What’s the Best Man’s most important duty?
Is it helping the Groom pick out his threads? Is it keeping the rings safe until the wedding? Perhaps it’s rounding up the other groomsmen and whipping them into tip-top shape for the big day? Or making sure the groom-to-be has a killer bachelor party?
You’ve scored the role as best man, and you’re already planning the bachelor party. While that’s one of the leading (and most fun) pre-wedding roles of the best man, it’s hardly the last one. You’ve taken on the delicate task of being the Groom’s No. 1 sidekick for all the wedding planning. That means taking care of some of the finer details before, during and after the big day. Here are the primary responsibilities you need to know about to succeed at being the best best man.
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Who you choose to be your best man is entirely up to you and your fiance. Having your son take the duties of the best man all depends on your son’s age. If he is younger than 18, this could be kind of tricky. But if you want your son to be the best man, you could always have another groomsman takes care of the best man’s duties such as holding the rings.
Ok, Groom. We have a question for you. You don’t have to say the answer out loud, just kind of admit it to yourself. Did you know who your best man was going to be before you even proposed? Well, we know it might be too late, but we’d like you to hold your horses for just a sec. Until you get to the end of this article, at least. If you haven’t asked anyone to be your best man yet, you have the luxury of actually thinking about it. Here’s how to pick the best man.
The truth is, the Best Man should be on top of all of those things, and more. Unfortunately, for some, the importance of the Groom’s number-two has been watered down over the years to the point that the Best Man’s only role seems to be disrupting all the careful planning that went into arranging the wedding.
Before the wedding
Decide on wedding suits: The Groom and the Bride may already have an idea of what they want for their wedding, but if your guy needs help getting started, it’s your job to help him get the ball rolling. Ask him about the time, location and formality of the big day to help steer him toward specific wedding suit colours and accessories (more on why that matters here). You can also browse through our Real Weddings page together to see how other real grooms and groomsmen have suited up.
Kids are adorable, and no doubt you would love to have them at your wedding if you have some little ones. But having small kids in your wedding party can be difficult. Here are some ideas.
Choosing your best man
Oh, and one more thing. After you go through this list, you may discover the only person who meets all the requirements is, like, your dad. Who is already going to be at the wedding, after all? It’s ok; as long as your best man fits some of the points below, you’ll be alright. We’re crossing our fingers. Let’s go now and pick the best man.
You’ve likely heard a few horror stories in your time. After shirking his responsibilities before the main event, the best man gets a bit too drunk, dances embarrassingly in front of the other wedding guests, delivers a poorly rehearsed speech during the reception, then throws up all over the bridesmaid dresses. Talk about a letdown.
The Outfits for the Groom and Groomsmen
Manage the formalwear coordination: Once you’ve got the suiting decided, it’s time to alert the squad. We make it easy to manage your wedding party. Through our dashboard, you can manage your party, show them their look and send reminders all from one place.
Hold them as they walk down the aisle. One of the first problems when having a small baby as your best man is that they may not be able to walk down the aisle. If this is the case, you can have one of the bridesmaids walk him down, or hold him. This would be a super cute way to include your young son into the wedding ceremony.
At the very least, you should be able to count on your best man for these two things: a sympathetic ear and a helping hand. Does he possess these two traits? Because you’re going to need them.
Before the wedding, you’ll be frustrated with the planning, and you’ll argue with your other half about money at some point. The road to ‘I do’ isn’t all sunshine and lollipops. Is your best man a good listener? Can you tell him practically anything, and he won’t judge? If not, then maybe he’s not the best candidate.
No longer! For the good of the modern wedding, it’s high time that we put the “best” back in Best Man. We’re going to run down the list of all the critical burdens the BEST Best Man should shoulder willingly, along with expert tips he should take to heart for getting the job done right.
Be a mediator
One of the most helpful things you’ll do is simply be the go-to guy for all questions the groomsmen have about the wedding — from when to arrive at the wedding to how much each groomsman is contributing to the bachelor party. If it has to do with logistics or planning, it should be directed to you rather than the Groom. Your job is to make sure he feels as little stress as possible as he’s prepping for his big day.
Have a representative of the best man duties. A baby couldn’t hold the rings, or perform other best man duties. So if you choose to have your son be your best man, you could have another groomsman perform the functions such as planning the bachelor party and holding the rings.
Be the Groom’s Helping Hand
As for the helping hand – you’re going to need a bit of that too! Many best men assume their only job is to organize a stag do, and to avoid drinking too early on the wedding day, so they can stand at the altar without swaying like they’re on a boat. There’s more to it than that. Is the best man the type of guy who gets stuff done?
Mandatory Best Man Duties
As the leader of the groomsmen, it is the Best Man’s responsibility to make sure that they are aware of their duties for the big day and to inspire them to be their very best throughout the entire ceremony.
Who is Usually The Best Man?
With so many choices of who you could have in your wedding these days, you may wonder who is usually the best man anyways? Well here are some ordinary people who take the role of best man at a traditional wedding.
If he’s always been there when you needed help (like with moving), and when he promised something he did it, then you got a good one. But if his only help ever has been buying you more drinks when you’re already sozzled, then any practical stuff may be beyond him—your call.
Simultaneously, the Best Man must serve as the Groom’s right hand, aiding him throughout the wedding planning process to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. There’s a lot more to it than just attending a few rehearsals and signing the marriage license at the end of the ceremony. The Best Man has to bring his “A” game and prepare himself for a series of trials, including…
Can You have Your Son as your Best Man?
Kids. Something that is beginning to become famous is the Groom having his son or daughter as his best man. This can be super cute, especially if they are younger. If the Groom decides to have his child be his best man, typically one of the groomsmen will be assigned to performing the best man duties.
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2 Best Men?
Or two best men - ideally, they’ll have all the above qualities between them. Ask your dad to be your best man! Or don’t get a best man at all – it’s not a law that you should have one. Nobody wants to tell a story entitled ‘how my best man ruined my wedding’.
In addition to those significant duties, there are several minor responsibilities that the BEST Best Man will not overlook. This could include rounding up gifts, decorating the happy couple’s vehicle, driving the Bride and Groom around post-wedding, and, in general, handling any additional tasks that the Groom might bestow upon them.
Duties during the wedding
Plan The Bachelor Party
Plan the bachelor party: One of the most significant and most fun responsibilities of the Groom’s second-hand man, planning the bachelor party includes finalizing the guest list, keeping track of where everyone will stay and determining the plans for the day. And as mentioned above, you’ll also make sure all participants pay their share.
Get the guys in order
Make sure your groomsmen know when to arrive at the venue and that everyone is present. Do a brief inspection of everyone’s wedding attire to make sure they look their best. You’ll also make sure all the guys are in the right order to enter, so they’re in the right place during the ceremony.
Be the Groom’s Best Friend
Another common best man would be the Groom’s best friend. This is seen quite often in a traditional wedding. If a groom doesn’t have any brothers, then his wedding party would consist of mostly friends or maybe the Bride’s brothers if she has any.
Is the best man dependable? Dependable is a big deal in weddings (in life too, of course). Dependability means he’ll show up when he says he will, he’ll do what he promised, he won’t forget the rings, and when you’re on your honeymoon, he’ll return the suits on time, so you don’t get charged a late penalty. If he’s the opposite type, you may have problems. Don’t pick a best man who barely shows up to work on time every day.
Whether or not the Groom is footing the bill for the tuxedos, the fact remains that the Best Man should be there every step of the way to make sure that the outfits look right. This goes beyond giving a simple “nay” or “yay” to tuxedo picks. The Best Man should be hands-on in coordinating the Groom and the Groomsmen’s looks. He has to make sure that the crew is all matching and that the Groom is at the fore.
Looking after the Wedding Rings
Though most weddings have a ring bearer, most couples don’t give the strapping little guy the real rings. As the best man, you’re responsible for making sure the wedding bands are safe and stored away in your jacket pocket before you walk down the aisle so you can hand them over at the right time.
Siblings. A groom’s brother would often be his best man. But if the Groom has more than one brother, then he may not choose to make only one of them his best man, to avoid conflict and favouritism. The Groom then may decide to make all his brother’s best man, or only have them as groomsmen and choose someone else as the best man.
He needs to look out for you. When you go out drinking, and you reach the point of no return, what does the best man do? Does he take you home, or at least call a taxi? Or does he leave you propped up next to the pub bins and goes back himself? You wake up the next day, and you don’t know how and why you’re there. Where has your mate gone? Don’t pick this guy for a best man.
Depending on the scenario, the best man should also take care of making sure that the groomsmen are all able to get fitted and rent (or buy) their formal wedding wear before the event. This includes following up so that they know their measurements, informing them on where to go to get the tuxes, and sending nagging messages so that the slackers among the group take care of their responsibilities before the event.
Witness to Sign the Marriage License
A small but significant responsibility is signing the marriage license as a witness directly after the ceremony. And if the officiant is hired, give them their payment in a sealed envelope after signing the consent.
Father of the Groom.
It’s not uncommon for the father of the Groom to be the best man in his son’s wedding. The Groom’s wedding party may consist of his father and siblings or friends. If the Groom’s father isn’t the best man, he may be given the role of an usher or another title.
If you go on a stag do in a foreign land, he’ll leave you next to some bins over there too. And we all know how those stories end. You’ll have no wallet, no phone, and your hotel may be at the other end of the country. And you don’t speak the language.
The Best Man is the keeper of the Bride’s wedding ring on the day of. He’s got to make sure the goods stay safe and make it to the altar until it’s time for the Groom to make his move. It seems like a simple enough duty, but you might be surprised how easily a disorganized Best Man can screw up this essential task.
The Best Man’s Speech
At the top of your list is probably nailing that best man speech. This moment will set the tone for the rest of the wedding dinner and put you in the spotlight for a few moments on your best bud’s biggest day. Sure, there may be some pressure, but you can easily ace it. Check out our best tips and tricks for writing a killer best man’s speech.
Perhaps one of the most harrowing responsibilities of the Best Man is kicking off the toasts with a heartfelt speech. It doesn’t have to be a disaster, though. Even if they aren’t a natural at public speaking, the Best Man can nail his address by keeping it short, staying natural, avoiding obscure references, and using the speech as an opportunity to tell a story.
The story, of course, should relate to the Groom, his positive qualities, what he means to the Best Man as a friend, how he met the Bride, and how the two will make for a fantastic pairing. Simple enough. The Best Man can avoid ruining this moment by staying away from crude humour and controversial topics, using smooth transitions, and ending on a positive, confident note.
This leads us nicely into embarrassment. Does your best man love embarrassing you? Or even worse terrifying you? Would he find one of those stag kidnapping pranks hilarious? Or, make you jump into a body of water that looks like a lake but is a puddle? Or, tie you to a lamp post without a stitch on? We could go on, but we’re describing an immature 11-year-old prankster here. Is that your best man’s secret identity? Avoid asking him to be your best man at all costs.
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To keep things from going off course, the Best Man should keep the ring in his jacket pocket, make sure the pouch doesn’t have holes, and leave the ring in its safe place until instructed to whip it out.
After the wedding
Collect and store any gifts or gift certificates guests brought to the wedding per the couple’s instructions.
Also make sure any entertainment or service staff are tipped or paid in cash (if payment wasn’t already arranged). That means you’ll need to grab enough money the day before and make sure it’s with your belongings when you get ready on the day of the wedding.
Making a speech is a traditionally assumed role for the best man. True, things have changed now, and it’s no big deal if the best man doesn’t do one. But let’s say you want to stick to tradition and have the best man speech. Is your best man painfully shy? Has he never given a statement before? Does he go all pale and sweaty just at the thought of it?
It falls upon the Best Man to plan a stellar evening that avoids tired cliches like strippers and drunken debauchery. There are plenty of ways to keep things lively without breaking the bank or descending into madness:
- A classy brewery tour
- A theme park adventure
- An evening at a hookah bar
- Rent a boat
- A night at the Casino
- A sporting event
- And so on
Though post-wedding duties can include making sure all wedding tuxedos and suits are returned, you can cross that off your list of to-dos. With TGS, the guys will all be able to own their suits for less than the price of the rental! No need to drag yourself back to the store or the post offices to return your attire!
Depending on how much that matters to you (and how good he is at all other aspects of being the best man) you can tell him he doesn’t have to do it. But if you want to have the speech then pick a best man who’s not afraid of public speaking.
Remember, the BEST Best man won’t shoulder this burden alone. If he’s smart, he’ll rally the troops (groomsmen, in this case) to pitch in and assist with the funding and planning the pre-wedding festivities.
Maybe he’s never said it straight up, but you kind of get that impression from the way he talks about her. Even if he’s subtle about it, it’s always there, niggling and lingering. Not good. Not good at all. A good best man is a gentleman – he keeps his opinions to himself. But if you happen to have a best man who stands behind this marriage thing 100% and thinks the Bride is truly the best woman for you, then he’s a keeper. Don’t pick a best man who hates your fiancé.
In conclusion, you need an upstanding member of the male population to be your best man—the kind of man you’d like your sister to date. The clue is in the name really: BEST MAN. If you don’t know anyone who meets at least a few of the requirements, then you could get creative. Get the best woman.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Best Man pays for his own suit or tuxedo rental. He makes sure the groomsmen have the attire they need — it fits, and is ordered on time — but the Best Man does not pay for the groomsmen attire (that is their responsibility). There is no cost associated here!
The best man or best person is the groom's right hand throughout the planning process and on the day of the wedding. ... Once they agree to step into this role, the best person is tasked with serving as the groom's right hand, lightening the groom's load before, during, and after the wedding.
A best man's duties include planning the bachelor party, making sure the groomsmen attire is ordered, organized and to the couple's preferences, delivering an epic best man speech at the reception, being a model wedding guest (RSVP-ing on time, reserving travel and hotel with the room block early) and so, so much more.
According to modern wedding tradition, the best man is a close friend or family member of the groom's who organizes the bachelor party, helps the groom prepare for the wedding, and stands beside him at the ceremony.
Yes, it's tradition for the best man to give a wedding speech during the reception, so it's time to prep for that responsibility. If you're feeling a little nervous about giving a toast in front of a crowd, that's totally normal, especially if public speaking isn't your forte.