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Choosing Your Crew -- The Manly Guide to Choosing Your Groomsmen

Choosing Your Crew -- The Manly Guide to Choosing Your Groomsmen

So, you're taking the big plunge, eh? Are you sure? Congrats, bro! It's a big move, and it's a damn good one... But.

You have a lot of work ahead of you. Picking the venue, the food, the DJ, not to mention the ceremony, and the specific variety of summer lilies that will grace each individual centerpiece.

If you're one of the lucky ones who landed an amazing planner as a future spouse, most of the above terrors will land on their side of the plate, with only minimal (and yes, it might be best for you to keep it minimal) input from you. But one part of the Big Day's events lands squarely on your shoulders: Selecting your groomsmen.

Fear not, my manly comrade. We're here to walk you through it, so you stand at that altar (or arch, gazebo, scale replica of an AT-AT Walker, etc...) with only the cream of your friend-pool crop beside you.

LESSON 1: CULLING THE HERD

Look, we get you may be "Big Man on Campus/Top Fry-Cook" in your circle. You may know a lot of guys who, at some point, you've thought well of. But just because Dirk from Receiving bought you six birthday shots last year, it doesn't make him Wedding Party Material. On average, you only get around 4-6 on your side of the party (you did remember to ask your spouse-to-be how many they have selected for their side, right? Because trust us, they already have a number. Make sure you ask it. We can wait... Got it? OK, good.)

Start by asking yourself "Who is the first friend I told when I got engaged?" That is likely your best man. The one you trust in your lowest of times to lend sound advice, the first one to lift a pint with you when it's time to celebrate; Your best friend.

After that, you need groomsmen. Would Bob show up to help you move? Is Ulysses reliable enough to call at midnight when you blow a tire? Did Trevor return your leaf-blower with as much gas as he borrowed it with?

Many of your buds are better suited for "wedding guest" status. You need to do the tough work of ranking each member of your list by how much they have been there through the tough times, and only ask the top 4-6 (or whatever your future other half's number is. You remember it, right?... Fine, we'll wait again.)

LESSON 2: AVOIDING TEMPTATION

OK, so you have your list. Now, we have to ask: Any of these guys ones you've only known for a few months? Maybe a new friend you met at the bar last month? Or a new coworker, still in their 90-day probation period?

Yes, new friends are shiny and exciting. But that doesn't mean they're ready to pop on a tux and stand with you. Just because you've had a good time hanging out, or they helped you out of one jam, don't assume this is the type of long-term friendship deserving of a spot on your wedding roster. Things change, and last week's drinking buddy can wind up next month's social media-only connection real quick. Use some discretion here, bro. You gotta know they'll represent right on your big day. Give it some time before you offer them a spot.

LESSON 3: RESPECT YOUR CREW'S WALLET

This one's tough, but important: Can each candidate for groomsmen status handle the cost of renting their tux, taking time off work for all the festivities, or traveling to the wedding if they live any significant distance away?

None of this is cheap, and the further away the wedding is from everyone's home, or the more involved the costuming is, the harder it may be for your nearest and dearest bros to pull off.

Don't get us wrong; most of them will figure it out if they really want to be there. True bros won't just show up from two time zones away, they'll bring the entire family, tux in one hand, 12-year-old bottle of scotch in the other, with high-end cigars in their pocket.

But only if their budget permits.

If you have the means to help them out, by all means, ask. But be sensitive to their situation, and only make the offer if you can be sure they'll know you won't be pissed if they have to say no.

LESSON 4: HAVE A BACKUP PLAN, OR TWO:

You could have a falling-out between Groomsmen Draft Day and the actual wedding. "New work friend" could get fired, and hold you responsible. Your old BFF from high school might have a major home repair pop up that throws his budget down the toilet, and he can't drive cross-country anymore.

One of your chosen groomsmen (or even your best man) may not be able to fulfill their duties on wedding day, and a spot may suddenly open up. If it is your best man, make sure your #2 is ready to step up and fill the role, not only for the bachelor party/night before shenanigans, but for the ceremony (holding your manly band like a boss), and any reception-based speech that may be needed.

For an open groomsmen spot, current (i.e. your sister's husband) or future (i.e. your spouse-to-be's sister's husband) brother-in-law's are great fill-ins. Or, one of the guys from the initial list who barely missed the cut. Make sure they can handle the task, and only ask in case of an emergency.

That's it. Use these tips, and your wedding crew will be the best of your crew. Congrats, and good luck, bro!