So you want to be a Groomsmen?
You’re sitting with your best bro getting ready for an enjoyable afternoon of food with a couple drinks and some good old fashion yelling at the TV to cheer on your favorite team and you hear this little phrase
“Hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you could be one of my groomsmen, you good with that?”
You feel happy, you feel honored, and you feel instantly excited because the word BACHELOR PARTY flashes in your mind and scenes from the Hangover or Swingers go through your head. You say YES and you don’t even know what a groomsmen does. Most guys assume the role of Best Man and can figure out there are three key jobs associated with that role: (1) organize a kickass bachelor party, (2) be the guy who holds the rings, signs the paper, and (3) make a killer speech at the reception.
But what about a Groomsmen? Most see the role as just one of the guys who gets to party, tag along the day of the wedding, and a bonus…you get to be the first table to eat at the reception. In reality, there are a ton of cool things you can do to help your bro and his future wife that make all the difference in the world leading up to the big day. You don’t have to be all of these, but here are 5 things that you can do to help your bud and his girl:
1. Offer to help – sounds simple but very often overlooked. Most weddings are planned primarily by the bride with help from the groom, her mom, his mom, and a few other random friends and family, but that’s it. Be available, ask often, and have fun with the task they ask you do. Chances are, they may never ask you to do anything but the appreciation will certainly go a long way. Remember to be like the Godfather, “Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, consider this justice a gift”.
2. Throw small parties and get fired up about it – there are lots of random and sometimes painstaking tasks that go along with a wedding of any size. Invitations, decorations, centerpieces, slide shows, music selection and the list goes on. When your bro can’t come out or the couple says “sorry, can’t hangout tonight, we’re stuffing envelops” or “dude, my wife has gone DIY (Do It Yourself) on me so I’m stuck at home building bunting because of Pinterest” do two things: laugh at him, then tell them to chillout and get six pack and a slab of pizza and head on over for a pre-wedding party. It goes faster, you’ll get to hang out with the couple, and some funny stories will come out of it. We once shot a wedding with a couple of mechanics who were groomsmen who told me a story about how they spent four hours drinking and stuffing envelops with the invitations and all them were sealed from a dipping tray filled with Lucky Lager.
3. If you live abroad and can’t be near to help, be committed to checking in – I’ve had guys come from Turkey, Australia, China, and South Africa. They flew halfway around the world to be at their friends wedding as a groomsmen and were more with it then some of the groomsmen who lived just down the street. Three cool things all of them did were: they knew everybody’s name of who was involved with the wedding party, they new the plan for the day, and most importantly were excited to be there. If you can’t be physically present, be mentally present and check in once a week to see how things are going. With all the technology in todays world, taking 10 minutes to Facetime or Skype and ask a few simple questions about how things are going goes along way.
4. Best man’s in charge of the party, groomsmen are in charge of the day of, so plan to do something fun – the best photos we have ever shot of groomsmen have always been the guys that decide to play pool volleyball, golf, street hockey, go for a straight shave, or do something that takes the edge off and loosens up the mood. We’ve shot everything from a full on baseball game to scotch sampling to walking football to yoga on the beach. Surprise your bud with something cool or something cheesy to do of in the morning. Hit the beach for some sun or a simple game of pool to have a drink. It loosens him up and gets the energy up and sets the tone for the rest of the day.
5. Do something special for his future wife – this comes with a little thought and a little sense of who you are and not a lot of money. If you don’t know his wife, get to know her and then figure it out. If you do know his wife, figure out what she is really passionate about and get a gift to give her a few days leading up to the wedding. If she’s really into cooking, sign her up for a really cool cooking class you found online in your community…and make sure she brings your boy as well so you can laugh. If she really likes art, send her and her best friend to an art show. If she really loves Paris and you happen to be going there, go to an old vintage market and find an old frame with a cool story and frame a picture of the couple in it and then tell them the story of how you found it. Little moments and little efforts will never go unnoticed. If you’d take your boy to the Superbowl or the Stanley Cup finals, you should have no problem welcoming his wife into the close group of friends and family with a simple yet cool gift.
There you have it. Do all of these, do some of these, but absolutely do one of the above. The wedding is one day but the friendships and memories you contribute to will hopefully last a lifetime. Like Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Be interested, be present, be ready to have fun because that’s what weddings are all about – Fun.