Imagine that you’ve chosen, say, five of your best friends and family members to be your five bridesmaids. Your husband-to-be is ready with five suggestions of groomsmen to stand by his side in the wedding. To your chagrin, there are one or two of them that you really don’t think should be in your wedding. The situation probably happens occasionally, but we rarely hear about it because many couples keep this sort of conversation between themselves. (Honestly, that is probably a good thing!) At first, this feeling can just make a bride feel guilty; these are his friends and family, after all, so why should she have the last word? This is certainly partially true, but there are a few steps to go through in figuring out the situation.
Consider Why You Reacted This Way
The first thing to do is take a step back. Your husband-to-be is likely to react negatively if you just wrinkle your nose and say, “absolutely not” to his picks. After all, many of the wedding decisions are probably yours, so this kind of reaction could make him feel really judged and powerless. Rather, think carefully about why these guys make you feel this way: do you have a complex history with one of them? Do you believe one of them might behave inappropriately at the wedding? Does one of them have a dramatic dating history with a bridesmaid or other person attending the wedding? Try to separate your personal dislike from your practical concerns over the wedding. Your fiancé’s friend who makes a lot of dumb jokes could probably make a perfectly fine groomsman, for instance, as long as he doesn’t have to give a speech.
Voice Your Concerns Respectfully
This choice of groomsmen is actually just the beginning of the compromises you may have to make once you switch to discussing your guest list, so it’s a good idea to model respectful behavior. An easy formula is to cite why this person is important to him first, and then talk about your worries. “I know that you and your college roommate are very close, but I’ve seen him overindulge in alcohol and behave rashly,” for example. Rather than asking him to pick different groomsmen, ask how he would handle something that goes south with those particular groomsmen. Is he ready to add groomsman-babysitting to his list of things to do on his wedding day? Often, he’ll change his mind on his own if the decision is left up to him.
Prepare to Let This One Go
That being said, many of us realize that our complaints about a particular groomsman come down to dislike. Maybe that groomsman has never supported your relationship fully, or he simply rubs you the wrong way. This may be the point at which to take the high road. The reality is that you won’t have to spend much time with that particular person during the busiest day of your life, and if the issue is personality and not behavior, he won’t be a problem for the length of a wedding. Yes, you’ll see him in your wedding pictures, but remember that you can focus on everyone else when you look at them. The wedding day is a great time to let bygones be bygones, even if you never intend to grow close to this groomsman. What’s more, your fiancé is much more likely to support you over his groomsman if you’ve been supporting him all along; the most adult thing to do with personality differences in this kind of context is to minimize contact so as to minimize drama.
Make Space to Have Your Mind Changed
Try not to dwell on the time that you’ll be spending with groomsmen you don’t like because there really won’t be much time for that, anyway. Groomsmen may be helpful when you are setting up your venue or corralling people for the rehearsal, but overall you will have tasks to accomplish when you are around them. By not spending a lot of time with the person in question, you won’t grow sensitive to their annoyances, and you can make some space to make your relationship closer to neutral rather than negative.
All this being said, if you feel someone will be dangerous or disruptive at your wedding, it’s important to talk it out with your soon-to-be spouse. Even if that groomsman is still present, your fiancé will be on the lookout for poor behaviour and maybe even enlist other groomsmen to make sure that nothing strange happens. Just like you may choose some bridesmaids because of a long history together and not because they are the easiest people to be around, your fiancé is making decisions based on his history with friends and family. This is a chance for you two to solve problems together while supporting each other.
Cover Photo Credit: J-Gates Visuals