Your husband's best buds can quickly turn into your worst wedding-day headache. Between inappropriate speeches and any number of practical jokes, you may just want to sit these coordinated clowns at the kiddie table. On the other hand, no one has your guy's back quite like his best men do. Here, eight common groomsmen emergencies and how to solve them.
One of our groomsmen forgot to order his tuxedo. The wedding is tomorrow! What can I do?
"Send him in," urges Christina Steinbrenner, director of tuxedo marketing at Jos. A. Bank Clothiers. "We can still place a rental order for him and have it overnighted in time for the wedding."
"A good way to avoid this whole scenario," adds planner Jenny Orsini,owner of Jenny Orsini Events, "is to ensure your wedding planner sets up a tuxedo fitting for all groomsmen approximately two months before the big day."
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We're having a destination wedding, and the groomsmen are already complaining about wearing black tuxedos in the tropics. How can I achieve a formal look without making them sweat it out?
"Consider a jacketless look by having the groomsmen wear coordinating vests, ties, and pants," says Steinbrenner. "In addition to traditional black tuxedos, we offer tan, ivory, white, and midnight blue."
"Ceremonies in the tropics are usually never full services," adds Orsini, "and they rarely last longer than 20 minutes. If you want your groomsmen in tuxedos, have them wear tuxedos during the ceremony, then allow them to change into something a little lighter for the reception."
The palette for our wedding is pink and gold, but the groomsmen are putting up a fight about wearing pink vests. How can I still work in my colors?
"Consider a neutral shade for the vest and/or cummerbund and ties," suggests Steinbrenner. "Think gold, ivory, or white. If you really want to tie in the pink, you could always add a pink pocket square for that pop of color."
"Keep classic in mind and fight the urge to color coordinate everything," adds Maria Baer and Kelly Seizert of Ritzy Bee Events. "A tasteful pair of playful socks or a soft-colored boutonniere will keep the guys current."
I'd like my groom to stand out in his tuxedo but also coordinate with the bridal party. How can he add something distinctive without drawing too much attention?
"Color, color, color," emphasizes Steinbrenner. "We offer more than 385 tie styles and 175 full-back vests to complement any bridesmaids' dress. If the groom wants to stay more neutral, consider adding a pocket square for some extra color."
"I love when the groom has a unique boutonniere, just slightly different than the one worn by the groomsmen," says Angel Swanson, principal event designer and planner at Love & Splendor. "I suggest that the groom wear a bloom plucked straight out of the bride's bouquet. It can be slightly larger than the groomsmen's boutonnieres, perhaps with a touch of greenery or an additional floral accent."
I'm afraid the groomsmen will remove their jackets the second our reception starts. How can I prevent this?
"If all organized photos and introductions have taken place," says Seizert and Baer, "and the venue doesn't require a jacket and tie, let the guys off the hook and allow them to kick back. You want them to remember having a great time...not the rules!"
"Pick your battles," continues Orsini. "Once the ceremony is over, there is a much different atmosphere among the wedding guests. Until the groomsmen start taking their pants off, keep a cool head and don't worry about the little things!"
One of our groomsmen owns his own tuxedo and is refusing to rent one. What can I do?
"Politely inform this groomsmen that he can wear his own tuxedo when he gets married," quips Orsini. "If he still refuses to rent a tuxedo like everyone else in the bridal party and you're not willing to pick up the tab, then kick him out. Sounds like a diva to me!"
One of our groomsmen spilled red wine all over his white shirt. What can I do?
"A good rule of thumb is to encourage all groomsmen to bring an extra white button-down shirt with them," says Orsini. "As a professional planner, I always keep Shout Wipes and Tide To Go stain pens handy on the day of the wedding. If these items don't work, try to dilute the stain ASAP with water, club soda, or white wine, and try to blot the stain without spreading it."
"In desperate situations, ask a male relative or friend if you can borrow his white shirt for formal portraits and the ceremony," recommends Swanson. "Once the official group photos are complete, the groomsman can be off the hook and wear whatever he likes."
A few of our groomsmen are married, and their wives aren't happy about them escorting my bridesmaids down the aisle or dancing with them at the reception. What can I do?
"You can compromise by having the groomsmen enter with the groom at the beginning of the ceremony, the bridesmaids enter one by one, and then the bridal party 'couple up' only for the recessional," suggests Swanson. "I personally suggest skipping the formal bridal-party dance during the reception because, let's face it, it's awkward to have to dance with someone you don't really know, especially in front of a bunch of people and a camera. Instead, invite married couples to join you on the dance floor for an anniversary dance that celebrates couples who have been married for various lengths of time."
"Stick with your preferences about how you would like your bridal party to participate," adds Seizert and Baer, "but if you have sensitive friends, be sure to seat your bridal party with their spouse or date so they feel comfortable."