The role of the best man extends beyond the duties and responsibilities of your groomsmen. A pivotal part of your wedding entourage, the best man holds a lot of responsibilities before, during, and sometimes even after the wedding. That’s why most couples choose someone they trust to fill the role.
Commonly filled by the groom’s best friend or close male relative, the best man becomes the groom’s right-hand man and go-to person the moment he (or she!) accepts the role. From planning the bachelor party to keeping the rings safe, the role of the best man is undoubtedly one of the most important ones.
In this article, we shed some light on the duties and responsibilities of the best man for couples wanting to choose their best man and for the chosen best men in upcoming weddings.
The Duties of the Best Man
It goes without saying that being the best man at a wedding is a huge deal. It’s the couple showing their trust, after all! Contrary to what most wedding movies show, the best man has a much bigger role than just planning the groom’s bachelor party. The best man’s duty ranges from assisting in the wedding planning to being the groom’s personal confidante.
While the official role of the best man will vary for every wedding, we came up with a checklist of responsibilities for the best man to help you prepare if you ever take on the role:
The entire wedding entourage may want to help out with wedding planning, but ultimately, none of them will be as involved as the maid or matron of honor and the best man. These two become one of the greatest supports in the couples’ planning. While the maid of honor is involved with bridal concerns, the groom has his best man to back him up with pre-wedding preparations.
Here are some common pre-wedding responsibilities for the best man:
Assist with the outfit selection
The best man usually assists in picking the groom and groomsmen’s suits. This is especially important for themed weddings! Even if the couple doesn’t have a strict theme for their wedding day, having the best man help with choosing the outfits lets the entourage have a cohesive look on the big day. Some best men become the point person for getting the groomsmen’s measurements and preferences, and they can even be in charge of finding a tailor for the groom’s suit or a tuxedo for rent.
If you are taking the responsibility of being the best man, you can also ask the groom if he wants you to prepare an emergency outfit kit for any unforeseen accidents during the wedding day. Have a kit with groomsmen items such as cufflinks, extra ties, or even a pocket square just to make sure that everything’s picture perfect.
Plan the bachelor party
This is perhaps one of the most well-known duties of a best man. For western couples, it is customary for the best man to plan the groom’s bachelor party activities. Of course, as the best man, you don’t need to do all the planning! You can definitely have the groomsmen help you out in terms of finances and logistics.
A bachelor party doesn’t have to be too expensive either. All you really have to do is make sure that the groom (and the rest of the groomsmen, of course) enjoy it! An important note: despite what Hollywood films will show you, bachelor parties don’t need to have promiscuous or lewd activities. Try out a fun outdoor activity, a visit to a renown distillery, or even a board game night instead!
Coordinate the groomsmen’s gifts to the groom
As the best man, you are expected to lead the groomsmen–and this is one of the ways to do so. You and your buddies might want to get a gift for the groom and you are just the person to organize it. You should take charge of asking for everyone’s share for the gift. The best man might also be tasked to pick and buy the gift. If you’re the one tasked to select the groom’s gift go for something the groom favors or something classy like a bottle of fine whiskey or bourbon or even a classic watch!
Attend the rehearsal dinner
Sometimes, one of the biggest acts of support you can give the couple is simply your presence. As the best man, you are expected to attend the rehearsal dinner. Additionally, you can help the couple keep things on track by coordinating with the entourage, so the dinner flows smoothly. It isn’t a very big task, but this simple coordination makes a huge difference for the couple.
Provide support for the groom or couple
The best man is the groom’s most trusted person. That’s why even if you aren’t expected to do anything for the wedding planning, you still need to be there for the groom. In fact, this is one of the most important responsibilities of a best man. Make sure that you can be a pillar of emotional and mental support for the groom or the couple as planning a wedding can be quite stressful.
Wedding Day Duties
On the day of the wedding, the duties and responsibilities of the best man isn’t just staying by the groom’s side. In fact, they’re vital in ensuring that everything goes well. During the wedding day, the bride and groom will be too busy with their individual preparations to worry about any emergencies, so it’s up to the best man to sort out mishaps during the big day.
Keep the entourage on schedule
This job is divided among the maid of honor and the best man. As the groom’s right-hand man, you’re in charge of keeping everyone on the groom’s side of the entourage on track. That responsibility starts in the morning, right when the wedding party is preparing. Keep your phone and lines of communication open so you can easily coordinate with the groomsmen.
Safekeep the wedding rings
Before the ceremony, the groom will entrust you with the wedding rings. Until you reach the part of the ceremony where the rings go on the couple’s fingers, make sure that you keep these rings safe. Aside from the rings, the groom may ask you to hold onto their phone or wallet. Make sure to stay close by so the groom won’t have to go looking for you.
The best man is usually a relative or a close friend of the groom’s–which means that they probably know all the important attendees of the wedding. As the groom and bride will be too busy preparing, it falls to you to greet and mingle with the guests before the ceremony starts. Make sure to note important details, such as where the couples’ grandparents will sit, as well as the location or persons to contact for emergencies so you can direct guests as needed.
Serve as a witness
Wedding ceremonies require two witnesses. Usually, this role falls upon the best man and the maid of honor. This isn’t a very big task–all it requires you to do is to be present for the ceremony and to be ready to sign your name when needed.
Aside from being the groom’s moral support, one of the duties of the best man is to shine light on the couple’s happiness during the reception. Once the ceremony is over, it’s time to don your funny hat or entertainer’s cap (metaphorically, of course!) so you can keep the post-wedding happiness ongoing.
Kick off the toasts
Perhaps one of the biggest responsibilities you have as the best man is to give a speech. Prepare a funny, anecdotal, and heartfelt speech for the couple and set the tone for the toasts for the night. If you’re nervous, it’s okay to have a note card in your hand! Besides, your best man’s toast shouldn’t be too long either–just enough to wish the couple happiness and to loosen up the crowd.
Keep the celebration going
A lot of times, the entourage and the guests will look to you and the maid of honor for cues. It’s always a good idea to take the lead when the guests seem a little shy. You can take the first dance (after the couple, of course!) or interact with guests to make sure everyone’s okay and having a good time.
Decorate the getaway car
This one is a cute, little tradition that just adds the cherry on top of a wonderful wedding. Add some cute and romantic touches to the newlyweds’ getaway car so the couple can cap their day with a snazzy ride! You can even have the entourage help you decorate it so everyone has a parting gift for the couple.
Tie up loose ends
During a wedding, the couple may be too tied up to actually close off the night. The maid of honor and the best man usually has the responsibility of tying up loose ends for the couple. This is especially important for couples who will immediately take off after their wedding. Make sure to have a list of all the things you need to tie up, from receiving gifts to returning clothes, so you won’t forget anything.
Who Gets to Be the Best Man?
This one’s for the couple choosing their entourage. If you’re asking the question, “Who gets to be the best man?” then we’ve got some answers for you!
When you pick a best man, your first thought might be to go to your guy best friend. While the best man is traditionally male, that doesn’t mean you should feel restricted by this tradition! The role of the best man is a huge responsibility, so make sure to choose someone you trust.
Keep in mind that there are no age or gender restrictions when selecting a best man. If you and your partner wish to have a woman fill in the role, by all means do so. Similarly, you can look at younger or older friends and relatives to be their best man (or person).
If you’re having a hard time deciding, always circle back to what your best man’s role will be when your wedding comes. As a general rule, it’s best to pick someone who has organization skills, humor, and empathy. Some couples even choose to have two best men in their entourage! If you really can’t finalize or pick between two equally important people, you may opt to have two so they have lighter loads on their plates. Since you’ll be depending on your best man a lot before and during the wedding, it’s best to choose someone who will always have your back.
Does Your Best Man Pay for Anything?
This is a really common question for betrothed couples. When it comes to wedding budgets, who pays for what is always a question asked. If you have a generous best man who’s volunteering to chip in, then you might be asking this question.
Before going further, we should make it clear that it’s really up to you whether you’ll allow anyone to chip in for your wedding. Additionally, if you’re allowing your best man to chip in for your wedding festivities, keep in mind that they’re not supposed to pay anything for your wedding. That means food, flowers, decorations, wedding gowns, and other accessories shouldn’t be shouldered by the best man.
So what can your best man pay for?
Traditionally, the best man pays for the groom’s bachelor party. Since it’s the best man who usually plans the bachelor party, it’s become a common practice that they pay for the groom’s party. Of course, this isn’t mandatory and your groomsmen can definitely chip in should they wish for lighter costs or a more extravagant party. The usual end goal here is to make sure that the groom doesn’t spend a single centavo from his pockets.
Aside from the bachelor party, your best man may also foot the bill for the couple’s getaway car or its decorations. Getaway car decorations aren’t always in the couple’s thoughts, but it’s a simple detail that can really make the day sweeter. It’s also one of the cheaper expenses so you don’t have to worry about your best man spending too much.
Finally, the best man will most probably spend on their wedding gift for you! Of course, wedding gifts don’t have to be expensive. If you don’t want your best man or your guests going overboard, you can always have a wedding registry sent with your invitations or even ask for handmade wedding gifts.
The Perfect Best Man
The role of the best man has evolved over the years from protecting the groom to being the groom’s closest confidante. Today, while there are no more physical duels or challenges that the best man has to protect the couple from, the role has become more impactful and personal than ever.
The perfect best man is one that treasures the couple’s friendship and union. They understand that what the couple needs is support–be it emotional, physical, financial, or mental. If you have recently been chose to become a best man or if you’re searching for one, it’s important to do your part to ensure the happiness during the big day.
Author: Joey Cole
Joey Cole is a digital content writer from Laguna. When she's not looking at her task list, she's probably obsessing over another anime show, looking at pictures of food, or adventuring all over Faerun with her online DND friends.