Here’s the thing. Being a Best Man is not a simple “show up and wing it” affair. Contrary to what most men think, being a best man is not simply being that guy who’ll give a speech and make jokes during the ceremony. There’s so much more to it. Before anything else though, perhaps the very first thing that anyone interested will ask is,
“Who is usually the best man at a wedding?”
Almost always, the groom will either pick his best pal or someone he’s really close with in the family. And yes, your brother or Father can be your best man.
Best Man Duties Explained
What is the role of the Best Man? To make things easier, let’s break down a Best Man’s duties into 3 timelines: Before, During, and After the Wedding.
We’ll also highlight key questions that usually come up regarding being a Best Man.
Best Man Duties before the Wedding
So, who is responsible for paying for a bachelor party? Worry not, my friend. Because the tab will be split among everyone who will attend that awesome night. Be sure to bring your A-level shenanigans here, after all, this is technically the last night your best bud will be single.
Now might also be a good time for you to start thinking about your gift. You might be wondering, “How much should you spend on a best man gift?” Well, there’s really no rule cast in stone here. Also, culture and tradition may play a big role here, so it is highly varied from country to country.
What does a best man get the groom? A simple token or gift works best here if the best man is giving it as a gift for the groom only. Examples will be cufflinks, cigar, key rings and the likes. However, it’s different list if the best man is meaning to give a gift to both the groom and the bride.
Help the groom with shopping for his wardrobe
Months and days before the wedding, your main duties will be to help the groom shop and choose his formal wear, and give advice as to what the Groomsmen should be wearing as well. Coordination is key here, everybody’s outfit should fall under the same theme for the best effect possible.
Any suggestions will come in handy, so stuff like helping to choose the groom’s bow tie color to make sure it matches with the theme or picking out the right shoes helps.
Attend the wedding rehearsal and dinner
After shopping for wardrobe, the next task is to attend the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner and extend your help to make sure everything is running according to plans. This will be the time to make suggestions to the couple as to who will pair with whom for the entourage.
Assist in any pre-wedding day details
As wedding day nears, assist the groom in coordinating the minute details that might have been skipped, making sure everything is ironed out before the big day. These can include arranging accommodations for groomsmen coming from out of town, help your bud pack for the honeymoon, coordinate with the groomsmen to give them last minute instructions like arrival time and additional instructions.
Practice your Best Man toast with the groom
The night before the wedding is perhaps the best moment to run by your wedding speech to the groom. This ensures the speech is well-thought out and carried out nicely and fun without being offensive to anyone.
Best Man Duties on the Day of the Wedding
Final Groomsmen check
It’s your job on wedding day to make sure all groomsmen know their tasks and where to position themselves. This might be a good time to remind them as well to turn-off their phones during the ceremony. Suggest a final wardrobe check, make sure bow ties are not loose, cufflinks are in place, hair is well-groomed and remind them to save the gags and antics later.
For those wondering, Do the best man and maid of honor have to walk together? The typical setup sees the Best Man and Maid of Honor walk the aisle alone and basically stick to the groom and bride as their right hand.
Be a Witness
Stand beside the couple and serve as witness during the marriage license signing. You might be tasked to hand the officiant fee as well.
The Wedding Toast and Speech
At the reception, offer the very first toast to the newlyweds. Be mindful of other guests, try to help in making sure they are having a good time.
Stay relaxed during your speech, just be natural and try to have some fun with it. The most sincere and true stories are the best.
Help collect the gifts
Offer your help in collecting the gifts and cards handed to the newlyweds. Ask them for instructions on where they would like it stored during the ceremony.
Dance with the bride and the others
Shrug off your dancing woes and dance with the bride, her mother, mother of the groom, and of course, the bridesmaid. You want to make sure everyone’s being treated special here and a little dance with these important people brings a smile to them and to the newlyweds.
Best Man Duties After the Wedding
Assist in any post-wedding hustle and bustle
Help the groom out with storing and keeping the groom’s wedding attire safe after he changes.
Any rented tuxes and other items should be accounted for and returned on time.
Honeymoon Send Off
Coordinate the couple’s transportation from the reception to the hotel or airport. If you can, offer to drive. Or better yet, hire a limo for a more classy send off.
5 Tips for becoming the Ultimate Best Man
- Always look out after the groom. You’re essentially his right hand man. Men are not known for being detail-oriented, so two heads are better than one here to make sure all kinks are ironed out before, during, and after the wedding.
- Resist the urge to go all out. Once in the reception, the groomsmen and best man tend to celebrate with a wee bit too much alcohol. While that’s fine and all, just make sure you’re still sober and can offer assistance during the moments we mentioned earlier.
- Make your speech funny yet sincere. The last thing people want to hear is a boring and scripted note about marriage. Share your best thoughts and memories you had with the groom and let the bride and others know how awesome of a person he truly is. Keep it casual. The secret is to find a right balance of laughter and sincerity.
- Familiarize yourself with the wedding details. It’s inevitable. On the day of the wedding, you’ll bump into guests who don’t know where to sit, what to do, and how the program will go. Do your best to know the details so you can help out when guests ask around.
- Be the Ringmeister for the Stag Do. Weeks or days before the big day, it’s your duty to coordinate with the groomsmen for ideas and pranks for the photo-ops and the Stag party. This part will allow you to make sure everyone agrees on the date, location and other details.
Picture credits: Ingrid Lepan