On The Groom's Side: 3 Lessons I learned as a Groomswoman

A long time ago, in a 7th grade classroom far far away, I met my best guy friend Cliff.  For over 20 years, he’s been a huge part of my life. I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but we made a pact that when he got married I was to stand up for him and vice versa.  Well, this past May it finally happened! I headed back to my hometown of Chicago for his wedding.  But before the big day, I got to experience wedding planning life on the wild side...oops, I meant the groom’s side.  And man, was it fun!

Weddings have basically been my life over the last 15 years, but this was my first time infiltrating the groom's inner circle.   Here are a few lessons I learned while hanging with the fellas.

LESSON 1: What happens in the group chat, stays in the group chat

...And what happens in the group chat is only about .0005% wedding related. Our group chat was seriously the unexpected highlight of this whole experience.  While I can’t actually discuss anything that was said, just know it was simply hilarious. Cliff kicked off the chat by stating to the guys that while I was a lady, I was definitely “one of the guys”.  I also had the good fortune of knowing a few of the fellas already.  That made it quicker for me to get involved in the conversation.  While I fancy myself as the undisputed Queen of Banter, the key is knowing when to zip it. There are some topics in which to just be a fly on the digital wall.

LESSON 2: Don't worry...like about anything...ever

It’s always a bit difficult for me to be a guest/part of the wedding party, since weddings and events are how I make a living.  I’m trained to know the timing in which certain tasks are supposed to happen and when we’re in the “oh crap, this is bad” phase. Let's say, "hypothetically", zero groomsmen having tuxedos two weeks before the wedding.  If the bride didn't have a dress a month before the wedding, all the elite special forces would be called into action to handle this mission.  Bridesmaids and MOB's round the world would pitch in to help.

While there was some concern amongst the groomsmen, I actually crossed party lines and let it slip to the bride that things we were running a bit behind.  We'd been already been in touch about attire since she picked out my jumpsuit about three weeks before the wedding (hi kettle, I'm pot!).  But Cliff didn't seem to worry in the least bit. He completed the task at hand and everything worked out fine.   There was an overall sense of calm for anything that would be considered a catastrophe.  The lesson here was to let go of the control a bit and let him handle it the way he wanted to - not the way I (or the bride) wanted.  No amount of nagging from me was going to change his process. I will say we were all more concerned planning the bachelor party than the tuxes. Go figure.

LESSON 3:  The day-of rituals may not be the same, but it doesn't make them any less special

You know the whole something old, new, borrowed or blue for the bride to wear on the wedding day for good luck?  Well, there really isn't an equivalent for the groom.  While getting ready, we basically just hung out drinking lots of bourbon. And then something special happened right before it was time to head out to the venue.  Cliff broke out in one of his legendary freestyle raps and it transported us back to our high school days. It was his final freestyle as a single man and it was fantastic (and surprisingly a bit romantic too)!  Another special moment was the game time group huddle. It was amazing to hear the married groomsmen share their wisdom about what this transition into marriage means from their perspective.  I learned that while some fellas may not seem to be involved in the wedding planning, they're serious when it comes to the marriage itself.  

These are just a few lessons learned being on this particular groom's side. Every person, couple, and wedding is different. Have you every been on the opposite side of the wedding party to support your bestie? Tell me about your experience below in the comments!  A huge thanks to Cliff for allowing me to experience this moment with him and the other fellas. Hopefully I'll be able to return the favor! 

 The Groom with his tribe!

The Groom with his tribe!

Michelle Newson