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Best Man Duties: What Does the Best Man Do?

Congrats, dude! Being the best man is a huge honor. Whether the upcoming wedding is for a close friend or relative, you should be proud that the groom trusts you to help him plan his wedding.

This is an exciting time! But keep in mind, the role of the best man is not solely done with a beer in your hand. You may be wondering, “What does the best man do?” – and there are best man responsibilities you should be prepared for.

But no worries, this is a fun time to bond with the groom and help him with the stressful process of wedding planning.

Pre-Wedding Best Man Duties 

best man and groom

If you’ve been asked to be the best man, you’ll have to help prepare for the wedding and help on the wedding day itself. Learn your pre-wedding best man duties below. 

 

Lead the Groomsmen

As the best man, you are essentially the head groomsmen.  You have to know anything and everything to lead the rest of the pack, as well as help the groom with wedding planning if he asks.

It’s a part of your best man duties make sure the rest of the groomsmen are up to date on formal wear details, various party information, and anything else to keep them on track.

This is also the time for you to hone in your organizational expertise. This means making sure everyone has rented or bought their formalwear, organizing an optional groomsmen gift, and coordinating anything else the groom has asked of you as best man.

 

Plan a Great Bachelor Party

groomsmen at bachelor party

No, the bachelor party is not going to be like The Hangover. But, it’s your job as the best man to plan a bachelor party that will meet the expectations of the groom and his groomsmen.

Whether the festivities take place in a low-key town or you’re traveling cross country to Vegas, the most important thing is to have fun (and not get in any major trouble).

This part of the best man’s duties can be with the help of other groomsmen since you’ll have other responsibilities as well. Plus, planning the bachelor party or bachelorette party is the most fun part of being in the wedding party.

With help from other groomsmen, this will allow everyone to give their opinions on what they want to do, so everyone can have a good time.

 

Help with Pre-Wedding Events

Apart from the engagement party, bachelor party (duh), and the actual big day, the best man may be expected to attend the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. This is your chance to meet and get to know the wedding party, as well as the families of the almost wedded couple.

As the best man, you should ask the groom if he needs any help with planning, coordinating, or executing these events. Always be on time, or ideally early to help set up, to events like the rehearsal dinner, bachelor events, and on the wedding day.

You may be asked to help coordinate the groomsmen suits, to accompany the groom to find his wedding attire, or help out at suit fittings.

 

Be the Groom’s Right Hand Man

Especially on the big day, you need to be the groom’s right hand and confidant if needed. He might be stressed, nervous, or having second thoughts up until even the day before the wedding.

You’re the best man for a reason – the groom trusts you and you need to have his back. He’s probably going to come to you for nonjudgmental advice, so give that to him.

Try to make yourself available to offer advice, help with wedding planning, or even to grab a beer if the groom is stressed and needs his best man to kick back with.

 

Prepare a Toast

One of the most notable best man tasks is to give a toast on the wedding day. Everyone looks forward to the best man’s speech, so be sure to prepare ahead of time. This is not a good time to wing it.

Start brainstorming and writing your toast as early as months before the wedding. Consider how to write a toast that will make both the bride and groom happy – you don’t want to tell the groom’s rowdiest stories from college if it’s going to upset the bride or offend family members.

Write your best man’s speech well in advance of the big day, and practice giving it if you’re a nervous speaker. Ask the other groomsmen for feedback on your toast so that you can fulfill your best man duties as well as possible.

 

Wedding Day Responsibilities 

groomsmen on wedding day

Make Sure Everything is On Time

Prior to the big day, the best man should ask the couple for a timeline of how they want the day to go before the ceremony starts. This will be super helpful to make sure nothing goes awry.

Try to be ready early on the morning of the wedding so that you can help the bride and groom with any last minute tasks, be it meeting a vendor, helping set up centerpieces, or other best man duties.

 

Be the Head Groomsmen 

The day of the wedding can be super stressful for the groom and groomsmen. It’s in your best man duties to keep everyone on track the morning of the wedding. You may not want to seem like you’re the chaperone for small school kids on a field trip, but depending on the groomsmen, you may have to act like one.

Make sure the groomsmen show up to the venue on time, get dressed in the appropriate wedding attire, and that they are ready and put together in time for the ceremony and for photos.

If you’re enjoying a few pre-wedding drinks, make sure none of the groomsmen get out of hand. If there are other groomsmen duties they need to attend to, ensure that they are aware and on top of any tasks.

You should also work with the maid of honor to make sure both sides of the wedding party are working together to help the happy couple.

And don’t forget the wedding rings – the best man is responsible for keeping the rings safe and handing them to the groom during the ceremony.

 

Get Ready with the Groom

best man helping groom get dressed

The best man should help the groom get ready, whether it’s tying his tie or making sure his hair is in place. The groomsmen will likely be getting ready together before any wedding photos and before the wedding ceremony.

Help one another get dressed so that everyone looks their best in photos. It may also be a good idea to grab a small sewing kit, just in case you run into any issues.

The best man and groom should enjoy this time together to bond – it may be a good time to give a gift for the groom from the groomsmen. The groom might also use this time to give the best man a thank you gift in return!

 

Stand Next to the Groom

During the ceremony, the best man should stand next to the groom. This goes without saying, but look excited and smile (tons of pictures will be taken).

You also will have the couple’s wedding bands with you if there isn’t a ring bearer; keep them safe and sound! If you are asked to assist the groom by holding the wedding rings, make sure you have them safely in your breast pocket before the ceremony begins.

The best man will also be in the receiving line post-ceremony.

 

Be a Witness to the Marriage

best man witnessing marriage license signatures

As the best man, another duty is to be a witness and to sign the marriage license. The maid of honor also signs the license.

 

Pay the Officiant

Prior to the ceremony, the couple will be a bit busy, to say the least. Typically, it’s the best man’s job to make sure the wedding officiant is paid. Check with your groom to ensure that this is your responsibility, and make certain you get the check or other payment before the ceremony. 

 

Post-Ceremony Best Man Duties 

best man duties

Engage with the Guests

Weddings may be weird for family and friends who don’t know the other guests. This is your time as the best man to try and wrangle people on the dance floor to get the party started.

It is tradition to dance with the maid of honor, but only if previously agreed upon. You should, if you haven’t already, introduce yourself to the newlywed’s parents. Make everyone comfortable and confident that the wedding will be fun!

 

Give the Best Man’s Speech

best man giving speech

With the best man speech prepared, it’s time to give a toast! Wedding speeches generally take place earlier in the evening so that everyone can enjoy the wedding reception without stressing about an upcoming toast.

If you’re a nervous public speaker, take deep breathes as you prepare for your speech. Try to stay relatively sober before your toast so that you don’t slur or make mistakes. Most importantly, have fun! Best man speeches are a fun tradition and a great way to show love for your best friend, the groom.

 

Be the Backup Emcee

Stuff happens, so in case of a last-minute cancellation of the DJ or band, the best man may be asked to help out. Have a backup playlist ready.

Talk with the couple before the wedding and get all the songs that they want. What would be worse than a celebration without any music?

 

Help Collect and Store gifts

Depending on the size of the wedding guest list, the newlyweds will be racking up a ton of wedding gifts and cards. The best man and the maid of honor need to check on the gifts to make sure they are all safe and sound.

If you can, once all the gifts have been given, store them in a separate room to ensure the safety of the cherished gifts.

 

Make Sure the Groom Eats and Drinks (Water)

During the wedding reception, the groom is going to be running around, thanking his guests for attending and mingling with friends and family. It’s often difficult for the happy couple to find time to eat with so much going on and so much attention on them.

Make sure the groom takes a second to eat some of the food that he paid for and ideally drink some water to stay hydrated. He’ll need the energy to make it to the end of the night, and no one wants the bride or groom to over drink and get sick on their wedding night.

 

Coordinate Transportation 

After the reception, make sure you set up transportation for the newlyweds. Know where they plan to go after they leave the venue.

Try to set up a cab or limo to escort them to their destination, especially if they’ve been drinking. When their getaway car is ready, let them know so that they can say their goodbyes.

Often, the best man and the maid of honor quickly decorate the getaway car for the couple before the night ends. Think of the classic “Just Married” sign, aluminum cans, and other decor.

The best man may also bes asked to check on other guests and try to help everyone get home safely. Ask the bride and groom beforehand if they have a shuttle or taxi service in place for guests who need rides, and help coordinate so that everyone has a good, safe end to their night.

 

Have Fun as the Best Man!

This long list of responsibilities may seem overwhelming or daunting, but the help you’ll give to the best man will not go unappreciated. Your best man duties include being a good friend, which you can already check off the list of you’ve been chosen as the best man!

Being the best man could potentially be a fun and exciting thing! Being there for the groom, whether a relative or friend, will allow for cherished memories and fun stories to tell years later. It’s important to remember to have fun, too!

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