A bachelor party, a toast, the rings--as the groom's closest friend--a best man has several duties and responsibilities. From helping pick out the tuxedos to even driving the couple to the hotel or the airport, a best man is someone the groom can count on to help make the wedding a success.
Weddings are dependent on tradition, and the best man is an important role. There are some dos and don'ts for the best man to remember.
Before the Wedding
- The best man is the groom's confidante. It's not enough just to show up. He needs to be there for support. If the groom is taking responsibility planning the honeymoon, ask if he needs help or offer suggestions.
A bride and groom often decide together whether the wedding will be formal, dress or casual. A best man should coordinate with the groom and other groomsmen on either renting a tuxedo or buying a suit. This is one time when it's important for "the guys" to shop together. A best man traditionally pays for his own attire for the wedding, as do the other groomsmen.
Act as a liaison rounding up the other groomsmen, so the groom doesn't have to make the calls. Then follow up and ensure that everyone has their suit or tux and know exactly where to be on the wedding day.
The Bachelor Party
- Wilder is not better when it comes to a bachelor party, especially if the party is the night before the wedding. It might be best to plan the event for a week before the big event. Remember to keep the bride in mind as you plan. "Mild and wild" is the best motto.
After all, your best friend has found his lifelong partner and you don't want to be in the middle of a break up because of a party you planned. Another thing to remember is to keep the pictures and videos to a minimum and be discreet about the photos you do take.
The best man and groomsmen plan and pay for the party.
At the Wedding
- The best man acts as a valet for the groom before the wedding. Be dressed early and ride with him to the church or wedding site as well as helping him get dressed.
Make sure the groom has the marriage license with him. If the groom and bride are leaving for the honeymoon right after the reception, make sure the groom has the tickets, passports and identification they will need. Traditionally, the groomsmen and groom are ready and waiting for the bride. Bring some cards or a game system to help pass time before the ceremony. This might help a nervous groom relax.
Remember to have the rings handy so you won't need to fumble around for them during the ceremony.
- A best man's toast at the wedding reception is his most important role. It's okay to be funny, but remember this is not amateur night at the Improv. Don't bring up the groom's or brides's former flames and don't talk about the groom's sexual exploits before he met Mrs. Right.
Keep the toast short and focus on the couple. Share a special story about the two of them together. Say something nice about the bride and toast the bridesmaids for their part in the wedding.
Remember, the toast is about the bride and groom, not you. Don't wing it. If you need to write your speech or a few notes down, type it out and print it so that you can refer to it occasionally.
Author John Bowden suggests including a memorable quote in the toast. And if you are really nervous about how it sounds, practice in front of a mirror or run it by one of the other groomsmen or the maid of honor if you know her well. It's OK to have a drink before you give the toast but it's not OK to be drunk.
After the Wedding
- The ceremony's over, but that doesn't mean the best man is off the hook. After the nuptials, he should sign the marriage license as a witness. Often the groom will entrust the best man with the money that is due to the minister.
The best man should dance with the bride, both mothers and the bridesmaids at the reception. Traditionally, it is the best man and groomsmen who decorate the car the couple will use to depart the reception. The best man also bears the duty of "tasteful decorating," keeping the bride in mind.
Check with the groom and arrange to help load any luggage into the vehicle before the ceremony.
- If the couple is leaving on a honeymoon, the best man should ensure the groom's tuxedo is returned to the rental store in a timely manner. Take these duties seriously. Being a best man is more than an honor. What you do as best man often sets the tone for your friendship with the groom after his marriage.
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