Essential Best Man Duties: The Key Jobs You’re Responsible For
Once the elation of being asked to be the best man wears off, you’ll probably find yourself asking “what does the best man do?” This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but your duties are more than just giving a speech and planning the bachelor party. While both of those are important, it’s the little things you do for the groom that he’ll truly appreciate. The groom will be under a tremendous amount of stress in the weeks and days leading up to the wedding. Here’s a list of seven key responsibilities you’ll be responsible for. Nail these and you’ll ease the groom’s mind and solidify your position as best man.
Pre-Wedding Best Man Duties
- It’s customary for the best man to take charge in planning the bachelor party. And it’s true: giving the groom a memorable last night out with his buddies is one of the most important things you’ll do. The bachelor party can take place anywhere from a few weeks to a few months before the wedding day. You know the groom best, so plan activities you know he’ll enjoy. It’s very important to respect his thoughts about binge drinking and/or strippers before making any plans. If you’re planning on dinner before any partying begins, it’s always nice to include the fathers and younger siblings who wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to be a part of the party.
- Give a gift. While your presence at any engagement parties and showers might be the ultimate gift, the bride and groom may prefer something tangible. It’s a nice gesture to purchase something off their registry so they receive something they actually plan on using.
- Get measured for (or purchase) your tuxedo or suit. Receive instructions from the groom on what direction he’s going with attire. If he’s asking the wedding party to rent, you’ll want to get organized 2-3 months before the wedding. The groom will provide the exact information. To be safe, plan on having to pay for your own rental which runs in the $150 range on average.
- Write your best man speech. Let’s face it: we’ve all seen some “interesting” Best Man speeches in our lifetimes. Your goal is for your speech to be remembered for its classiness, rather than for the number of many embarrassing stories you can share with the groom’s unsuspecting family and loved ones. We recommend starting to plan your speech three months before the wedding. This gives you plenty of time to think about what you want to say, practice plenty of times and gain confidence for speaking in front of a crowd.
- Assist the groom with wedding planning tasks. Helping the groom decorate for the rehearsal dinner, arranging transportation, and helping out-of-town guests with directions may seem like small things, but they’ll be a huge help to the groom and his family.
- Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. This wedding walkthrough will come in handy on the big day. You’ll receive instructions on arrival time, where to stand and what to say. After the rehearsal, relax and enjoy the rehearsal dinner. It’s a great opportunity to hang with the bride, groom and fellow bridal party members.
Best Man Responsibilities on the Wedding Day
- Be the groom’s right hand man on the wedding day. Starting from the time he wakes up; you need to be at the groom’s side, keeping him focused and on task. Depending on the time of the wedding, you may have time to go out for breakfast or a quick nine holes. In the hours immediately prior to the wedding, help him get dressed, drive him to the church, and give him a pep talk. He’ll undoubtedly thank you for calming his nerves.
- Honor the traditional best man duties. Don’t forget some of the things that your job title requires, including keeping the rings safe until they’re exchanged and then signing the marriage license as a legal witness to the nuptials after the ceremony.
- Remember the reception. We all know how much fun you can have at a wedding reception (especially one with an open bar). After giving your speech, you’ll surely want to let loose. Just remember that it’s important that you’re able to help a little after the party is over. You may be asked to drive the couple to the hotel or to the airport. If not, the bride’s family is always appreciative of extra help in cleaning up and packing gifts into cars.
Best Man Tasks for After the Wedding
- Assist with the aftermath. The day after the wedding, you may be asked to return both the groom’s tuxedo as well as your own to the rental shop. It’s always important to find out what time the shop closes, in case you need extra time recuperating the next day.