Your buddy’s finally done it! He’s popped the question and has asked you to stand beside him as his best man on his big day. You’re thrilled, of course, but you may also be wondering what exactly the best man duties entail, beyond planning the world’s greatest bachelor party. So, what does a best man do? You’ll be his right hand man throughout the wedding planning process, during the big day and you’ll help coordinate a few key details post-wedding.
It’s a big responsibility, so use the checklist below to make sure you’ve accomplished all of the most important duties of a best man along the way.
Before the Wedding
Help the groom pick out the ring (if he asks)
If the groom asks for your help, assist him with picking out the perfect ring for his soon-to-be fiancé. With his partner’s taste in mind, provide your honest thoughts on the options he shares and his proposal ideas.
Make sure that all the groomsmen meet one another
As best man, it’s your job to keep the groomsmen organized, in the know and on time throughout the wedding planning process and on the big day. It’s often helpful for the best man to arrange a get together early on so that all of the groomsmen can meet one another. Introduce the group over beers and let the bachelor party planning begin!
Help the groom choose wedding formalwear
The groom may ask for your help in choosing what the groomsmen will wear during the ceremony. If this is the case, be prepared to help him shop for the perfect attire for the group.
Ensure that the groomsmen have their tuxedos or suits
Don’t forget to check in and make sure that everyone has secured their formalwear at least three months in advance.
Plan and host the bachelor party
As best man, you’ll be tasked with planning the bachelor party. To ensure the night is the perfect send-off for the groom, keep his interests and personality top of mind when planning the itinerary and favors.
Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
Prepare to remind the groomsmen of important details and answer any questions they may have about where to go or what to do during the ceremony the next day.
Serve as the groom’s support system and sounding board
Wedding planning can be stressful for everyone, so make sure you’re there to keep him sane and troubleshoot any problems that arise along the way.
The Wedding Ceremony
Get ready with the groom and groomsmen before the ceremony
Typically, the groom and groomsmen will get ready for the wedding together. Help calm the groom’s nerves by bringing beer, video games or cards to help pass the time.
Wrangle the groomsmen on the big day
As best man, it’s your job to make sure everyone is on time and in the right place. Make sure you have all of the groomsmen’s cell numbers stored in your phone prior to the wedding day, just in case.
Hold the bride’s ring until vows are exchanged
Double check that there are no holes in your pocket!
Stand beside the groom during the ceremony
He’s always been there for you, and now you get to stand beside him during this special moment.
Sign the marriage license as witness with the maid of honor
Serving as a witness to the couple’s marriage is one of the most special parts of serving as best man!
Deliver the officiant fee at the end of the ceremony
When the ceremony is over, the best man is typically responsible for paying the officiant before heading to the reception.
The Wedding Reception
Help play host!
Direct guests to the guest book, show them where they should drop off gifts and lead them to the bar.
Dance with the maid of honor during the first formal dance
During the first dance, pair up with the maid of honor to help get the party started on the dance floor.
Give the first toast to the newlyweds!
Don’t overthink this best man responsibility—keep your wedding toast short, sweet and unforgettable. Compliment the bride, make fun of the groom and wish them both a lifetime of happiness.
Make sure the groom stays fed and hydrated
Helping ensure the groom has more in his system than just alcohol will keep him partying all night long.
With the maid of honor, rally the wedding party to help decorate the getaway vehicle
Feel free to get creative: Write “Just Married” or another clever message and incorporate unique decorations like streamers, soda bottles and balloons to give the newlyweds a noisy send-off.
Help collect gifts and cards for the bride and groom
At the end of the night, make sure that the presents are accounted for and are loaded into cars as needed.
After the Wedding
Help coordinate transportation to the airport for their honeymoon
Be prepared to drive the bride and groom to the airport if they are leaving immediately for their honeymoon. If you are planning to drink at the wedding, make sure to plan ahead and order a car service.
Work with the bride’s parents to make sure that all of the vendors have received payment
Traditionally, the bride’s parents are responsible for paying for the reception and closing out at the end of the night; however, be prepared for the groom to ask you to help close out and distribute tips if needed.
Manage the return of tuxedo rentals
If the groomsmen rented tuxes, it’s your job as best man to make sure all of the guys return their clothing on time and in good condition. If the groom is leaving straight for his honeymoon, make sure to collect and return his attire as well.
Deposit checks in the bank
The bride and groom may ask you to manage the checks they received as presents while they are on their honeymoon. If this is the case, make sure you’ve collected all the cards after the reception and deposit them at the bank promptly.
Treat the groom to post-wedding drinks
Celebrate his marriage and remind him you’ll continue to be there for him, no matter what.
Being your buddy’s best man is an exciting responsibility and rewarding experience. In addition to carrying out your best man duties, make sure to enjoy yourself while you celebrate one of the happiest days of your best friend’s life. Grooms, don’t forget to thank the best man for standing by your side on your big day with the perfect best man gift.