While it’s true that your groomsmen are there to support you before and during the wedding and to help out where needed, they’re not your full-time assistants and it’s important to make sure you communicate with them respectfully. We’ve compiled a list of things to avoid saying to your groomsmen to help keep the peace.
“Wear whatever you want.”
You may think you’re being kind by allowing your groomsmen to wear the attire of their choice, but you’re actually stressing them out even more. Even if you’re not requiring them to rent or purchase a specific suit or tux, give them some guidelines (a dark gray suit, a black tux) to help guide them to the right clothing.
“Make sure you [drastically change your appearance] before my wedding.”
Most guys will want to look their best for your big day. Don’t patronize them by telling them to shower, shave, get a haircut, etc. Remember the reason why you selected them as your groomsmen–because you value their friendship, not because they’re all Ryan Gosling lookalikes (though if they are, please send us a pic!).
“Here’s how the bachelor party is going to go.”
One of your groomsmen’s main responsibilities is to plan the bachelor party. While you can certainly let the guys know about dates that work or don’t work for you, leave the bulk of the planning up to them. Trust that they know you and your taste, and will plan a party that suits your style. Also, remember that your groomsmen are probably on budgets, so it’s inappropriate to demand a destination bachelor party in a far-off location if that doesn’t fit with everyone’s budgets.
“Don’t even think about bringing your significant other to the wedding. No plus-ones and that’s final.”
Even if you are being strict about plus-ones for the rest of your guests, be more lenient with your wedding party members. Of course, you can put your foot down if your groomsman wants to bring someone he’s been dating for a week, but you should allow your groomsmen to bring a significant other as a courtesy, whether or not you know that person very well.
“I need you to [list of 35 things] before the wedding.”
Your groomsmen will likely be happy to help out with a task or two before the wedding—but try to respect their time and keep the tasks to a minimum. Even the most good-natured and helpful groomsman will be pretty cranky if he has to pick your elderly relatives up from the airport, drop of the welcome baskets to the hotels, retrieve your tux from the tailors, etc. Spread the tasks around so that no one person has too much to do.
“I want to see your toast beforehand.”
We understand why you might want to see your best man’s toast before the wedding—there could be embarrassing stuff in there! Our recommendation? There is a reason why you asked your best man to give a speech—you have to trust him and asking to see his speech is a sign that you don’t. Also, there’s a good likelihood that he won’t finish his speech until about five minutes before show time anyway.
“We’ll be taking portraits for about three hours before the wedding.”
Your groomsmen will be okay with smiling for the camera—within reason. Try to keep portrait time to a minimum if possible. The more time your portrait session takes, the crankier and antsier your groomsmen will become.
“If you don’t do what I say, you’re out.”
Firing a groomsman means your relationship with that person is over. Even a groomsman isn’t behaving the way you want him to, it’s very rare that there would be circumstances strong enough for you to fire him.