How to Ask Groomsmen & Groomspeople

There’s no wrong way to ask groomsmen, but we do have some suggestions.

Wondering how to ask groomsmen
Photo by @maggiegracephoto.

When you get engaged and start planning your wedding, the groomsmen proposal is probably going to take a backseat to hiring a DJ (or band), finding a photographer, and picking out your groom suit. Asking groomsmen to be in your wedding can be straightforward and won’t really cut into your planning time, but you might wondering if there are traditional ways to ask groomsmen before you dive in.

The fact that you’re wondering how to ask groomsmen at all means you want to do right by your favorite people. That’s the right attitude. We’ll fill in the blanks for considerations like timing and location, with a few ideas for making your groomsmen proposal meaningful.


Maybe you’ve got your groomspeople list finalized, but if not, the first thing you’ll want to do is decide who makes the cut. The short version: numbers really don’t matter—it’s about choosing people who really care about you and matter. If you need more help narrowing down your lineup, we have some tips here.

Timing: When to Ask Groomsmen

You’ll need to give them a heads-up. Being a groomsperson is an honor, but it comes with a sizable time commitment, and it’s certainly not free. Don’t wait until the last minute—asking groomsmen a solid 6-8 months ahead of time is reasonable, and will allow your groomspeople to budget and request time off from work accordingly.

On the other hand, don’t rush it—life happens, relationships change, and your dream team could turn into a nightmare scenario long before your wedding day arrives. We’ve heard some stories, so let it marinate.

How to Ask: Call or Meet Up

There is very little discernible emotion in a text message, and for that reason (and the unpredictable nature of autocorrect), it’s the wrong venue for your groomsmen proposal.

If you can meet up with your groomsmen-to-be, do it. Of all the ways to ask groomsmen, this is the most personal. But we’re realistic, and it’s likely you’ve got potential groomspeople all over the map. Skype, FaceTime, or even a good old fashioned phone call are all appropriate ways to connect and share this moment if you can’t meet face-to-face.

Then once you’ve asked everyone, start a group text with many, many gifs.

Photo by @emmastud.

Own It: Make It Uniquely You

We’ve established that when possible, you should ask groomsmen in person. But how do you literally ask the question? We can’t really tell you how to be you, and this is one of those life moments where the personal touch is required. At the same time, deadpanning “Wanna be my groomsperson?” is too casual. If you’re a man of few words, here are some tips for instant gravitas.

Share one moment that meant a lot to you

Remember that time they came and gave your car a jump at 2 AM when nobody else would answer their phone? They probably haven’t thought of that in years, and this is the perfect time to remind them that they’re awesome.

Thank them for supporting your relationship

With good people surrounding you, it’s much easier for a healthy, loving relationship to grow.

Ask Them.

“It would mean a lot to have you in our wedding party. Would you be my groomsperson?”

Easy, done.

Gift: But Only If You Want To

It’s a common tradition to gift your groomsmen around the time of your actual wedding, so if it seems overkill to double up, don’t worry about giving a gift when you ask. The honor is theirs, technically.

If you do choose to gift, approach it as token of your appreciation and friendship, not a bribe. As with any gift, the more personal and thoughtful the better. For example, if they know your friend’s usual order at the Taco Bell drive-thru, a Blue Apron subscription might be the right mix of caring and useful. Or just take treat them to dinner when you ask.

Groomspeople in tuxedos and evidence of a successful groomsmen proposal
Photo by @parkeryoung.

Gift Alternative: Cover Their Wedding Attire

Being a groomsperson is relatively low-stakes with few real responsibilities, but the cost of being a groomsperson can be significant. Couples’ showers, wedding gifts, travel and accommodations for the wedding, throwing a bachelor party, and paying for wedding attire adds up.

So if you decide to gift your groomspeople when you ask, but you don’t want to spend hours shopping for the perfect groomsmen proposal gift, a smart alternative is paying for their wedding suits when you’re picking them out.

Need help choosing groomsmen outfits? Check out our recommendations for groomsmen suits here, or learn how to coordinate wedding ties here. Or, if you know what you want, start creating looks now.