7 months ago
Planning weddings can be anything but a cakewalk down the aisle, especially when tradition, social pressures and cultural expectations call for large bridal parties loom larger than one’s actual friends list.
Now, one South Carolina-based company called Groomsman For Hire is offering to take the stress out of the big day.
The company works exactly as the name would suggest. Men hire a groomsman to help with wedding events, sometimes several groomsmen—sometimes even the best man. Services range from the “Silver Groomsman,”, who helps coordinate events among all of the groomsmen and collects money, to the “Undercover Groomsman”, who does stand-ins at the wedding and the bachelor party.
The company has been successful, in part because there’s no real competition, but also because people don’t realize the intense pressure that men are under during their own weddings.
“When your spouse has 50 girlfriends and you have two guy friends, there’s a peer pressure, almost, to perform and be relevant,” Ryan, one of the rent-a-groomsmen, told GQ. “Guys are put under a different microscope in a wedding situation.”
Matt Foster, one of the company’s co-founders, was inspired to start the company in Dec. 2014 after watching the film, The Wedding Ringer.
“I didn’t think we’d get any business,” he said.
But these days, the company gets about three to four inquiries per week—more in big cities like New York—and will travel to anywhere to help a brother out.
The process starts with a FaceTime interview, where Groomsman For Hire pairs up potential groomsmen with the future husband.
Seven groomsmen work for the company, which also services same-sex couples. Each groomsman is allowed to work no more than two weddings a year. The idea is that anyone attending multiple weddings in a single year won’t see the same person at more than one event. Names are then changed and a story about how the groomsman met the groom is developed.
And services continue even after the big day.
“A best man was asked to call a groom’s wife at the house months later,” Foster recalled. “Her husband said, ‘He’s been busy working, but let’s invite him to the baby shower.’ They pay us and we’ll be there.”
The company said the typical client is in his mid-thirties; someone who has been too focused on work to make friends and are trying to keep up with appearances.