I’ve Never Been a Groomsman

Thomas Mark Zuniga toddler crying at a wedding

I’ve always hated weddings. I think my childhood proves this claim quite clearly.

Comical childish outbursts aside, I was never one to get on board with this whole wedding business. Truthfully, weddings just weren’t enjoyable. How does one enjoy watching two people do something one assumes he’ll never do?

Engaged and married couples have always felt so foreign and “advanced” to me. I’ve rarely ever known them, only further fueling my wedding ire. I’d witness all the shiny happy faces at these sacred ceremonies; meanwhile, I’d cower in the back pondering all the hard realities.

I’ve never dated.

I’ve never been a best man.

I’ve never even been a groomsman. Did I just not matter enough?

For over two decades, I never thought much about marriage. The concept just seemed so absurd. Instead, I obsessed over the equally nonsensical notion of being a groomsman. Of partaking in some beloved brother’s wedding.

I’ve idolized such an inclusion: to be deemed worthy of standing beside a man among his most meaningful of moments. “Groomsman status” — the de facto manifestation of brotherhood.

For 27 years, I never experienced that exclusive inclusion. This was my reality; this was my story. A story of lonely wondering and longing.

It was a 27-year story that finally concluded last weekend.

For the first time in my life, I attended a wedding as a groomsman.

Snazzily dressed and standing, not sitting, I was granted an entirely new perspective. A new vantage point on marriage and weddings and brotherhood altogether.

It’s not that I was utterly worthless before becoming a groomsman. My innate worth certainly extends beyond an invitation to stand.

Fittingly, I’m realizing in Easter’s wake that if I was worth dying for, I must logically be something special. Even if I don’t feel that way. Which I often don’t.

But the fact remains.

I was given an invitation of life when one Man died for me. Died so that I might live and stand, not sit, in another special wedding someday.

I remain touched to have been included as a groomsman in my dear friend’s wedding. The longer I linger on last weekend, the harder it is to maintain my emotions. I haven’t experienced such sheer enjoyment in a long time.

That I was a groomsman and my own younger brother the best man only amplified the joyful experience. Of standing alongside brothers, blood and spiritual, enhancing the view of a new perspective.

One of worth and beautiful brotherhood indeed.

Thomas Mark Zuniga wedding groomsmen

  • MLYaksh

    It was such a blessing to have you standing with me, Tom! Thank you for being such an incredible brother. Much love to ya, man!

  • Kathryn Yaksh

    Thank you Tom for being there for my baby bro-in-law as a groomsman and as a friend. You are worth more than you could ever imagine to God, your family, and to others you have never met.