• 06/17/2023

How Many Groomsmen Can You Have? And How to Choose Them

Groomsmen sitting at a table at a wedding reception

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Although you may have charged full steam ahead in wedding planning, there’s one area your fiancé must be responsible for themselves: Groomsmen.

Every bride understands the challenges of selecting the bridal party — your partner has the same challenge to contend with. Do they choose their family members or pick their friends? Then, the question is, how many groomsmen can you have before you’ve selected too many? Hopefully, this guide will help couples throughout the process.

How Many Groomsmen Can You Have?

The average number of groomsmen is around 5, but there’s no set requirement. Most grooms will choose a best man and one or two other close friends to be groomsmen. Others may have as many as 10 groomsmen for a larger wedding.

There are many factors that may determine how many groomsmen you choose. You’ll want to consider any costs associated with having more groomsmen. If you’re on a tighter budget and want a smaller guest list, you may opt for one or two groomsmen. Similarly, couples who elope or have destination weddings often limit their bridal party to only a best man and maid of honor to keep the ceremony more intimate.

On the flip side, many people have multiple siblings, cousins and close friends who all play significant roles in the groom’s life. There’s nothing wrong with including everyone you love in your bridal party if it makes sense logistically.

Some additional questions to ask yourself when considering the number of groomsmen:

  • How do you imagine your bachelor party? Will it be difficult to coordinate flights or hotel rooms for a lot of people? Do you want a big party reminiscent of college days, or a low-key night at your favorite local bar?
  • Who do you feel comfortable asking to pay for everything involved in being a groomsman? If you have a friend who lives across the country, are they willing and able to pay for transportation, attire, bachelor party expenses, and so on?
  • Will you have a traditional ceremony where the groomsmen will process down the aisle? Or a courthouse ceremony where a limited number of people may be able to attend?
  • How many people will your spouse-to-be have in their bridal party? Many couples prefer to have an equal number on each side.
  • Can you imagine your wedding day without this person at your side? If not, then they should be part of your groomsmen.

The most important thing is to make sure you’re surrounded by people who care about you.

5 Tips for How to Select Your Groomsmen

Your fiancé will feel immense pressure to select their groomsmen — nobody wants to leave out anyone important, but there is a limited number of people they can ask. Here are five tips for choosing the right guys for the job.

1. Take a Head Count

The first step to picking groomsmen is knowing how many you must choose. The best way to determine this is by the size of the wedding — how many people did you invite? Typically, only 70% to 80% of people invited attend a wedding. That means if you asked 100 people, you could expect up to 80 to RSVP yes. 

Although five groomsmen are sufficient, a smaller headcount could mean fewer groomsmen. Likewise, a wedding with 150 to 200 people or more might have 10 groomsmen. Another thing to consider is how many bridesmaids will be there, as you should aim for the same number of groomsmen.

2. Family First

If your partner has one or more brothers, it should make choosing a couple of groomsmen that much easier. Siblings often play a prominent role in a wedding, including the best man. However, what if the siblings are younger, unreliable or estranged — or what if they have more than one brother? They may need to come to an agreement as to who will be the best man.

There’s no rule that brothers must be the best man or groomsman. Those roles could go to close cousins and friends if appropriate. 

Also, if the groom is close to their future brother-in-law, they should ask them to join the wedding party as a groomsman or hold another significant role.

3. Pick Your Best Friends

If there aren’t enough siblings or close relatives to make up the number of groomsmen needed, start including close friends. 

Who have they maintained the longest friendship with? Are they still close with their college roommate? How often do they spend quality time with people? Choosing friends from the same circle will ensure no personality clashes put a damper on the big day. 

4. Balk at Tradition

One thing is sure — rules are meant to be broken in modern weddings. According to a YouGov.com survey, less than half of men and women — 42% and 22%, respectively — are for preserving wedding traditions. As such, why not pick a woman to join the groomsmen?

Perhaps your partner has a sister and no brothers, or their best friend is female. Either way, anything goes in today’s weddings. 

5. Decide Who’s Reliable

While the best man will take on more duties leading up to the wedding, all the groomsmen must show up to support the groom. 

When selecting groomsmen, the groom must consider which of their family and friends are the most reliable. For example, let’s say the groom has two friends — one tends to show up late or drop out of commitments, while the other is known for punctuality. It may be a better idea to go with the friend that’s on the ball.

Additionally, suppose the groom’s brother is only a teenager. Taking on the best man’s responsibilities may be too much for them to handle alone. Having a secondary best man to help them or giving the younger brother a regular groomsman role could make the decision easier. 

Responsibilities of Groomsmen

Being a groomsman demands more than simply showing up in a fancy suit. Their jobs usually begin months in advance of the wedding. Although they have less to do before the wedding than bridesmaids, groomsmen must offer support, help plan and inject positivity into the big day. 

The groom will let the groomsmen know what to wear at the wedding — this could be a specific suit they should buy or rent or dress as they please while following certain color specifications. Regardless, groomsmen must have their measurements done well in advance to ensure their suits fit in time for the wedding.

Other pre-wedding duties include attending various celebrations, such as engagement parties, bachelor parties, and rehearsal dinners. Of course, groomsmen that live out of town may not make it to every event — that’s OK. They can still play a part in organizing the bachelor party.

Grooms may also ask some of their groomsmen to say a few words at the rehearsal dinner — the best man usually speaks at the wedding. One of the groomsmen may also be responsible for holding onto the rings while the rest serve as ushers during the ceremony.

Often, groomsmen stick around at the venue after the happy newlyweds leave to help the families carry gifts and other items to their cars. Some groomsmen may provide transportation for a few of the guests. 

After the wedding, groomsmen must return their rental formalwear to avoid late fees before kicking their feet up to relax.

Weddings are Meant to Be Shared Among Best Friends

The whole fun of weddings is sharing the special day with loved ones. Your groomsmen — however many you have — are some of your life’s most essential and supportive people. You wouldn’t want them to miss out on this major milestone moment.

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