Wediquette Wednesday: Can I bow out of some groomsman events due to the COVID-19 Delta surge?


Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)


Question: My buddy is getting married and asked me to be a groomsmen. The wedding is outdoors in the fall, so I felt good about accepting the honor. I’m vaccinated, as are all of the groomsmen, bridesmaids, the couple and their parents and siblings, but that’s where my knowledge of other’s statuses ends. There are several events between now and the wedding, including the bachelor party. Some of the events are outdoors, but others are indoors. Some events will include only the bridal party and immediate family, but others will be larger with friends and other family members outside the inner circle. With the Delta surge, I personally don’t feel comfortable attending the indoor gatherings with guests outside of the bridal party and immediate family, even with restaurant and venue vaccination proof and testing mandates, because of the chance that unvaccinated people will be in attendance and could contract COVID between testing time and event time. I don’t want to shirk my groomsman duties, but I also want to be as responsible and safe as possible in situations where that’s an option. I have my own elderly parents and grandparents to think about and want to take care in the way I operate day-to-day. Can I bow out of some groomsman events due to the COVID-19 Delta surge?

Answer: Under normal circumstances, groomsmen are expected to attend as many events as possible, but there are no hard and fast requirements. Even before the pandemic, work and family or illness, as well as social obligations made prior to agreeing to become an attendant were all good reasons for missing a wedding-related event, including the bachelor party, but excluding the wedding ceremony and reception, of course. Simply discuss your concerns with the groom and let him know which events you feel comfortable attending. These unprecedented times call for extra communication, compassion and grace.


Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email





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