Family

The duties of the Best Man

It’s the biggest day of your mate’s life – but it’s also a nerve-wracking day for you too, as the Best Man. Weddings can be stressful, despite months (or even years) of planning, as everyone – not least the bride and groom – wants everything to go as smoothly as possible. 

Yes, you’ll have to do a best man’s speech on the day (more on that later), but there are a whole host of other duties of a best man you might not have though of, as you work your magic behind the scenes. There’s no hard and fixed rules of how to be a best man, but you can equip yourself to be the greatest best man you possibly can. A good start would be following some of the below tips outlining some of the duties you might face as the groom’s right hand man.

When it comes to your role, organisation is key. There’s various tasks you’ll be responsible for before and at the ceremony, but you’ll be planning, MC-ing the speeches and helping co-ordinate the reception. 

There’ll be countless bits of admin you’ll need to arrange, from briefing the caterer about when the speeches will take place, to ordering the suits and buttonhole flowers and possibly even booking the cars for the bride and groom – though duties of the best man can vary from wedding to wedding.

No, you don’t have to sort out what’s being served by the caterer, but you do need to liaise with the caterer as it’s your duty as best man to manage the party and the speeches, including your own. Speak to the them to ensure tables are cleared and silence restored before the speeches begin. The clattering of crockery is annoying for everyone. 

Find out who’s arranging flowers and offer to deal with arranging buttonhole flowers for the groom, bride’s father, yourself and others

Ask the bride and groom if arranging suits is one of your duties as best man. If so, ask what they want – they might want top hats to make the outfits look super sharp. Make arrangements right away to book the outfits for the groom, ushers, and anyone who needs to be dressed formally. Ideally, get all the suits from the same shop, and do it in good time. 

On the big day, you’ll be in charge of organising the team of ushers or groomsmen, and co-ordinating transport for any guests arriving from out of town. Liaise with the band or DJ to make sure the first dance will run smoothly, and that everything’s under control. 

You don’t have to run the day like a military operation, but one of the best man’s duties is to be organised and know exactly where you (and everyone else) is meant to be at the right time. Make sure you’re aware of who’s doing what, and familiarise yourself with the plan for the day.

Then comes the most nerve-wracking part of the wedding, for you at least; the best man’s speech. 

Research the speech by talking to parents, siblings, friends and colleagues who can provide you with anecdotes and perhaps even photos – but make sure you judge the tone of the speech correctly. You don’t want the bride’s grandmother gasping in horror as you utter something rude or inappropriate for a family audience.

And after it’s all over, get yourself a glass of wine. You’ve more than earned it. 

For more tips on how to be a Best Man, take a look at How To Make A Brilliant Best Man’s Speech And Support The Groom, From The Stag Do To The Wedding (£9.99, Robinson) by Phillip Khan-Panni.