The tradition of groomsmen dates back to ancient times when weddings were more like a business transaction than a celebration of love. In those days, the groom would need a strong team of men to help protect him from angry fathers and jilted lovers.
Over time, the role of the groomsmen shifted from protection to support, and they became responsible for helping the groom with all the wedding details. Today, groomsmen are still expected to lend a helping hand, but their primary duty is to stand by the groom’s side on his big day.
As the groom, choosing your groomsmen is one of your most important responsibilities. These tips can help you determine who to include in your groom club and how best to ask.
Your groomsmen will play an important role in the lead-up to the wedding, and in the ceremony itself, so you should not make your decision casually.
Look at your relationship with each man you are considering. How close are you? How long have you known each other? If you’re not particularly close, it might be best to choose someone else. Your groomsmen should be the people you are closest to, the men who have supported you through thick and thin.
You should also consider each groomsman’s role in your wedding party. Traditionally, the best man is the person closest to the groom and has some special responsibilities. You should choose someone reliable, steady, and trustworthy for this role. Many grooms select a close relative or childhood friend to fill this role.
Your remaining groomsmen have fewer direct responsibilities, but you still want to select men you can count on to attend every wedding event. Friends who are consistently flaky or unable to share the spotlight may not be a good choice.
Another thing to consider is logistics. Will your potential groomsman be able to make it to the ceremony and other wedding events like the bachelor party? If not, that’s probably a deal breaker.
Picking a groomsman who lives far away can complicate things, as they may not want to commit to the additional travel and accommodation expenses. If you plan to ask someone who lives far away, give them plenty of notice so they can prepare travel plans in advance.
You may want to include male members of your bride-to-be’s family in your wedding party. They may already be your close friends, but doing this can show your future wife that you care about the people she loves. Once you say “I do,” these men will be your family anyway.
You’ve narrowed down your list of potential groomsmen. Now, how do you ask? There’s no script or formula for this, but there are strategies you can follow to increase the likelihood they will accept.
No matter how you ask, make your request as far in advance of the wedding day as possible. This reduces your wedding planning stress and allows your groomsmen time to make any necessary arrangements. If you are planning a destination wedding, asking early is particularly crucial.
It’s best to ask a potential groomsman to join your wedding party in person. If that’s not possible, a video call or hand-written letter are your next best options. You can ask over text, email, or traditional phone call if you must, but these methods are less personal and don’t fit the occasion’s significance. Alexis Jae of Alexis Jae jewelry, says, “We’ve had grooms ask us to make custom cufflinks in preparation of asking them to stand up at their wedding.” Being a groomsman is an honor, and your request should acknowledge that.
You should also consider offering a small gift with your request. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy: a small token of gratitude will show your groomsman that he is appreciated.
While requesting someone to be in your wedding party is a big responsibility, it shouldn’t be too daunting. After all, if you’ve selected your groomsmen correctly, you’ll be asking someone who you know and trust.
If you’re nervous about asking someone to be a groomsman, these pointers can help:
You don’t have to be a toastmaster to properly ask someone to be your groomsman. A simple, straightforward request will be most effective. If you’re unsure about what you will say, here’s a few ideas:
After you get an answer, you can delve into the details of the wedding ceremony.
You’ve asked your friends to be groomsmen in your wedding, and one of them said no. Now you’re feeling hurt and maybe even a little embarrassed. Don’t worry; you can do a few things to improve the situation.
Try to talk to the person who said no. They may have a perfectly good reason for not wanting to be in the wedding party. Maybe they’re uncomfortable being in such a public role or don’t feel like they know you well enough. Whatever the reason, it’s essential to respect their decision.
If their reason for turning down your offer is something you can help them with, such as a lack of transportation, you can offer to remedy that situation to the best of your ability.
If they are still unable to be your groomsman, thank them for their consideration and reassure them that their rejection will not jeopardize your friendship and that they will still receive an invitation to the wedding. You may have to find someone to take their spot, or you can move forward without them.
Asking someone to be your groomsman can be intimidating; however, if you select your groomsmen properly and ask them directly and respectfully, you should have nothing to worry about. Your friends will probably be ecstatic to hear that you considered them for the role and jump at the chance to be by your side on one of the biggest days of your life.
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