So, you’ve been selected as the best man? Congratulations! Unfortunately, you’ll have to put your bromance on the back burner and start focusing on your boy’s romantic life for a little while. From helping him choose the perfect engagement ring to giving the getaway car a makeover, there’s a lot you’ll be tackling over the next few months. So buckle in and get ready to master the art of being the best best man you can be.
Here is the ultimate best man duties checklist.
Go on the engagement ring hunt
You’re first wedding related duty may come before you’re even asked to be the best man - picking out the engagement ring. No, your pal won’t expect you to brush up on the basics of cut, colour, clarity and carat, but he’ll probably want you there for moral support while shopping. Try and give your honest opinion and offer helpful comments instead of less-than-insightful grunts and sighs.
Be the leader of the pack
You are the captain, the MVP, the leader of the pack, so it’s your job to keep the other groomsmen in line. Once your friend has filled out the rest of his wedding line up, you’ll want to get the squad together for some team bonding. Yes, this sounds like a treacherous office activity, but trust me, it’s much more fun. Host a get together at a bar, go golfing or do something low key that will get everyone acquainted before the bachelor party. You may want to get a group message going in case any wedding-related questions arise.
Help pick the groomsmen ensembles
Don’t leave the guys to their own devices when it comes to their outfits. Make sure everyone orders their garb on time, or, if you’re renting or buying as a group, ensure that the order has been submitted and that everyone has ponied up the cash. You’ll also want to leave time for tailoring, each of those groomsmen is a special snowflake and not everyone’s suit will fit perfectly.
Be the groom’s right hand
Whatever the groom needs, you should be his go-to guy. Planning a wedding is stressful work and having a partner in crime that’s a little more removed from the situation than his significant other will help keep him from having a total meltdown.
Help book travel and accommodations
If the wedding is more than a short drive away, you’ll want to help coordinate travel and accommodations for yourself and the other groomsmen. This may mean devoting a little time to research on Flight Centre and Expedia, but it’ll pay off in the long run. Make sure everyone in the group is headed to the right place and arriving on time (you don’t want a Bermuda/Bahamas mix up).
Plan the bachelor party
What’s the most awesome part of being the best man? Throwing an epic bachelor party. No, this doesn’t mean you should gear up for a night reminiscent of The Hangover - please, for the love of God, stay away from tigers, Mike Tyson and face tattoos - but you should plan something amazing for your pal. Whether he wants to have a crazy 24 hour adventure in Vegas or head to Muskoka for chill weekend, remember to cater to his interests instead of your own.
Help out the guests
While the bride’s roster of talented party planners and attentive pals will probably handle most of the guest’s questions, you may also be approached with one or two. Become well acquainted with the wedding details so that you can answer FAQs like “what time should I arrive?” and “where can I find the registry?”
Attend the pre-wedding events
While the main event is the most important (obviously) you won’t want to miss any wedding adjacent parties either. You should RSVP to the engagement party, the post-wedding brunch and everything in between, after all, as part of the wedding party you are one of the VIPs.
BEFORE THE CEREMONY (the day of)
Get ready with the groom
Don’t leave the groom flying solo before the main event. Turn getting ready into a pre-wedding party by cranking up the tunes and having some stylish beverages like manhattans at the ready. You’ll want to make sure all the groomsmen have their boutonnieres and are looking picture perfect before setting out.
Be the messenger
To ward off cold feet some couples choose to send each other notes or small gifts before they meet at the altar. If this is the case with your pals, you’ll be serving as the runner for the groom.
Have an emergency kit at the ready
Always be prepared. A button might go MIA from a suit, one of the groomsmen may pour some whisky on his white shirt or the groom may be in desperate need of a mint - you never know. Have a pack of supplies prepared in case any issue arises. Stock it with essentials like mints, a sewing kit, socks, deodorant, cologne, floss, band aids, Tide to Go and Advil.
Watch the clock
Your man has got to be at that altar before the bride, so you better keep your eye on that clock. Make sure the groom and groomsmen are suited, booted and ready to go on time. Yes, it would be great to sit around reminiscing about the good old days and drinking Johnnie Walker Blue Label for a few extra minutes, but the show must begin on time.
Hold the rings
The rings are a key component of the ceremony, so if you’re entrusted them you’ll want to guard them like you’re Frodo on his quest to Mount Doom. That means knowing its whereabouts at all times. If the couple has opted for a ring bearer or left them in the potentially safer hands of the maid of honour, you’re off the hook.
Stand next to the groom
Your only job here is to stand and support your friend as he says his vows and exchanges rings with his new spouse. Word to the wise, whether the ceremony lasts five minutes or fifty minutes you’ll want to try and look awake, alert and excited for the whole shebang - you’ll be heavily featured in that photo album and don’t want ruin it with unintentional yawns or side eyes.
Sign the marriage license
For the union to be viewed as legit in the eyes of the law the couple will need a few signatures on their marriage license - and one of them will be yours. Whether they choose to sign it before or after the ceremony, you’ll have to be present to make the document valid.
Pay the officiant
As soon as the deal is sealed the couple will probably be bombarded with hugs, kisses and well wishes, leaving them no time to tie up loose ends. As the groom’s right hand man you should assume the duty of paying the officiant, just make sure to ask him about it before the wedding begins so that you have the funds ready to go.
Enter the reception with the maid of honour
This one’s simple. Make a grand entrance with the bride’s BFF. Usually an emcee will be on the scene ready to introduce the two of you, so all you’ll have to do is smile, wave and find your seat. Easy breezy, right?
Be a host with the most
Sure, the bride and groom are “technically” the hosts of their wedding day, but, trust me, they’ll be far too busy hanging out on cloud nine to handle all the typical hosting duties. That’s where you come in. You and the maid of honour will be in charge of fielding any questions that guests may have (or directing them to the planner or venue coordinator) and dealing with any bumps in the road that may arise.
Dance with the maid of honour
Traditionally, the best man and MOH would hit the floor after the newlyweds have finished their first dance. This is totally optional, so if you don’t like being the centre of attention feel free to skip partnering up for a number. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Remember, you and the maid of honour are the hype men of this party, so get the crowd excited and on their feet.
Make sure the groom stays fuelled
A hangry person is not a handsome person. Make sure your pal stays fed and hydrated so that he is fuelled for all the night’s events. You don’t want him dozing off before the garter toss.
Give a toast
After the father-of-the-bride gives his touching toast, it’s time for you to stand in the spotlight. While you should aim to give a memorable speech, don’t make it your mission to upstage the family. Crack a few jokes, share a few anecdotes and keep the whole deal short and sweet.
Decorate the wedding car
Now’s the time to let your creative spirit shine. Assemble your crack team of amateur artists (AKA your groomsmen) and get to decorating the getaway vehicle. Make sure you have all your supplies when you arrive at the venue - you don’t want to raise any eyebrows by dipping out to the local hardware store mid-cha cha slide.
Tie up loose ends
When the reception wraps you’ll probably be ready to dive into your bed, after all, being the best man is a bit exhausting. But not so fast. There are a few loose ends that the best man is usual tasked with tying up. He is typically responsible for making sure all the gifts get collected, handing out tips to selected vendors and making sure the groomsmen return any rented attire. If your pal asks you to do any other small deeds, try your best to oblige - even if it means staying a bit more sober than you’d like.