Wedding Party

Renting Groomsmen

I have an unusual situation, and wanted to poll the community to get a second opinion and maybe any advice how I could handle this better. There are a couple of moving parts, so please bear with me. 

#1 I am a groom, and was recently married in November 2020. However, my wife and I are now starting to re-plan our wedding in April 2022. We are another couple who also planned a big wedding prior to COVID, and had to cancel like many couples on here. Our mistake (which we thought was a good idea at the time) was prepaying for all of our vendors ahead of time (didn't want to stress about finances leading up to the wedding). But what basically happened is that we still signed the marriage license on our original date, and are legally married, but we did not have a wedding in any form. We still want a wedding, and our vendors won't let us cancel our contracts without losing money. But we are fortunate that they are letting us roll over the date indefinitely - thinking April 2022 right now. So right now, we have a full cookie cutter wedding with vendors waiting on us to just tell them the revised date. 

#2 For our certificate signing, this year, we still decided to invite close friends in hopes that the day wouldn't be a complete bust. Long story short, my wife had about 10 people come, we had a picnic lunch outdoors, and on my side, I had no one. I had invited the people who were originally supposed to be my groomsman and ushers, and all of them backed out 3 days before. The reasons were also not COVID related (some of them literally just ghosted me, some told me this idea we had is stupid, some simply didn't want to come). Yes, there were others who notified me weeks in advance due to COVID, and I am understanding about that. But my spirit and soul were crushed on the day I actually got married because I felt so incredibly lonely and like my lack of support was all my fault. In the end, I sent a group message to these people to let them know my feelings, which led to a huge fight, and some have now even blocked all communication with me for the time being.

#3 Looking forward, the reason for my post is that I am trying to make the best of the situation for the 2022 wedding. It's my dream to be surrounded by a good group of guys and taking getting ready pictures, and bond the week before, and maybe I care about this stuff more than most men. But every single one of my existing friendships currently lies somewhere between fragile and severed completely. It's hard for me to trust that I won't be let down again, and it's hard knowing that no matter how hard I try, I can't build the 20 year friendships my wife has with her bridemaids when I am starting from scratch in 15-16 months. It's obviously difficult to meet new friends during a pandemic. In the last 6 months, I happen to have moved and started a new job. And so honestly, I am feeling most hopeful about the idea of renting groomsman to stand beside me for the day. I have found a few sites such as https://www.groomsmanforhire.com/ or Rent-A-Friend, and I am wondering if any of these are sketchy / legitimate / any reviews at all? Or maybe you all will have another idea how I could approach it? 

And of course, thank you in advance!

Re: Renting Groomsmen

  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I have an unusual situation, and wanted to poll the community to get a second opinion and maybe any advice how I could handle this better. There are a couple of moving parts, so please bear with me. 

    #1 I am a groom, and was recently married in November 2020. However, my wife and I are now starting to re-plan our wedding in April 2022. We are another couple who also planned a big wedding prior to COVID, and had to cancel like many couples on here. Our mistake (which we thought was a good idea at the time) was prepaying for all of our vendors ahead of time (didn't want to stress about finances leading up to the wedding). But what basically happened is that we still signed the marriage license on our original date, and are legally married, but we did not have a wedding in any form. We still want a wedding, and our vendors won't let us cancel our contracts without losing money. But we are fortunate that they are letting us roll over the date indefinitely - thinking April 2022 right now. So right now, we have a full cookie cutter wedding with vendors waiting on us to just tell them the revised date. 

    #2 For our certificate signing, this year, we still decided to invite close friends in hopes that the day wouldn't be a complete bust. Long story short, my wife had about 10 people come, we had a picnic lunch outdoors, and on my side, I had no one. I had invited the people who were originally supposed to be my groomsman and ushers, and all of them backed out 3 days before. The reasons were also not COVID related (some of them literally just ghosted me, some told me this idea we had is stupid, some simply didn't want to come). Yes, there were others who notified me weeks in advance due to COVID, and I am understanding about that. But my spirit and soul were crushed on the day I actually got married because I felt so incredibly lonely and like my lack of support was all my fault. In the end, I sent a group message to these people to let them know my feelings, which led to a huge fight, and some have now even blocked all communication with me for the time being.

    #3 Looking forward, the reason for my post is that I am trying to make the best of the situation for the 2022 wedding. It's my dream to be surrounded by a good group of guys and taking getting ready pictures, and bond the week before, and maybe I care about this stuff more than most men. But every single one of my existing friendships currently lies somewhere between fragile and severed completely. It's hard for me to trust that I won't be let down again, and it's hard knowing that no matter how hard I try, I can't build the 20 year friendships my wife has with her bridemaids when I am starting from scratch in 15-16 months. It's obviously difficult to meet new friends during a pandemic. In the last 6 months, I happen to have moved and started a new job. And so honestly, I am feeling most hopeful about the idea of renting groomsman to stand beside me for the day. I have found a few sites such as https://www.groomsmanforhire.com/ or Rent-A-Friend, and I am wondering if any of these are sketchy / legitimate / any reviews at all? Or maybe you all will have another idea how I could approach it? 

    And of course, thank you in advance!
    Congratulations on your marriage!

    I don't think hiring pretend friends will give you the warm fuzzies you're looking for. But then again, you're putting together a substitute "wedding" day, so who knows. You are married. This day is a party, which you are perfectly welcome to host. Anyone can host a party. But you don't have groomsmen for a party. You made the choice to get married already, which is wonderful. But the adult choice to get married comes with the adult consequences of not getting to recreate a wedding.

    Figure out how to put your vendors to good use at a celebration party of your marriage, but you can't ask people to act as groomsmen for something that isn't a wedding, where you actually get married. So this is moot.

    My recommended strategy is therapy. Put the effort and money you would put into hiring friends into becoming more accepting of the situation, of realizing how you may have hurt your actual friends, and of understanding how you can move past them hurting you.
    short+sassycharlotte989875Jen4948
  • edited November 2020
    For context, the marriage is different than the wedding, yes. We have followed through on the marriage, but not the wedding. We asked people to fulfill a role of bridesmaids, groomsmen, and ushers - a role which they have not yet had the opportunity to fulfill because there has been no wedding day. There has been no ceremony, no exchanging of rings, no vows, nothing - we will still do all of those things. It's definitely not just a party, and there hasn't yet been a wedding so nothing to recreate.
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited November 2020
    For context, the marriage is different than the wedding, yes. We have followed through on the marriage, but not the wedding. We asked people to fulfill a role of bridesmaids, groomsmen, and ushers - a role which they have not yet had the opportunity to fulfill because there has been no wedding day. There has been no ceremony, no exchanging of rings, no vows, nothing - we will still do all of those things. It's definitely not just a party, and there hasn't yet been a wedding so nothing to recreate.
    What makes something a wedding or not is a couple getting actually married. The day you became married to someone was your wedding day. It may have been extremely simple, but it was your wedding. Saying vows and exchanging rings does not make an event into a wedding, although it might make it look like one (and in some states I think vows do have to be witnessed for a marriage license to be signed, so either your state does not require that or you did say some vows already). Signing and filing your marriage license and receiving the benefits of a married couple is what makes you married, and thus that was your wedding.

    If you were going to argue that your religion has certain ritual requirements for a valid marriage to occur (for example, my own religion does require an intentional exchange of certain promises for validity), then there might be room for nuance. But if exchanging vows and rings with a wedding party and guests present is merely something you still wish to do despite already being married, then that is simply a show you're putting on for yourselves and others. Much like renting groomsmen.

    I understand that COVID took special events from a lot of people. And you don't have to just lose out on your money - you can still throw a wonderful party for your friends and family. Wear your wedding attire too, I don't care - you only get so many chances to wear awesome formal attire. But own the decision you made to get married. Own your relationships and the state they're in. Even if you do end up saying vows at your party, be clear with all attendees that they are not witnessing your marriage. People do care about witnessing the actual event, and you may risk more relationships if you lie to them about your marital status when they might have made different decisions about time and money to attend this event. Obviously, the people who came to your picnic wedding already know, but make sure your whole guest list knows too.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited November 2020
    For context, the marriage is different than the wedding, yes. We have followed through on the marriage, but not the wedding. We asked people to fulfill a role of bridesmaids, groomsmen, and ushers - a role which they have not yet had the opportunity to fulfill because there has been no wedding day. There has been no ceremony, no exchanging of rings, no vows, nothing - we will still do all of those things. It's definitely not just a party, and there hasn't yet been a wedding so nothing to recreate.
    A wedding is an event where you get married. It can be as elaborate as a full day event with a multi-course meal and doves being released, or it can be as simple as 10 people at a picnic lunch. Even a couple eloping alone at the justice of the peace is a wedding. You have in fact had a wedding. It may not have been the wedding that you'd hoped, but it was a wedding. Your attitude is frankly quite insulting to people who prefer to have low key weddings or can't afford extravagant events.

    The event next year will be a lovely vow renewal. Hopefully it will be a good use of the funds you'd originally spent on wedding vendors and will take the place of the large wedding you'd hoped for. But unless you plan to be divorced between now and then, it physically cannot be a wedding. 

    On to the groomsmen, you're seriously considering renting friends because the ones you have didn't make it to your simple wedding. Are you aware how ridiculous that is?  If you're having conflict with all of your friends, it's time to look at the common denominator - that's you. Take some time to consider your behavior leading up to the recent wedding and your group text after the fact. Something tells me you weren't the reasonable one here. With a little humility and self reflection, you can probably salvage your friendships. 
    short+sassybanana468
  • This is a really elaborate set up for an advertisement.  The OP cannot be for real.
    MairePoppy
  • As the OP, I have to agree to disagree with the comments. When someone signs the deed to the house, it does not mean they have physically moved in. When someone walks across the stage at a graduation, it does not mean that they have received their degree. The legal proceedings can absolutely take place on a different day than the actual event. It's semantics. So this is no disrespect to any couple that does opt for the small wedding from the start, but what we had was definitely not our wedding. 

    Besides, debating whether or not my event is a wedding was not the intention of the post. The intention is to seek advice so that I can salvage what I can, and make the most of my future wedding day.
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    As the OP, I have to agree to disagree with the comments. When someone signs the deed to the house, it does not mean they have physically moved in. When someone walks across the stage at a graduation, it does not mean that they have received their degree. The legal proceedings can absolutely take place on a different day than the actual event. It's semantics. So this is no disrespect to any couple that does opt for the small wedding from the start, but what we had was definitely not our wedding. 

    Besides, debating whether or not my event is a wedding was not the intention of the post. The intention is to seek advice so that I can salvage what I can, and make the most of my future wedding day.
    Like I said, therapy. I was trying to gently get at what @MyNameIsNot said, which is that you are the common denominator in all your relationships being shot to hell.

    A professional can help you:
    - grieve what you've missed,
    - put into perspective what needs to happen regarding your marriage going forward and any celebrations thereof,
    - see how you might salvage your friendships,
    - be okay with the status of your friendships.

    One does not "semantically" own a house. You have an asset, a legal responsibility, and a whole host of other real things, even if you don't live there yet or don't plan to ever live there. Your crossing the stage at graduation analogy is more apt - it's a symbolic gesture that has no actual meaning, although it can be emotional to do - and that is what your later ceremony would be. Are you living with your wife now? Will anything actually change in your day-to-day lives or your health insurance benefits once you've had this party?
    banana468
  • I responded to one of your other posts about your feelings of loneliness on your wedding day, so I won't repeat that part.

    If you want to rent groomsmen, I suppose there is nothing wrong with that, though it is odd.  Mainly though, I don't think you are going to achieve what you really want, which is a good group of friends.  Normally, the point of a WP is to have your nearest and dearest standing up with you during an important moment in your life.  But that moment already happened and I am sorry that, because of COVID, the wedding plans massively changed and no one was standing up with you.

    You actually have a lot of great things happening for you!  A new wife.  A new job.  Moving to a new place (hopefully this is a good thing).  In some ways, it is like a fresh start in your life and I think you should start making some new friends in your new area.  I know it's harder right now because of the pandemic, but friendships can even start online.  Maybe on local sites with similar interests/hobbies.  

    I think you should also reflect on your own behavior and what friendships you want to save.  The fact that multiple people blocked you after the group text you sent out, tells me that your text was probably pretty bad.  Unfortunately that ship has already sailed.  But you should have spoken to each person individually about your disappointment, instead of what I assume was a harsh group shaming.  Maybe you want to end some of those friendships anyway because they weren't there for you and that's fine.  But if there are some you want to salvage, work on doing that.  Including at least apologizing for the public nature of the text.

    April 2022 is a long way away.  Your friendships might be very different by then.  Your wife's friendships might be very different by then.  WPs usually shouldn't be asked until 6-12 months out for these reasons.  I agree with the other PPs that WPs aren't necessary, since you and your wife are already married.  But, as long as all your guests know you all are already married (and it sounds like that is the case), I guess it doesn't hurt anyone if you all still want a WP.  But do you?  It seems like that is what is causing you a lot of stress.  It seems like it would be easiest to for you and your wife to just not include a WP.  If you hopefully have a good group of guy friends by then, you will have had lots of opportunities to hang out with them and have fun.  And they will be there at the party to celebrate the marriage, too.
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    banana468
  • There's a lot in this post that tells me your emotions are running raw and perhaps dealing with your own interpretation of the day's events but are having issues processing the actions of those closer to you. 

    -A group text to hash feelings was probably a bad choice.  A group ANYTHING to admonish or share hurt feelings is probably not going to be well received.  People are naturally defensive and right now, stress as a whole is running higher than ever.  

    -Your first post and now this speak of a need to fill a perceived void.  I'm going to echo @flantastic because this seems to be chasing a dream that you have for a vision with expectations that can only bring disappointment.     Are you after photos with these rented groomsmen?  Is that it?  Because you talk of missing the personal connection will you be happy if you don't know those you're standing next to and the event you plan looks more like a photo shoot? 

    -I'll echo the sentiments of all others.  You had a wedding.   It was not the wedding you wanted but you had one.   What you can plan is a big vow renewal with all the trimmings but PLEASE avoid the insinuation that the trimmings are what make the wedding.   By doing this it insults so many who made an active choice to have a small event.   Look at celebrities Dax Shephard and Kristen Bell.   Their entire wedding was less than $200 by choice.  They had a wedding.  Many people who married in war time had small weddings just before a husband was due to ship out.   They were weddings.  What you are planning is a vow renewal that ideally all your family and friends can attend. 

    But before you plan that event, please come to terms with the last month.  You are grieving what you missed and you're experiencing the disappointment of that.   However you have to acknowledge and accept that reality or it is something that will fester and THAT will affect your marriage that just began. 
    MyNameIsNotshort+sassyflantastic
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    As the OP, I have to agree to disagree with the comments. When someone signs the deed to the house, it does not mean they have physically moved in. When someone walks across the stage at a graduation, it does not mean that they have received their degree. The legal proceedings can absolutely take place on a different day than the actual event. It's semantics. So this is no disrespect to any couple that does opt for the small wedding from the start, but what we had was definitely not our wedding. 

    Besides, debating whether or not my event is a wedding was not the intention of the post. The intention is to seek advice so that I can salvage what I can, and make the most of my future wedding day.
    I'm beginning to agree with the other knottienumbers that you're being intentionally obtuse or trolling. A fake wedding with fake friends is a bit much. 

    Nonetheless, the house is an good example. One does not become a homeowner by moving in; they become a homeowner at closing. When I closed on my house this year, it was in a nice office where we took photos and had a small celebration. When speaking to my realtor a month later, I learned that the pandemic had quickly changed the way closings were done. Now, buyer and seller sit in their respective cars while the closing attorney walks the papers back and forth. The realtors don't attend and take photos, they don't give you mini-champagne bottles or ceremonially present keys.

    Those buyers in their cars are still homeowners, because they went through closing, even though it wasn't the type of closing they may have wanted or planned. While I'm sure the realtors and closing attorneys would be willing to pretend to redo the closing next year in the office (for a price), it wouldn't change the fact that someone who closed on their house in the parking lot in November is already a homeowner and has already gone through closing. The closing is when they became homeowners, just like your wedding was when you were married.

    You can have as many pretend do-overs as you like, but your wedding will always be the day you got married. 
    banana468short+sassyILoveBeachMusicflantastic
  • As the OP, I have to agree to disagree with the comments. When someone signs the deed to the house, it does not mean they have physically moved in. When someone walks across the stage at a graduation, it does not mean that they have received their degree. The legal proceedings can absolutely take place on a different day than the actual event. It's semantics. So this is no disrespect to any couple that does opt for the small wedding from the start, but what we had was definitely not our wedding. 

    Besides, debating whether or not my event is a wedding was not the intention of the post. The intention is to seek advice so that I can salvage what I can, and make the most of my future wedding day.
    I'm beginning to agree with the other knottienumbers that you're being intentionally obtuse or trolling. A fake wedding with fake friends is a bit much. 

    Nonetheless, the house is an good example. One does not become a homeowner by moving in; they become a homeowner at closing. When I closed on my house this year, it was in a nice office where we took photos and had a small celebration. When speaking to my realtor a month later, I learned that the pandemic had quickly changed the way closings were done. Now, buyer and seller sit in their respective cars while the closing attorney walks the papers back and forth. The realtors don't attend and take photos, they don't give you mini-champagne bottles or ceremonially present keys.

    Those buyers in their cars are still homeowners, because they went through closing, even though it wasn't the type of closing they may have wanted or planned. While I'm sure the realtors and closing attorneys would be willing to pretend to redo the closing next year in the office (for a price), it wouldn't change the fact that someone who closed on their house in the parking lot in November is already a homeowner and has already gone through closing. The closing is when they became homeowners, just like your wedding was when you were married.

    You can have as many pretend do-overs as you like, but your wedding will always be the day you got married. 
    Off topic from the original post, but I hadn't even thought about closings in the time of COVID.  That sounds AWFUL to have to review all the paperwork and sign one's name a million times while sitting in a car for 1-2 hours.  I'll be closing on my refinance later this month so, no, there isn't a seller involved.  But I assumed I'd just be going to the title office like I always have.

    I probably still have to because somebody needs to verify my id and do the notary stamps and all that.  But now I'm curious if they'll have me do some of the closing paperwork ahead of time to shorten the actual closing process.

    I have never had keys ceremoniously handed to me, lol.  I was a little disappointed about that when I closed on my first house.  But it was a foreclosure with a lockbox, so I wasn't expecting that anyway.  My realtor did give me a nice gift, though.

    I bought my own bottle of Moet that is waiting, waiting, waiting for this closing, lol.
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    MyNameIsNotbanana468
  • FWIW @short+sassy we just bought a new house and sold our old house and the title agents just came to our house and we sat distanced with masks at the dining room table. Hopefully you can do something easier than sitting in a car.
    short+sassy
  • MRDCle said:
    FWIW @short+sassy we just bought a new house and sold our old house and the title agents just came to our house and we sat distanced with masks at the dining room table. Hopefully you can do something easier than sitting in a car.
    Congrats on the new house!  I suspect it will be something similar to that.  As long as people wear masks indoors and can social distance, it's business as usual for most places where I live. 

    The most "untraditional" closing I've had is I bought an investment property via a real estate auction website (pre-pandemic).  There was a discount if I used the website's title company.

    So, almost everything was online.  The only person I met with at closing was a local notary.  I gave her my ID and she she pretty much just witnessed me signing/initialing all the pages and then put her stamp, where needed.
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  • You can have a closing without ever being in contact with anyone in person - js...

    OP - You made your feelings known, those that have chosen to leave your life, metaphorically wish them a happy life without you in it appreciating their honesty.  You're at a different point in your life.  Instead of hiring fake friends for the day, it's better to be surrounded by real and those in 2022 who are your real friends will be there for you, "sides" don't have to match.  


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