The wedding planning has begun! You’re either about to choose your Groomsmen or you’ve been asked to be one, but you’re not quite sure what they do. This guide will explain the role of groomsmen and the groomsmen’s duties at a gay wedding!
What are Groomsmen?
Groomsmen, or as some people call them, Ushers, are a small group of attendants who assist the Groom/Grooms with their wedding planning, pre-wedding celebrations and the wedding day itself. There is typically one main “Best Man” who is the right-hand person and takes on most of the responsibilities. Then there are the other Ushers who have smaller tasks. Historically, Groomsmen were actually there to either protect the Bride from potential kidnappers or be the kidnappers themselves. They were called Bride-Knights and would stand next to the Bride so that she wouldn’t run away or be taken away with the “Best Man”, usually being the most skilled fighter. Luckily we have moved past the more primitive “marriage by capture” days and onto marriage by choice and love!
Who should be a Groomsman?
Anyone can potentially be a Groomsman or Usher. But there are some things you may want to keep in mind when choosing your wedding party. The groomsmen usually consist of siblings, close friends and relatives; they should know the Groom/Grooms well so that they can assist in the best way possible. We wouldn’t recommend having a random co-worker or a friend you know loves to argue with for obvious reasons. The wedding party are essentially there to help lighten the load of the wedding planning and not to add extra stress!
What are the Groomsmen’s duties before a Gay Wedding?
- Helping to plan the proposal isn’t necessarily a typical duty of the Groomsman. However, some Grooms may find that they already know who their wedding party is going to be, and they would like them to help organize the perfect proposal.
- After the proposal, the wedding planning really begins. First things first and that’s attending the engagement party if the couple is having one. Here you get to meet the close relatives and friends of the couple. It’s a good place to meet your fellow Groomsmen and mingle with the family, first impressions are everything!
- Going to outfit fittings is an absolute must for the Groomsmen. This is where you can try on your wedding attire and make sure any alterations that are needed are organized; you can also offer your opinion on outfits but do not force your suggestions upon the Groom/s. A bonus tip is to offer to collect and look after the outfits. This saves the Groom/s any extra stress and running around – just be sure you do not forget them on the day!
- You will also want to make sure that all the groomsmen are perfectly coiffed on the day. It could be a nice gesture to book everyone in the day before to a swanky barber’s or hairdresser to get all your hair and beards styled. That is, of course, if you can grow a beard. Read more: How to grow a beard.
- The main task that a lot of Groomsmen look forward to is the planning of the Bachelor/Stag party. This is usually around the time in wedding planning when things have really taken off. The Groom is swamped with stress and nerves so the bachelor party acts as a decompressor. They can let loose and celebrate their transition from single life to marriage! We have a guide on how to plan the most memorable Gay Bachelor Party or Gay Stag Do here!
- Offering assistance with any small tasks. Picking up props needed for the reception, helping with DIY projects, and even picking the great aunt up from the airport and taking her to the hotel. Whatever it is that you think you can offer your help with to take any extra stress off the Groom/s would be greatly appreciated.
- Speaking of stress; the Groom/s will be under a lot of pressure with the wedding day looming so checking on them, seeing if they need anything and potentially taking them for lunch or a drink just to chat about their thoughts and feelings can help calm those nerves and cold feet!
- Groomsmen are usually the command center for guests. This means knowing which hotels guests are staying at, time and location for activities or even transportation information. Anything that the guests may have immediate questions about the Ushers should know. This allows the Groom/s to focus on bigger tasks rather than answering tedious questions.
- Attending the rehearsal dinner is also an important task for the Groomsmen as it’s the final run-through of the processions. This will be your final chance to meet the other wedding party attendants and go through the itinerary, so it is essential that you show up. Any questions you have will be answered and any guests that the Groomsmen should keep their eye on will be announced!
What are the Groomsmen’s duties during a Gay Wedding?
- The night before the wedding is always very frantic, it’s the last time to make sure you have absolutely everything. Double checking who is in charge of the rings, who has the outfits and making sure the Groom hasn’t done a runner! Get your checklist out and do some light reading before bed so you know exactly what to do/have is a good idea also.
- The morning of the wedding is where you really set the tone of the day. Waking up early and getting the Groom/s ready is the most important part. Ensuring everyone has had breakfast to avoid any awkward situations at the altar.
- Groomsmen are usually ready before the other wedding party members and should offer assistance prepping the wedding site. For example helping to place chairs or checking if the band need any water.
- Groomsmen will also greet guests and direct them to seating, reserving seating for immediate family and answering any questions that guests may have such as “Where should gifts be placed?” and “Where are the toilets?”
- Beginning the wedding processions by walking down the aisle with a fellow wedding attendant and standing at the altar is one of the main duties the Groomsmen will have during the ceremony.
- Some weddings have readings. These can be read by anyone but are often read by one of the wedding party. We have a list of our top wedding readings for same-sex weddings here!
- After the ceremony, you will probably need to run around gathering the wedding party for pictures and portraits. While this is going on it is a good idea to hold off guests from trying to congratulate the couple during their photoshoot so that the rest of the day can continue promptly!
- Ensuring all guests get to the reception may seem obvious. We don’t want poor old Aunt Dottie being left behind if the reception is at another location!
- Giving speeches is completely optional but can sometimes be expected by certain wedding attendants. If you have been asked to give a speech you should do just that. Otherwise leave the speech to immediate family and those scheduled for a speech. Improvising one and grabbing the mic when not asked can lengthen the schedule and disrupt the flow of the night, so always ask before the wedding if you want to give a speech.
- Being courageous and helping the party turn into a party by being the first person on the dance floor with the mother of the Grooms/Brides will be a hit! It’s always awkward being the first on the dance floor. But taking that opportunity to get people up and dancing will get everything going!
- Someone from the Groomsmen may be in charge of looking after the gifts. So if that’s you, then take the gifts to a safe place and hold on to them.
- Gathering all the stuff out of the couples rooms and helping them get ready to leave the reception is another task that not many think of but is a massive help towards the end of the evening when the couple is sent off.
What are the Groomsmen’s duties after a Gay Wedding?
- There’s usually not many tasks for a Groomsman to do after the wedding. If there is an after wedding brunch then rounding up the guests by going and knocking on doors will be a great way of making sure no one is late.
- And finally, the Groomsmen can offer to return any rented items such as props or outfits while the couple is on their honeymoon.
Are there any differences for Groomsmen at a Gay Wedding?
A Groomsman at a gay wedding has the same responsibilities as any other wedding. The only thing that may change could potentially be the title. If the couple has a mixed-gender wedding party, using the term “Groomsmen” may offend some people. Changing the name to be more gender-neutral will be more inclusive. Other names you can use to call your wedding party are “Groomspeople”, “Bridesmen” or just “Wedding Attendants”. Other than that there really is no difference with having Groomsmen at a gay wedding. How you plan your wedding party is completely up to you. You can distribute the responsibilities amongst whoever you see fit – as long as you are happy with who is going to be in the wedding party!
And if you know a bridesmaid at the wedding, then take a look at What are the Bridesmaid’s Duties at a Gay Wedding?