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Friday, November 12, 2010

What's involved in being a Groomsman?

Being a groomsman entails a monetary commitment, a time commitment, and a support commitment. It's not just partying all night with the bridesmaids and single ladies! Use this list as a guide to prepare yourself for what will be expected of you when you accept a groomsman position in your friend's wedding.

 Photo by Trejo Photography

  • Attend fittings and pay for a tuxedo. More than likely you will be asked to rent a tuxedo for the day (unless you already own one that would be acceptable). In that case, you'll probably have to buy/rent a matching tie, vest, cummerbund, or other accessories. Be prepared financially to pay for your clothing ensemble for the day. Also, be prepared to do it well in advance. Don't wait until the week of the wedding and give the bride added stress. :)
  • Help the Best Man organize the bachelor party. The Best Man and groomsmen are responsible for paying for and organizing the bachelor party. Offer your help to the Best Man to assist with the planning and clean up of the party.
  • Prepare a toast/speech (if needed). Sometimes with a large wedding party, only the Best Man and Fathers will give a toast. However, if the groom wants you to say a few words, you should be prepared with something charming to say.
  • Participate in all pre-wedding functions. As a groomsmen, there are several pre-wedding functions you'll need to be present at including (but not limited to) the bachelor party, the ceremony rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner.
  • Rent a hotel room. If the wedding is not near your home, you may need to reserve a hotel room for the night of the night before and night of the wedding. If you're friends with any of the groomsmen who live nearby, staying at their place might be an option for you, but be prepared to reserve a hotel room in advance if you need to. You may also be able to share a hotel room with another groomsman to split the cost. Make sure to ask for a room with two double beds. :)
  • Buy a gift. Start saving your extra dollars to buy a wedding gift for the happy couple. It is acceptable to partner up with another groomsman (or two) and combine your funds to get a more expensive and bigger gift!
  • Be on-time! The most important thing is to be on-time. If you have trouble being on time, then pretend everything starts half an hour earlier than it really does. Fittings, parties, dinners, and ESPECIALLY the wedding ceremony.
  • Escorting during the ceremony. Sometimes groomsmen are asked to act as ushers when none are available. This means escorting the female guests to their seats at the ceremony for both the bride's side and the groom's side. You simply ask them which side they'd prefer (bride or groom), offer your arm, and walk them to the next available row of seats. You will also participate in the ceremony processional by walking a bridesmaid down the aisle.
  • Dancing! You may be asked to dance with a bridesmaid during the traditional wedding party dance. Sometimes the bride & groom will choose to have everyone dance with their wives or dates instead, but be prepared to dance at some point in time during the evening! You may also want to coax others to dance and help to liven up the dance floor.
  • Decorate the getaway car. You may need to enlist the help of the rest of the wedding party to decorate the bride & groom's getaway car. Check beforehand to see if this is acceptable because some rentals or limos won't allow you to do anything to their vehicles. If they say it's ok, make sure to have the necessary items ready and sneak out mid-reception to do the damage. :)
  • Return your tuxedo. If you rented a tux instead of purchasing, make sure to return it on time. The groom could be charged a late fee if he organized the rentals, and that's not the parting gift you want to leave for him!

If you know in advance that you can't afford it or can't commit to everything being a groomsman includes, don't be afraid to graciously decline. Simply say that you're honored to be asked, but that you're unable to commit to the duties for financial reasons. He may opt to help out in some way to make sure you're included, but you should always be up front with him if you think there will be issues. Nothing is worse than a groomsman who accepts and later "resigns" at the last minute!

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