How Should I Choose my Groomsmen?

N. Madison

Choosing your groomsmen is one of the most important tasks you’ll have in preparing for your wedding day. These attendants are expected to support you and help you prepare for your wedding, assisting with details and tasks, before, during, and after your wedding. They are also expected to share in the joy of your wedding day, standing near you during the ceremony, participating in group photographs, and generally enjoying the days activities as your trusted and honored attendants. Most grooms chose close friends and family members as groomsmen.

Groomsmen should help a groom stay organized.
Groomsmen should help a groom stay organized.

The first thing to remember when choosing groomsmen is that your wedding is supposed to be about you and your bride. Your wishes take top priority in selecting attendants. You are under no obligation to ask anyone to be in your wedding. This means you do not have to ask your best friend from middle school to be in the wedding party. Instead, choose people who will add something desirable to your special day.

In some weddings, the best man is responsible for ensuring that all gifts are brought to the reception.
In some weddings, the best man is responsible for ensuring that all gifts are brought to the reception.

Reliability is also of great importance when you are choosing your groomsmen. You will need them to be on time for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, as well as for the ceremony. You will rely on them for attending pre-wedding parties, escorting the bride’s attendants in the wedding recessional, helping you to stay organized, and, in some cases, helping wedding guests to their seats before the ceremony. You may also require their help in transporting your belongings after the wedding ceremony and reception. Choose attendants who are responsible and reliable to avoid disappointment and hassle.

Groomsmen must be reliable enough to show up on time for rehearsals and the wedding.
Groomsmen must be reliable enough to show up on time for rehearsals and the wedding.

Select groomsmen with financial considerations in mind. Though your chosen attendants may consider it an honor to serve in your wedding, some may have difficulty paying for related expenses. Typically, groomsmen pay for their own formalwear. They are also responsible for paying for their own transportation to the wedding and hotel accommodations if they are traveling from another area. Make certain the people you choose understand the financial requirements of accepting this honor.

Helping the groom dress is part of the best man's job.
Helping the groom dress is part of the best man's job.

Often, a groom will choose one particular person to serve in an honor position as his best man. This person typically has more responsibility than the other groomsmen, stands closest to the groom during the ceremony, and takes the lead in planning the groom’s bachelor party. Additionally, some grooms appoint ushers to seat guests instead of giving the groomsmen this task.

Posing for formal wedding photos is a common requirement for a groomsman.
Posing for formal wedding photos is a common requirement for a groomsman.

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Discussion Comments


I'm having a difficult time choosing groomsmen for my wedding. It's difficult because of people like this (mother below). Why can't I just choose who I want? I'm sick of being worried of what other people think when it comes to our wedding.

Relationships stay the same no matter who you choose (or so they should). Does it really matter who stands in the front? Everyone can celebrate the occasion no matter where they are standing or sitting. Is it really that important to people to be chosen? Those upset must have been the one's chosen last in gym class.

p.s. if your son is anything like you, I would have chosen a casual acquaintance as well. Stop with the drama. Just go to the damn wedding and enjoy yourself.


I am getting married and I am glad my mother in law is not whining about who I select as groomsman!


Just go to the damn wedding and let the bride and groom enjoy their day. Not your day, not your son's day.


I agree with 'anon44461'. My daughter will be marrying a man 12 years older than her, whose family lives many states away.

The groom has lived in our area less than a year, and spends all his time with our family and/or his bride to be, my daughter. Since he will need at least four to six groomsmen/ushers, and only two of his own brothers can attend the wedding, I have been waiting and expecting him to ask at least one of my sons (the bride has two brothers who are the right age to be groomsmen), but no invitation has been forthcoming.

I finally asked my daughter what is going on. She said that her groom said that one of our sons, her oldest brother, is too unreliable, which I can understand somewhat, because that particular brother is newly married himself, and he and his wife do cancel plans at the last minute often. However, the next son is quite reliable, so I asked about him, and she mumbled some things about her groom thinking that he didn't help around the house enough, and texted his friends too much!

I tried to talk with her further about it, but she said that she won't interfere - it was up to her groom to choose who he wanted.

We have really liked the young man she is marrying thus far, but I can feel that I am getting quite upset about this. My son finally came to me and is wondering why he hasn't been asked yet, since the groom is openly discussing that he needs more groomsmen and even finally asked a casual acquaintance from his work.

It seems to me that this is an open offense to my son (who he appears to get along with just fine), when I am quite sure that he cannot know how much the young guy he works with texts or helps out at home.

That he would ask casual acquaintances at work over his own future brother-in-law is beyond me, and definitely not starting things out on the right foot.


Oh how wrong can a wise person be? Here, in the South, it is traditional and expected that the groom ask any (at least one) of the bride's brothers who are the same general age as the couple, to be included in the groomsmen. To do otherwise would indicate a dislike for the bride's brother(s). Sometimes the bride suggests other close friends of hers if she has no brother, a cousin, or best friend.

The bride is also expected to ask any (at least one) of the groom's sisters or cousins who are of the general age of the couple.

This establishes much good will and begins a relationship with the other members of the couple's family. After all, these are the people you are going to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the other major events of your married life with. Why not start out on the right foot?

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