Get a signed copy of the NEW Emily Post's Etiquette Centennial edition, and support Vermont's independent bookstores.

Order Your Signed Copy

The Groom's Traditional Duties Hero Label

The Groom's Traditional Duties

photo of a groom in a grey suit standing in a field buttoning his jacket


Grooms have plenty to do between popping the question and saying, "I do."

Although one mother-of-the-bride told her future son-in-law, “You only have one job: show up on time,” grooms have a few more duties on their list. Here is the traditional list of the groom's duties, with a few notes on any modern adaptations:

Groom's Duties

  • Select the engagement ring—although nowadays brides may also be involved in choosing the engagement ring
  • Choosing his wedding party: best man, groomsmen, and any ushers (if needed)
  • Choosing the attire for the groom’s wedding party—in keeping with the style and colors of the wedding
  • Selecting thank-you gifts for his wedding party
  • Arranging—and paying for—lodging for his wedding party
  • Selecting a gift for the bride
  • Compiling the groom’s part of the guest list and making sure that his parents provide their guest list
  • Planning the honeymoon—today, this is more of a joint venture
  • Choosing wedding bands together
  • Arranging for and purchasing the marriage license
  • Making arrangements for transportation from the ceremony to the reception site, if necessary
  • Planning the bachelor party or event (if applicable)
  • Giving the ceremony officiant the fee or donation, or arranging for the best man to present such fees
  • Standing in the receiving line, if there is one, or—with the bride—being sure to greet all the guests at the reception
  • Making toasts and responding to toasts at the rehearsal dinner and the reception
  • Dancing the first dance with the bride, dancing with the couple’s respective mothers and the maid/matron of honor
  • Cutting the cake with the bride