They say getting married is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. It’s right up there with moving out of a house, going to prison, or being a White Sox fan. That’s why every groom needs a dependable best man.
While it is an honor to be chosen as the best man, the role demands more than just guarding the ring. If it’s your first time, you’ll want to know exactly how to be a good best man, because chances are you don’t have a clue what the role entails. Lucky for you, we’ve whipped up a comprehensive best man duties checklist of everything you need to know.
Pre-Wedding Best Man Duties
While you will be the groom’s right-hand man on his big day, as the best man, you will also have to take care of some tasks before the wedding day, too. Here’s what you need to know about the responsibilities before the big day.
Keep the Peace
While weddings are a happy occasion, there are going to be times when the couple won’t seem to share your enthusiasm. Couples will often find themselves at odds over different planning decisions. This is where the best man (that’s you) comes in. It’s standard best man etiquette to be on hand and help the groom do away with all the anxiety that comes with getting married.
Take Lead on Formal Wear
Choosing formal wear is a daunting task. You’ll need to pull your weight and contribute your sense of fashion while selecting neckties or bowties, keep the rest of the groomsmen on track with payment and alterations — and, most importantly, see that the suits are delivered in a timely fashion.
Plan the Bachelor Party
One of the bigger responsibilities is the planning of the bachelor party. It’s up to you and the groom to figure out all the details from big to small. Make sure the whole party is on board with whatever you choose and that everyone chips in equally. You’ll also want to make sure the guys are ready to travel in style— find the travel gear you need to make it memorable.
Meet & Greet at the Rehearsal
While not all weddings require a wedding rehearsal, many couples do choose to run through the ceremony; so make sure you’re free to attend and help out whenever it is planned. This will be your chance to meet other members of the wedding party, so make sure to familiarize with members of both sides.
Sweat the Small Stuff (So the Groom Doesn’t Have to)
With all the action going on, you’ll probably have to pick up the suits and some other duties as assigned. Even if you are not involved in the wedding preparations (most best men aren’t), always remember, a good (best) man never waits to be asked; he knows what he has signed up for and he’s ready to jump in and get his hands dirty.
The Big Day
Of all the best man duties, the most important is to get the groom to the ceremony on time and (preferably) in one piece. Before heading to the ceremony, don’t forget to give the car a once-over just to make sure there are no surprises on the way. Delays on the wedding day are a definite no-no – you don’t want to go down in history as being the best man who was late for the ceremony.
Keep Those Rings Safe
There can’t be a wedding without the wedding ring, right? In the event that you manage to lose the wedding ring, you might have to change your name, leave the city, and cool your heels in the desert until it blows over. (Or, at the very least, begin all future conversations with the happy couple with an apology.) So, you’ll want to keep the rings safely tucked away. How and where you do that is completely up to you.
Sign the License as a Witness
As the best man, you’ll also need to sign the marriage license as a witness along with the maid of honor. It will be pretty hard to mess this one up.
How to Be the Best Man at The Reception
Play the Hype Man
As the best man, it’s your duty to get the party started. Be a good sport by being the first to hit the dance floor along with the maid of honor. You might also have to steal a dance from the groom, the bride’s dad, and dance with the bridesmaids too.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t like dancing. Tonight is not about you.
Nail the Best Man Speech
Not only will this be the first toast to the newlywed couple, but it is also going to be a way for you to make a special corner in their hearts. No pressure. To get it right, you will have to work on your best man speech even if you have the oratory skills of Barack Obama and the comedic timing of Jon Stewart.
As the best man, you don’t just have to stand up and address the audience (many of whom you do not know) you have to wow them with your speech. So, practice, practice, and when you think you’ve got it perfect, practice some more.
Control the Crowd
By this point, most attendees (including the groomsmen) are likely to be tipsy. As the head of the groomsmen, you’ll need to take charge. Let the other groomsmen know their duties and make sure all younger party members are taken care of. You might have to step in and bring some order to the wedding rabble.
After the Reception
When the ceremony and the celebrations have ended and the couple has headed off into the sunset, you might want to stay behind and gather all the gifts that you will have to deliver to their home. You may have to drive the couple to their hotel or the airport after the reception.
In the end, the most important thing of all is to remember to enjoy yourself on the happiest day of your best friend’s life.
Did you check all the boxes? Good? Good.
Now, it’s time to go chop some firewood with the personalized mountain axe the groom gave you for doing such a good job as best man. You truly are the best best man, man.