If you are busy planning your wedding, then you may have stopped and wondered about the groomsmen on the day. The groom may have some people in mind, but is there a limit on how many you can have or that would work? Needing to know for my own special day, I spent some time researching both traditions and wedding etiquette to find out the options.
So, how many groomsmen can you have? The groom can have as many groomsmen as they would like. However, it is generally advised that for a small wedding (~ 50 guests), the groom has 2-3 groomsmen, 4-6 groomsmen for a medium wedding (~100 guests) and 6-8 groomsmen for a larger wedding (200-250 guests). It is also essential that you balance the number of groomsmen you decide to have with the number of bridesmaids. Otherwise the wedding party looks imbalanced and is noticeable during the ceremony and throughout the day.
While there is definitely no hard and fast rule, there is a reason for these general guidelines and why they come recommended. It simply works from both a logistical and practical perspective.
While there is definitely honour in being made a groomsman, there are some responsibilities involved and things that they will need to do for the groom to ensure the day runs smoothly and according to schedule.
Let us now take a closer look at the role of the groomsmen for a wedding. We will also be looking at those other similarly related questions such as what they will need to do, who you should choose and some of the factors to consider to help you choose them.
Lastly, we will also be covering some of the considerations that you should be aware of and take into account before you begin asking for their presence, support and participation in your wedding!
How Many Groomsmen Is Too Many?
How many groomsmen will be too many will depend on your own ceremony, the venue, the number of bridesmaids the bride would like to have and of course, the number of guests you have coming.
Many wedding experts will advise on a different amount, but most will agree that you should not be looking to exceed 7-8.
Remember, being a groomsman is supposed to be an honor. You do want to diminish and lessen this for those that you do decide to have.
From a practical perspective, it just does not look right having too many. This is even more true with a small wedding; where less people are going to be seated during the ceremony.
What Do The Groomsmen Do?
The groomsmen, whom can be both male and female, are the accompaniments to the groom – both before, during and shortly following the wedding.
They are personally selected and formally asked if they would like to take this important, yet fulfilling role.
Perhaps the first way of approaching the selection process, is by looking at what a groomsman actually does.
In this way, you can not only see whom is going to be most suitable for the responsibility, but it also helps you to visualize the amount of groomsmen that will be practical and able to play their own role.
Below, I have documented some of the major responsibilities, duties and expectations of the role:
- Offer advice on the choice of ring – but only if the groom asks and wants you included in this process.
- Buying, tailoring or renting the wedding attire – following the grooms’ requirements and desires.
- Attend pre-wedding celebrations – such as engagement parties, bachelor parties, bridal showers and any rehearsal dinners.
- Support the planning if asked – sometimes, the groomsmen can be asked to help plan and organize the bachelors party.
- Purchase a wedding gift – its traditional for the groomsman to purchase the bride and groom a gift.
On The Wedding Day
- Supporting the groom: being there to keep them composed and calm
- Getting ready with the groom: ensuring they look at their best.
- Helping guests to their seats for the ceremony
- Walking down the aisle with one of the bridesmaids
- Standing by the groom during the ceremony
- Being in the group photos
- Helping the wedding guests with any questions they may have – like where things are and the general schedule of the day.
- Dancing – with one of the bridesmaidsafter the bride and grooms first dance
- Helping with any tasks – that either of the wedding parties families have.
- Returning any rented wedding attire
Ultimately, the groomsmen are there to help and support not only the planning, but some very important moments on the wedding day itself.
Who Should Be Your Groomsmen?
Choosing your groomsmen is a personal decision, and one that eventually, you will need to make.
Traditionally, the groom will choose their groomsman from their closest friends and relatives.
This could be from your closest school friends or those that you have met and got close to later in life, such as during college or through work.
You can also consider the friends of the bride, or a spouse of one of the bridesmaids. You may have gotten to know them well and developed your own relationships over the years.
Another place to look are members of the brides family; such as any cousins or uncles whom you may have built a strong relationship with.
This is the most common way to select groomsman, but again it is ultimately down to the groom.
He should want to select those whom are closest to him, and those who he will want to share some of his closest and fondest memories with.
How To Choose Your Groomsmen
Choosing your groomsmen may come easy to you and may not be something you need to consider for long. The candidates may just naturally pick themselves.
However, there is always the case that you can think of too many people to ask, or are not sure that someone is either willing or is appropriate.
Here are some practical tips to help you make a decision
- Identify a maximum total number – while also considering the bridesmaids. This will help you to be able to make a decision – knowing the limit of what you can have
- Only have the groomsman you truly want – and are fully comfortable with. Do not feel pressured or obliged.
- Think about personalities – are they appropriate for this kind of event; will they take their duties on responsibly and can you see them interacting with your guests
- Would they even want to be a groomsman – and be as excited, enthused and comfortable in this position.
- Think about the group dynamic – and how all the groomsman will interact. Make sure they are all get along.
Other Factors To Consider
So by now you may have an idea of how many groomsman you would like at your wedding, who they should be and how to go about selecting them.
But are there any other considerations to take into account that may impact your decisions.
There are a couple to be aware of.
The first is cost.
It is traditional and somewhat expected that each groomsman is provided with a gift from the bride and the groom. A token gesture as a means of thanking them for their support, assistance and being there for you when it all truly matters.
Obviously, the more groomsman you have, the more it is going to cost you. Now as you know, weddings are very expensive even before these formalities, and these additional costs can soon add up and get out of hand.
Remember, it is likely that you will get the bridesmaids gifts too; and if you feel the need to balance the party, it can get expensive quick.
You also want to be able to treat your groomsman, not offering a cheap gift because your finances had to go around. This can cause offense, especially to particular groomsman who will have gone out of their way and gone above and beyond in the planning.
Its also nice to be able to treat them in other ways outside of the formal gift, such as purchasing them an accessory. Of course, the ability to do this diminishes the more groomsman you have (and depending on your budget of course).
The other main factor that you may want to consider is the potential to offend.
Generally, The more groomsman you have, the easier it is to offend others.
Firstly, those closest to you may feel a bit upset if they notice other groomsmen whom appear to not know you as well or whom disrupt the balance of the group.
Then of course, there is always the possibility to exclude people unintentionally. If you have a big group of groomsman and one particular person does not get the invite – they may feel very isolated, rejected and depending on personalities, could even lead to arguments.
The groom can have as many groomsmen as they like. However, as we have tried to explain throughout this article; more is not always better.
It is generally advised to keep the groomsman numbers down, with a total of 2-8 depending on the size of your wedding and the venue. Generally, it works best if you keep the numbers in accordance with the number of bridesmaids.
Nevertheless, it is ultimately your decision. Hopefully by reading this article you are in a better position to make a more informed, well-rounded decision.