Best man Duties
So you’ve just been made a Best Man? For some it’s an honour and a compliment, for the rest of us it can be pretty damn petrifying. Oh my god, I’m going to have to make a speech! Well yes, but that’s only one of your duties, admittedly the most terrifying one. For help with the speech, see. Your other duties include wedding-day management and the Stag party. We won’t discuss the Stag party here, for advice on that check out . Instead, we’ll remind you of some of the etiquette you need to bear in mind and give you a few other Best Man tips.
The engagement party
Try and meet as many people at the engagement party as you can (if there is one). Recognising familiar faces on the day will be useful and may help calm any pre-speech nerves. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a good opportunity to meet and impress the bride’s parents.
Start thinking about what you and the groom will be wearing a few months before the wedding and make sure you consult with the bride (if you value your life that is). What sort of buttonholes will there be (if any)? Remember, it should be the groom that stands out although the two of you may want to co-ordinate in certain ways. If you’re hiring then book well in advance, especially in summer when the hire shops get very busy. You will need plenty of time for fittings and alterations. Don’t forget, if your mate is not very organised, it’s your duty as the Best Man to help sort him out.
Getting to the church on time
Book the transport well in advance and don’t forget about ribbons. If you’re using your own car then make sure it’s up to the job and not going to let you down. Find out how long it’s going to take to get to the church and take into account any traffic or parking problems. Also, make sure the bride and groom have transport arranged for after the ceremony.
Have a chat with the ushers a couple of weeks before the wedding and make sure they all know what they should be doing on the day. Make sure they know what their duties are – seating guests as they arrive, handing out service sheets, looking smart etc. Make sure they also know what the rules are for photography and confetti and that they communicate these to the guests. It’s a good idea to get their mobile numbers and save them on your phone just in case.
A few days before the wedding, there will probably be a rehearsal when you can check out the church/venue. Familiarise yourself with the layout and work out where things are going to be including toilets and parking etc.
It’s the groom’s job to pay for the minister, choir, organist etc but it’s the Best Man’s job to hand over the money. So make sure you know how much it will be and carry plenty of cash.
One of your traditional duties is to make sure the groom gets up early enough to make it to the church on time. You’ll also need to help him get dressed. Normally he wouldn’t need your help but on his wedding day he’s likely to be a bundle of nerves and his mind could be all over the place.
Before the ceremony, make sure that buttonholes have been catered for and that the service sheets are on hand. Aim to get to the church an hour before the ceremony.
At the church, ushers should be lined up ready to hand out hymn books and service sheets before showing guests to their seats. By now, you should know the seating plans having spoken to both the bride and groom’s parents. Traditionally, the bride’s family and friends sit on the left and groom’s on the right. The bride’s mother is usually escorted to her seat by the chief usher. You will probably be sitting in the front row on the right-hand side with the groom on your left.
After the ceremony, the bride and groom should leave first, followed by the bridesmaids and ushers, then the parents, then you and the chief bridesmaid. The Best Man should make loud announcements to let everyone know where to go.
The getaway car – it just wouldn’t be the same if the car wasn’t decorated. So feel free to play the old practical joke of tying old shoes and tin cans to the bumper. Just remember, you will probably need the permission of the car owner.
For more details of the ceremony, it is probably best to liaise with the families of the bride and groom as well as the minister.
Rings – Remind the groom about the ring a few weeks before the wedding and don’t end up living out the old cliché of losing it before the ceremony.
Presents – remind the groom that he needs to get a present for his bride to be. Make sure that presents are kept safely on the day. It’s not unheard of for them to go “missing”.
Don’t forget, one of the most important duties of the Best Man is to provide the groom with moral support. Help him to chill out when he gets nervous and show him that everything’s under control.
This is your big moment – the Best Man speech. Oh no, not that again! Admittedly, a small minority of people have nerves of steel and won’t be intimidated by this at all. For the rest of us, check out . In addition to toasts and other speaking duties, don’t be surprised if the bride’s family ask you to read out emails from absent well-wishers.
It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the reception venue a few days in advance to ensure there are no surprises. At the same time, you will be able to pick up on useful little details like where people can park.
OK, calm down, you’re not obliged to perform any duties on the honeymoon but you should make sure that the groom’s had all his jabs and that his passport’s up to date. It’s just part and parcel of being the Best Man as well as a good mate.