Being the Best Man – Duties Checklist Made Simple

The Best Man – Your best buddy asked you to be his best man? We’re sure you’re as thrilled as he is. But being a best man doesn’t mean you’re just a glorified groomsman. On the contrary. This honour comes with duties and responsibilities. You will have to roll up your sleeves and get involved in everything wedding related.

If you want to ace it, check out this comprehensive guide to all expectations and responsibilities that come with this job.

Duties Before the Wedding

1. Lead the Pack

As best man, you get to be the leader of all groomsmen. It is your duty to introduce everyone to one another – unless you’re all already friends, coordinate the buy or rental of matching outfits for the ceremony, and make sure everyone’s on track with the schedule of the event.  

2.  Organise the Stag Night

A wedding is not a wedding without celebrating the groom’s last night out as an unmarried man. And you have the honour to organise the party for your best buddy. From choosing the venue/s to planning games and activities, it’s all on you. If you’re splitting the costs with the other groomsmen, it’s your responsibility to make sure everyone has paid their quote in a timely fashion.

3. Help the Groom

As the big day approaches, the groom-to-be might easily get overwhelmed by his to-do list. As his best man, it is your duty to step in and take some of the burdens off of his shoulders. Help with whatever you can, from acting as an intermediary between the future spouses and the venue or wedding planners to making sure his suit or tuxedo is tailored and ready for the ceremony.

Best Man

Duties Before and During the Ceremony

4. Show Full Support

The morning before the ceremony is perhaps the most stressful moment for the future groom. Show your full support, be it a pat on the shoulder, a motivational speech or a shot of vodka. It’s also your duty to help the groom get dressed. Remember, you must be a relaxed and upbeat presence during this important day.

5. Keep Things on Schedule

Or at least try to do so. The easiest way is to ask the couple to give you a full timeline of the events you can use to make sure the groom gets to the ceremony on time and that everyone else in your pack is on track.

6. Hold the Rings

If the couple didn’t name a bearer of the rings – usually a child – it is the best man’s responsibility to hold the wedding bands until the part of the ceremony when the spouses exchange them. Be super careful with this part. Place the rings in a safe spot before the wedding day, and in a safe pocket until you have to hand them to the newlyweds. Nothing can ruin a ceremony more than lost rings.

7. Stand by His Side

This is an obvious duty, but not all best men are doing it right. Wedding ceremonies can be boring if you’re not exactly the romantic type. We know standing upright and smiling for the entire time can be annoying, but you should at least look interested when your pal is saying his vows.

8. Pose for Pictures

Standing in front of a camera may not be your favourite thing, but it’s part of the game. Not only you’ll have to be present in the photos, but you may even have to coordinate guests during the shoot.

Duties During the Reception

9. Play Host

The newlyweds are typically the hosts of the reception, but they will surely be overwhelmed by the events. That’s where you and the maid of honour are expected to step in. You should be able to direct guests to their places or answer their questions. By now, you should hopefully have a timeline of the wedding day and be able to answer all concerns.

10. Dance with the Maid of Honour

Is the maid of honour someone you can’t stand? Well, you’ll have to sacrifice yourself this time and dance with her during the first guest dance. You are also expected to be one of the first people on the dance floor and encourage the other guests to join you.

11. Give a Speech

Once you’ve agreed to be the best man, you must also make sure you master your public speech skills for the big day. Because the best man is expected to give the second toast, right after the father of the bride. Don’t procrastinate when it comes to writing your speech either. Speak from the heart but keep it short – and make sure you memorise it before the day.

12. Make Sure the Groom Eats

The groom may be busy during the reception, and nervous too. This could cause him to have one too many shots and actually forget to have a bite in between. It is your duty to make sure the groom actually gets to eat during the party, and that he mixes booze with alcohol-free beverages.

Best Man Duties After the Reception

13. Safe-keep Gifts

It is common for the newlyweds to flee towards the end of the reception. However, someone will have to safe-keep their gifts. Yes, you got that right! It’s the best man’s duty to gather and keep the gifts somewhere safe until the couple returns from the honeymoon.

14. Pay or Tip Vendors

Together with the collection of the gifts, you must also make sure the vendors are paid or tipped for their services. Keep the amounts in labelled envelopes and find out who you have to hand the envelope to, to avoid confusion or mistakes.

15. Return Rented Attire

Did you rent coordinated outfits for the reception? Make sure all groomsmen return their tuxes as soon as possible, to avoid late return charges. This is perhaps the hardest part of your job, as following up with some groomsmen can turn out to be quite difficult.

Now that you know what’s expected from you, what are you waiting for? Learn your duties and go stand by the groom!

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