How to be a best man

Best Man Duties: What You Need To Know [Summer 2019 Edition]

During your lifetime, you have been to a couple of weddings. You might have participated in weddings as a guest, if not your own.

Now the time has come calling, and it’s required of you to be a best man.

Since you haven’t done this before, you ask yourself: what exactly are the best man duties?

Contrary to what many people initially think, being a best man not only gives you responsibilities on the wedding day, but also customarily requires you to be included in its preparations.

We’re going to uncover the crucial role of being a best man and expose a lot of tasks that you probably didn’t know about.

Below you will discover 11 essential jobs the best man should do if he is to truly live up to his title.

Before the Wedding

Chief Advisor

As the best man, it is your duty to act as the groom’s advisor. Wedding planning is stressful for most couples since they have so many activities to plan.

As the best man, you can help with some of the choices the groom has to make.

From clothing to honeymoon destinations, you may be his reference guide –therefore, you need to brush up on such information. If you have no clue, do online research, and you will find plenty of information on everything from ascots to zoot suits.

Minimize the stress on the groom as much as you can — everyone will enjoy the wedding much more if you’re able to do so.

Assist in locating accommodations. Most visiting guests will need a place to stay.  A block of hotel rooms or other accommodations should be reserved before the invitations are sent out so offer to help as early in the wedding planning process as possible.

Schedule regular meetings with the groom — or at a minimum, keep up communications via texts or phone calls. This doesn’t have to be formal, you just need to have a regular one-on-one in order to keep each other abreast with the preparations for the wedding.

Collaborate with the maid of honor. The bride has the main say in everything wedding-related and she lets her maid of honor know of any decision or random thoughts that she might have concerning the wedding. You have to assume that the bride doesn’t always confer with the groom so you have to talk and maintain constant communication with the maid of honor to keep the male-half updated.

Speaking of the male-half, it’s the responsibility of the best man to keep the groom aware of whatever is happening when it comes to the preparations.

A Gift for the Groom

There’s a pretty widespread consensus on the matter of grooms buying groomsmen gifts for their wedding party — but should the best man also get a gift for the groom?

We cover that subject in great detail right here, but our short answer is Yes.

There’s no need to go overboard and break the bank.

But we’d strongly recommend getting your groom a small gift with personal meaning.

Think of it as a sign of congratulations and goodwill on his engagement, and as thanks for thinking highly enough of you to name you his Best Man.

Bachelor Party Planner

The quintessential best man responsibility: the bachelor party. This is the last hoorah your friend will have for a while — therefore, it has to be on an epic scale. You know the groom and his interests and preferences and as such you are responsible for mapping out his bachelor party.

Reserve the date, pick a place, invite the groomsmen, and help the groom celebrate this major life milestone. 

As the best man, you are entitled to some fun of your own but make sure everyone drinks responsibly. For better or worse, visiting a strip club seems to be a go-to move for bachelor parties — so if that’s on your plate, you’ll need to avoid getting the groom into detrimental situations that may lead to the cancellation of the wedding.

You can also ask for help from the other groomsmen if need be — either in terms of planning the party or on the day/weekend itself.

Fittings and Adjustments

Both you and the groom are responsible for how the groomsmen will look as a unit. Help the groom pick out the material, color and other fittings that go with the suits. If the groom is preoccupied, you are responsible for making sure that all the groomsmen have their suits correctly fitted. Always check with the wedding planner and the bride for the motif and color scheme beforehand, of course.

Rehearsal Requirements

A wedding rehearsal and a rehearsal dinner are usually scheduled the day before the wedding so that everybody knows their places and what to do for the actual wedding. The rehearsal dinner is also the time to listen to anyone else giving speeches or toasts which may help you with the best man speech that you’ve prepared for the wedding.

Be in the chapel or rehearsal dinner early to ensure that you are there for the other groomsmen, and of course, for the groom himself, if he needs help in dealing with things.

Wedding Day

The big day that everybody has been waiting for is finally here.

While preparing for the wedding may have had many tasks spread out over many months, the day of the wedding itself is a high-stress, high-stakes day where things happen quickly.

The day is finally here, and it’s time to put all that hard work into a successful ceremony. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Point of Contact

Your goal is to get the groom to the chapel early so that he can wait for his bride.

While he is somewhere getting dressed and calming his nerves, you can do a double (or triple) check with the wedding planner to ensure everything is ready for the event.

This is your best friend’s wedding; you do want everything to be perfect for him as much as possible. Only disturb the groom if need be. So if possible, handle any situation that may arise during the day. 

Make sure the groomsmen are ready — see if they are all dressed for the day and if they need anything. Check their attire and make sure that no one and nothing is missing.

Double-check the wedding preparations. The wedding planner usually would have this on his or her plate but it doesn’t hurt to have someone within the family check on the preparations.

Attend the wedding procession. What would a wedding procession be without the best man accompanying the maid-of-honor down the aisle? Be there on time, or risk having the groom tell you to find a new best friend.

Keep Track of the Rings

Wedding Rings

Whatever the rings might be — diamond or simple wedding bands or trendy silicone rings — the best man must know where they are at all times until the ceremony calls for them.

You don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t find the rings. Trust us: you definitely don’t want to lose them.

Marriage License Signing

In most cases, you find that the maid of honor and the best man are witnesses to the wedding, and this includes the signing of the marriage certificate. You know, to make things all official and legal-like.

In this regard, make sure that you have a pen ready just in case the groom is without one.

Engage With Guests

While the groom and the bride change outfits for the reception, you have a flood of people coming in, and they need to know the lay of the land — particularly if the reception is in a different location than the ceremony.

If that’s the case, hopefully you’ve already lined up shuttles or at least directions. 

Entertain them and ensure that they are ready to give a cheer to welcome the newlyweds.

Best Man Speech

Best Man Speech at Wedding

This is a huge responsibility and shouldn’t be taken lightly, so we’ve devoted a stand-alone blog post to the subject right here.

Start writing the speech early as the best man’s speech is one of the highlights of the wedding. As a proper best man, you need to devote time to your speech.

A good speech is short; a summary of the couple’s journey and end it with a sincere message or best wishes.

Dig deep into the memories of the groom and bride, and tell an amusing anecdote or two. Giving gratitude to the guests for coming should also be mentioned.

Last Minute Details

This is offering to do whatever is needed of you. In some cases, you may have to pay off the balances of the vendors, which could be last minute additions to the prepaid fees.

Enjoy the party, however, we also suggest that you try to keep your head straight for situations like this.

Check on the getaway car, which you helped decorate and make sure it’s ready for the newlyweds. If they are heading to a hotel, you can give that hotel a heads up and ensure that their room is ready as well.

Weddings will never lack impromptu gifts. When the event ends, and the couple is busy saying thank you to the guests, you can help make arrangements for the gifts. Together with the maid of the honor, you can organize getting the gifts to the couple’s place.

Be There for the Groom

Probably the most important task of all is being there for the bride and the groom, even after the wedding.

Whether or not you’re family, as the best man you are an important part of their inner circle. Being there for them is appropriate considering the significance of your relationship.

These are just some of the main duties required of the best man.

Knowing the duties of a best man may depend on your culture; you might need to do a lot more, or less, or nothing at all.

We’d recommend that you write down a checklist of your duties — both things we covered above and details specific to your particular wedding — and check them off until the big day is over.