How to Execute Best Man Duties
Tips for handling your responsibilities as the best man
By Jonathan Croswell
Being asked to serve as the best man in a wedding is a big honor, but it comes with a lot of responsibility. The week of the wedding, you are the groom's right-hand man and are there to handle anything the groom doesn't have time for. There are a lot of tasks that a best man is expected to complete, and it's important to know what you're in for before agreeing to stand alongside your brother or friend at his wedding.
- What You Need to Know
- The role of the best man is usually assumed by the brother of the groom, the groom's cousin, or a close male friend of the groom.
- The best man serves as the bridegroom's assistant throughout the entire event. Not only does he have his own duties, like holding the rings, but the best man should also stay on top of the groom's duties, like remembering the marriage certificate.
- In addition to providing assistance for the wedding ceremony, the best man serves as one of the witnesses of the traditional western wedding ceremony.
Plan the bachelor party. Make sure you know what the groom wants -- every guy has different limitations and expectations for his bachelor party. Keep his interests in mind, and make sure that the friends he wants to be there are invited. Once you have a destination locked down, research the best rates on accommodations (it might be cheaper to rent a house for a large group of guys than to book hotel rooms) and make reservations for meals and entertainment.
On the day of the wedding, take responsibility for wrangling the groomsmen. Make sure the groomsmen and ushers know their responsibilities, like where to be and when to be there, and make sure they are all present for a groomsmen photo shoot with the photographer. Check on the ushers to be sure that they are aware of the seating procedures at the ceremony.
Remember your own role during the wedding ceremony. Depending on what you've been assigned, you may be walking the maid of honor down the aisle during the ceremony. Or you might be walking a grandmother down the aisle, particularly if she has trouble walking.
Serve as the ring bearer. Some guys might cringe at having to be responsible for thousands of dollars in tiny jewelry, but it's not as hard as it seems. Put the rings in your coat pocket and keep them there until they're needed.
During or after the ceremony -- depending on the schedule -- sign the marriage license as a witness. It's an honor to sign someone's marriage certificate, so be sure to thank the bride and groom for inviting you to share the moment with them.
Give a toast at the wedding reception. Don't ramble, and don't turn it into a roast. As the best man, you should focus on how the couple has been an inspiration to you and the great future you know they have in store.
Tie up loose ends at the end of the night. Gather gifts, collect the groom and groomsmen's tuxedos for return or cleaning, and make sure the married couple has transportation leaving the reception.
About the Author
Jonathan Croswell is a freelance writer who has worked on regional wedding publications.
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The fellows need flowers too. Decide on the boutonnieres for the men in the party. Consider your wedding's colors and bridal party's bouquets when you make a selection. You may want to avoid a bloom that's particularly fragrant because the flower will be near the face.
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Male bridal party member who show guests to their seats before the ceremony. Often also performs the role of groomsman.View the Full Weddings Glossary