Finding the right groomsmen for your wedding day is an important decision. It can be challenging to choose between friends, work colleagues or relatives.
But once you have chosen them, they’ll form a bond with you and your partner that will last for years to come.
While the two of you are the most important people at the wedding, half the fun is being able to celebrate and anticipate your big day with your closest friends by your side, serving as bridesmaids and groomsmen.
While you might think you can grab your friends, assign them a bridal title, and call it a day, there are a few other things you’ll want to consider before you assemble your wedding party.
For some grooms, choosing wedding party members might be a breeze—but for others, the task of picking the right groomsmen can be way more delicate than anticipated.
Think about it: Your best friends, college roommates, brothers, cousins and even long-lost elementary school friends are all fair game when choosing your crew.
Plus, there’s the whole best man decides to think about. Oh, and there might be future brothers-in-law in the picture too. Here at Brighton Savoy, we have compiled an exclusive list of Wedding Photo Locations in Melbourne to help you decide on your special day.
Don’t stress. Here’s how to assemble the perfect group to stand by your side on your wedding day.
Picking Your Groomsmen
Depending on the size of your circle of friends and family, picking your groomsmen can either feel like the most straightforward task or impossible.
If you land on the impossible end of the spectrum, we’re here to help.
How Many Groomsmen Should I Have?
First things first, you have to know how many groomsmen you’re going to have before you can decide on who will stand with you.
Often, how many groomsmen you have depends on your partner.
If you have a bride who is dead set on having six bridesmaids, you better believe you’ll likely have to come up with six yourself to keep things equal on both sides (identical bridesmaids and groomsmen tend to look best for pictures).
However, if you and your partner are attempting to come up with a number together, here are a couple of other factors that you can consider to help:
- How many guests you’re inviting to the wedding
- How intimate your wedding is going to be
- How many personalities do you want to deal with on your wedding day
You’ve probably been to large weddings (200+ guests) and seen some small wedding parties, and you’ve probably been to smaller weddings that have large wedding parties.
This is not a set in stone rule, but if you’re struggling, in general, the more guests you’re inviting, the larger your wedding party.
Think about it: If you’re only inviting 100 guests and you have ten people in your wedding party, that’s 10% of your guests that are standing at your wedding.
On the other hand, if you have 300 guests and ten people at your wedding party, this ratio makes more sense.
When it comes to your big day, all brides and grooms have different expectations. For some, they want an intimate gathering with friends and family.
For others, they want to throw the party of the year. If you land on the extreme of either end, this can help in determining wedding party size.
For instance, intimate weddings will likely only include family in the wedding party and perhaps a best friend or two.
On the other hand, those who want the big party atmosphere might include multiple friends and family in the wedding party to help bring energy to the big day.
Consider the overall feeling you want your wedding day to have, and this can help you determine a big vs. small wedding party.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, it’s important to remember that the bigger your wedding party, the more personalities you will have to deal with.
For some, if you have friends from different circles who don’t get along, this can be a lot to deal with, especially on your wedding day when you want to enjoy yourself.
Of course, if you have a close group of friends who are already friends or are laid-back, a big, fun group might be perfect for you. So which is best? Small and intimate or big and over-the-top?
When it Comes to Small and Intimate, Benefits Include:
There are fewer personalities to deal with, more accessible communication between close friends and a more intimate feeling on the big day.
Some negatives of a smaller wedding that you might want to consider include the possibility of offending friends/family by not having them, fewer people to rely on/help with the wedding, and fewer people to enjoy the day with (i.e. getting ready, pictures, limo rides, etc.).
If you think you want to go big with your wedding party, the biggest thing to consider is the number of personalities you’ll have to deal with.
The more personalities to deal with means the more opportunity for drama.
On the upside, though, if you’re a social couple and you like being surrounded by friends, you might have more fun with a larger wedding party.
Having said all of this, at the end of the day, deciding how many groomsmen you have is an entirely personal decision.
You can go small and intimate or big and over-the-top. Whatever the case, we suggest going with the wedding party size that will suit you and your partner best.
How to Choose Your Groomsmen
It’s sometimes a contentious thing to choose your groomsmen. How many do you have? Do you include your siblings? Which friends do you leave out?
There are many things to consider, from heights (for photos), the cost of being a groomsman, and even the group dynamic.
It all comes down to how you want your wedding day to go; the only person you need to satisfy is you (and your spouse-to-be).
In choosing your groomsmen, talking to your spouse-to-be is the best place to start.
Often, a couple getting married want symmetry in photos or the same number of people on each side.
Before choosing your groomsmen, be sure to discuss with your fiancé/e the expectations and needs they see as important.
Once you’ve established that, you can go on with thinking of who to include.
Choose a Ballpark Number
You can choose as many (or as few) groomsmen as you’d like. But, seriously—there’s no rule.
But if you like to think about rules and formulas (hey, sometimes that makes it easier to make a decision), here are some helpful guidelines.
Groomsmen often help out as ushers who seat wedding guests, and generally, you’ll need about one usher for every 50 guests.
Or, think of it this way, the groomsmen typically escort the bridesmaids down, and up the aisle, so you could choose to keep the ratio of wedding party members even.
Remember, though, having an uneven wedding party isn’t a bad thing—it’s entirely up to you and your partner—so don’t feel like you need to add groomsmen to fill spots.
If you have one brother and two lifelong best friends, keep the wedding party to three. To avoid side-eyes from friends who thought they’d cut, get them involved by having them seat guests or hand out programs at the ceremony.
And remember: You can invite whomever you want to your bachelor party, not just groomsmen.
If you start with a limitation, it makes the process of choosing who will be at your groom’s party a lot easier.
If you and your partner agree on having three people each, stick to that limit, and see who fits in the number.
Once you set an expectation for yourself, you can then work to find the best arrangement you can.
How many is a good number of groomsmen and bridesmaids?
The only people who can answer that question about your wedding are you and your partner. Have ten people each if you like, or just one, or none at all. It’s totally up to you.
Think About Family Members, Old and New
Now that you’re getting married, you’re gaining a whole new set of family members.
So while your best man and the majority of your party should be yours to choose from, don’t forget about your partner’s loved ones too.
They may have a favourite brother or best guy friend they’d love you to include. As long as you can stand them, of course, it would help if you considered it.
Not into conventional wedding party norms? Forget them. Your sister or best female friend can stand with you, and vice versa—your partner’s male loved ones can stand on her side.
Including your siblings is the perfect way to start choosing your bridesmaids and groomsmen.
If they’re much younger, you may prefer to have them serve as ushers or junior attendants, but if they’re close to your age, definitely give them the full-blown honour. Looking for the Best Photobooth Hires in Melbourne? We have compiled an exclusive list of some of Melbourne’s best photobooth hire suppliers to capture your special day.
And nothing is stopping a bride from making her brother a bridesman or a groom from making his sister a grooms lady.
What You Want in a Groomsman
Some couples involve their groom’s party in the entire wedding planning process, and others only delegate jobs on an actual day.
However much your groomsmen are involved in the planning, there will probably be things you want them to be responsible for.
Groomsmen are people you can delegate responsibilities to, like being point people for your suppliers on the day (photographer, pâtissier, florist, etc.), taking the stress off while you enjoy your day.
Some sense of organisation or responsibility is an asset for anyone in a bridal party, especially for a best man, who may have even more duties, such as arranging a buck’s night/stag do/bachelor party, taking care of wedding rings, signing the wedding register or making a speech.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Non-Traditional.
That said, nowhere is it written that grooms must only have groomsmen and brides must only have bridesmaids.
If your best friend is a woman, have the best lady, or if you want to include some female friends in your wedding party, have some groomswomen.
We’re long past the time where these things need to be dictated by someone’s gender.
The same goes for the bride at the wedding; they may prefer to have their male best friend in their wedding party – and why shouldn’t they have a man of honour or bridesman?
Your wedding is about what you want, not what stuffy old rules dictate. But, of course, if you’re going to be traditional, that’s okay too because it’s what you want.
Have a Best Man in Mind
Now, for the question of who should be your best man.
It’s typically your closest brother, cousin or friend whom you trust to be responsible and appropriate (when the moment calls for it—aka during his reception toast), energetic and organised.
He’ll be the one coordinating your bachelor party, keeping your other groomsmen in line and helping you keep your head on straight during this crazy wedding planning process—so choose your guy (or girl) wisely.
While you may not need your bridesmaids or groomsmen to participate too much in planning your wedding, there will be moments when you’ll need to know you can count on them.
If your friend seldom calls you back or constantly shows up late when you have plans, they may not be the right person for the job, especially with bridesmaid dress order deadlines and tight timelines the day of your wedding.
Instead, lean toward friends who you know will answer your emails, show up when you need them to (or a few minutes early), and probably be more prepared than you.
Think about how your wedding party will get along before you send out those “Be My Bridesmaid?” gifts.
That doesn’t mean everyone has to be the best of friends, but if one person on your list has a more robust—or even abrasive—personality and tends to rub people the wrong way, that’s potential drama you’ll want to avoid if you can.
Be Mindful of Budget
We all know being a bridesmaid or groomsman is expensive.
Even if you’re paying for their accommodations or chipping in for the suit or dress, between flights, gifts, and the bachelor and bachelorette parties, the bill can add up.
If you know a friend is in a tough spot financially, call them up to talk it over before making the official ask.
Let them know you’d love to include them, but also have a few alternative ways for them to be involved if joining the wedding party might be too expensive.
Close friends make fantastic readers, give great toasts at the rehearsal dinner, and could also hand out programs or serve as ushers at the ceremony.
Think About Feelings
Sometimes, having fewer bridesmaids or groomsmen is the easiest way to ensure no one’s feelings are hurt.
If your choice is between having just your sister and your childhood BFF stand beside you or expanding into two or three friend groups and ten or more ‘maids, the smaller group could save you a lot of stress in deciding who does and doesn’t make the cut.
On the other hand, if you’re committed to the idea of a huge wedding party, and there’s one friend on the fringe, you might be better off including one more than leaving them out.
Pick the People for Right Now
You may have had an idea of who you want for your wedding party since high school.
That’s great, but what you don’t want is to find out that you and your once-best-buddy aren’t that close anymore, the day before the wedding.
Think about the people you are closest to right now and who are the people you’ll stay in touch with going forward.
Those people are the ones you should consider for your wedding party.
The Wedding Party Is Not the Only Role at the Wedding
Some people have many friends and many people who want to play an essential role at the wedding. That’s okay!
The wedding party is not the only important – or, necessarily, even the most critical – role at the wedding.
There are speeches to give, and you’ll need a celebrant (and your friends can get certified!) you can have readings during the ceremony, you’ll need ushers, ring bearers, emcees, people to help you get ready and maybe even performers if your friends or family are musically talented.
If you prefer to keep your wedding party small or not have one at all, these are all essential roles that you’ll need to fill.
The Group Dynamic Matters
Select your groomsmen based on who’s an active part of your life right now.
The night before your wedding isn’t the best time to discover you and your best friend from high school don’t have much in common anymore.
You don’t need added tension throughout the planning process—you’ll have enough to think about already.
It’s best to have a solid, comfortable support group by your side before, during and after the ceremony.
How to Ask Your Chosen Groomsmen
Now that you’ve chosen your groomsmen, it’s time to ask them. Here are three ideas to help inspire you when asking your chosen groomsmen to be part of your big day.
Some of you might like to keep things straight-to-the-point and straightforward when asking your groomsmen, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
More and more, we’re seeing elaborate ways of asking your chosen groomsmen, but if you don’t think your groomsmen will appreciate the gesture or it’s not your style, there’s no shame in simply asking without the big show.
The only rule here—no emails or texts; ask in person. When in-person is impossible because of distance, a phone call is your next best option.
Give a Gift
If you want to take it up a notch, there’s no shortage of groomsmen gifts out there. Some of our favourites include:
- Personalised beer mugs/whiskey flasks
- Something to wear on the big day (socks, suspenders, cuff links)
- A groomsmen “proposal box” (i.e. a collection of items and a note asking the question)
- Bottle of booze with a custom label
- Sporting equipment
The main thing to consider when getting a gift to ask your groomsmen is customisation.
If you’re going to go out of your way to get a gift, customising with a name or adding something that asks, “will you be my groomsmen” makes the gift feel special.
An Event, a Video, a Song
And lastly, if you want to step it up when asking your groomsmen, you can bring all of them together for an event (i.e. sports, concert, camping), you can record a silly video that proposes the question, or you can even write a song if you’re musically inclined.
For the last two options, you’ll likely want to keep it light and on the more humorous side. You can find plenty of examples on Youtube if you need inspiration.
Your wedding day is an important event in your life, and deciding who will stand by your side to celebrate is worth taking the time to consider. We hope some of the tips from above make your decision that much easier. Looking for a wedding photographer in Melbourne? Look no further. Brighton Savoy has compiled an ultimate list of Melbourne wedding photographers to help you choose.
Cheers to a stellar wedding party, a beautiful wedding day, and most importantly, a happy marriage!