Before Choosing Your Groomsmen, Read This

Here's how to pick the right people for the job.
The Knot
Updated Oct 01, 2018

For some grooms, choosing wedding party members might be a breeze—but for others, the task of picking the right groomsmen can be way more delicate than anticipated. Think about it: Your best friends, college roommates, brothers, cousins and even long-lost elementary school friends are all fair game when choosing your crew. Plus, there's the whole best man decision to think about. Oh, and there might be future brothers-in-law in the picture too. Don't stress. Here's how to assemble the perfect group to stand by your side on your wedding day.

Choose a Ballpark Number

You can choose as many (or as few) groomsmen as you'd like. Seriously—there's no rule. But if you like to think in terms of rules and formulas (hey, sometimes that makes it easier to make a decision), here are some helpful guidelines. Groomsmen often help out as ushers who seat wedding guests, and generally you'll need about one usher for every 50 guests. Or, think of it this way, the groomsmen typically escort the bridesmaids down and/or up the aisle, so you could choose to keep the ratio of wedding party members even. Remember, though, having an uneven wedding party isn't a bad thing—it's completely up to you and your partner—so don't feel like you need to add groomsmen just to fill spots. If you have one brother and two lifelong best friends, keep the wedding party to three. To avoid side-eyes from friends who thought they'd make the cut, get them involved by having them seat guests or hand out programs at the ceremony. And remember: You can invite whomever you want to your bachelor party, not just groomsmen.

Think About Family Members, Old and New

Now that you're getting married, you're gaining a whole new set of family members. So while your best man and the majority of your party should be yours to choose, don't forget about your partner's loved ones too. They may have a favorite brother or best guy friend they'd love you to include. As long as you can stand them, of course, you should consider it. Not into conventional wedding party norms? Forget them. Your sister or best female friend can stand with you, and vice versa—your partner's male loved ones can stand on her side.

Have a Best Man in Mind

Now, for the question of who should be your best man. It's typically your closest brother, cousin or friend whom you trust to be responsible and appropriate (when the moment calls for it—aka during his reception toast), energetic and organized. He'll be the one coordinating your bachelor party, keeping your other groomsmen in line and helping you keep your head on straight during this crazy wedding planning process—so choose your guy (or girl) wisely.

The Group Dynamic Matters

Select your groomsmen based on who's an active part of your life right now. The night before your wedding isn't the best time to discover you and your best friend from high school don't have much in common anymore. You don't need added tension throughout the planning process—you'll have enough to think about already. It's best to have a solid, comfortable support group by your side before, during and after the ceremony.

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