fit in a Volkswagen-sized-cooler and where in the world I can get a child-size Wham! t-shirt for the groom to mandatorily wear all night.

-Be supportive in finances. Groomsmen-to-be, here’s what you’re going to need to pay for.
1-Your tux rental, suit purchase, or whatever the bridegroom tells you to wear. I pre-apologize if that chap asks you to buy some huge, frumpy, linen shirt for his beach wedding – yuck.
2- Your share of the bachelor party, pre-wedding party, or whatever the best man invites you to.  The best man should be very open about finances, hopefully he will be after reading tomorrow’s post.
3- Drinks and food.  If you see your groom heading to the bar or flagging down a waiter, you absolutely must intercept that guy with a “Oh hell no.  I’m buying.”  Grooms don’t pay for anything.
4-Anything else, within reason, that you’re asked to buy. If you get a text 30 minutes before the ceremony that reads “Oh shiz, I forgot…can u pick up shaving cream, a box of condoms, and shoe polish?” – do it.  And don’t ask for repayment – it’s just part of the job.

-Be supportive of the bride, bridal party, parents, pastor, florist, photographer, cookie table attendant, etc., etc.,. The days before the wedding, not to mention the actual day, are fraught with little details, changes in plans, and last minute freak-outs.  Every wedding has them, no matter how fantastic the wedding coordinator is – unless it’s J. Lo.  Anyhow, your role as a groomsman is to pay attention and help out as needed.  Let’s say you overhear one of the bridesmaids saying, “Oh no, I forgot my purse in the car, and it’s raining!”  Guess what fella, this is now your job.  Her updo won’t survive the downpour.  There are a zillion examples like this one that could illustrate my point.  However, I will leave you with this – pay attention to everything that’s happening and do whatever you can to make the day a tiny bit smoother.

And finally…

-Support the groom. Your main job, by far, is to make sure your groom is as care-free as possible.  This guy has got a lot on his mind and really doesn’t need to be focusing on anything other than that sweet woman who he’ll be meeting up with in a few moments.  Sometimes, support looks like sneaking him a little preview from the bar and having a laugh. Sometimes, it looks like saying “No way man, I’ll make sure your aunt has directions to the reception.”  Support can take on a lot of forms, but the overarching point that I’m trying to make is that it must be given.  The role of the groomsman is not one of simply attending and leaving, it’s one of doing the stuff that nobody got assigned and, usually, nobody is being asked to do.

Grown Men, be good groomsman – I know you can do it.

Tomorrow, the best man…

8 Responses to “be a good groomsman.”

  1. Sholeh 28 July 2010 at 10:59 am #

    The source of all knowledge, Wikipedia, states the following in regards to groomsmen:

    “Additionally, the groom may request other kinds of assistance, such as planning celebratory events such as a bachelor party, also called Stag Night or Buck’s Night; helping make the wedding pleasant for guests by talking with people who are alone or dancing with unaccompanied guests or bridesmaids, if there is dancing at a wedding reception; or providing practical assistance with gifts, luggage, or unexpected complications. Groomsmen may also participate in local or regional traditions, such as decorating the newlywed couple’s car.”

    For the sake of all of the single women who go to weddings alone, dance with the poor women who don’t have a date. I am forever grateful to the guys at weddings who danced with me, especially when I ALWAYS seem to get stuck at the couples tables.

    On a more humorous note:
    “Bridegroom-men and bridesmaids had formerly important duties. The men were called bride-knights, and represented a survival of the primitive days of marriage by capture, when a man called his friends in to assist to kidnap the bride.”

    • cassiecares 28 July 2010 at 12:50 pm #

      Love your website, Grown Man. I’m putting a link to it on mine.

      One thing I’d like to add to ‘being supportive of the bridal party’

      I’d ask that groomsmen make sure elderly guests have an escort not only to be seated before the ceremony, but also *after*. My poor grandmother was left hanging at a recent wedding, which we found very disrespectful.

      • You're a Grown Man 31 July 2010 at 3:02 pm #

        First, thanks for liking my blog enough to put a link to it! You really are very kind. Also, I listened to your radio spots – they’re awesome!

        Also, you’ve made two fantastic additions! Being supportive of the bridal party is a freaking must. And making sure the elderly guests are well taken care of is absolutely vital. I’m sorry your sweet grandma was left hanging, those groomsmen should be flogged.

        Thank you for reading, Cassie. I really appreciate it!

    • You're a Grown Man 31 July 2010 at 2:56 pm #

      Oh my gosh, “bride-knights”?! That’s freaking amazing.

      Also, Grown Men, listen to Sholeh – she knows her stuff.

  2. lookingforsomethingtofind 29 July 2010 at 2:20 am #

    I like linen shirts, other than that great advice as always. Also a fishing trip with beer, sounds like an awesome bachelor party.

    • You're a Grown Man 29 July 2010 at 7:33 am #

      Sorry! Just a joke…there’s really nothing wrong with linen other than the fact that I always look like a fat guy in it.

  3. Fishing 29 July 2010 at 3:16 am #

    i like fishing and boating very much.

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