Deciding how many groomsmen to have at your wedding and who to ask are tough decisions.
Should you stick to family because it’s tradition? Or do you just invite your closest friends? How many should you ask?
This article helps you make these decisions. It covers:
🤵♂️ How many groomsmen you should have.
🤵♂️ Fun activities you can do with your groomsmen.
🤵♂️ Everything you should consider before choosing your groomsmen.
🤵♂️ What the groomsmen’s responsibilities are.
How Many Groomsmen Should You Have?
There’s no hard and fast rule as to how many groomsmen you should have.
Inviting two best friends is common for smaller weddings, but it might surprise you that the average number of groomsmen is 5.3, according to Brides.com.
Of course, it depends on how big a wedding you’re planning. It’s not unusual for larger weddings to have up to ten groomsmen.
Likewise, if you’ve chosen a small, intimate gathering then you’ll probably only have one or two groomsmen at most.
It’s important to remember that each groomsman will need a suit, so the more you invite the more your wedding will cost.
You should also consider whether you want to balance the number of groomsmen and bridesmaids.
Imagine the drama if there aren’t enough of your friends to accompany the bridesmaids down the aisle and balance the wedding photographs afterward!
Groomsmen Activity Ideas
Your bachelor party is when you and all your friends enjoy time together and celebrate your upcoming wedding.
But it’s also nice to do some special activities only with your groomsmen in the lead-up to your wedding. This helps build camaraderie among the group and it makes the wedding planning period more memorable.
Some of these could even be done on the morning of your wedding to ease your nerves while you wait for your bride to get ready.
Here are some fun things that you can do:
Weddings are stressful affairs. If you and your groomsmen are into sports, why not go out for a game of soccer or a few rounds of golf?
You could even make it a surprise. Secretly book a sports facility and ask your groomsmen to meet you there for some final pre-wedding planning. When they arrive, hand them their kits and equipment.
This idea is fun, wholesome, and it takes your mind off any wedding stress. If you choose to do this on your wedding day, ensure that you leave time to freshen up and get ready!
If you want something memorable that will also get your pulse racing, why not plan something adventurous?
Think bungee jumping, jet skiing, or white water rafting. You could even combine the activity with your wedding day—imagine if you and your groomsmen turned up to your wedding via a parachute or a paraglider!
Just make sure that your idea is safe and practical—you don’t want any injuries that could ruin your big day.
A good example of a company that organizes this is Geo Tours. They offer one-day or weekend white water rafting trips down some of the wildest rivers in the U.S.
A trip to the barbershop is a great idea for the morning of your wedding day. You and your buddies can go together and get the full works (beard trims, professional shave, etc.) for those important wedding photos.
You could even phone ahead to the barber and ask to book out the entire shop. This way, you can enjoy your own music and snacks—there are even some barbers who will provide a glass of whiskey or champagne for each guest!
If fishing, camping, or hiking is your thing, then a trip into the wilderness would be a great experience for you and your groomsmen. (Just be sure to stash the wedding bands away somewhere safe so they don't get lost!)
This probably isn’t a good idea for the big day, as it will likely involve some travel. But it’s a great way to spend some bonding time with your groomsmen doing something you love.
Plus being out in nature is a great way to break free from any wedding anxiety you may be experiencing.
Do Something Fun!
Weddings can be quite formal and require a lot of organizing. If it all feels too serious, why not do something with your groomsmen that’s fun or even a bit crazy?
- Zorb football.
- Inflatable assault course.
Go for Breakfast
A great one for your wedding day—start your day with a big breakfast.
Visit your local diner and go large and greasy or go for something more upmarket. It’s your day, so the choice is yours.
We recommend doing a champagne breakfast at a unique spot with a stunning view.
New York’s 230 Fifth is a great example. Its rooftop bar has breathtaking views of the Manhattan Skyline, including the Empire State Building.
Breakfast here would be an incredible way to start the best day of your life. Just make sure you go easy on the champagne!
Get a Drink
Whether you like a smooth whiskey, a fine wine, or a good beer, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your favorite beverage.
The simplest idea is to head to your local bar—but as it’s your wedding and you’re celebrating with your groomsmen, why not make it more special?
You could visit a local brewery, distillery, or wine farm to see how it is made, before indulging in a glass of their finest vintage.
For example, Domaine Carneros in the Napa Valley offers incredible views of the vineyard and gardens, as well as private tasting sessions for you and your groomsmen.
This is a good way to steady any wedding day nerves you might have.
But you’ll need to exercise self-control if you’re going to do this on the day of your wedding. Turning up drunk is not a good idea!
How to Choose Your Groomsmen
There’s no set rule that you have to invite any groomsmen at all.
But your wedding day is special and you may want those closest to you to be part of it.
Having groomsmen ensures that you can spend quality time with people who play an important role in your life.
There are two main options to choose from: family or friends. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each:
It’s traditional to think of family first. If you have brothers, cousins, or even uncles that you’re close to, you might want to invite them to be groomsmen.
However, some people aren’t close to their families. If this is you, then don’t feel pressured to ask them just because it's tradition.
👍 Remove the agony of choice: If you’re having a tough time deciding who should be groomsmen, focusing on family helps to limit your options.
👍 Acceptable decision: Your close friends are less likely to have their feelings hurt if you tell them you are choosing relatives as groomsmen because family comes first.
👎 Family politics: Choosing between family members can cause arguments. If this is likely to happen in your family, you may be better off asking friends to be groomsmen.
👎 No family or not close: Some people have no family or are just not close to them. This means choosing a family member is not an option.
It’s worth considering whether you want your closest friends to play a role.
The longevity of your friendship shouldn’t necessarily influence your choice. If someone you were once close to is no longer part of your circle then you can still ask them to be a groomsman. It all depends on who you value most in your life.
👍 You choose your friends: The old saying is that you can choose your friends but not your family. That’s a good reason to have your closest friends as groomsmen. You spend time with them because you like them and they like you.
👍 A wedding that reflects your whole life: Some people are very different around their families compared to their friends. By making your friends part of the wedding party you involve all parts of your life in your special day.
👎 Difficult decision: Family members remain the same, but friendships can wax and wane. Choosing between a childhood friend who you now don’t see much and someone you met recently and see all the time is difficult.
👎 Too many to choose from: Similarly, you may have too many friends to choose from. If this is the case then it might be easier to choose family members instead or set strict limits on the number of groomsmen you have.
What to Consider When Choosing Your Groomsmen
Here are a few things you should consider before you invite a friend to be a groomsman:
Long-distance friendships are harder to maintain than those with people that live nearby.
So if you’ve remained friends with someone who lives a long way away, you probably value their friendship.
This is an argument for making them a groomsman.
But there are some downsides to choosing long-distance friends. For example, they might not be able to attend events like a rehearsal dinner or bachelor party.
Also, by inviting them to be groomsmen, it could make them feel compelled to come even if they can't afford all of the travel.
Before you ask, think carefully about the practicalities of the situation and how much their attendance matters to you.
Your groomsmen should be people you can depend on. Your bro from junior high might be the life of the party. But what if he’s a bit flaky, doesn’t help out with things, and even fails to turn up when he says he will? It might be worth thinking of someone else.
Cost to Accommodate the Total Wedding Party
The size of your wedding, venue capacity, and budget may also influence the number of groomsmen and bridesmaids who make up your wedding party.
Traditionally, the couple pays for their wedding party’s outfits and accommodation and may also offer to pay for travel.
For groomsmen, this can include:
🎩 Matching ties or bow ties.
🎩 Custom rings or other meaningful gifts.
🎩 Shoes, belts, cufflinks, or other accessories.
🎩 Boutonnières to match the bride or bridesmaids’ flowers.
Remember that you might also want to include a small gift to show your appreciation.
Before making the final choice on groomsmen, check with your partner about how many people they want in the wedding party.
This can help you both to narrow down how many people each of you want to invite.
Don’t Feel Like You Have to Return the Invitation
If someone has asked you to be their groomsman, you might be tempted to ask them to be yours. But if your friendship has dwindled over the years, it's okay not to include them in your wedding party.
Remember that this is your special day, and you want people around you who have the most significant impact on your life.
You can still invite them as a guest to enjoy your day!
What Are the Groomsmen’s Responsibilities?
Typical groomsmen responsibilities include:
- Organizing the bachelor party before the wedding.
- Helping the groom get ready.
- Keeping the wedding rings safe until they are handed to the ring bearer or couple.
- Getting the groom to the chapel on time.
- Escorting and rounding up the guests.
- Keeping the spirits high and making sure everyone is having a good time.
- Preparing and delivering a toast during the reception.
- Mingling with the guests and bridesmaids.
Small things can go wrong at weddings, so groomsmen are generally needed to ensure that things run smoothly.
Ushers and MCs
Often when you choose your groomsmen there are one or two people who don’t make the cut. These people might still be special to you and it’s nice to give them a role in your wedding.
One way to do this is to make them either an usher or an MC. Ushers escort and seat guests before the ceremony and reception.
This works well for larger weddings and helps the day run smoothly.
Similarly, an MC (sometimes known as a master of ceremonies) guides your guests through the wedding day. They typically announce the day's procedures and what guests can expect.
They also keep up the energy between speeches at the reception.
Make the Right Choice with Alpine Rings
Organizing a wedding is challenging enough, and you don’t want to spend this special period worrying about how many groomsmen you should have and who to choose.
If you are looking for unique ways to ask people to be in your wedding party or for groomsmen gift inspiration, our blog has a variety of articles to guide you.
You can also check out our shop to browse our range of hand-crafted men's rings—the perfect centerpiece for any wedding.