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is your best friend or brother your best man? [Page 1 of 1]

Your wingman in college. Your best golfing buddy. A guy born two years after you. He's the guy you picture by your side, laughing it up right along with you. But that doesn't make him your best man. Your best friend is the guy with whom you want to share all of your successes. The guy who you look to for support when everything is falling apart - that's your best man. If you're lucky, it's the same guy. But what do you do if it's not? How do you tell the difference? How do you tell your brother he's not going to be your best man?

Unfortunately, you can't round up all your friends and give them a best man quiz to see who scores the highest. You will need to put some serious thought into the guy you ask to be your best man. In some cases, there may be a clear reason for choosing someone other than your best friend. For instance, your brother may be pretty high up the list. Maybe your best friend won't be able to be around for a major part of the planning process - that would be a good reason to knock him out of the running. Other times, though, it's just not that simple.

What it comes down to is this: best friends, sadly, may come and go. Your best man, on the other hand, is someone who will likely stay in your life forever. That's why so many brothers end up being called up to be the best man. Your best man needs to be trustworthy, organized, responsible, fun, and supportive, and often all in the same day. He's the guy you can go to when you're feeling ecstatic about spending your life with the woman of your dreams, but he's also the guy you can go to when you're freaking out over exactly the same thing. He has to be able to organize your bachelor party, keep the other groomsmen on task, run errands, book travel arrangements, prepare a best man speech, and get you through the biggest day of your life. If your best friend or brother fits the bill, then by all means, ask him to be your best man. If you just can't see him coming through for you every single time you need him, in good times and bad, then you may need to look elsewhere. And there's nothing wrong with that.

So, what do you do if you decide that you don't want your brother or best friend to be your best man, but you know he's expecting to be asked? The news usually isn't too tough to break if you're asking your brother to play the part, instead over another friend - your friend is sure to understand the reasoning there. Family is expected to come first, after all.

The opposite scenario is a bit more difficult - ie. you're planning on choosing your best friend over your brother. Be prepared for some raw feelings. If you're going with another friend, or someone more distant, though, it can get even trickier. You don't want to hurt your brother's feelings, and you don't want to damage the friendship. There are some very good reasons, however, for choosing someone other than your brother to be the best man. For example, there could be a large age gap between you and your brother, and while you are close, you may have leaned on another buddy in times of need - such as a college roommate.

If you think your brother will really take it as an insult, you can try to soften the blow by telling him over drinks, or some other relaxed, casual activity you both enjoy. Ultimately, though, the old adage holds true: honesty is the best policy. Be straight with your brother; lay out the reasons for your decision calmly and without trying to shift the blame (no trying to weasel out of it with the "my fiancée was thought that [other guy] was a better match for the Maid of Honor" excuse). Let him know how much his friendship means to you, and how hard of a decision it was, but don't belabor the point. Just tell him honestly. Make it short and sweet. There's no point blabbering on about it; that will only make things more awkward.

One saving grace, of course, is the concept of slotting in a buddy or your brother as a groomsman. That way, everybody gets to play a part. That's not a perfect solution, because the Best Man is, well, the top pick.

When in doubt, here's what you can say to your brother:

"You'll always be my brother, and I value that tremendously. But [high school buddy] is like a brother to me, and I want to give him the recognition he deserves. You're both going to be a part of my life over the long run, ok? How's this: I'll name my first born after you. Now put that ball on the tee, and hit it straight down the middle of the fairway!"

Choosing a best man is never an easy decision. Weigh your options, consider what qualities your best man will need to possess, and make your choice accordingly. This is a great opportunity to find out just how true your friends are. [Page 1 of 1]
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Keenan {Marry Me-Wedding Plane
Sat, Aug.27th 2011
I dont reallythink that it is family first... I would love my best *MEN* to be family and friends... Maybe a brother, cousin and friends? That has to Work out Right?
in limbo - correction
Mon, Mar.7th 2011
(about brother) as i had said we are NOT very close although we are there for each other in times of need although that doesn't happen often and it is little things such as borrowing things from each other and stuff of that nature, nothing emotional.
in limbo
Mon, Mar.7th 2011
my brother asked me to be his best man 3-4 years ago. he is my older brother and only brother. we are not very close, never really hung out together growing up, but i accepted although i did ask him if he was sure that he did not want a few of his other close friends to be his best man instead, he said no. now i am engaged to be married. i don't know whether or not to ask him to be my best man, i have very close friends, one of whom i have actually already asked to be best man. my dad asked what role my brother would be playing in the wedding and i said groomsman and he didn't look too happy and been odd eversince. i don't think my dads brother was his best man. as i said we are very close although we are there for each other when needed although rarely. found out from his wife, during conversations of hers and my fiance that he was planning on asking my dad orginally, but she suggested otherwise because she didn't think he would throw a good bach party. she had been her sisters made of honor and her sister was going to be her matron of honor so i have a feeling that she pushed my brother to ask me. he is very passive, although i know he has opinions, just doesn't voice them to her, so i wonder if he really wanted me to be his best man and if i should ask him to be a second best man or just stick with my one of my best friends. which i actually have two best friends so that has been a tough choice in itself. i don't want family tension or separation, although none are very close, but don't want to mess up what we have over this. any thoughts or suggestions? weighing heavily on my heart and mind.
Tue, Feb.22nd 2011
David,regarding your ethos in the UK and finding it odd that someoneone from the UK would choose their brother as best man! I am also from the UK and every wedding I have attended (both friends and family weddings) all the grooms have had their brother,if they have one, as best man, especially if they are from a close knit family.I have never known this to be due to grooms having very few mates,in fact the opposite in most cases!
Some guy
Mon, Apr.19th 2010
I picked a good friend to be my best man, and he told me about a month later he can't be involved with my bachelor party b/c he's dating a girl who doesn't approve of his participation in things like that. I have no problem bumping him and putting my brother in law in his place, though I will still ask my friend to be a groomsman.
Sun, Apr.4th 2010
I am 18 yrs old and living at college. My parents had a long drawn out messy divorce. My father was distant and had affairs and I hated how he tried to live thru me as an athlete. However, he has been helping pay for my college expenses and keeps in touch. Now he has suddenly moved back to town and met someone and only 6 months later he wants to get married. He has asked ME to be his BEST MAN at the wedding...I kinda feel like I have to cuz he is paying my rent, and then really no big deal--BUT my MOM is very upset and saying that he should not be asking the "fruit of her womb" to be the best man at his wedding to someone else--that is not why she gave birth to me. Who is right? My mother says my dad is selfish and thoughtless--and yah well..he has "moved on" .. probably always done what he felt like...what should I do? What is right? I want to respect my mom and her feelings, yet feel it should be no big deal cuz he is paying my rent and dont want to give him a hard time. PLEASE help
Fri, Apr.2nd 2010
I think this is quite a big issue. Choosing your bestfriend over your brother? Well, if you really have that very deep friendship which no one can ever equalize then go for your bestfriend. Sometimes, brothers are just one layer behind the male bestriend...after all, he still possess the most important thing...the BLOODLINE. SO leave the role to male bestfriends..they really own the best man title.
Sun, Feb.28th 2010
I have two brothers and I can't between them, so my best friend gets to be the best man by default, but my brothers will be goomsmen.
Wed, Feb.24th 2010
My brother just picked a friend over me and it has left me feeling inadequate! I love my brother and would do anything for him and have always been there for him. I am a few years older and left home when he was teenage but he still hung around with my mates and we all (my mates and brother) still get on really well. I would like to say I understand and so I dont upset people have said I do but in truth wonder where I went wrong.
Mon, Feb.22nd 2010
I know that it's a difficult choice. I've known my best freind since we were both very young, practically from birth. Yet I've not been chosen to be his best man, despite the fact that I'm his oldest freind. I know that it sounds precious and childish, but frankly I'm insulted by this. I'm not looking forward to the wedding and I don't know if our freindship will ever be the same.
Sat, Jan.23rd 2010
My issue is what to do for a 2nd marriage??? My groomsmen from my 1st wedding are still my best buds, and my 2 younger brothers were in high school at the time and were ushers. Who do I pick this go around??
Sat, Oct.24th 2009
Must be an american thing as in the UK to have your brother as a best man generally means you have no mates (close friends). If you want to included them in the wedding party have them as ushers.
anthony M.
Fri, Oct.9th 2009
well im still kinda young for weddings..and im studying medecine i know it's a long journey..i have no brothers..i have a buddy whom i consider a brother we're so close..we've been friends for like 11 years now and am only 18..i know it's early!but surely i'm gonna pick him as a best men..im affraid of loosin him..i dnt wnt our brotherhood to vanish but incase we were kinda apart..o u think i should ask him to be my best men...even if we weren't talking lately??
Fri, Oct.2nd 2009
My brother just got married and I was part of the wedding party but was not asked to be the best man. I really feel pretty down about it due to the fact that he asked his old high school buddy who he never talks to at all. My brother calls me every morning to discuss problems in his life or asks questions regarding school. I drove 16 hours to pick up his girls from his first so they could be at the wedding and the best man didnt even make it on time to the rehersal dinner. Should i feel sad?
Gavin W
Tue, Aug.11th 2009
I have two brothers one 32 and one 38 neither are married I am 27 I also have a best friend who has been my friend for 24 years and i know all three will be hurt I am in a tought spot any suggestions?
Rob Vaughan
Wed, Jul.22nd 2009
my bro and i dont really connect that well. I am 24 and he is 26 and getting married in 4 days. he was never really there for me in my youth nor now. He has moved out and now we are even further apart. do you think he should ask me to be his best man? Also his fiance and i dont really get along that well either, in any case im going to stay away from him like it has always been. Rob
Bad Karma
Tue, Jul.21st 2009
My bro is a moron. He's my only sibling, didn't ask me to be his best man, or even stand up, not invited to rehearsal dinner & asked MY best friend to be his best man. Somebody is so not getting a wedding present!!
Sun, Jun.7th 2009
Matt - I'd personally go with the new guy. Friends come and go, obviously, but it sounds like your new buddy is going to be around for longer.
Fri, Jun.5th 2009
Your Comment I'm a Groomswoman, they are only having two people in their wedding and it'll be two girls lol, but I don't have to walk the Maid of honor down the aisle, I'll just be standing there with the groom It'll bea good time
Wed, Jun.3rd 2009
I have a conundrum. I have two very close friends, one from early childhood, whom I grew up with and went to college with, who joined the military and now we have grown apart. The other is a more recent friend of two years whom we have gotten real close and I know has my back. Regardless, both will be in my wedding party, but whom do I choose to be my best man?
Best Man
Mon, May.25th 2009
I wasn't totally crazy close with the guy who asked me to be his best man. But you know what, we're good buddies and went to college together. He won't be my best man when I get married, but he'll probably be in my wedding party. To the guy who wasn't sure who to choose, it's all good - ask the guy you asked and never think about it again. It's your day - don't be embarrassed
Sat, Mar.28th 2009
I'm in the position of not having whom to choose to be my best man because I really do not have any close friends. I work most of the time and the rest of the time I'm with my fiancee. Before knowing her I worked and wend to university. Besides that I have no brother and my cousins are not that close either. The thing is that nobody is willing to help me in any way. I proposed to a friend of mine that we shared the dorm in the uny to be my best man. But he is totally aerial and did nothing so far. More than that he's out of the country until the actual wedding. I can not make myself the best man. So what do you recommend?
Tue, Mar.10th 2009
Why is it ok for the groom to ask you to be the best man when they thought someone else couldn't make it, then demote you groomsmen when that person becomes available. I may be a girl, but I would've been a better best man than someone who is not coming to this country until the day before the wedding to fulfill his duties......
Wed, Sep.10th 2008
Im torn between who to choose as my best man. Is it traditional for me to automatically pick my dad to be the best man, or can I pick my best friend to be the best man. I dont want my dad to be dissappointed if I dont pick him...what is a good way to break the news to him?
Tue, Apr.22nd 2008
LW2008 - We're working on an article on this very question. Basically, a groomsman has to do something really dumb, or not really be able to commit to attending the wedding, for you to fire him. In your case, we think you're stuck - as you're definitely going to bruise an ego by asking a groomsman to pull out. One option - Add another groomsman and bridesmaid. For that - you're going to need your bride's input.
Tue, Apr.22nd 2008
He's a good friend and I asked him after a night of drinking. I actually had another friend who I would prefer to ask. Unfortunately, it would be very awkward. It's my fault. Too many beers. However, it's also my wedding. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I do have some time. The wedding is not until September. Any suggestions?
Tue, Apr.22nd 2008
LW2008- Why are you considering dumping your groomsman?
Tue, Apr.22nd 2008
Is it OK to change your mind about a groomsman after you already asked him to be in the wedding party? He's a friend and would still be invited, however, I'm considering replacing him.
Sun, Apr.6th 2008
for Ryan, why not take the eldest among your brothers?
Sat, Mar.22nd 2008
My family has sworn they're not coming to my wedding, solely because I've not made any of my brothers groomsmen. I've never been close to them, and since I was adopted, my true best friend has been in my life longer than any of my brothers. Also, since we're not very well off financially and have to pay for the wedding entirely ourselves, we're only having 6 people in the wedding party (3 on each side). Am I obligated to have any of my brothers as part of my wedding party? Please email me your opinion at mnslinky@gmail.com.
Wed, Mar.12th 2008
I am an only child, and dont have any brothers to ask. So I asked my best friend to do the job, I trust him completly, and I know he wont let me down. Its your day remember.. dont be pushed into something otherwise you will be thinking about it in later years when you look back over they day!!.
Dave T
Tue, Feb.26th 2008
What about "Best Men"? I have two close friends that would be perfect. Together, they would be even better for the job in terms of planning and support.
Mon, Feb.18th 2008
What the hell am I going to do if I have 4 brothers, and no friends that seem fit for the job?
Mon, Jan.14th 2008
All my men are pricks and irresponsible, so I'm picking a chick for my best man-woman-thing. Eff the rest of them.
Phil R
Thu, Jan.10th 2008
i have had the opportunity to have two best friends one i have know for almost 12 yrs now. He is like a brother to me, but he has one bad point he has a habit of speaking his mind and when i got engage wrote me in a text message "that is the worst mistake ever." but at least he was honest. he doesnt get a long with the wife to be actually they hate yea hate each other. but he is like family to me. My other friend i have know for 9 yrs he is also a brother to me. i was his best man at his wedding. he is that person that if you asked him to do anything he would without hesitation. he made me is god father to his 1 son, over his own brother. just an all around good guy. do i choose the longer friend whose family calls me a son, or my other friend that made he a god father?
Sat, Dec.29th 2007
I understand why some families "force the brothers over true best friends"... Families are, for many, the most stable, reliable unit in a person's life, and there is allegience to be paid in that respect. That's why it would make it an incredibly difficult task to break against those kinds of family traditions if a friend is preferred over the brother for a best man. It may be the best choice, but it's still a very hard one.
Wed, Dec.19th 2007
No doubt, I had to go with my younger brother. He's my one and only sibling. I was his best man. There was no getting around it. No, I'm not as close to him as I am to my best friend, but not having my bro do it would have only added stress to my day.
Ryan W
Tue, Dec.18th 2007
Jimmy - It's your wedding - why not just have your little brother as a groomsman? I don't actually understand why some families force the brothers over true best friends etc.
Jihad Jimmy
Tue, Dec.18th 2007
I'm way closer to my friends than to my little brother, but it's no question that he's my Best Man. Yes, this will change situation-to-situation, so save your flaming.
Mon, Dec.10th 2007
gotta go with family first

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