In the movies, groomsmen are usually irresponsible, party-loving dudes who fear settling down and do everything they can to talk the groom out of getting hitched.
Thankfully, real life is nowhere near as dramatic. You may have heard these guys referred to as ushers, but not all ushers are groomsmen and not all groomsmen are ushers. Most of the time, these two roles are treated as one, but some couples use the naming disparity as a pretext for including more family and friends in their wedding. Whatever honorific they receive, these guys have it pretty easy, as evidenced by the extremely short list of groomsmen duties
On the big day, your groomsmen can hand out programs, direct people to their seats, and keep an eye on the gift table. It’s not uncommon for a groomsman to become the unofficial answer man unwittingly, as guests tend to direct their questions toward anyone wearing a tux. Anticipate this by making sure your groomsmen know where the bathroom is. Some people even ask their male attendants to dance with any single females at the reception – but this practice is not as common as it once was because being a woman without a dance partner is no longer considered a fate worse than death. When your ushers are not your groomsmen, you can ensure they don’t feel left out by mentioning their names in the wedding program, announcing them at the reception, and seating them with the other members of the wedding party.
How many groomsmen do you need? Like bridesmaids, these guys are, in fact, a nonessential element of weddings. But they look great in photographs and may even prove helpful, so plan on having two or three groomsmen per fifty guests for a formal wedding or less for an informal affair.