By Maria Immaculate Owechi
A wedding entourage looks nice and balanced when the bridesmaids are equally accompanied by the groomsmen. However, some grooms may decide to only have a best man because they don’t see the relevance of having more people on the male entourage.
Pastor Patrick Nagaya of Patrima Events encourages grooms to consider including groomsmen because they can be instrumental in making their ceremony a success as long as they know their roles.
The history of groomsmen
Abel Mugisha, the head of operations and projects at Emcee Portal explains that groomsmen have always had specified roles to play at a wedding.
“Historically, groomsmen originated from a roman ritual called ‘confarreatio’ where 10 male witnesses were required by the law to be present at a wedding while the couple recited their sacred verses,” he reveals, adding, “The best man was known as the chief of groomsmen.”
“The roles of the groomsmen have changed today as compared to the olden times. Groomsmen are now chosen for the purpose of making the team look big, having a variety in the pictures and as a way of appreciating friends,” Mugisha states.
Whether you are choosing friends or relatives to be part of your groomsmen for sentimental value or simply ceremonial reasons, remember that they can be of great assistance in making your function successful.
Here is why you may need groomsmen at a wedding.
Assist with wedding co-ordination
There are numerous errands to carry out while organising a wedding which calls for extra help to make the co-ordination easier.
The groomsmen are the perfect close people to support the groom throughout the wedding planning process by keeping in touch regularly and being on standby to help when needed.
Pastor Nagaya advises grooms to ensure they carefully select flexible groomsmen with experience in wedding coordinating.
He says experienced groomsmen are in a better position to handle their duties well with minimal supervision.
Andrew Katende, a teller with Housing Finance Bank says that his groomsmen took up the roles of being wedding planners for his wedding that took place in 2018.
“My six groomsmen divided the role of supervising different service providers amongst themselves,” he shares. “I was the most relaxed groom on my wedding day because they handled everything efficiently,” Katende adds.
Serve as advisors to the groom
Organising a wedding brings its own share of stress where the groom will need the support of his closest friends. These usually understand his emotions as they have been a source of consolation in hard times before.
This is where pastor Nagaya shares that one of the main responsibilities of the groomsmen is to be a source of advice and support both emotionally and practically to the groom.
“They should be able to offer words of wisdom and calm him down in times of stress,” he says.
Practically, Mugisha says groomsmen should be able to assist the groom in crisis handling.
He gives an example of a scenario where the groom’s suit trouser gets torn and one of the groomsmen saves the day by offering him his or making an urgent call for a similar trouser to be brought.
Mugisha says that is why while choosing groomsmen, it is good to pick those in almost the same size and height as the groom so that such crises can be managed.
Mugisha adds that for this reason, the colour of what a groom puts on should not differ a lot from that of his groomsmen.
Assist in planning pre-wedding events
The groomsmen should lend the best man a hand with planning pre-wedding events like the engagement and bachelor parties, participate in fundraising meetings and rehearsal sessions.
Mugisha emphasises that it is the responsibility of groomsmen to gather funds and organise a surprise bachelor party for the groom.
“These days it is vice-versa. The groom organises his own party and then invites the rest to join him but that should not be the case,” he says.
Mugisha adds that groomsmen should actively attend pre-wedding events to offer moral support to their friend that is getting married.
Allan Kaswa, a welder shares how his six groomsmen never missed a single wedding meeting.
He says this helped in lifting up his spirits whenever the turn up was low from friends and family members.
Ensuring the groom has the best day possible
It can be hard for the groom to have fun at his wedding ceremony because of the worry that things may not go as planned. This is why the groom should be surrounded by fun and lively groomsmen.
“Your groomsmen should be able to crack jokes and cheer you during the entire ceremony,” Pastor Nagaya advices.
The events manager says some grooms who are afraid to dance in public easily shake off the shyness when they are joined by their groomsmen on the dance floor.
Escort the bridesmaids
One of the known roles of groomsmen is to be companions to the bridesmaids throughout the wedding events.
This also involves acts of engaging her in a conversation, dancing and also offering your coat to the lady when it gets chilly in the evening.
Offer a thoughtful gift to the couple
As wedding etiquette dictates, whenever one is invited to attend a wedding, it is customary to carry a gift for the couple.
Mugisha says this is inclusive of the wedding entourage and the groomsmen should be thoughtful to offer a group gift for the newlyweds.
He says they should think about which items the couple will need in their home, for example, furniture and electronic appliances.
Help with the final bits
As the wedding ceremony comes to an end and the guests are rushing to go back home, groomsmen are expected to help in tidying up and packing up things that need to be taken away from the venue. For example, the groomsmen may be asked to help gather, pack and transport the couple’s gifts to a safe place.
We hope with these roles you will be able to decide if you need groomsmen and if yes, what people to enlist.