Singaporebrides | The Groom Room

September 2013

How To Choose Your Groomsmen

What makes a good groomsman? What skills should he possess? Whom among your buddies should you ask to join your band of merry men? Fu Jinming explains.

Believe it or not, your wedding is one the most important tests of modern-day bro-mance. Right up there with grabbing the beer tab. And promising not to date each other’s baby sisters.

For it is the day when true friends become brothers-in-arms. When the most important men in your life put themselves at your disposal without question. Men who’ll put on a mint tie and a monkey suit for you. Who’ll pin flowers on themselves for you. Go through hell and hellish gatecrash games with you. And stick by you, through every ang-pow-mad bridesmaid, snarky relative, and Bridezilla moment.

Meet your groomsmen, the ultimate wing-men. A job that is both an honour and a big responsibility, one not for the faint-hearted. Because groomsman duty is a day-long commitment (month-long for some) that requires verve, stamina, and a healthy stomach for chaos.

Typically, a groomsman should be someone you’re close to. Or who holds a special significance in your life – or even in your bride-to-be’s (not her ex please). More importantly, he should be someone you’ll trust on the biggest day of your life. He could be your best friend, your co-worker, your beer buddy, sibling, cousin, or even your future brother-in-law. There are no hard and fast rules to choosing the relations of your groomsmen. Just as long as he’s someone you’d want by your side on the most important day of your life.

Ideally – but not mandatorily – he should also be someone your partner doesn’t absolutely detest. So strike off the dude who dumped her best friend. He should also be suited for the specific role or task you need performed that day. His personality, talents and working style will decide if he’s appropriate for the kind of wedding assignment you have in mind.

Some guys are natural organisers who’ll orchestrate your wedding proceedings with military precision. While others are charmers who’ll please mothers on both sides of the family. You may also have friends who are street-smart hagglers – always handy during gatecrash negotiations. Or the fitness nut who’ll gladly carry your wedding stores up and down the stairs.

Like the Avengers, each member of your entourage has a superpower you can harness. All you have to do is decide on what you need done, and the person you think will do it best.

How To Choose Your Groomsmen


The Human Organiser

The timekeeper, secretary, and walking diary all rolled into one. This is the guy you’d want keeping track of the day’s agenda. Armed with a photographic memory and a penchant for punctuality, he knows the time you should be setting out in the morning. How long the gatecrash should last. What time your guests should be seated by. And what time your bride and you should be at the doors of the banquet venue.

He’d also be the one giving the wake-up call, the one reminding you of your next activity, and most importantly, the one who’ll hurry everyone along if they over-run the schedule.

The Childhood Friend

The man you knew as a boy. Someone who knows your family, and whom your folks regard as one of their own.

He’s the go-to guy when it comes to recognising who’s who once your relatives start streaming into the reception – particular useful when it comes to rounding everyone up for photography sessions and tea ceremonies. He can also entertain your parents, filling them in on what’s happening and getting them off your back so you can concentrate on being the busiest – but happiest – man on earth.

The Hustler

The main negotiator during the morning gatecrash, he’s the guy with the street smarts and the quick wits. Someone who can handle the bridesmaids’ demands – monetary or otherwise – at the front gate, and process mental sums at the speed of light.

The amount in the ang pow you give at the end of the session will depend on how he orchestrates his little dance with the ladies at the gate. The sharper his tongue, the happier your wallet.

How To Choose Your Groomsmen

The Porter

The dude who’ll carry your world on his shoulder. Whether it’s moving the traditional bridal baskets up flights of stairs in the morning, or shifting the furniture around during the tea ceremony, he’s the muscle of the team. Your own personal Arnie.

Chances are, he’ll also be the one helping the bridesmaids with their belongings as they move from venue to venue, so patience to go with his strength and stamina will put him –and you – in good stead.

The Iron Stomach

With the increasingly creative (and punishing) nature of gatecrashing, ahem, cuisine these days, you need someone with a strong stomach. He should be able to take whatever food the bridesmaids throw at you – no matter how ‘exotic’ it looks.

You’d need someone who has an adventurous spirit when it comes to food. And a palette for the weird, the spicy, and the downright awful. A rigorous wasabi test at a sushi place before the wedding might help prepare him for the worst.

The Sadist

No matter how taxing or humiliating the gatecrashing games get, this guy can take the torture. From push-ups to garter fights to kissing the groom, he will go through hell and high water for you. Armed with nothing but a thick skin, grit, and an extraordinary love for your friendship.

The Joker

Weddings can get really intense. So it helps when you have someone with a great sense of humour who’ll make light of stressful moments during yours. He’s usually the heart of any party; the guy who can make everyone feel instantly at ease.

But there’s a thin line between being funny and being tactless. So ensure your court jester knows which buttons to press, and which ones to leave alone.

How To Choose Your Groomsmen

The Best Man

The highest honour you can give to a man-friend. Your best man is not just the closest friend you have, he’s also the most reliable man you know. Your Chief of Staff, if you will. He who knows what happens when at your wedding. Whom you’ll trust with your rings till the vow exchange. Who’ll organise, delegate and lead your entourage. And who’ll calm you down when the going gets tough.

Ideally, he should also be articulate and possess a flair for pubic speaking, since the Best Man’s speech is often the second-most anticipated highlight of the wedding reception – just behind your own moment at the podium.

At the end of the day though, it’s all about having your closest friends with you as you begin a new chapter in your life. After all, there’s nothing more symbolic than bidding bachelorship farewell with the very guys you’ve spent so much of it with.

Then when the revelry finally ends and the dust settles, reward them like the brothers they have been – man to man to man – with a big fat ang pow, and a round of ice-cold beer.