We've talked about choosing your manly wedding party before. There is no mincing words about it: It is extremely, nay, earth-shatteringly important that you choose your crew wisely, lest you find your wedding day festivities lacking. You need men you can count on to show up, on time, in full uniform, ready to celebrate your manly nuptials.
But it takes more than just looking good in the monkey suit of your choosing to make someone a quality groomsman. There are tasks before, during and after the ceremony where your boys need to step up and have your back. Maybe one man can tackle it all, but there is a reason you assemble a crew for your wedding. So it's time we put together a handy little guide to help you divvy up your wedding tasks and put your crew on the job.
Talking the Talk: Giving a Reception Speech
We'll start off with an easy one: the speech at the reception. This one is, typically, a strictly best man duty. It's a job best suited for your closest of friends, one who knows you better than almost anyone. If anyone is going to stand up in front of your family and friends telling an embarrassing story or two, it is only fitting that it be your best friend.
The speech, should you choose to include it in your reception repertoire, is supposed to be a heartfelt, partly humorous, partly embarrassing toast to you and your new spouse. It requires not only deep, personal knowledge of the groom, but a trust that said speech-giver won't cross too many lines, even when he's a little tipsy from the open bar we've already suggested you have. It's a decision that can't be taken too lightly.
Honestly, it just wouldn't be fair to put such a task on any of your other groomsmen. Some of them may have known you for years, even decades, and may have some juicy tales to tell. But if they know you so well, and are so close to you, why aren't they your best man? Don't insult your guys. Put this one on your #1 bro.
Speaking of Speeches: Who Holds On To The Vows?
This one might not be on your radar, but it should be: Have one of your men hold on to your vows until it is time to read them. I don't necessarily mean you should have him keep them at his place for weeks before the wedding (although you could, if you wanted), but perhaps the night before, or at least the morning of the ceremony. Trust me when I say this: Standing at the altar, officiator looking your way expecting you to read from a page you accidentally left in your glove box, is the worst.
As far as which of your men should shoulder this task, that one is up to you. For a lot of us, the best man is already wearing too many hats (who holds on to the rings before the ceremony, "who holds on to the vows"). If you have him holding the ring, then it should fall to another bro to hold the vows. Depending on the number of men on your side of the aisle, it can be the next link in a chain of items, held one apiece by your crew (ring, vows, handkerchief, flask... the options are many.)
For a bit of humor, perhaps the last man in line can pull them from his pocket and dramatically pass them to the next groomsman, who passes them to the next groomsman, bucket-brigade style. Odin knows, even such an emotional time needs a moment of brevity.
The Ring Master: Who Holds On To The Ring?
Did I say wedding bands? I did! We love this topic around here! It may have to do with the incredibly manly wedding rings we earn our living with, but as I have stated before, I am no rocket scientist. That point is made even clearer by my complete (and somewhat embarrassing) lack of understanding of how the whole "ring bearer to exchanging of rings" process goes down.
Does the ring bearer walk them down the aisle and pass them on to the best man? Does he pass them to the groom, who then hands them to the best man? Do you skip the ring bearer altogether and just have the best man walk down the aisle with them in his pocket?
Fortunately for us manly men, there aren't any hard and fast laws on the books regarding the specific procedures used at our weddings (unless you intend to incorporate live pumas into the ceremony... That one might require a permit from the city or something.) However you (and your spouse-to-be) choose to handle the incredibly important task of ring transportation is the right choice. In fact, we will be discussing some fun ideas you can use for your particular ring bearer (and yeah, we have some flower girl ideas too) in a future blog post.
End result: Whoever you choose to hold the rings, even if it's no one at all, works. So, that can be one less thing your crew has to stress about. #Winning
And there you have it bro: a complete, all-encompassing, fully exhaustive list of every possible duty your manly wedding crew could possibly ever take on during the entire wedding and HOLY CRAP, I haven't even talked about the bachelor party yet! Or ... Or that one... Or that one... Well then, I guess we're going to need a sequel post. Check back soon for more "Know Their Role." And in the meantime, browse our choices for groomsmen gifts, which we will also talk about here very soon.