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Here’s How to Be the Best Groomsman Ever

With great power comes great responsibility.
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Being chosen as a groomsman isn’t just to fill out a list that comes with the invitation card. At the risk of sounding like a pageant contestant, being a groomsman is a privilege that comes with responsibilities. That the groom—likely someone close to you like a family member or a good friend—has trusted you to become part of his entourage means that he is, in effect, expecting you to be dependable when it comes to all things wedding-related.

While that sounds straightforward, it is not so simple. After all, the groom has asked you to stand by his side during one of the most significant events of his life. If you haven’t done this before or if you would like to know what it takes to become a better groomsman, here’s a list of what to do so you can perform your entourage duties with ease.

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1| Be responsive.

Know that planning a wedding takes a lot of work and involves timelines. While you may ignore a text about fittings or a Whatsapp alert reminding everyone to RSVP or book a hotel room in advance, every unanswered message adds to a list of unfinished tasks your buddy has to worry about. We get it—everyone is busy with their lives, with bills to pay and work to get through. Still, it can’t hurt to text back, “I’m just at work right now, but I’ll get to this as soon as I’m free!” A simple gesture goes a long way, and your friend will thank you for it.

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2| Offer a hand or two.

Even if your pal seems to be calm and collected about planning the whole affair, offer to help. Tell him, “If you need help with anything, feel free to give me a call,” and mean it. Ask him if there’s anything you can take off his plate and do it. Believe us: Even the most low-maintenance grooms need help, whether it’s hooking him up with leads to suppliers or helping him choose a tie.

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3| Volunteer to plan the bachelor party.

Let’s get this straight: Volunteer to plan his bachelor party, not yours. While the idea of a wild, unrestricted night of debauchery may sound like the perfect plan to you, it’s important to ask the groom what he wants. Maybe, instead of strippers, he’d rather bond with his wedding party on the beach with cases of cold beers. Maybe he wants to be far away from the crowds and have a momentary respite from all the planning. Not all bachelor parties have to fit the stereotype. Ultimately, the party should be a celebration of your friend’s last stretch of bachelorhood, so he should be allowed to enjoy it the way he wants.

Once you’ve decided on a theme, assist the best man with planning the details, such as managing the budget, scouting venues, and delegating tasks to other groomsmen. 

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4| Act as the welcoming committee.

Chances are, groomsmen are not part of the same circle. They could be relatives, childhood friends, high school classmates, college buddies, or even someone from the bride’s side. When someone joins the group, it’s likely they’re not familiar with everyone, leading to things getting awkward pretty fast. In this motley crew of groomsmen, help everyone feel welcome and included and fill them in on the planning and activities ahead.

5| Check in with the groom on the big day.

Your ultimate role is to stand by the groom on his wedding day. While his best man may be his main go-to, this doesn’t mean standing idle until someone tells you what to do. Ask the groom or the best man if there’s anything you can help with, like keeping the groom's personal items safe or making sure last-minute arrangements are secured. If you don’t have to troubleshoot anything, then lend emotional support to the groom. You can help calm his nerves and banish any wedding jitters. Sometimes, all a groom might really need at the moment is a listening ear.

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6| Be on time.

While this should go without saying for any situation, this is an important reminder especially for groomsmen who have a penchant for coming in late. Time is of the essence, especially at a wedding. It is important that you’re at the venue bright and early for the preparations, so arrive at the church much earlier than the groom. You’ll save him the unnecessary stress, and you won’t end up jeopardizing the wedding program.

7| Put some effort into the groomsman’s speech.

By effort, we mean being thoughtful and sincere about the words that will be dedicated to the bride and groom. Too many groomsmen try to be funny; instead, go for honest and genuine. Recall fond memories between you and the groom and include these anecdotes in your speech. Once you’ve created a sentimental and authentic speech, the humor will naturally shine through.

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8| Be responsible while having fun.

By all means, enjoy yourself at the wedding, especially at the reception. It is, after all, a celebration that calls for serious fun and merrymaking—dine, drink, and dance throughout the night. 

That said, while it may be customary to drink with your fellow groomsmen or take a swig of whisky during the morning preparations, don’t go overboard. Drink in moderation and, if you can, skip the cocktail bar, especially before your big speech. If you are bringing a flask, please don’t drink from it before the reception. Nobody likes a drunk tito at the wedding, groomsman or not.

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Sam Beltran
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