What Should You Do If One of the Groomsmen Is Missing on the Wedding Day?

In the unlikely event that this happens, follow our three pieces of advice.

groomsmen playing pickle ball
Photo: Valorie Darling

If a bridesmaid didn't show up on the wedding day, her friends would go into panic mode, especially if she wasn't a disgruntled bridesmaid in the days and weeks preceding the wedding. Texts would be sent, calls made, and a search party formed. But when a groomsman is the no-show, there's much less fanfare. Still, when any member of the bridal party is nowhere to be found on the wedding day, alarm bells will likely ring. Here, we outline the three most important things to do in the unlikely event that his happens on your big day.

Try to track him down.

Just as you would with a missing bridesmaid, you should try to find him. Don't assume he's still in bed, blissfully sleeping in with his cell phone on mute. Text, call, email, and message him on social media. Sure, the most likely explanation is that he overslept or is stuck in traffic, but it's important to make sure he's safe and well. If you can't get through to him, do your best to get in contact with his family members or friends. If that still yields no results, see if a family member or friend who isn't part of the wedding party can stop by his place.

Reassign any of his responsibilities.

While loved ones are trying to track down the missing attendant, ask another groomsman to take over any duties necessary. Maybe he was pegged to do a reading at the ceremony or make a speech at the reception—someone else must fill in so guests don't notice something is amiss. If a bridesmaid will now be without someone to walk her down the aisle, have another groomsman offer his other arm and walk with her and his original partner at the same time.

Don't cause a scene.

If he does eventually resurface, stay calm. Welcome him without fuss. Don't demand an explanation—that can come later when there's no audience watching. Make sure he's fit enough to be a groomsman and can fulfill his obligations; if he can't, don't get upset—just have another groomsman fill in. Now go out there and get married!

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