The best man is more than just a glorified groomsman. If the groom appoints the best man, he (or she selects the best man) has several specific responsibilities, chiefly to be the groom’s go-to confidante, personal valet and logistics guru pre-wedding events and day-of details. Here’s your official, comprehensive guide to all the typical expectations and responsibilities that come with the job of best man.
While the result will be stunning, weddings require a lot of planning and a lot of work along the way. And as a couple works to plan the most important day of their life, having people close to them, such as a best man or maid of honour, will stand by their side and help throughout the process. Looking for hens ideas Melbourne? Look no further, Magic Men has you covered.
Similar to the maid of honour, the role of the best man typically comes with specific duties. Once the best man agrees to step into this role, he’s tasked with serving as the groom’s right-hand man, lightening the groom’s load before, during, and after the wedding. And while the best man is undoubtedly there to stand right by the groom’s side on the big day, there are a few other specific duties on his list to be aware of.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Man Duties: What Does a Best Man Do?
- 2 Who is usually the best man?
- 3 What does it mean to be the best man?
- 4 Can you have two best men?
- 5 What are the best man duties?
- 6 Duties of the Best Man
- 6.1 Pre-Wedding Duties
- 6.2 Responsibilities on the Wedding Day
- 7 Where does the best man stand?
- 7.1 Lead the Rest of the Pack
- 7.2 Head-Up the Formalwear Process
- 7.3 Plan an Awesome Bachelor Party
- 7.4 Attend, Enjoy and Lend a Hand at Prewedding Events
- 7.5 Be His Right Hand on the Wedding Day
- 7.6 Take Charge of Transportation
- 7.7 Act as Unofficial Reception Host and MC
- 7.8 Tie Up Loose Ends After the Reception
- 8 Does the best man plan the stag do?
- 9 What does the best man’s speech involve?
Best Man Duties: What Does a Best Man Do?
Have you chosen your best man yet? Or perhaps you’ve been asked to be the best man, and you’re not sure what the best man duties involve. We break down the role of the best man and what the best man duties are here – so you can make sure you do have the best man for the job!
Who is usually the best man?
The best man is the groom’s right-hand man (or woman) at the wedding. Usually a close friend or relative, this person is asked to stand by the groom’s side to support and assist in any way possible before and during the wedding.
The best man is usually a very close friend or male relative of the groom, but there’s no hard and fast rule about who can be the best man. Most grooms tend to pick their brother or best friend, but you could ask your dad, your granddad, your son, or if your best friend is female, nothing stops you from having the best woman on your big day. It needs to be someone you trust – being the best man involves a lot of responsibility, so think carefully when asking someone to be your best man.
What does it mean to be the best man?
It’s an honour to be asked to be the best man at a wedding, and it’s something that should be taken seriously! It’s not just about organising an epic stag do. Of course, the best man will have to take on managing the stag do, but they’ll also have to help out with wedding planning tasks, look after the rings on the day of the wedding and make a best man’s speech, amongst other duties.
If you’re wondering what a best man does, it’s essential to realise that this role involves making sure everything runs smoothly on and before the couple’s Big Day. The best man is often in charge of the groomsmen, as he plans the bachelor party, helps them dress for the wedding, and even organises their transportation to the ceremony. He is also responsible for lending a hand during pre-wedding events and the reception. Above all, he is there to support the groom.
Can you have two best men?
It’s becoming increasingly common to have two best men – it is a tremendous job, so if you have two ideal candidates for the role, there’s no harm in asking them to share responsibility. Having two best men can make the best man’s speech easier, too, as there’s someone to bounce off. This will help if you think your best man or men might be a little nervous about making a speech.
What are the best man duties?
Being the best man involves a lot of duties. It’s up to the couple how much they choose to apply their bridal party in the planning of their wedding, but the typical best man duties include the following:
- Helping to pick the grooms to wear
- Planning and organising the stag do
- Make sure the rest of the groomsmen attend suit fittings.
- Organise a gift for the groom
- Write and give a best man’s speech.
- Collect telegrams or messages to be read out during the speeches
- Make sure the groomsmen know their duties for the big day.
- Collect items for the wedding, such as suits, buttonholes, etc.
- Stay with the groom the night before the wedding.
- Help the groom to get ready on the wedding day.
- Give a reading or be a witness during the ceremony (if necessary)
- Organise guests for group photos
- Announce critical parts of the wedding day (cake cutting, first dance etc.) if there is no toastmaster or master of ceremonies
- Dance with the maid of honour after the first dance
Duties of the Best Man
Of course, the items a best man may be tasked with varies from wedding to wedding, but there are a few consistent items the best man typically tackles.
The best man may be tasked with organising the bachelor party, collecting money and purchasing a gift for the groom, and helping the groom and groomsmen pick out what they’ll be wearing to the wedding. But their duties don’t stop there. During the wedding, the best man traditionally holds the rings, welcomes guests to the ceremony, and makes sure the groom and groomsmen are in the right place at the right time. Following the tradition, the best man typically gives the first toast and makes sure guests have a blast throughout the reception. Tired of looking for hens party ideas? Look no further, Magic Men has you covered.
It’s an essential role with many tasks, and it’s all about helping the couple in the best way possible. Read on for the ultimate checklist of duties a best man can expect to get the full scoop and keep track of them all easily.
Assist With Outfit Details
If the couple has decided they want the groomsmen to sport a cohesive look, this is incredibly important. The best man is in charge of helping the groom choose and rent (or buy) wedding formalwear and coordinates the other groomsmen’s rentals as well. If it’s a more casual wedding, the best man may help the groomsmen find the outfits online or in a store.
Organise the Bachelor Party
This is an age-old tradition, and bachelor parties can come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s a party on a yacht, a day of golf, or a night out at the club, the best man is typically put in charge of planning the bachelor party while recruiting the other groomsmen to help along the way.
Coordinate the Groomsmen’s Gift to the Groom
If the groomsmen have decided to get a groom’s gift, the best man often leads the effort. Ask each of the groomsmen to chip in for something unique.
Provide Emotional Support
It’s essential to offer a shoulder to lean on. The best man may patiently listen to the groom’s complaints, confessions, and questions without any judgment. He’s the reassuring best friend that every groom needs, patting the groom on the back, keeping him focused, and making sure he has his head in the game.
Be Present for the Rehearsal
Of course, the whole wedding party should be present during the rehearsal, but the best man may help gather the rest of the groomsmen and bridesmaids, so the schedule moves along flawlessly. The best man may also make a small toast during the rehearsal dinner to kick off the festivities.
Responsibilities on the Wedding Day
Keep the Groom and Groomsmen on Schedule
Time can certainly get away from you throughout the big day, especially as the wedding party gets ready. The best man is often tasked with keeping an eye on the clock on the wedding morning to ensure the groom and all the groomsmen get to the ceremony venue on time. He also helps to wrangle the groomsmen throughout the ceremony and makes sure they’re in the right place at the right time, organised, and presentable.
Hold the Wedding Rings
One of the best man’s essential duties is entrusting with holding on to the wedding rings for safekeeping. This may be if the couple has opted not to have a ring bearer or if they prefer having the best man keep the rings safe until the ceremony. The best man may also be asked to hold things like the groom’s cell phone or wallet, so it’s still close but doesn’t have to be continually in his pocket.
Because the best man is typically a sibling or best friend of the groom, chances are he knows a large majority of the guests in attendance. This makes him the perfect candidate to help welcome guests to the wedding ceremony with so many connections.
Serve as a Witness
Typically, a couple needs two witnesses as they sign their marriage license, and often this duty is left up to the best man and the maid of honour. The best man should be readily available for this task, watching as the couple signs their marriage license and penning his name as well if required.
Kick off the Toasts
If a couple opts to open up the floor for toasts, the best man is often the first to step in. And because this toast may just be the most significant responsibility the best man has, it’s essential to put some thought into it ahead of time. A well-crafted toast should be appropriate for the setting while celebrating the story of the newlyweds.
Keep the Reception Moving
Especially in couples who decide to do the first dance, the best man is often the first one out on the dance floor afterwards. The best man should mingle at the reception to make sure guests are having a good time. They may also dance with the bride, the maid of honour, the bride’s mother, and the groom’s mother during the reception.
Where does the best man stand?
The best man usually stands closest to the groom at the altar during the ceremony. Now that you have a better understanding of the best man duties let’s go into more detail about the roles and responsibilities. Check out the range of Magic Men’s Melbourne hens ideas to help in your party planning.
Lead the Rest of the Pack
As best, man, you’re the head groomsman, the one the rest of the group, can go to with any questions so as not to bother the groom (think: How much do I owe for the bachelor party Airbnb? And, What time are we supposed to be at the ceremony site for the rehearsal?). Your job is to be the point person and mediator between the groom and the rest of the crew when the groom’s far too busy to worry about nitty-gritty groomsmen details. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make sure the others are showing up and performing their groomsmen duties.
Head-Up the Formalwear Process
You’re in charge of helping the groom choose and rent or buy wedding formalwear, as well as coordinating the other groomsmen ensembles—this might include gathering everyone’s measurements, giving the group an order-by deadline or placing the actual order yourself. Talk to the groom about what he wants everyone to wear and whether everyone’s expected to match or coordinate (the answer is likely yes). If so, look into ordering as a group to save a little.
Plan an Awesome Bachelor Party
Whether you hit up a local whiskey distillery or fly somewhere epic for a long-weekend celebration, you’re tasked with organising a bachelor party the groom will never forget. Enlist the other groomsmen to help you out with logistics and offer recommendations. And don’t worry, you’re not expected to pay for the entire thing—the cost should be split evenly among everyone who attends the bash, barring the groom, of course.
Attend, Enjoy and Lend a Hand at Prewedding Events
Besides coming to the engagement party and shower (if applicable) and being Mr Bachelor Party, you’re expected to be at the ceremony, the rehearsal dinner with the couple, their families and the rest of the wedding party. If you haven’t had a chance to bond with the other half of the wedding party and say your heartfelt hellos to the couple’s relatives, the rehearsal dinner is the perfect opportunity.
Be His Right Hand on the Wedding Day
When the day finally comes, you’ll be the groom’s personal aide and adviser both before and during the wedding. This includes helping him prep for the honeymoon, standing next to him at the altar and keeping the wedding rings until it’s time to exchange vows. Find a safe place for the wedding rings (and triple-check your pockets don’t have holes!)—you don’t want to fumble around when it’s time to bring it out. Finally, directly after the ceremony, you need to sign the marriage license as a witness, along with the maid of honour, and hand the officiant a sealed envelope with their fee.
Take Charge of Transportation
This won’t apply to every one, since lots of couples and their wedding parties hire transportation services to get from A to B—but you could be in charge of driving the team to the reception, wedding-night hotel or airport after the reception. If that’s the case, you’ll need to stay sober throughout the reception. But again, you’re more than allowed to pass this responsibility to the pros. Step up and hire transportation for the newlyweds so you can enjoy the open bar.
Act as Unofficial Reception Host and MC
Does the bride’s grandmother need help to find her seat? Is one of the flower girls dancing alone? Does it look like one of the groomsmen has had one too many signature cocktails before dinner? Keep your eyes and ears open at the reception to make sure the newlyweds and guests are having a blast and that the rest of the wedding party knows where they need to be and when. And perhaps your most significant responsibility: Delivering the best man speech. If you’re following a traditional wedding speech timeline, you’ll make your toast to the couple before announcing the maid of honour (who will then make her toast). Other than that, don’t think you need to stay stiff and sober all night because you’re “on duty.” Yes, you should behave yourself and be as helpful as possible, but being a glowing ball of joy and energy (aka getting out on the dance floor and keeping people’s glasses full) throughout the party is one of the best things you can do.
Tie Up Loose Ends After the Reception
Collect any gift envelopes guests may bring to the reception. You may be asked to deposit them in the couple’s bank account or at least keep them until the couple returns from their honeymoon. Ensure vendors who need to be tipped or paid in cash receive their envelopes at the end of the night (and don’t forget to get some money the morning of the wedding). If the couple’s planning an unforgettable getaway, you and the rest of the wedding party should help decorate the getaway mobile.
Does the best man plan the stag do?
One of the most important best man duties is the stag do. The best man will need to chat with the groom and see if there are any definite no-goes when it comes to the stag do. Check if going abroad is okay, and ask who the groom wants to invite – never just assume you’re inviting his father-in-law-to-be!
Set up a group chat and put some dates out there, then you can start to plan. Be mindful of budgets, as you want as many of the groom’s friends to be able to attend as possible. The best man can delegate jobs to others for the stag, such as booking separate activities, organising t-shirts and checking specific venues will permit stag parties.
It’s advisable to plan the stag do so it takes place at least a month before the wedding – this gives bruises time to fade and shaved-off eyebrows time to grow back! If you plan a big blow out with the boys, it might be an excellent idea to design a more low-key night out too that male family members of the bride and groom can attend.
What does the best man’s speech involve?
The best man’s speech is usually funny – no pressure! In the order of wedding speeches, it typically comes last, and the groom will introduce his best man to the wedding guests (queue the cheesy joke about not being able to trust a word he says due to a ‘spontaneous lying disease’).
The best man should lead a toast to the bridesmaids (if there are any) and comment on how great the groom’s partner is and how perfect they are as a couple. He should also read out any messages or telegrams that he has collected ahead of the wedding – these could be well wishes from guests who couldn’t attend, or you could go the extra mile and try and get some messages from the couple’s favourite celebrities.
You should also make a few jokes in the best man’s speech – everyone will be expecting it to be funny. If you are feeling the pressure, try to relax as everyone in the room is a friend who wants to enjoy your speech.