The Ultimate Guide for Groomsmen: Duties, Roles & Responsibilities
Groomsman Gear - April 21, 2020
Congrats! If you’ve found yourself here, chances are, you’ve been asked to be a groomsman in an upcoming wedding. After the initial excitement (and let’s be honest, total flattery) subsides, you may be left wondering, what exactly is the role of a groomsman after all?
The truth is, a huge honor has been bestowed upon you, and the groom is counting on you to step up to the plate. By agreeing to take on the role of a groomsman, you essentially agree to support the groom from the time of his engagement all the way up to the “I do-s".
If you’ve never been a groomsman before, you’re probably familiar with some of the groomsmen’s tasks already, such as helping to plan a killer bachelor party, keeping the groom calm, and looking downright dapper on the big day. But there are many lesser-known groomsmen tasks that you’ll want to make sure you ace, too.
Rest assured, though, we’ll cover all those duties here. To make it easy, we’ve sorted out the groomsmen duties into three categories: groomsmen duties leading up to the wedding, groomsmen duties during the ceremony, and groomsmen duties during the reception. Let’s crack into it.
Groomsmen Duties Leading Up to The Wedding:
Co-plan the bachelor party.
While the bulk of the bachelor party planning typically falls on the best man, it’s not uncommon for the best man to enlist help when it comes to planning the best weekend ever.
At the very minimum, you can expect as a groomsman to share the cost with other groomsmen for the weekend’s accommodations, flights/travel, as well as splitting the tab for drinks and food. It’s pretty standard that the groom’s cost will be baked into this as well, so keep this in mind, too.
Purchase your wedding attire.
When it comes to renting or purchasing a suit or tux for the big day, the financial responsibility of the wedding attire is typically left to the groomsmen. Often times though, the groom will pick up the tab on coordinating accessories for his crew, like groomsmen socks and ties, much like a bride might gift her bridesmaids with earrings or hair accessories for the big day.
Note of advice: it’s easy to push off getting your suit or tux. Do the couple a favor and lessen their stress levels by getting this out of the way early in the wedding planning process.
Book your accommodation.
You probably already know that couples typically set aside a block of rooms at the hotel for their guests. But you might not know that depending on the hotel and the popularity of the particular weekend, once those rooms are gone, they’re gone.
Make sure you book your accommodation as soon as possible, as you’ll need to (and want to) be close to the couple on their big day. It might not seem like a big deal, but if you forget something in your room that’s 20 minutes across town, it’s going to add stress to the groom, which is the exact opposite of what you want to do as a groomsman.
Purchase a gift.
While it may feel like you don’t need to purchase a wedding gift as a groomsman, the truth is, it’s still considered proper wedding etiquette to do so. While the costs of the other elements of groomsman duties can certainly add up, it’s not uncommon for groomsmen to pitch in together and get the couple a group gift. This way is really a win-win-win. A) It still shows you care enough to get a gift. B) The couple receives a more substantial gift than they probably would have gotten from one single attendee, and C) you won’t break the bank in the process.
Pre-Ceremony and Ceremony Duties for Groomsmen:
Get ready with the groom.
As a groomsman, here’s your time to pump up the groom, make sure he’s feeling great, and perhaps help calm his nerves by offering him a little sip of something strong. Check with the best man beforehand to ensure there’s enough food to go around for the groom as well as all the groomsmen while getting ready, as drinking on an empty stomach doesn’t mix well with a long day of festivities.
You can also be indirectly helpful by making sure you’ve got everything you need for your attire, so you don’t add any stress when looking for missing socks or tie clips!
Help escort guests to their seats.
While the couple may have designated ushers for their ceremony, these ushers can become quickly overwhelmed if everybody starts arriving at the same time. Once you’re dressed and ready, lend a hand in seating the guests, especially if you’re really close to the couple and know many of their family and friends.
Stand by the groom.
So the ceremony has begun, you’ve done your essential groomsmen duty escorting a bridesmaid down the aisle, and now it’s finally *your* time to shine.
Kidding. It’s time to join in place next to the groom as you support your bro as he marries the love of his life. With that being said, your role as a groomsman is pretty easy here—simply support the groom during this part of the ceremony and be aware that many eyes are directed toward the wedding party. Save the funny faces for the reception, unless you want those faces to go down in history in the couples’ wedding pictures.
Groomsmen Reception Duties:
Mingle like there’s no tomorrow.
As a groomsman, chances are, you’re going to know a lot of people at the wedding. Use this special status while the couple is busy taking photos to introduce people who might not know each other, especially those from out of town. This will only serve to make the evening even more fun.
Crush it on the dance floor.
Once the toasts are over (you won’t have to make one unless the groom specifically asks), dinner is served, and the cake is cut, it’s time to break it down on the dance floor (in the name of duty, of course). Sometimes groomsmen and bridesmaids will choose to share a dance, but not always. Either way, it’s your time to let loose. You deserve it!
Help clean up.
Once the evening winds down, before heading out the hotel bar or the next locale, ask if you can lend a hand with clean up. Depending on the venue, tables and chairs might need to be moved, and it can be super helpful to the family if you share some of your muscles to get the job done quickly. After that’s complete, all that’s left to do is enjoy the rest of the night!
While there’s a lot that goes into being a groomsman, the effort is totally worth the experience of standing by your best friend while he says, “I do,” not to mention all the fun celebrations you’ll get to share a part in every step of the way.
And if ever in doubt about your duties as a groomsman, don’t be afraid to ask! The cool thing about weddings is that every one of them is a little bit different based on the couple, so as long as you show up, be helpful (and be your most handsome self, of course), you’ll be in ship shape for acing your duties as a groomsman.