Best Man Responsibilities: What You Need to Know

Guest Resources / Sunday, January 14th, 2018

So you’ve just been asked to be the best man. Responsibilities just got a little larger, sure, but make no mistake– it’s an honor, and one you’ll remember for a lifetime. Chances are, you’re very close to the groom, and know almost as much (or more) about him than his own family.

What you might not know is that being a best man requires a good deal more than dressing up for the big day. While all groomsmen have duties, it’s the best man who’s responsible for some of the most crucial details, from the days leading up to the ceremony through the end of the night of the wedding.

Before you panic, here’s a simple guide to all the things you’ll be expected to do, plus some tips to keep your cool and enjoy the day too!

Right after you’re asked:

First of all, be honest with yourself: can you commit the time and expense to be a best man? If your schedule is extra packed, be honest upfront and ask what the groom expects, and be prepared to be flexible. By communicating early and often, you’ll save both yourself and the groom headaches and arguments along the way.

Planning the Bachelor Party:

Not only are you expected to be in attendance at the pre-wedding party, you’ll be expected to plan it. Keep in mind that you should have the groom in mind when you do: while some men like a night out with drinks, others want something more tame.

What does planning a bachelor party involve? Most end up being very collaborative amongst the friend group, including the groom. If someone else steps up and is doing well, don’t stop them (as long as the groom is happy), but if people are dragging their butts, it’s YOUR job to lead. Use a platform like Guestboard to create organized conversations and detailed timelines so everyone knows where to be and when to book flights, if needed. Even if the groom likes to “chill out”, you should have some backup plans/activities in mind just in case. You’ll most likely be expected to arrange for transportation (in case everyone drinks), and, yes, pay in part for the celebration. Generally, the groomsmen split the cost evenly among themselves.

Suit up:

In most cases, you’ll be required to rent a tux or suit for the wedding. And sometimes that style choice will be made for you, though some grooms ask for advice from their party. Either way, expect to pay for the cost of rental and professional cleaning, as well as any fittings you might need.

Note: You’re probably noticing by now that being a groomsman takes its toll on your wallet. Another benefit of being the best man? Your opinion generally carries a little more weight. So while you may have a little more responsibility, you can steer things like bachelor party planning toward more affordable options.

Attend the Rehearsal Dinner:

Of course, this is expected for all bridal party members, but it’s absolutely essential for the best man. Have other plans? Unless it’s an absolute emergency, you need to be at the rehearsal, to make sure you understand how you will walk down the aisle, and the general timing of the ceremony.

The groom will most likely let you know if the rehearsal dinner includes the wedding party or not. If the wedding party is included, you’re in luck– generally, best man responsibilities rarely include doing something special at the rehearsal dinner. The bride and groom or their families tend to run the show here– so just show up, enjoy the meal, and be polite to the close family members in attendance.

Pre Ceremony:

You’re more than a warm body in a suit or tux on the wedding day. You’ll be expected to make sure the groomsmen are performing their duties and on time, and you yourself will need to be there well in advance. Most best mans are also charged with passing out boutonniere and holding onto the wedding rings.

At the Ceremony:

During the ceremony, most of the time you’ll stand beside the groom at the altar and may also be asked to serve as a witness, along with the maid of honor, during the signing of the marriage license. At a certain point in the ceremony you will likely have a cue to present the rings– this is your time to shine, but this moment should entirely focus on the bride/groom. Try not to do anything silly that brings the attention back towards you (like pretending you lost them, etc. That’s lame.)

During the Reception:

You’ll most likely be expected to give a toast before the meal, so you’ll want to be sure to prepare ahead of time. During the dancing, enjoy yourself, just not too much. Everyone wants a best man who is enjoying the day, but also be aware you are still ‘on duty’ and getting blackout drunk is not in the best taste.

The Following Morning

You’re going to wake up hungover, hungry, and probably pressed for time to get back home. But if you want to be the best best man, you’ll see what else you can help with before you leave. This might be taking the Groom’s tux rental back to the shop or helping to find his phone from the previous night. If the circumstances don’t allow for this, be sure to send a short text to your best bud saying what an honor it was and that you had a blast as his best man.

Just asked to be part of a wedding? Not sure where to start? Let Guestboard be the ace up your sleeve. Use the private groomsmen channels to easily plan bachelor parties and keep everyone up to speed on the schedule and individual duties.

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