Best Man Duties

by William McCoy

Having a family member or close friend ask you to serve as the best man at his wedding is a tremendous honor, but this role isn't an invitation to simply schmooze with the ladies in the bridal party. Before the wedding and on the day itself, your mission is to provide support for the groom in a number of ways, including behind the scenes and in front of the guests.

Before the Wedding

Leading up to the wedding, you have a number of responsibilities. One key duty is to help the groom organize a time at which every member of the bridal party visits a formal clothing shop to get fitted for tuxedos. Another important pre-wedding duty is organizing the bachelor party. Depending on the groom's wishes, you might be tasked with organizing a surprise party. Related duties include collecting money from all the attendees, keeping the party on schedule and ensuring the groom is enjoying himself.

During the Ceremony

On the day of the wedding, your duties as best man begin long before the bride walks down the aisle. You'll often meet up with the groom early in the day to help with any last-minute tasks such as coordinating groomsmen, meeting with the officiant ensuring the groomsmen are performing their tasks. Additionally, it's also ideal to provide moral support to the groom, especially if he's overly nervous. When the ceremony begins, you'll walk the maid of honor down the aisle and assume a position near the groom. At the allotted time, you should hand the rings to the officiant, and then sign the marriage license and hold it for the groom.

During the Reception

Your duties as best man don't end after the ceremony. When the reception begins, you'll often offer a toast or speech to the married couple. If dancing is part of the event, be prepared to dance with the maid of honor. Your role at the reception includes helping in any way needed, such as distributing tips to servers, the DJ and the bartender, answering questions from wedding staff and gathering gifts and placing them in a safe spot for the newlyweds.

Other Duties

Around the time of the wedding, you'll have a number of other various jobs to perform. These can include attending the rehearsal dinner, helping drive members of the bridal party from the ceremony to the reception, being on hand for photos and helping to decorate the bride and groom's vehicle for their post-reception departure or driving the couple to their hotel. Additional duties could include taking the wedding gifts home until the couple wishes to open them, returning the groom's tuxedo rental and even helping the newlyweds get to the airport for their honeymoon.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.