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Best Man Duties

Being asked to be best man is an honour but can also be a little daunting.  So let’s look at what the best man duties involve – what you need to be doing and when.Best Man Duties Explained

Typically the best man doesn’t get heavily involved in the wedding planning but there are certain duties that you need to be aware of.


Before The Wedding


Help to Choose The Suits

The best man will usually help the groom with suit shopping.  Make sure you are aware of who the ushers are and which other males will be wearing the same suits.  This is usually the fathers of the couple but can also include sons and grandads.

Ideally you’ll all go shopping together so you will need to help to make the arrangements of when and where you are going.  You’ll also need to know if you’re going to be hiring or buying suits.

Make sure you’ve had a conversation with the groom about who is paying for what.  Traditionally, the couple pay for the suits but this isn’t always the case now. So if people need to make a full or part contribution, make sure they are aware of this before the shopping trip. You don’t want any awkward conversations in the store.


Getting to Know the Ushers

If there are any ushers who you don’t already know, then it’s probably worth trying to arrange to meet them soon.  You need to know what they’ll all be responsible for on the wedding day too, such as handing out the order of service, guiding guests to their seats, so you can make sure everything is done on time.  The wedding planner will usually agree these roles with the couple so make sure you are included in this conversation.   

As it gets closer to the wedding date make sure the ushers all know where they need to be, when and why, including any appointments for suit fittings.

Groomsmen Raising a Toast

Planning the Stag Do

This is one of the bigger tasks you need to do!

Stag do’s are becoming more extravagant and expensive so make sure you have a good chat with the groom about what he’d like to do before you do anything else.  Make sure you talk about budget too – is it worth planning an extravagant trip to Vegas for example if only a couple of you can afford to do that?

You might decide it is and also have a cheaper, more local option but make sure you have the conversation first.

You might want to keep the finer details from him but it’s important to know, for example, if he wants to go abroad or not and how long he’d like to go for.  Get a list of people from him who he’d like you to invite.

Get in touch with everyone he wants to invite with a few suggested dates.  You’ll probably have to go with the date that works for the majority as it’s usually impossible to find a date that works for everyone.  But you might want to understand from the groom if there are people that he won’t go without.

It’s always a good idea to have the stag do a couple of months before the wedding.  This gives everyone time to recover, the bruises to fade and the eyebrows to grow back!!


The Week Before The Wedding

 Help out the couple however you can.  Maybe you can collect the wedding suits and deliver them to the ushers if you’re not all getting ready at the same place.

There may be other items which need collecting and delivering to the wedding venue.

If you’re staying with the groom the night before, make sure he doesn’t have too much to drink.  No one really wants to be seriously hung over on their wedding day.

If the couple need help setting up their venue, make sure you’re there.

And finally make sure you have the rings safe!


On the Big Day

Getting Ready

Keep the groom calm (and that doesn’t mean plying him with alcohol) and make sure he’s ready on time.  Help with cufflinks and his tie and make sure he looks his best.

You’ll need to take delivery of the button holes. Hand them out to the ushers and make sure they’re all pinned on correctly.

The buttonhole is worn on the left hand side lapel and should be pinned on the outside of the buttonhole of your suit.  The stem should be at the bottom and the flowers at the top nearest your face.




Greeting the Guests

You need to make sure that you and the groom are at the venue in plenty of time.  If it’s a civil ceremony the registrar will need to speak to the groom before the ceremony and this usually happens around 20 minutes before the ceremony is due to start.

You and the groom should greet guests as they arrive and then take your seats at the front (right hand side) of the room when all the guests are seated.  Double check that you have the rings ready.


Best Man Passing Over the rings


After the Ceremony

You will usually leave the ceremony with the maid of honour.  And then during the drinks reception, help the photographer to round up the people needed for group photos.


Your Speech

This is the moment everyone has been waiting for.  The best man’s speech is traditionally the last one, after the father of the bride and the groom have spoken.

Make sure you’ve written your speech in plenty of time, don’t try to wing it on the day – it really doesn’t work.  Ask someone to check your speech to make sure it’s not offensive.  A bit of banter is fine but don’t insult anyone.

Traditionally the best man thanks the groom for his toast to the bridesmaids.  Then make some comments about the couple, especially the groom.  You can include some anecdotes and jokes here but again be careful not to upset anyone.

You should also read any messages from absent family and friends.  And then end with a final toast to the bride and groom.  You can see more about speeches here.


After the Big Day

 If the couple are heading off on honeymoon, find out if they need things returning for them, such as hire items and your suits if they have been hired.  The couple might also appreciate you looking after their cards and gifts until they get back from honeymoon.


Last Few Tips:

·      Set up a Whats app or Facebook group chat with the ushers  so they can easily ask questions and it’ll be useful for planning the stag do too.

·      Make sure you know what’s happening when on the wedding day. Guests will look to you for guidance during the day.

·      Practice your speech – a lot!  Don’t under estimate how nervous you might be, knowing what you want to say beforehand will definitely help to manage the nerves.

·      Don’t get too drunk – you have duties for most of the day – and there’s nothing worse than a drunk best man slurring his way through his speech.

I hope this helps you to be the best best man ever! 


Louise Wearmouth, Founder of Your Fabulous Wedding