Your buddy/relative asked you to be his best man and you automatically responded with a "Hell yeah!".
Almost every single man before you, and probably even those after you will, respond to this exact question in the very same manner. And who can blame you? Being asked to be the best man is a privilege that isn't bestowed everyday. But what EXACTLY did you get yourself into with this whole best man business? What are a best man's responsibilities?
First and foremost, your primary duty is to be present for and be helpful to the groom. But, we can tell you off the bat, your best man responsibilities go beyond this and planning a bachelor party and wedding toast. There's a whole lot of tasks that come with your wedding VIP role and we've listed them below for you.
And don't let the length of this list intimidate you because there may be a bunch of them that won't apply to you. Also, so you don't have to remember everything, print out the free printer-friendly version of the best man responsibilities checklist here.
BEFORE THE WEDDING
- Help the groom choose his and the groomsmen's wedding day attires
- Coordinate the groomsmen's fittings
Make sure everyone knows when and where to be for the fitting. Also, be prepared to purchase or rent - as well as pay - for your tuxedo or suit.
- Offer to arrange accommodations for out-of-town groomsmen
- Offer to take on the responsibility of relaying communication to the groomsmen
- Organize the bachelor party
The earlier you start the planning process, the easier it'll be for you. But before diving headfirst into planning for the bachelor party, confirm whether the groom wants one or not. If yes, ask him for a guest list then go buck wild. Remain in contact with the attendees so everyone is aware of the party's details and because it helps get everyone excited for the party. Keep a close eye on expenses and make sure each attendee covers his portion of the bill.
- Propose the idea of a group gift for the groom to the groomsmen
If everyone is down, handle all the details and present the group's gift at the bachelor party.
- Begin thinking about your best man speech
The earlier you start thinking about and planning out your speech, the easier it'll be for you. Here's a list of our top 10 tips to help get you started or you can hire a professional best man speechwriter like us to help you out with this task.
DAY BEFORE THE WEDDING
- Attend the rehearsal
In general, the rehearsal will take place the day before the wedding, at the place of the ceremony, and lasts between half an hour to an hour. Make sure to pay attention because others may need you to help remind them of what they need to do and when. And, given you play a pretty major role, arrive on time.
- Attend the rehearsal dinner
Typically, after the rehearsal is the rehearsal dinner attended by those in the wedding party as well as other family and friends invited by the couple. Rehearsal dinners are usually held at a restaurant and toasts are given during dinner. You aren't obligated to make a toast and, so that you save your material for your best man speech at the reception, we'd recommend you not make a toast at the rehearsal dinner.
Before the Ceremony
- Help the groom get dressed
- Make sure the groom has everything he needs
Whether it be the marriage license, wedding bands, or his honeymoon necessities - passport, tickets, luggage - make sure these details are ready and on/near him.
- Take over the wedding bands' protective detail
They should always be on you at all times and especially at the ceremony (unless there's a ring bearer).
- Collect any vendor payments from the groom
Each vendor's payment should be in a sealed envelope with the vendor's name on it. (Bring envelopes with you just in case.)
- Drive the groom to the ceremony location
And make sure you guys get there at least half an hour before the ceremony starts.
- Check that each groomsman is in attendance, properly dressed and has his boutonniere pinned on the left lapel of his suit jacket
- Keep the groom company while waiting for the ceremony to start
In case of downtime, bring something to keep you two occupied - handheld video game, cards, etc. - it'll help the groom stay calm.
At the Ceremony
- If there is a ring bearer, go over with him what he needs to do
Attach the rings to the pillow if that is what the couple wants.
- Stand by the groom's side before the ceremony starts
- Hand the groom the wedding bands (if there is no ring bearer)
- Escort the maid-of-honor down the aisle at the end of the ceremony
Return to escort the mother-of-the-bride (if needed).
After the Ceremony
- Sign the marriage license
- Distribute payments to the appropriate vendors
- Drive the newlyweds to the reception venue (if there is no limo)
For the sake of the bride and her dress, clean the inside of your car ahead of time.
At the Reception
- Be the host with the most
Help create a warm, social atmosphere by welcoming guests, making introductions and, of course, chatting with the guests.
- Get the groomsmen together for formal photographs
- Get yourself on the dance floor
Help get the party started by being among the first to bust a move. Also, you're expected to dance with the bride, maid-of-honor and maybe even the mothers of the bride and groom.
- Again, distribute payments to the appropriate vendors
- Safeguard the gift envelopes until the newlyweds returns from the honeymoon
- Help the groom change into his honeymoon clothes
Make sure to take his wedding clothes with you.
- Prepare their getaway car
Decorate their car, have the car decorated or have a limo waiting for the newlyweds after the reception. Also, if needed, help them make their getaway from the reception.
AFTER THE WEDDING
- Bring the groom's and your tuxedos/suits to the cleaner or back to the rental shop