Ryan and I are RICH in friendships. It's something we value and cultivate with intentionality. With that being said.... we have been in a combined 20 weddings. Yep. That's a lot of dresses and ties. What a blessing to have so many trust us to stand for their covenant! We are honored. We also, are here to help you if you are going to be a soon groomsmen or bridesmaid. Here's some tips on how to be the best groomsman/bridesmaid ever. (*I couldn't find every picture of every wedding but here is a good preview of the friendships we are blessed with!)
1. It's not about you.
I've learned not to assume, so let me just state it up front. This wedding is not about you. If you were chosen to stand in someone's wedding, you need to be the biggest cheerleader and encourager in the world to that friend of yours.
So the dress the bride picked isn't your style- it doesn't matter, she loves it which means you love it. Buy it, wear it, don't say a word. She probably went through hundreds of dresses or color options to decide on that.
Maybe you hate golf, but the groom wants to play for his Bachelor party. Its one day and this friend is worth some inconvenience.
Add peace and encouragement, not drama and stress.
2. Buy your attire ASAP.
The second your bride/groom tells you the dress, colors, shoes, jewelry, tux, tie, or suspenders ... BUY it! Again (you'll hear me say it a lot) your job is to bring peace to your bride/groom. These are example texts that you don't want to have to send the week of the wedding :
"I just checked and they are out of stock of the suit you picked"
"What are we suppose to wear again?"
"I just checked tracking and my dress won't be here in time. I'm SO sorry. What do you want me to do?"
People... don't be those people. Rearrange your budget and make it work. You never know if there will be a delay in shipping, the sizing will come in and you'll need to get alterations, or stock will run out.
3. Arrive early.
In similar to the point above, do your best to arrive early. To the rehearsal, the day of, and any other events. The morning of the wedding isn't the time to try to squeeze in that starbucks trip if you are running late. (See point 1).
4. Know your Bride/Groom and cater to their personality.
Through the years, I've found this to be especially helpful in making your friends day so special. Let me explain. If your groom is a loud extrovert who loves a good time, make a fun playlist and bring a speaker, buy the flamboyant matching trucker hats, go down memory lane and laugh a lot. If your bride is more introverted and private, give her a note at the rehearsal, that she can read the night before the wedding in quiet, take the bridesmaids outside for a few minutes to give her some alone time before she walks down the aisle, and for goodness sake, don't make her wear the flashing bride crown if she really doesn't like things like that. You are celebrating them, and leaning into their personality can really help in making their day extra special.
5. Be the "bad guy" if need be.
Okay, I don't mean to brag but for being nice, I've gotten really good at being the bad guy over the years at weddings. Every family has a pushy Aunt Sue (Random name I picked, I have nothing against any real Aunt Sues) who wants to see the bride's dress before the ceremony and tries to invite herself in for a quick peak. Don't make the bride be the one to shoo her away, step in with a "Hi! We are so glad you are here, the bride has requested some private time so you can greet her after the ceremony." Or if Cousin John wants to snag the happy couple and give 50 years worth of stories and marriage advice, step in with a "Well, I'm sorry to be the party pooper, but I need to snag the happy couple." If you are wearing bridal party gear, it's like your badge of authority. People will listen to you. You can be firm and still kind, but protecting your Bride and Groom's time and preference is important.
6. The reception is also your responsibility. I've found that the reception is actually busier for a bridesmaid/groomsman than any other part. So after the groom kisses the bride and bounce off, don't check out. There are usually pictures to take, people to serve, and and things to do. You want to make sure you stay accessible to the bride and groom in the event they need something.
7. Get a plan for their luggage, purse, and phones.
This somehow always falls through the cracks. I make it a point at the rehearsal to ask the Bride/Groom - "Who is in charge of getting your items to your getaway car?" And then I make it a point before the bubbles and sparklers to go to the car and double check that luggage, purse, and phone is there. Is this being controlling, OCD, and a maybe stepping over MOH and Best Man roles.... yes, yes it is. But it's important enough to be pushy. If anything else was left, they can get it later after the honeymoon, but no one wants to have to turn around halfway to their hotel to get their phone that was left in the dressing room.
8. Congratulate the parents.
It is true that this day is about the bride and groom, but it’s also for the parents. These parents have waited, trained, poured, and prepared their child for this very very special day. Telling the mother of the bride that she looks lovely of giving a hug of congratulations to the grooms dad goes a long way.
9. Know the clean up game plan.
After a wedding, you're tired. Really tired. The second the bride and groom zoom off, you usually want to leave as well. However, a lot of times the bridal party is also in charge of clean up. So pack a pair or flats and get a game plan : What are we keeping and what are we trashing?
Who takes the extra decor?
Are their any rental items that need special treatment?
What time do we need to be out of the venue?
Knowing these answers really helps (usually the Maid of Honor, Best Man, Parent, or Venue Coordinator will have those answers).
10. This is a life commitment, not a weekend commitment.
Standing in someone's wedding is more than just a chance to get a new outfit. You are telling the couple and God that you believe in these people and believe in this marriage. It's a HUGE honor. I suggest you take time to pray for the couple before, during, and after the wedding day. As standing in your wedding, they are inviting you for a lifetime of accountability, support, and friendship. You are saying that you are going to fight for their marriage, just as much as they are. So as the years pass, send an anniversary card, pray for them, and if you see or hear anything sketchy, speak up! They picked you because they trust you and trust your friendship. Enjoy the journey, it's a very very very special thing to be asked to cheer on the sidelines of a covenant marriage.
I hope you’ve found some helpful thoughts and tips! Weddings are special and so very sacred; enjoy every moment!
Happy Wedding Celebrating,
*** Don’t forget, The Cirkles are cheering you on!