Being a groomsman isn’t all about planning and attending a killer bachelor party and standing at the altar by your bud’s side. In fact, there’s a lot of responsibility that goes into this important role—particularly when it comes to the wedding-day timeline. Turns out you’ll probably have a lot of responsibilities on the wedding day, some that may seem obvious and others that you might not be aware of. But fear not, we’re here to help.
Here’s an example of a wedding-day timeline for a groomsman—from the moment you wake up to well past the after-party.
9:08 am: You’ve hit snooze on your phone alarm at least six times, and you feel the hangover from last night’s rehearsal dinner kicking in.
9:16am: Your texts are blowing up. The groom, who’s been your best friend since college, woke up super early and wants to grab breakfast and then shoot some hoops to relieve some pre-wedding jitters. Your groomsmen group text arranges to meet at a diner need the hotel for some grub. The wedding-day timeline has officially begun.
9:24am: You brush your teeth, throw on shorts and a t-shirt and head to the restaurant.
9:45am: The groggy-looking groom and groomsmen are at the diner and you order a feast of a breakfast—lots of coffee, eggs, bacon, the works. The groom seems cheerful enough, but seems a little preoccupied. You and the rest of the guys try to keep the mood light by sharing funny stories from your college days.
10:30am: Everyone heads over to the hotel gym. You play a few rounds of three-on-three. Even though you’re usually pretty competitive, you let the groom win pretty much every game. He’s feeling a bit calmer and more confident now. The best man suggests that everyone head back to their hotel rooms to shower and shave, and will reconvene at the groom’s room in about an hour.
11:15am: You’ve showered and shaved (super-carefully—blood is not a good look on your crisp white tuxedo shirt). The groomsmen group text is blowing up again, this time about making a snack and booze run before the getting-ready festivities begin.
11:28am: You meet a few of the guys in the lobby for a food run. You head to the nearest convenience store to stock up on supplies.
11:45am: You head back to your hotel room and triple-check that all of your groomsmen attire are in your garment bag—tux, shirt, tie, shoes, socks, belt, cufflinks—seems like everything is in place. Time to head over to the groom’s room.
12:02pm: You arrive at the groom’s room and he presents you with your groomsman gift—a personalized flask and a pair of socks with the logo of your favorite sports team. He looks showered, shaved, and is currently making sure his hair is on point.
12:08pm: The best man pumps up the playlist you all contributed to and the everyone is excitedly talking, laughing, and posting Instagram stories.
12:15pm: The photographer arrives and starts taking photos of the crew
12:32pm: Room service brings in lunch and everyone chows down.
12:45pm: The florist arrives with the boutonnieres.
1:02pm: Time to get dressed—perhaps the most important part of the wedding-day timeline. It’s a bit chaotic as tuxedo jackets, bow ties, and belts are flying, but eventually everyone is ready to go—except the groom. He’s struggling a bit with his bow tie but thanks to a YouTube video and some help from his dad, he looks picture-perfect.
1:13pm: The photographer helps everyone pin their boutonnieres onto their lapels and you’re all ready to go.
1:22pm: You make sure that the groom has everything he needs—wallet, phone, etc., and that the best man has the wedding bands in a safe place. You run back to your hotel room to quickly put away your stuff and head to the lobby to catch the shuttle.
1:32pm: The groom is heading over to the venue with his parents, and the rest of the wedding party will take a shuttle to the site. The bridesmaids are already waiting in the hotel lobby when you all arrive and they definitely look a little annoyed that you’re cutting it close to go time. One of the groomsmen passes around a few beers and all is forgiven.
1:36pm: You jump on the shuttle and off you go!
2:02pm: You’ve arrived at the venue and it’s time for the pre-wedding photo shoot. You have no idea what a “first look” is, but it seems like the bride and groom have taken photos together already, and you’re ready to strike a pose (or whatever) with the rest of the gang.
3:15pm: Well, that wasn’t so bad. Maybe the photo of everyone jumping at the same time or the attempted pyramid was a little cheesy, but you’ll survive.
3:33pm: Everyone heads inside the venue to wait for the ceremony to begin. The bride and bridesmaids head to the bridal suite while the groom and groomsmen wait in the foyer. The wedding coordinator shows you and the rest of the groomsmen around the venue in case anyone asks you for directions.
3:45pm: Guests are arriving and you assist a few folks in finding their seats.
4:00pm: Show time. You’re pretty sure you paid attention during the rehearsal, though there’s a bit of confusion as to the processional order. Fortunately, the wedding coordinator is on hand (and a total pro!) and makes sure that everyone is in the right place.
4:02pm: The music starts and you make your way down the aisle, trying to ignore the hundreds of pairs of eyes burning into the back of your head. You smile at the groom, take your place at the altar and try to stand as comfortably as possible—you’re going to be up here for a while.
4:06pm: Here comes the bride! She looks great and you find your eyes starting to get wet—time to pull yourself together. You turn and notice the groom is getting pretty emotional, too.
4:18pm: You’re trying to pay attention to the officiant but find yourself looking out into the crowd—it’s awesome to see so many friends in one place. You can’t wait to get to the reception where the real fun begins.
4:29pm: Time for the kiss, the cheers, and the recessional. You link arms with your designated bridesmaid (who you literally just met last night) and make your way up the aisle.
4:37pm: The bartender (bless him) has a round of drinks at the ready and you toast the newlyweds (of course you give your bud a bro hug) before they head out to take some more photos. You and the guys make a quick trip to the restroom to make sure your look is still on point.
5:00pm: Cocktail hour time. Great drinks, delicious food, and awesome friends—it’s going to be a good night. You make sure to grab your escort card—you’re sitting with the rest of the guys, as expected.
5:14pm: Guests come up to you to ask random questions: “Where’s the guest book?” “Where’s the restroom?” “Where do I put my gift?” You try to answer the questions as best you can, but direct most of them to the best man (sorry, dude).
6:00pm: The reception begins, and the wedding coordinator lines everyone up (again!) to be introduced.
6:04pm: The DJ announces the names of the wedding party and you dance into the party, trying to avoid looking like a total cheeseball. You stand around the perimeter of the dance floor as the couple performs their first dance. They’re actually doing a great job, and you probably won’t make fun of the groom later.
6:09pm: Everyone hits the dance floor. You’re not much of a dancer, but you’re going to make an effort—it’s part of your job after all.
6:35pm: Time for dinner! Everyone is chowing down, and you’re glad to sit for a bit.
7:12pm: The father of the bride, best man, and maid of honor give their toasts. You’re so glad you got yours out of the way at the rehearsal dinner last night.
7:34pm: After the parent dances, the DJ calls everyone onto the dance floor. In between grabbing drinks at the bar for the groom and dancing up a storm, you’re pretty busy.
8:30pm: The newlyweds cut the cake, and you’re more than ready for a slice. Yum.
10:58pm: The last dance is blasting but you know the night isn’t over yet. You make sure to give the newlyweds a hug and congrats before they make their grand exit.
11:05pm: Before leaving, you check with the best man to see if he needs any help. You assist him with handing out tips and gathering gifts, and make your way to the shuttle to the after-party.
11:10pm: The shuttle leaves the venue and the energy is still high. You head to the hotel bar for an impromptu after-party. Sure, it wasn’t on the wedding-day timeline, but it’s definitely a must.
12:20am: Things maybe got a little out of control at the after-party, and now you’re so ready to hit the hay—and can’t wait to sleep in a bit. Wait a second, what time does the post-wedding brunch start tomorrow?