How to Pick a Groomsman: 4 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Crew

Groomsman Gear - May 26, 2020

How to Pick a Groomsman: 4 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Crew

If you’re one of the lucky ones who landed a planning expert for a future spouse, then choosing your groomsmen is probably the only decision you’ll have to make for the big day. With that being said, that doesn’t mean it’s a decision that should be taken lightly.

While you and your fiancé are undoubtedly the most important people at your wedding, who you choose to have beside you on the big day can make the milestone all that more special. You’ll want to enjoy this entire experience, from the bachelor party to the I do’s, surrounded by the best of friends, all while avoiding any bruised egos in the process. 

To ease your decision making, we’ve rounded up some expert tips for choosing your groomsmen. These tips will not only ensure you’ve drafted the best men for the job, but these tips will also keep you from inadvertently upsetting your friends, fiancé, or future in-laws.

Okay, ready? Here’s what you need to consider when picking your A-team.

Consider Family: Old and New

When it comes to choosing groomsmen, there are a couple ‘have-to’ guys you can get out of the way first—namely, siblings. If you have a brother, it’s pretty standard to include him as a groomsman; some would even argue that he should also have the title of best man. 

However, every family is unique, and sometimes giving your brother the title of best man isn’t always fitting. Maybe you have a decent age difference between the two of you, and it doesn’t feel right to bestow such responsibilities on your 15-year-old sibling. Or perhaps you genuinely like your brother, but you’re simply not that close. That’s OK too. There’s absolutely no rule that your brother has to be the best man, but you should heavily consider including him in your wedding party as a groomsman if it feels appropriate. Otherwise, it can send a pretty hefty message of spite to wedding-goers. 

Also, take note of your fiancé’s family. Does she have a brother that she is close to? Are you close to him? While it’s not necessarily faux pas to leave out your future brother-in-law (these are your groomsmen, after all), including him might be an excellent way to keep your future in-laws happy.

If, for some reason, you’re not including your brother or your fiancé’s brother as groomsmen, consider giving them a special part in some other way, such as an usher, reader, or toast giver, so they still feel included in the big day.

Consider Reliability

Once you’ve landed on the must-have guys for the wedding party, you’ll want to start narrowing your friendship circle down from there. 

You might ask yourself questions like these to help make a decision:

      - Who helped you get through the most difficult time in your life?
      - Who is your closest childhood friend?
      - Who was your first college roommate?
      - Who is at the center of your absolute wildest story?

And while it’s definitely fun (and perhaps advisable) to have one groomsman who is the total life of the party, make sure you have a few reliable groomsmen in the mix, too. It’s hard to predict precisely how you’ll feel on the big day, so surround yourself with groomsmen who can calm your nerves and pump you up. And at the very least, ones who won’t forget their matching ties in the hotel room.

Consider Budgets 

Let’s not beat around the bush about it: being a groomsman can be downright expensive. Between the suit rentals, shoes, accessories, gifts, bachelor parties, hotel rooms, and travel expenses, the costs start tallying up fast, and it’s a lot to ask of your groomsmen.

If you have some friends that are struggling financially, it might be worth your time to pull them aside for a one-on-one conversation. Let them know that you want them to be part of your big day, but also let them know that you understand if they need an out because it’s too much at this time financially. 

Depending on your friends, there may be some momentary ego-bruising here, but it’ll pass. It’s better to ask this question and be sure, rather than just totally excluding them from a groomsman role because you assume they won’t be able to pay. This conversation can also be especially helpful to potential groomsmen who have never been part of a wedding party yet and might not be aware of all the costs involved. 

Consider the Wedding Party As A Whole 

This might seem obvious, but when it comes to choosing your groomsmen, you’re going to want to have a conversation with your fiancé about her choices for her bridesmaids. For starters, you’ll want to know how the numbers add up. You’ll also want to make sure the wedding party meshes well together. 

Let’s say you have 5 groomsmen in mind, and your fiancé only wants two bridesmaids. When push comes to shove, you should probably let your fiancé win this battle, particularly because it’s more expensive to be a bridesmaid than a groomsman. Now that’s not to say that you can’t have a few extra on either side; you just need to talk about how you’re going to make the uneven numbers work during the actual ceremony.

And the final count isn’t the only thing that matters. Ask yourself: Will the wedding party get along? Are they friendly, cordial, and can they transition easily between groups? If you have a friend who is known to ruffle a few too many feathers, consider leaving him out if you’re already on the fence about including him.

Having a cohesive wedding party might not seem like an important thing to consider in the grand scheme of planning, but having a wedding party that gets along means one less headache for you guys on the big day.

One Last Thing to Consider

This entire list of considerations is simply that: considerations. When it comes to choosing your groomsmen, only you (and…perhaps your fiancé) know who is best suited for the role.

Use these tips as guidelines, and adjust as needed. Are you best friends with your sister? There’s no reason she can’t be a groomslady. The same goes for your fiancé. Is her best friend a dude? Bridesman it is, then.

Whoever you choose, as long as you do so with some consideration and care, you’ll be guaranteed to have one awesome crew by your side on the big day.

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