For Guys Only: Being a Good Groomsman

Young adulthood comes with many social landmines. These landmines, once navigated by Mom or someone else close to you, are now your responsibility. Eventually you will get that call from a good friend asking you to be a groomsman at his wedding. When it comes, remember you read these guidelines somewhere—it will save you some stress or embarrassment.  WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • Understand that it’s a big deal to be asked to “stand up” for a friend as a groomsman. It’s more than a party. Treat it like the honor that it is.
  • When the wedding invitation arrives, RSVP immediately. The wedding is usually hosted by the bride’s parents. It’s not the groom’s responsibility to let them know you are coming. Make yourself memorable by responding to the RSVP immediately.
  • There is usually a dinner or party after the wedding rehearsal (which is one or two nights before the wedding) and members of the wedding party are typically invited. The “wedding party” includes bridesmaids, groomsmen and anyone else “in” the wedding, so you will probably be asked to attend.
    • The parents of the groom usually host the rehearsal dinner. Be the first one to RSVP. You should RSVP even if they know you are coming.
    • If you don’t know how to dress for the party, ask the groom or call the hostess.
  • Find out what your attire for the wedding will be. If it’s a tux, find out the name of the tux shop the bridal party is using and if there are any special accessories. If you are from out of town, you’ll need to coordinate with the tux shop. Take care of this as far in advance as possible.
    • If you are asked to wear something else like a dark suit or a particular type/color shirt and/or tie, make sure you have all the right items and that they are cleaned/pressed and ready to go several days in advance. If you don’t know how to iron, you might want to get a crash course.
    • Polish and shine your shoes.
  • Check the couple’s website for their bridal registry. Pick out something nice (not a pizza slicer or baking tray) and order it in time to arrive long before the wedding.
  • If it’s an out of town wedding, plan your transportation. Get your airline ticket way in advance or make plans to get yourself from the airport to your destination.
    • If you are hitching a ride with someone else, make sure the times work out so that you can be available and on time for all wedding events. And help pay for the gas.
    • Make sure you have a place to stay. If you are taking a date make sure she had accommodations.
    • If you are staying with a family or friends for the festivities, take a small thank you gift to them. Wine, candy or something made in your hometown are good choices.
    • Write a thank you note to your host/hostess as soon as you get home. Be sure to note their address before you leave.

If you find you can’t afford the expenses associated with the wedding, let your friend know immediately that you won’t be able to participate–but try to attend the wedding if at all possible.

It’s not really hard, but it’s really important that you do your part. The bride, groom and their parents have plenty to do without worrying about you.