What Does A Best Man Do?

When the Best Man is not busy being a best friend, he has some jobs to do before, during, and after the wedding. 

As the Best Man, you play an integral role in supporting the groom on his special day. So, what does the Best Man do exactly? Your duties include organizing the bachelor party, holding on to the wedding rings on the big day, and providing moral support to the groom throughout the wedding process. You are a vital member of the wedding party who is essential for a successful event.

What Is A Best Man?

Traditionally, the Best Man acts as the Groom’s right-hand man on his wedding day and is often in charge of:

  • Planning the bachelor party (As you can see, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!)
  • Helping the groom choose and purchase the wedding rings
  • Giving a toast to the newlyweds at the reception
  • Helping the groom with any parts of the wedding or its preparations

Who is the Optimal Pick for Your Best Man?

Best Men are usually close friends or relatives of the Groom. Sometimes, they are his friends from childhood, a cousin, or even his father or uncle.

There are no rules regarding who the Groom can or cannot choose. 

As a Best Man or head attendant, you are there to support the Groom on his big day. 

The Best Man’s duties vary from wedding to wedding and person to person depending on what you discussed among each other but usually include helping out with any pre-wedding duties and responsibilities during the reception.

What does the Best Man do?

What does the Best Man do before the wedding?

The weeks and days leading to the wedding are often stressful for the couple, and the Best Man (similar to the Maid / Matron of Honor) can help to help some of the tasks for everything to line up smoothly on the big day.

Suiting Up: The Best Man Helps to Coordinating Formalwear

If the groom is asking, the Best Man will help choose which suits to buy or rent and what styles they guys should wear and follow up with the Groomsmen on fittings before the wedding day when needed! 

He also would check if the attire is in unison with the Bride’s vision. 

This includes making sure the Groomsmen have their accessories, from ties, and suspenders to cufflinks.  

And if he’s really amazing, the Best Man would put together a survival kit including shoe polish & brush, lint brush, breath freshener, pain-relieving pills, etc.

Organize the Bachelor Party: The Groom’s Goodbye to Single Life

This is the time to have some fun and celebrate the bachelor getting married before starting his life as a husband.

The Best Man traditionally books a venue and coordinates the bachelor party with the help of the Groomsmen.  

He would handle putting a budget together, raising funds, and making sure that everyone has fun on this one of the last nights of freedom for the Groom before getting married!

What Does A Best Man Do? - bachelor party

Depending on what type of person the groom is, there are many ways to do this.

Some examples would be taking him out for drinks, organizing going camping together or renting him a cabin in the woods, a wild party at a club, a weekend trip, or an outing such as golfing, and so forth.

However you decide to throw the Groom’s party, make sure it is within everyone’s budget who is attending.

Stand By The Groom’s Side For Emotional And Decision Support

As the best friend, the Best Man would offer emotional support for the Groom, providing a voice of reason when the groom is not sure what to do, and being a friend, he can lean on.

The Best Man would also advise his buddy (the Groom) as far as decisions that need to be made before the wedding – like helping to select the wedding bands, the groom’s and Groomsmen attire, coordinating transportation, going over the bachelor party options, etc.

Coordinate The Groomsmen’s Gift To The Groom

A gift for the groom from his pals is a nice touch, though not mandatory. 

The Best Man will also coordinate a Groomsmen’s gift if everyone is chipping in, which is usually a present that they will present together as a group. 

This can be something like a classy bottle of his favorite whisky, a stylish casual watch, a new gym bag, a fancy Montblanc pen, or any other personal gift ideas that don’t have to cost a fortune.

Attend The Rehearsal And Rehearsal Dinner

Most couples ring in their wedding with a rehearsal dinner the night before their wedding. The rehearsal takes place either at the house of worship or the wedding venue. The rehearsal dinner is usually hosted by the parents of the groom.

As a Best Man, your duties would include attending these events, being available to take care of any last-minute tasks, and giving or listening to toasts and speeches during the evening.

What does the Best Man do during the wedding?

Oversee the Groomsmen’s Duties and Activities

As the Best Man, you would also act as a liaison between the Groom and his Groomsmen.  

Ensure that everyone has their clothes, shoes, and accessories ready to go, is ready for all of the pre-wedding photoshoots, and is together in one spot before the ceremony before being lined up. 

What does the Best Man do? - Groomsmen

This includes after the wedding coordinating any rented tuxedos or suits to be returned before their due date. 

For the rehearsal, make sure that all of the Groomsmen are there on time, too, to start the celebrations.

Keep The Groom And Groomsmen’s Timeline In Check

It’s the Best Man’s job to keep the Groom, Groomsmen, dads, and brothers on schedule and keep things moving along.  

This includes making sure that they know when it’s time to get dressed in their outfits, being available for photos, telling them to keep an eye on the time, and reminding them of the order they need to line up for the ceremony, when it’s time for them to give their speeches (if they are giving any), and so on.

Help The Groom Get Dressed And Ready

As a matter of tradition, the Best Man would help the Groom get ready, i.e., help put on cufflinks, help to tie his bowtie for him, and pin on the boutonniere. 

If all the guys are getting ready together, the Best Man will help them along as needed, too, so everyone is ready at the same time.

Be The Point Of Contact When The Groom Is Unavailable

If the Groom needs help with anything, this is a good time to offer it.  Jump in as is necessary to help with any last-minute changes that may have come up.

For example, telling the band about a last-minute song change, checking on any vendors that have not arrived yet, or get in a car for an eleventh-hour errand before the ceremony (did you bring your bowtie?)

Make the Groom feel like he has someone on his side and that everything will be okay! If he starts getting nervous or anxious, assure him by saying something like, “We got this!”

Stay Organized And Hold On To The Rings

As the chief assistant, you should always know where the rings are and keep them safe until they are given to the couple during the ceremony.  In addition, keep an eye on the marriage license and any printed speeches for later.  

Welcome Arriving Guests At The Ceremony

As guests trickle in for the ceremony, you should be there to greet them and give them a hug if they are family or close friends.

In the meantime, the Groomsmen would help usher guests to their seats, assist with any coats and make sure that everyone felt welcome and comfy.

If the ceremony is off-site, the Best Man and Groomsmen help usher guests to transportation to get to the wedding venue.

Help Congregate the Bridal Party To Line Up For The Processional

The Best Man should help to keep all the Groomsmen together right before the processional. 

You might need to find family members scattered all over the venue to get them lined up for the ceremony – did anyone see grandma?

In any case, make sure that everyone meets at a pre-determined room or location at the venue to assemble before going down the aisle and make sure no one is missing.

Stand Next To The Groom During The Ceremony

The moment is finally here! And now you are finding yourself standing next to your closest pal seeing him get married.

Stay sharp, have the rings handy, and be ready for any readings if you are part of these during the service.  

During the ceremony (processional), it may be possible that you will walk down the aisle behind the Groom along with the Groomsmen, or enter the front of the room from the side.

At the end of the ceremony, during the recessional, you would typically line up with the Maid of Honor and escort her back as soon as the bride and groom left through the doors, depending on what arrangements were made during rehearsal.

Be A Witness And Sign the Marriage License

Two witnesses are needed to sign the marriage license, and usually, the Best Man and Maid of Honor will act as these witnesses. 

Sometimes it is signed before, i.e., at the wedding rehearsal the day before.

Ensure you are prepared to witness the signing of the marriage license and watch as the couple signs.  

Keep a pen in your pocket just in case. Even the simplest things can be overlooked, and people always need a pen.

Get Camera-Ready to Strike a Pose!

You will probably be in many photos, so be ready to take family and bridal party photos. 

You will also have fun taking pictures with the Groomsmen and the Groom before he sees his bride.

Engage And Mingle With Guests

Engage and make rounds and greet guests from both sides of the family.

Mingle with everyone in attendance if you have a chance.  

Offer guests something to drink as a way to engage with them, whether they opt for water, soda, or mixed drinks.

Be Part Of The Bridal Party Introduction

After cocktails, and once guests settled in at their tables in the ballroom, many couples opt for the bridal party introduction with upbeat music followed by their big entrance.  

The Best Man will typically be introduced along with the Maid or Matron of Honor right before the newlyweds enter and find their way to the dance floor waiting for the Bride and Groom, or may go straight to their table.

The Bride & Groom would typically now do their first dance.

Keep The Celebration Last All Night Long!

As soon as the Bride & Groom are done with their first dance, the Best Man should lead the Bridal Party to the dance floor together with the Maid of Honor and join the newlyweds, invite the other guests, and initiate a dance set for a couple of songs to get the party started.

Give A Best Man Speech

During the wedding celebration, the Best Man is often expected to give a speech.  

The best time is when the first course has been served, and guests are almost finished eating it.  

It’s a great way to relax the formality of the wedding by welcoming the entire crowd.  Keep it sweet and short, so the party doesn’t come too much to a halt.

Your Best Man Speech should review the couple’s journey together and finish with a genuine heartfelt message and best wishes.

You can spice it up by reminiscing some humorous stories or telling some light-hearted jokes, but keep them appropriate for all ages in attendance.

Help Hosting

The Best Man should support the newlyweds with any inquiries they or the guests may have.  

Help with logistics, keep a timeline in his pocket, and know the venue’s lay of the land to direct guests.  Otherwise, refer to the wedding coordinator or the venue’s catering manager for any questions.  

Be as helpful as possible but also have a great time at the party, and engage with friends, family, and people you have never met.

Make sure the groom takes some time to eat and stays hydrated. 

What does the Best Man do after the wedding?

Ensure The Getaway Car Is Ready

Unless the wedding is at a hotel and the Bride and Groom stay overnight after the celebration, think of a fun “just married” sign to put on their getaway car to send the couple off.

What Does A Best Man Do? - getaway car

Help Gather And Collect Gifts For Safekeeping

At every wedding, you still find guests who prefer bringing a wedding gift to the celebration.  

The venue should provide a gift table to display them during the event.  

Check with the Bride and Groom if they already have someone assigned to collect the gifts (often their mothers would help) or if they prefer you to take care of them when the party ends.

Talk about this beforehand, so there is no confusion later on regarding how gifts should be delivered to the couple’s home or hotel room.

As far as gift envelopes, make sure they are all accounted for and given to the Bride and Groom or a designated relative before everyone leaves.

Check The Dressing Rooms Before Leaving

If the Groom and Groomsmen are getting ready in a designated dressing room where the ceremony is taking place, check the room one more time for safety before leaving the venue and make sure that nothing is left behind.  

It’s much easier to take five minutes before leaving than call the next day trying to find lost items.

Pay Vendors And Hand Out Tips

The Groom may ask you to pay some vendors and possibly hand out envelopes with tips. 

You should do this at the beginning of the night so that you don’t have to keep track of the payments or, God forbid, lose an envelope during the party.  You may also be asked to pay the officiant right after the ceremony.

 In any case, the Groom should have prepared everything you need in advance and would hand the payments over to you to distribute them.

Return Rented Attire

You may also be asked to oversee that any rented suits and tuxedos are returned intact to the rental company before the due date. 

Coordinate with the Groomsmen beforehand so that you don’t have to chase everyone later.

Sharing Best Man Duties

How Many Best Men Can You Have?

The best number of best men at a wedding is one or two.  

Choosing more than two Best Men will likely cause some confusion.   In that case, you may call them all Groomsmen and don’t have a Best Man.

It may seem tacky and unconventional to some, but there are numerous reasons why it is both acceptable and beneficial to have two Best Men.  

You have two close friends that you want to knight, but you cannot choose between them.  So why not make them both Best Men? 

This way you don’t have to choose one over the other and make them think that your friendship means less to you.

What Does A Best Man Do? - two groomsmen

It’s an approachable way to include two people who might be eligible for the honor.

You can also have two Best Men if you are close to your brother, and they both deserve recognition.  And if one of them is not available, it’s ok; the other will come with you anyway.

The Groom can choose who he feels most comfortable with – whether they’re his brothers or close friends – making them equally important and dividing up responsibilities.

No matter how many people you choose, it won’t break any rules or anything if you pick more than one Best Man for your wedding day.

Whether you have one or two Best Men, there are plenty of tasks they can share and handle together to help you out before your nuptials and on the wedding day.  

Scroll to Top