The Groomsmen Dilemma: You Can’t Have One Too Many

Sometimes the size of the entourage may be more of a problem for the bride than the groom

Sometimes the size of the entourage may be more of a problem for the bride than the groom. Normally, you’d let one groom escort a bridesmaid down the aisle. But if your fiancé insists on having the entire boy’s club (including a few close cousins) to serve as groomsmen, you have your work cut out for you, especially if you yourself have problems with sparing on your own entourage. While there is no stone-set rule which prescribes that you should have a certain number of attendants for your wedding, think first of the consequences of having one too many groomsmen before you make your decision.

The wedding budget comes to mind first

The wedding budget comes to mind first. Can you really keep up with the cost of having seven to twelve groomsmen at your wedding? Even if they’re paying for the suit and the accommodations, you still have to answer for the gifts. And if you’re having the reception at a fancy pay-per-plate restaurant, you have an idea of how much you’re dealing with; you can easily go over budget. Talk with each other if you’re willing to make the sacrifice of paying extra for more groomsmen; otherwise, you’d have to decide as to who gets cut and who isn’t, as uncomfortable as this may seem.

Think of the size of the venue, especially the ceremonial stage

Think of the size of the venue, especially the ceremonial stage. Will the stage be too cramped with so many people posing for pictures? If you’re having an intimate wedding, it may be unwise to have seven or more groomsmen share such a confined space, especially for photo opportunities. You’ll have fewer problems with an open-air venue, such as is the case with garden or beach weddings; but if you’re having it a small church, sparing a few men works to your advantage.

If these two considerations are not a problem with you’re wedding

If these two considerations are not a problem with you’re wedding (especially if you are having a grand wedding with more than two hundred people as guests), then going for more attendants is in fact the right thing to do; you’ll need more ushers to guide the guests, and there’s plenty of stand-in space at the altar. If you want to keep the numbers proportionate, assign one groomsman for every fifty guests, and pair the bridesmaid accordingly. But even if you choose to include more, the extra men can play other parts during the wedding (such as focusing on an usher role), or you can choreograph the procession in such a way that everyone gets to take his walk.

The last factor is probably the most difficult to deal with

The last factor is probably the most difficult to deal with, all things considered; you don’t want to hurt the feelings of long-time school buddies, or the relatives whom your fiancé practically grew up with. While this can be a sensitive dilemma to deal with, keep in mind that it is your wedding, and it is your job to make it work, especially if you have a set budget. The bruised egos can be eased beforehand if you explain to the person immediately why you are opting for fewer groomsmen, including the reasons as to why he didn’t make the cut. Hopefully this setback may be sidestepped, and they will be willing to take part in your wedding with an alternative role to play.

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