Early groomsmen in Europe were basically used for security to ensure that a bride made it to the groom's home with her dowry. They were called bride's knights back then. In the 19th century United States groomsmen were appointed to block any disgruntled suitors from breaking up the wedding and would often stand like bouncers at the entrance of the church. These days the groomsmen are often the life of the party and I have a lot of fun photographing them. One of the things I'm kind of proud of is my ability to get groomsmen to relax and laugh. They give each other a hard time and often heckle the groom which helps me since it brings out some real expressions and often leads to a little lighthearted shoving. I love those photos of groomsmen being serious and putting their hand on the groom's shoulder when he gets emotional as the bride walks down the aisle. But more often than not the groom's room is filled with laughter. One group of groomsmen from Chicago all spent years making fun of the groom's leopard skin underwear from college so he bought them all a pair as groomsmen gifts. They all put on their underwear and dress socks and shoes and nothing else and asked me to photograph them walking down the street with cigars in their mouths. This is an extreme example of groomsmen silliness but at every wedding there just seems to be a lightheartedness when the guys get together and make each other laugh. It's fun to be in their company and fun to photograph them.