If you’re a guy, one of the most fun parts of planning a wedding is deciding which of your best buds to have by your side when you say your vows and make the transition into husbandhood. But once you start to think about who to ask, things can get complicated. You want your wedding to be all about good feelings with no stress or conflict, but if you don’t tread carefully, you could make decisions that cause your pals to regret saying yes to being part of your wedding party.
When I got married a few years ago, I gave these decisions a lot of thought. I made some mistakes, but overall, I think I did it right, and I want to share some tips for how you – and your groomsmen – can walk away thinking that yours was the best wedding ever.
Be Strategic When Choosing Your Wedding Party
When it comes to choosing your half of the wedding party, there are going to be some very easy choices to make: your best friend from college, your younger sibling, a childhood pal. But it’s also important to be strategic about your wedding party. After all, your groomsmen (or groomspeople, if you decide to have female friends stand by your side) are there to assist you on the big day, with emotional support as well as logistical help so that things run smoothly. Do you have a friend who is a natural, take-charge leader or one who enjoys problem solving? This kind of groomsman is essential. Remember, no matter how carefully you plan your wedding, something unexpected will come up. This friend will take the duties seriously, and you can count on him (or her) to take on a task and get it done.
Strengthening relationships is another benefit to think of when choosing your wedding party. You don’t necessarily have to keep your choices to your oldest friends. Your wedding is a great opportunity to fortify a new friendship. Your old friends expect to be asked to serve in your wedding party, but asking a relatively new friend to serve in your wedding is a real honor, and you will make a new lifelong friend.
Don’t Ask Your Groomsmen to Rent Tuxedos
Thankfully, the tradition of having groomsmen rent matching tuxedos has waned over recent years, but plenty of couples still honor this tradition, to the chagrin of groomsmen. Rented tuxes almost never fit well, they’re expensive and they add logistical problems, especially if your groomsmen have to travel to the wedding. Instead, ask your groomsmen to wear either a navy blue or grey suit, and buy them all matching ties. The matching ties ensure that your guests recognize who is in your wedding party, and your buds can save a little money. Now, you may ask, “What if a groomsman doesn’t own a blue or grey suit?” Well, you get to tell them that because you saved them money on a tux, they now have money to invest in a new suit, which is really something they should have had at their last three job interviews. Believe me, they’ll thank you for it … a few months later.
Give the Wedding Party an Experience as a Gift
Tradition says that you should thank the wonderful people who agree to stand up in your wedding with a gift. Gifts are nice, but more often than not, your gift will be shelved, boxed, dusted and long forgotten in no time. Instead, take the whole crew out on an interesting experience instead. It could be simple as going bowling or go-karting – something you all might not have otherwise done together. I got married in Detroit, and the day before the wedding, we took our entire wedding party to the Motown Museum, a completely unique place and experience. The tour guide was great and taught the whole group to do some classic Motown line dancing moves. It was great bonding time, and an experience no one in the party will ever forget.
Do you have any tips on choosing a wedding party or making your groomsmen glad they were part of your big day? Share them with us in the comments!