Congrats bro! She said yes and now you’re planning your wedding. It’s one of the most exciting and expensive times of your life, and it’ll all be over in the blink of an eye. A day that will likely cost you tens of thousands of dollars will be immortalized in pictures and videos, along with memories sure to last forever. Before you walk down the aisle, you’ve got some big decisions to make regarding who will be standing by your side as you sign your life away in front of a sea of family and friends.
Choosing your groomsmen can be easy for some and more difficult for others. If you grew up with lots of brothers or close friends, the decision might be automatic. Unfortunately, it can end up being a bit more complicated for soon-to-be grooms because they may have too many or too few to choose from. In some situations, it can also cause tension within your existing friendships. Getting the call to be a groomsmen is considered a great honor, and being snubbed when one thinks they’re worthy can cause some ill will between bros.
Before you make your decision, let’s look at the five most important factors in selecting your MVP crew.
1. Loyalty: Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. It symbolizes the transformation from bachelor to married man, as everything you experienced in life led to this moment. Who was there by your side during the fun nights out or the crushing breakups? Who answered your call when you needed a friend? Who had your back when times were tough? Who gave you great advice along the way? The gents you select should have demonstrated loyalty to you and your friendship over the years if they are to be invited into this select group. These are guys who show up for you no matter what. If you’ve ever doubted their loyalty, don’t even consider them as part of your crew. They’re an acquaintance, not a true friend.
2. Longevity: Most people hire wedding photographers to take lots of pictures leading up to and during their wedding. These moments are immortalized, and one day your future kids and grandkids are going to see them. When they look at these pictures, do you want your future kin to immediately recognize the groomsmen because they’re still a big part of your life? The answer should be yes. Friends come in and out of our lives throughout childhood and adulthood, but the ones remaining in the picture have proven their value. Sure, the guy you met at the bar who roots for the same hockey team as you is cool and fun, but has he been around for all the ups and downs of your evolution? Work friends can be just as tricky. Working together for a couple years could make you feel like you’ve gone to battle together, but is the friendship built on any substance outside of hatred for a common boss? When zeroing in on your final list, make sure your selections have stood the test of time.
3. Trustworthiness: Trust is important for so many reasons. Do you trust them to be classy, respectful and responsible on the big day? The last thing you need is a sloppy drunk with a big mouth making a fool of himself at the reception. Are they trustworthy enough to show up on time, wear the right attire, and participate in all of the festivities? Do you trust them around your closest family and in laws, or will they tell a dumb story about the bachelor party that will get you or someone else into trouble? The crew you select should be committed to helping you get through the day without any incidents. If they’re more focused on their next drink, or they’ve got loose lips, keep them on the bench.
4. Selfless: This attribute is definitely a mix of the first three, but it takes on a life of its own and needs to be emphasized. Leading up to, during, and after your wedding, there will undoubtedly be times where you need someone to vent to, or turn to for advice. When engaging with your groomsmen, it’s important for you to trust that they have your best interests in mind. A true friend is able to separate themselves from any situation and objectively look at how YOU are being impacted. They shouldn’t put themselves first when they’re actively helping you. This is the mark of a good friend, and should be something you consider when making your selection.
Example: Being a loyal guy, you want to make sure your bachelor party isn’t a hooker fest. One of the groomsmen you’re considering is single and loves the company of available women. You tell him you want a fun guys weekend with fishing, golf, and a brewery. Is he going to sabotage the party by ordering strippers to your room, putting you and any other loyal guys in a tough spot? Or will he honor your wishes and put his desires aside? Selfless is the way to go.
5. Fun: Let’s be honest here. One of the most fun rites of passage leading to a wedding is the bachelor party. Your groomsmen will likely be planning this, with your best man taking the lead. You obviously want the bachelor party to be a good time, but you also want it to cater to your specific needs and style. There are some friends who are more wild then others, so giving them the task of helping to plan your bachelor party can make or break it. On top of the bachelor party, this crew is going to be involved in your rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, and will be by your side the entire day of the wedding. If someone is boring, dry or annoying, they can bring the mood of the group down. Make sure your groomsmen fit your vibe. After all, it’s your party… and you should enjoy it!
– Your Big Bro