best man duties (and the speech)
Congratulations! You're someone's Best Man. It's a great honor, and is a lot of fun. The bad news is that you might not know exactly what you're supposed to do as a best man.
To make life as a best man easier for you, the guys at GroomGroove.com wrote this article to provide a quick and easy grocery list of the best man's duties and offers some tips on your best man speech.
If you want more info on your best man duties, we highly recommend our best man duties book. And if you want to rock the best man speech, we highly recommend our best man speech book. We've been there, numerous times, and we've helped literally thousands of "best men" over the years.
We wrote it knowing that all of us would rather be watching ESPN.
Keep in mind that your buddy's wedding is going to have different elements and options. Indeed, all of this could change if the groom and bride are having a destination wedding, or a backyard wedding or a Star Trek-themed wedding. (Yes, really.)
Months before the Wedding
- Get fitted for your tuxedo, probably at a tuxedo rental shop. (It'll likely cost you some coin, upfront. More on that, later.)
- Organize and execute the bachelor party, be it a mild bachelor party or a wild bachelor party
- Help the groom with his wedding duties. (Familiarize yourself with them on GroomGroove.com)
- Be a confidant of the groom - your buddy is guaranteed to be a bit nervous
Weeks Before the Wedding
- Ask the groom and bride whether you'll have the honor of being called on to make a best man speech
- Start preparing that wedding speech (Because it won't work well if you do it off the cuff)
- Volunteer to help keep the groomsmen organized
Days Before the Wedding
- Pick up your tuxedo rental. Make sure the groomsmen have got their tuxes, too.
(Did a groomsman forget to pack black socks? Deal with it, and don't mention it to the bride!)
- Attend the wedding rehearsal, paying attention to your duties, but also the duties of the groomsmen. (The rehearsal is usually held the night before the wedding, in the mid-afternoon)
- Attend the rehearsal dinner, and maybe even help in the preparations of the rehearsal dinner, which is often a relaxing event. (Think beer and flip flops, rather than tuxes and uptight. But be prepared for something more formal, too.)
- Help decorate the reception site with flowers, boughs and other frilly things that the bride came up with. Smile while doing it. Make friends with the Maid of Honor.
- The night before the wedding, organize the decoration of the wedding transportation, if necessary. You know - "Just married" etc. Be classy, of course!
The Wedding Day - The Ceremony
- Help the groom get dressed in his tuxedo or suit, and make sure he looks great
- Make sure the groom arrives at the wedding location on time (about 30 minutes before the wedding starts)
- Keep the groom and brides' wedding rings until the ring exchange. (Don't lose them!)
- Know when you'll be called upon to deliver the rings.
- Stay awake, smile and meet the groom and brides extended family.
- Sign the marriage license and act as a legal witness to the marriage
The Wedding Day - Post-Ceremony
- The couple may give you a sealed envelope with a donation to give to the Church, Synagogue or officiant
- Help the photographer gather and organize the guests for any group shots. Say "Cheese!"
- If it rains, have umbrellas ready to roll. Check the weather.
- If the transportation does not arrive or is late, have a plan. Never let the bride or groom have to figure it out.
The Wedding Day - At the Reception
- Work with the Wedding MC so that any hiccups get sorted out. The wrong course is about to be delivered? Jump up and sort it out. Bonus points if the bride never even notices.
- Present a very classy, funny best man speech or toast to the groom
- Politely and tactfully take care of anyone who has had too much to drink
Go easy on the booze (just this once!)
Have fun and celebrate!
The Wedding Day: Post-Reception
- Help load and transport and secure the wedding gifts from the reception site
- Make sure that nothing is left at the reception site
- If the transportation is not provided for by the bride and groom, you may be expected to drive the newlyweds to the airport, home or hotel
- Return both your tuxedo and the groom's tuxedo to the rental shop