On paper, the duties of groomsmen are simple: Show up on time and try not to ruin any pictures. But the best groomsmen go above and beyond these basic requirements, taking care of little things behind the scenes to ensure the big day goes off without a hitch. Well, really, with just the one hitch. You’ll want to select a diverse group of friends and family members to cover the various needs for a successful wedding weekend. Here, we outline five key players that should make up your all-star squad of groomsmen.
With the chaos of your wedding day surrounding you, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and anxious. The Sage calms your nerves and reassures you that the biggest decision of your life is also the best one. The Sage dispenses profound advice, lightens the mood by ordering a Kevin Hart movie on demand in the hotel room, and maybe lets you win an arm wrestling match—anything to boost your confidence so you can shine for the bride and their guests.
The Sage, as a wedding party veteran, has been there and done that. He’s your go-to usher, well-versed in seating the bride’s guests and yours on the appropriate side of the venue.
In the hours leading up to the ceremony, groomsmen are usually twiddling their thumbs and eating snacks while the bridesmaids do whatever it is they do in their monogrammed bathrobes. At this point, the guys have just one responsibility: Get to the photographer without messing up their tuxes.
Dipping sauces, bad posture, and light beers each pose major threats to this task. That’s where The Cleaner comes in. Armed with a clothing stain-remover pen, moist towelettes, and enough lint rollers to clean an elephant, this man ensures all the moms at the reception will gush about how “You boys look so cute! Here, stand together so I can get a picture for The Facebook.”
THE KEEPER OF THE RING
A.k.a., the best man. In addition to organizing a bachelor party for the ages and being your rock should you get weak in the knees, your best man is also responsible for handing off the ring. The simplest tasks are often the most nerve wracking. His three seconds in the spotlight can seem like an eternity. Complete the transaction smoothly and no one notices. Drop the ring, and he’ll be shamed at every social gathering for the rest of his life, while strangers around the world laugh at his stone hands on YouTube. It’s a high-risk, low-reward situation.
Rookies should keep a handkerchief of some sort in their pocket—wouldn’t hurt to cut out a little ShamWow square—to keep their fingers dry before the big moment. Good preparation is the safest way to execute this delicate dance.
The most important part of delivering a memorable wedding toast is getting a read on the room. By that we mean, is it a George Carlin audience or a Jim Gaffigan group?
The most skilled Orators know their audience and balance some light roasting of his fellow groomsmen with a heartfelt firsthand account of the couple’s true love. Top it off with a gentlemanly thank you to the parents, catering staff, and band, and you’ve got something everyone in the room can get behind.If he avoids a “Steve Buscemi in The Wedding Singer” performance, The Orator can take the mood of the party from a 10 and turn it all the way up to 11, just in time for dancing.
THE DANCING KING
Couples bend over backwards to plan every minute detail of their wedding. Invitations, centerpieces, seating arrangements, toast order—the list goes on. But here’s the truth: None of that matters if the dance floor isn’t popping.
A vibrant dance floor is what guests will be raving about over continental breakfast in the hotel lobby the next morning. The seeds for this beautiful garden of movement and scream-singing are planted by the most outgoing groomsman, the man who breaks the ice during those awkward minutes after dinner when the music starts but most guests aren’t sauced enough to let loose. He who is first to remove his jacket and undo a few shirt buttons will be hailed as a hero.
That’s you. The groom is not without some responsibility here. To express appreciation for performing these duties, a dignified groom will send his groomsmen gifts they’ll actually use. Put some thought into it. You want your buddies to use their gifts years down the road and fondly reminisce about your wedding weekend. Think personalized barware—pint or rocks glasses—or fake them out with a personalized folding knife disguised as a book they would never read.
With this dream team in place, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is remembering your vows. And a good groomsmen will have a stash of cue cards juuust in case.