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What does the Best Man do?

Updated on August 30, 2013
Make your wedding day run smooth!
Make your wedding day run smooth! | Source

Traditional Duties of the Best Man

As soon as the bride and groom to be prepare for their wedding, they must allocate duties to those close to them.

The bride to be will traditionally choose bridesmaids or a maid of honour who will be close friends or family members. The groom to be will have to pick a Best Man. He (or in some cases, she) will be a good friend or close member of family who can be relied on to ensure the run up to the day and the day itself goes smoothly.

Before the Wedding Day

The best man needs to have good organisational skills, as well as being a good friend to the groom. He needs to support and help out where needed and plan before and during the big day.

The first job of the best man is to organise a stag (bachelor) party.

The stag party will include group of close male friends and family members to celebrate the last day of being a single man.

The stag party can however be arranged to be a week or so before the wedding day and be held in an evening or over a weekend.

Traditionally the party is a night of drinks with good friends to honour the groom to be, but it can also be a night of drinking games and humiliation!

Party time
Party time

Ideas for a Stag Party

The best man should arrange the party to suit his best friend so he can enjoy his last night of freedom.

It may involve a pub crawl then a night club (and maybe strippers!) or a weekend away to party.

Other ways to celebrate may include:

  • Wine or beer tasting evening
  • Day playing golf
  • Paint balling
  • Day at a theme park
  • Adventure weekend (abseiling, canoeing, mountain biking)

The next best man role before the wedding is to attend the rehearsal if there is one.

Getting the Groom to the Church

Another important role for the best man is to ensure the groom is organised on his big day. This involves making sure the wedding suits are prepared, cars are booked and they get to the wedding venue on time.

The groom and the best man arrive at the church or venue together before the guests and bride get there.

The best man is there to offer support to the nervous groom, ensure groomsmen (ushers) are in place to seat the guests and be there to greet them as they arrive.

During the Ceremony

The best man is trusted with the wedding rings. He must carry them to the wedding venue and hand them over to the vicar or registrar before the vows.

The best man stays by the groom’s side except during the actual ceremony. He then has to act as one of the witnesses and sign the register.

Get the car organised for the bride and groom
Get the car organised for the bride and groom | Source

The Wedding Reception

If the reception is at a separate place, the best man needs to make sure everyone knows where they are going.

Generally the guests all arrive before the bride and groom, as they may go somewhere to have photographs taken.

As the bride and groom enter the reception venue, it is the best man’s job to announce their arrival.

Any gifts and cards for the happy couple will be taken by the best man and put in a safe place.


The biggest job for many best men tends to be the speech.

Traditionally the speeches will be made by the bride’s father, followed by the groom then lastly the best man.

The speech by the best man can be a witty tale about the groom or emotional support followed by a toast for the couple.

Generally the best man’s speech is light hearted or a relevant joke about the groom, as well as a toast on behalf of the bridesmaids.

Last Best Man Responsibities

Once the meal is over the bride and groom will have their first dance. When the first dance is over, the guests can get up and start dancing. The best man may have to dance with the maid of honour if there is one.

At the end of the evening, the best man has to make sure all guests get home safely and the wedding car is decorated for the bride and groom’s departure.


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    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Harvey 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Haha jpcmc, I think most best men think that. I guess people tend to share the responsibilities these days, but it is still quite a duty!

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      They did what? And I thought all they had to do was arrange the bachelor’s party. Too much work! lol

    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Harvey 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Thanks CassyLu1981 - it's surprising what you learn when you get married! Thank you so much for sharing - and liking the pics ;)

      Hi Jenna - what a compliment! I've written about organizing weddings in the past but I never considered the best man's duties until our own wedding 2 weeks ago. He really has some responsibility!

    • Jenna Pope profile image

      Jenna Pope 5 years ago from Southern California

      This is really complete. You should add a check list and sell it at party stores! Well done! Voted up.

    • CassyLu1981 profile image

      CassyLu1981 5 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Wow, who knew the best man actually did stuff LOL Love the pictures by the way :) Great article! Voted up and shared :)