While everyone’s eyes are on the bride and groom, it’s actually the bridal party that makes the day possible. Both bridesmaids and groomsmen, far from merely posing for pictures, are expected to perform a number of duties to make the wedding run as a smoothly as possible.

Frustration arises when a member of the bridal party either does not understand his or her obligations up front, or when there is a disagreement as to what each member is expected to do. And while there is a good deal of information about what a bridesmaid is expected to do, many groomsmen may be completely unaware of exactly what is expected of them when they agree to be a part of a wedding.

Here’s a breakdown of the essential duties groomsmen should plan on performing:

  1. Plan and Participate in Pre-wedding Festivities: While it’s the best man who’s in charge of planning the bachelor party, all groomsmen are expected to chip in: financially, with time, and by committing to join in the festivities. Groomsmen should also plan on helping, in conjunction with the bridesmaids, with any engagement parties and rehearsal dinners. Some couples also now opt for a bride and groom shower instead of a bridal shower.
  2. Suit Up: While this is an obvious requirement, agreeing to wear suits or tuxedos on the wedding day is only half of it. In many cases, groomsmen go with the groom and help select attire. They also are expected to go to fittings, purchase or rent their own clothes, and both pick up, and return the suit or tuxedo for cleaning if renting.
  3. Before the Ceremony: All members of the bridal party are expected to arrive early, groomsmen included. Groomsmen act as emotional support, make sure the groom is ready, and even greet guests as they arrive. Some groomsmen will be expected to serve as ushers, and all will escort a bridesmaid down the aisle.
  4. At the Reception: Just because the ceremony’s over, doesn’t mean groomsmen duties end! The best man must give a toast, while many groomsmen will be also encouraged to, depending on time constraints. Groomsmen are also expected to participate, and encourage others to dance.
  5. The Important Things in Between…Posing for the photography, decorating the space beforehand, and general troubleshooting are also to be expected.


Groomsmen need to be honest upfront about the amount of time and money they can commit: being transparent with the groom will save a lot of arguments later.

Photo Credit: Jason Thomas Crocker Photography