Choosing Groomsmen

By Evan Kanarakis

An important decision in the lead-up to a wedding is to decide what individuals will make up the bridal party. As with bridesmaids, the groom-to-be will often draw from his closest friends to select groomsmen, though it can be a popular gesture to choose a member of the bride’s family as well -typically a brother- if their friendship has grown in the time prior to the wedding.

Especially when limited by the number that will make up a bridal party, choosing a groomsman can be a delicate affair. If you’re lucky enough to have a large circle of friends, some people may be offended if they aren’t chosen. Others may be chosen as groomsmen but still taken aback that they weren’t selected as the best man. With all the stress and responsibilities that already exist in the planning of a wedding, bruised egos can make the entire affair much harder than it need be.

For this reason, irrespective of some couple’s desire to have bridesmaids and groomsmen matching in number, increasingly some grooms will just choose one groomsman (if they have a brother, choosing family is often an easy ‘out’ in avoiding any angst from friends!), or, as was the case in a wedding I recently attended, they’ll drop the term ‘groomsmen’ altogether and refer to their chosen friends collectively as ‘best men’, so as to eliminate any hint of preference. Yet another thoughtful way to include a friend in the ceremony that couldn’t be part of the official bridal party is to ask them to deliver a reading during the service.

There are some practical considerations to consider in choosing a best man as well. While the decision should always be based in matters of friendship, a best man will often be entrusted in organizing one’s bachelor party and delivering a speech at the wedding. Just because an individual is your closest, dearest friend doesn’t mean they’re an organized, efficient person who can get up and speak effectively in front of a large group of people! Personally, I think worrying about such matters is fairly irrelevant- a best man is selected because he’s a valued friend, and not because he’ll deliver the ‘perfect’ speech. At the end of the day, you can always get around such hurdles by entrusting the task of organizing a bachelor party to all of your groomsmen, or asking a nervous best man to simply make a brief toast instead of a lengthy speech.

But always bear in mind this one simple rule: it’s your wedding day, choose the people that matter most to you.