Couples often look to their wedding party for support on that new journey through life. They bring together friends and family of the bride and groom, asking them to stand beside them as they take on this next big step.
At a wedding, the bride and groom usually have several groomsmen to help them out throughout their life. Today we’re going to dig deeper into that topic and discuss how many groomsmen are too many.
A good place to start would be at a traditional wedding in a church with a full orchestra. In this situation, there will likely be six to eight groomsmen total. One may be the best man, who is tasked with carrying out all of the groom‘s wishes throughout the ceremony. This can include handing him his vows on time, helping hold the ring bearer’s pillow, and handing him gifts. He will also toast on behalf of all three of them at the reception later on.
But how many groomsmen is too many?
There will also be five to seven other groomsmen who help escort the groom down the aisle. They may hand him his vows and ring on time as well, and they’ll stand behind him during the processional and recessional portions of the wedding. The last person standing with this group is traditionally called a “gatekeeper.”
It’s good to remember that it is the groom and his family who decide how many groomsmen there will be. No one else can say anything on the matter! If you’re still unsure of how many groomsmen you need, ask your fiancee.
They probably won’t put a limit on anything, unless they have some rather deep-seated issues with you being too close to your friends. They might ask that the groomsmen not be allowed to switch out, which can lead to some interesting complications.
If there are no other factors in play, however, six or eight groomsmen is usually the number needed for a traditional church wedding. No matter where you end up having your wedding, six to eight groomsmen seem to be the magic number.
So, how many groomsmen is too many?
There’s no set rule for that, but chances are if you get over around 25 you’re going to get a little ridiculous! Most of your guests won’t even know who some of these guys are.
Who are usually the groomsmen?
Remember, a wedding is a celebration of your marriage. You want everyone there to know who all of your friends are and be able to identify them by name. It’s okay if you have a lot of groomsmen, but make sure you know every member of the bridal party!
Normally, men would ask their closest friends to be groomsmen. There is no limit on how many you can have as long as the groom is okay with it. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing your guys:
- Start planning early. When you’re planning for 3 to 10 groomsmen, do so at least a year in advance.
- Be sure to discuss your budget with the groomsmen so it’s fair on everyone’s part. If you can’t afford more than one tuxedo, then just give that option.
- Try not to be too demanding or picky about what kind of tux or accessories your groomsmen should wear. Pick one neutral color and let them decide the rest.
- Consider your groomsmen’s schedule before adding more guys to the list (and don’t add people at the last minute). For example, if you’re planning a destination wedding or an out-of-town event, then consider that time might be limited for the groomsmen.
- Make sure everyone is okay with being a groomsman. If someone declines or you have to cut people from the list, don’t take it personally. Being a groomsman is a big responsibility and not everybody has time for that.
The number of groomsmen you have should never be dictated by tradition but rather by your needs. It’s okay to only have 2 groomsmen if that’s what you want.
Can you have 3 groomsmen?
If you plan on having more than 3 groomsmen, then just remember these things so it’ll be easier on everyone: the couple, the groomsmen, and the wedding planner.
Generally, the groom’s best friends are the groomsmen at his wedding. However, this isn’t always the case. People like family members (i.e., brothers, cousins), college roommates, or close co-workers, etc. may be chosen instead of best friends if the groom doesn’t have any best man.
There may be a handful or there may be many. There’s no specific number for the maximum and minimum amount of groomsmen in a wedding party; everyone is different, but it can range from none to twelve.
Sometimes, an even number of groomsmen and bridesmaids are chosen instead of only one sex, so there is not noticeably more of one gender than the other.
How many groomsmen can you have at a wedding?
Most weddings that feature an odd number of groomsmen (3, 5, 7) will also include the same number of bridesmaids. An even number is usually paired with an even number of bridesmaids; for example, 6 groomsmen and 6 bridesmaids.
The number of bridesmaids is based on the number of groomsmen. If there are less than ten groomsmen, there will be at least four bridesmaids so that the numbers between them are even. The biggest possible wedding party is twelve members, with six groomsmen and six bridesmaids.
Generally, the bridesmaids are friends of the bride who have undergone bridesmaid training, although they don’t have to be. They must attend all pre-wedding events and parties, including both showers and stag/bachelor parties, as well as the rehearsal dinner, wedding day (before and after the ceremony), and the reception. In turn, they get to be in the wedding party photos and receive a bridesmaid gift.
Bridesmaids must pay for their own dresses, shoes, accessories, etc. while also paying an attendance fee for each wedding event that they attend, but this money is often collected throughout the engagement rather than all at once.
For example, the bridesmaids may split the cost of their dresses equally among four people, or the maid of honor (MOH) might pay for half and expect each bridesmaid to pay a quarter. The bridal party fees are usually paid six months before the wedding day so that it’s paid off by the time of the event. The amount may depend on location as well as the individual preferences of bride and groom. In some cases, wedding guests might pay for or donate bridesmaid dresses to reduce costs, but this would be done at the request of those being asked to serve as bridesmaids during a dress fitting.
Regardless of the amount of time, all bridesmaids are expected to be there for their friend throughout her wedding day. If they can’t afford it or have a prior engagement, someone else might step up and take their place. For example, a family member may do it if the bride has no other friends to ask or if none of the bridesmaids can attend.
The maid of honor (MOH), often but not always a bride’s best friend, is the one who will organize and host the bachelorette party, including organizing all other pre-wedding events. On her wedding day, she will be in charge of getting all of the other bridesmaids ready, getting the bride dressed and helping her to get dressed, walking down the aisle (if there’s someone else walking the bride down, she’ll walk next to them), holding the groom’s ring until it’s time for him to put it on, leading certain parts of the ceremony (i.e., saying “I do” during the vows), and making sure that everyone follows the schedule. The maid of honor might be held responsible for other things, but her responsibilities will vary from person to person.
The term “maid of honor” is often shortened to “MOH.” If there are multiple MOHs or if there’s no MOH at all, then the title of this person is “matron of honor” (instead of maid).
The bridesmaids are the friends who are not at the wedding party. They might be asked to help with planning, decorating, showering the bride with gifts, etc. Since they are not part of the core wedding party, there is no requirement that they pay for any pre-wedding events or be in the wedding party photos.
They are expected to give a gift, but this isn’t always necessary. It’s up to the bride who she chooses to invite as bridesmaids, though it’s generally one per year in school or when she and the person used to live in close proximity (i.e., high school or college years).
If someone has been removed from the bridesmaid list, this is often where they’ll be placed. They can still be invited as a wedding guest if they’re not on this side of the list, even if all of their close friends are at the wedding party.
Groomsmen must attend all pre-wedding events and parties, including the bachelor party, as well as the rehearsal dinner, wedding day (before and after the ceremony), reception, etc. They also get to be in the wedding party photos and receive a groomsman gift.
Do you say, groomsmen or groomsmen?
When it comes to wedding etiquette, there are a lot of things that have become the norm. These include what you should wear, who brings the gift, and who pays for what part of the wedding. One thing that people ask about all the time is what term they should use when addressing their groomsmen.
The terms “groomsman” and “groomsmen” are often used interchangeably when addressing a group of groomsmen. However, here’s the thing: The term “groomsmen” is actually not correct. You should actually be using “groom’s men,” as if they’re a team in service to the groom.
The reason for this? Well, it mostly has to do with the origin of these terms. “Groomsmen” is a term that was used in British English. However, in American English, we would say “groomsmen.” So you would be more likely to hear the term “groomsmen” today if you were listening to a British person talk about their wedding party.
The term “groomsman” is simply the American version of the word, coined around the time of the Civil War. Both terms are correct, but you should stick with “groomsman” if you’re writing a wedding toast or reading one for your sister’s wedding. However, it’s perfectly fine to use either one in conversation.
Are our ushers and groomsmen the same thing?
From weddings to funerals, it all sounds like the same thing.
Ushers and groomsmen are both responsible for certain tasks on different occasions. Although they may “sound” similar, their responsibilities differ slightly for each occasion. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between these terms:
A person who serves as an usher or usheress is responsible for preparing the church, chapel, or synagogue for a service. An usher will also assist people as they arrive and find their seats and retrieve any extra programs. If there are not enough ushers to go around, family members may be given this responsibility.
Groomsmen, bridesmaids, and flower girls are all part of the wedding party. They are there to support the couple getting married on their special day. Groomsmen are the men who stand by the groom’s side during the ceremony and at celebrations (if you’re having one), like a rehearsal dinner or bachelor party. Bridesmaids do just that- they are there for the bride when it comes time to walk down the aisle. They, like groomsmen, are available for support (if needed). Flower girls are there to present flowers or hand out programs at the beginning of the ceremony. Groomsmen and bridesmaids mostly handle themselves- they’re usually not allowed to be seen by guests until it’s time for photos, etc. If you want more info on each of these, check out my articles about how to choose a wedding party and the wedding party deal breakers.
In terms of funerals, ushers are there to seat people during the service. They may also be required to greet people before a funeral begins and will often assist with parking, etc. Groomsmen, on the other hand, are there to serve as pallbearers (they help carry the casket). In some cases, groomsmen may be responsible for helping with flowers and decorations prior to a funeral service.
So, even though ushers and groomsmen can sound similar from an outside perspective, they have very different jobs to do. But hopefully, this guide has helped narrow it down for you!
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