Let’s be real. As a groomsman, your duties are about as difficult as making the bed in the morning. You’re a smart guy, you know the main responsibilities, but for every obvious one, there are a few subtle touches you can add that will result in huge benefits on the big day.
1. Lend a hand (or two)
Preparing for the biggest day of your buddy’s life can quickly overwhelm him and his lucky bride. So help them out with whatever tasks they’re willing to outsource. Don’t do the vague “let me know if you need help” thing, either. Give them an honest-to-God specific helping hand; help with picking up the suits for the wedding, or offer to pick up family members at the airport.
2. Be on time
The happy couple has plenty to do, so do everything possible to reduce risk wherever you can. One simple way to alleviate their worries is to make sure you’re always prompt and punctual. Don’t leave the tux rental for the last minute, make the rehearsal a priority, and get on the ceremony bus first thing. Stay ahead of schedule, and everyone will be happy.
3. Be their point person
Guests will have lots of questions, and the wedding couple won’t have the time to keep answering the same ones over and over. So be their point person; help people find the guestbook, drop off cards, and know when and where to meet the shuttle bus. If you take the time to familiarize yourself with all the event details, you can help it run as smoothly as possible. Just ask the wedding planner if you’re not sure about anything.
4. Nail the speech
For some groomsmen, their speech is the most terrifying part of all their duties—especially when you’ve never spoken in public before. Regardless, cast aside those fears and put on your brave face; the groom’s relying on you for this moment. Follow the “be prompt” tip here, and start working that hilarious tear-jerker as early as you can. Write the first draft, and rewrite it until it’s perfect for your best friend and the most important people in his life.
5. Be inclusive
A groomsmen group could be a mix of the groom’s childhood friends, college buddies, work friends, and family members. With such a wide net, it’s likely there will be at least one guy who doesn’t know anyone else in the group that well. The best groomsman makes sure this person is included in all the activities, going out of his way to make them feel welcome.
6. Check in with the groom
He has a lot on his plate, so help the groom keep his nerves in check on the day of the wedding. Keep the things he’ll need, such as a few painkillers or a copy of his speech, in a single, secure location. Ask him directly from time to time if he needs anything done. Work with the other groomsmen to ensure everything works out perfectly.
7. Help with the bachelor party
It’s long been a tradition for the best man to handle the bachelor party, and, frankly, it still is. Back then, though, all that might have meant was a night of beer, lap dances, and cigars. Planning didn’t mean much more than figuring out which strip club to hit. Nowadays, a bachelor party might mean a great weekend getaway that involves way more organization, arranging clubs, hotels, rentals, restaurants, and much more. If you’re not the best man, you can still be a great groomsman and offer your help dealing with some of the many logistics involved.
8. Pace yourself
We know you want to do your best to make this the greatest day of the groom’s life, but remember to pace yourself. Great groomsmen contribute to all the fun but are still helpful. Overindulging in the cocktails or burning yourself out without getting enough sleep are great ways to compromise your ability to help and make a positive impact.
9. Thank the hosts
Don’t forget to take a break and thank the hosts for having you. If you’ve been having fun, let them know how honored you are about being there.
10. Share photos with the newlyweds
The happy couple will likely need to wait a few weeks for their professional photos to come back, but they’re probably eager to see a preview ASAP. You can help by taking some pictures on the big day and sharing them with Joy or via email. They could be far more excited about this than you might imagine.
A person’s wedding day is one of the most important days in their life, and your role as a groomsman is to serve as a kind of promotional model. It’s an unwritten rule that you will laugh more, dance more, and drink more than anyone else who attends this wedding. For this day, having fun is not an option: it’s your duty.
Emelina Vigier is a fashion and lifestyle writer. You can find more of her work on Awearness Blog where she writes about sustainable living.