Best Man Duties and Responsibilities During the Wedding Day

Tom Pumford
Written by Tom Pumford · Posted in Advice Last Updated June 16, 2023 · minute read

The best man, the life of the party, the ultimate reliability. This man(person) has the wedding at their fingertips. The bridesmaids on tenderhooks. The wedding guests hanging on every word of his speech. Let’s be honest, being the best man is kind of a big deal. But in all seriousness, what are the actual responsibilities of the best man?

Well, whether it’s ensuring the groom is always hydrated, or making sure the rings are always secured in a safe place, the best man really does have quite a big role in the wedding day. Having the personality to be both reliable and outgoing can go a long way to making sure the groom makes it to the venue on time. Of course, in the right “frame of mind”, basically not blind drunk…

two best men giving speech in front of bride and groom

Best Man Duties

So, let’s take a look at best man duties and the likely responsibilities faced during the big day.

What is a Best Man/Best Person?

Before we take a look at best man duties, it’s best to actually explain what we mean by the term “best man”, or in modern times, “best person”.

Generally speaking, the best man is someone nominated by the groom as his “right-hand man”. Usually this is someone that the groom shares a particular close bond with. Maybe a lifelong friend, a brother, generally just someone that he feels he can rely on, and want’s by his side on this most special of days. 

Traditionally, it is a male friend, but this is 2023 and anyone can be the groom’s best person. Regardless of gender. Provided they are able to offer support during the day, anyone with that same bond, can be chosen as the groom’s best person.

What are the responsibilities of a best man?

Now we know what exactly is a best man, it’s time to actually dive deep into the best man duties. 

Below we have put together a list of the most common best man responsibilities. While it’s not certain that the best man will be responsible for these, it’s a good place to start when looking for ideas. Furthermore, this is just a starting point, as a best man you may be required to chip in other ways. You are there to support the groom in whatever capacity they require. 

Duties before the big day

Being the best man isn’t just about being there on the wedding day. Oh no, your duties start long before the party starts.

General Support

It goes without saying, you are going to be required to give general support to the groom whenever he needs it. Fear not, it’s likely that if you are lucky enough to be named the best man, that you’ve been providing support for a while now. 

A wedding is no different, just remember to be a little more attentive than usual. Weddings are kind of a big deal so try your best to be there more regularly. Try to offer more advice than normal, give your opinions while asking if there are any other ways you can help.

Styling Help (Tailors etc)

Looking sharp on your wedding day ranks highly and choosing the three-piece is incredibly important. Almost one of the most important pre-wedding tasks. As the groom’s best man, you are going to have to ensure that GQ is ready to come calling. 

While offering styling advice is of course part of the task, more general duties are also applicable. A best man will need to make sure all the groomsmen arrive at the fitting at the same time, chase up the tailors to find a delivery date, as well as picking up the suits when they are ready. Plus, you will also be required to fix any issues should they arise. 

It’s up to the best man to ensure that the groom looks his best for the entire wedding day. Whether that’s straightening his tie, folding his pocket square, or just generally telling him he looks good!

The Bachelor Party

The legendary bachelor party! Arguably the most famous party in the world. Guess what?!?! It’s the best man’s responsibility to throw this party. No pressure. Think ‘The Hangover’ level of shenanigans. Anything less is a let down really. 

In all seriousness, the best man traditionally hosts the bachelor party. This basically means it’s up to them to choose the location, book any venues required, send out the invites and ensure that the beer is flowing. 

Try to plan a bachelor party that suits the groom and his personality. There is no point visiting Vegas if they don’t like to party. There are so many alternative options that can be tailored perfectly to the groom’s likes and dislikes. 

Attend events such as the rehearsal dinner

Most weddings have several events leading up to the day itself. As the best man you will be required to attend many of these events. These can include engagement parties, rehearsal dinners and wedding showers. 

While it’s unlikely that you will have to be directly involved in the planning of these events, you will need to offer support should the couple need it. Whether that’s help setting up the event, or even writing a short toast for the rehearsal dinner. As a best man, being able to attend to your grooms needs, whether that’s before, during or after the wedding day, it a crucial aspect of your best man duties. 

Gifts for the groom

After capturing several hundred weddings, morning gift giving was always a part of the prep that we absolutely loved. While it is not a requirement to buy the groom a gift, it’s a fantastic show of appreciation for asking you to be the best man. 

As a collection of groomsmen, it might also be worth arranging group gifts from all of you. Gifts that have a personal meaning are a great way to show the friendship and bonds you have all created together. Furthermore, it allows a beautiful moment to be captured by the photo and video team as well as generating a little keepsake for him to remember his wedding day with. Yes, chances are he will have plenty of these, but something special from his chosen groomsmen is always massively appreciated.  

Duties during the wedding day

That’s the best man duties during the pre wedding build up covered, but what about during the big day itself? Well, this is where everything goes up a notch. Make no mistake, the best man’s responsibilities are incredibly important during the day. So important, that if not followed correctly, the wedding day won’t go ahead. Skip ahead to the ‘Looking after the wedding rings’ section…

Make sure the groom is on schedule

Getting the groom to the church (or venue) on time is a well known, and obviously an extremely crucial responsibility of the best man. While arriving at the church on time is the most notable scheduling task, generally speaking, ensuring everything is running smoothly throughout the entire day is also critical.

The morning will likely require that you are on top of everyone and their responsibilities, while ensuring the groom is sticking to a set timeline. Whether that’s ensuring the pre wedding pub trip doesn’t overflow, or ensuring all the ushers are at church early to help welcome guests into their seats.

Throughout the day you will need to liaise with wedding vendors, planners and general venue staff to ensure that the day is going ahead smoothly and not overrunning too much. 

Look after the wedding rings

THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB OF THE BEST MAN! Yes, looking after the wedding rings before the wedding ceremony is so important, that if you fail, the wedding may actually be called off. No pressure then!

Traditionally, it’s the best man’s duty to ensure the rings used during the wedding vows are kept safe before the ceremony. Moreover, the best man will also be required to play a part in the service itself, by providing the rings as part of the wedding ceremony. The rings are used as a symbol of the couple’s eternal love for each other, and if you lose them, you will eternally be in the couple’s bad books! 

Usher in wedding guests

As the ceremony approaches, it is the usher’s responsibility to “usher” in wedding guests, directing them to their seats. While not specifically the role of the best man, offering your support to the ushers will help everything run more smoothly. 

In addition, greeting wedding guests, welcoming them to the celebration, and general light chit-chat is important. The groom will likely be preoccupied with nail biting during this period.

While the guests are important, attending to the groom’s every need is more so. You can leave the guests to the ushers and offer the groom any support he needs in the build up to the wedding ceremony.

Look after wedding vendors

Vendors are important. Imagine the photographer not being able to capture the first kiss because they are stuck outside looking for a parking space. Little tasks like this can go a long way to ensuring everything goes off without a hitch. 

Liaising with the vendors and helping out where possible will ensure there are no upsets throughout the day. While the wedding planner will likely be on top of things, being a go-between for the couple and vendors is one of the most crucial aspects of the best man’s responsibilities. 

Story Amour Tip: Get on top of the schedule, learn the names of the suppliers and learn the names of the important guests. This will help liaising throughout the day much easier. You will also know where everyone needs to be at each moment of the celebration. 

Give a speech

Look away now if public speaking isn’t your thing! As I’m sure every best man knows, delivering a gut-churningly funny speech is imperative. No skipping this one. Load up the Netflix comedy specials and begin Googling those cheesy dad jokes. You are going to need them.

No, in all seriousness, the best man speech is an incredible part of the wedding day, however, you should tailor it to your own personality, as well as the grooms. Not the next Ricky Gervais? Fear not, speak from the heart, share memories, and thank all the guests for coming. You can’t go far wrong. 

Ensure the groom always has a drink

This ones an easy one. Ensure the groom is always hydrated and refreshed. This doesn’t mean shots from 8am to 7am (yes you read that right). It means staying on top of the situation, keeping the groom in the perfect state of dutch courage, happiness and of course, respondent.

One or two drinks before the ceremony is fine, however getting the groom there on time, in the right state of mind is crucial. One too many and it could be a nightmare! Wait until after the wedding breakfast to really get the party started.

Help see guests out

After all the festivities are said and done, it’s time to start helping the wedding guests leave. Helping with taxi’s, directions and of course, saying goodbye to the couple, can be a great benefit.

While you won’t have to do too much, just being there to offer support to departing guests can help the evening end without any fall out. Chances are that the bride and groom have got other plans on their mind. It is their wedding night after all. Wink wink!

Duties after the wedding

So, you thought that just because the big day was all said and done, that your job was over? Not a chance. Even after the wedding day, the best man has several responsibilities that they need to take care of. 

Return wedding suits

Remember those GQ level suits that you helped arrange? Well, now you need to make sure they all find their way back to the correct tailors, at the correct time. Moreover, making sure everything from ties to cufflinks are in the correct place. Ensure everything is in the best condition, will avoid the chance of fines and cleaning fees. 

You will need to liaise with the groom and all the groomsmen to make sure all the rented attire is returned correctly.

Further ongoing support

Just be there man. Not much more to say than that. 

Groom had an argument with the bride? Be there to chew the fat. Offer your advice whenever you can. Be a shoulder to cry should it be needed. 

In addition, remember that you need to be there for more than just the groom, now you need to be there for the bride as well. They come as a pair!

FAQs about best man duties

We get asked quite a few questions about what duties the best man has and what to expect during the wedding process. We’ve probably covered most of them above, however below are a few further popular questions. 

Does the best man have to give a speech?

In truth, no. If the best is truly uncomfortable giving a speech, they shouldn’t be forced into it. That being said, giving a speech as the best is a tradition. A tradition that pretty much everyone loves!

If you are the best man and want to avoid public speaking, have a word with the bride and groom and let them know you are worried. However, we would recommend you still give it a go. Keep it short and sweet. Thank them and the guests for coming. Maybe try to throw in one or two stories about your friendship. Don’t overthink it, just try your best. No matter what you say, it will likely be highly appreciated by the couple.

What does the best man pay for?

Traditionally, nothing specific. You are required to of course cover your own expenses plus also consider gifts for the groom. This is both individually, and as a group with the rest of the groomsmen. 

Other FAQs about best man responsibilities

While best man duties generally follow traditions, in 2023 it’s commonplace that you may have to get involved in other aspects of the planning and wedding process. Moreover, the exact traditions you have to follow will likely depend on the couple, their heritage and personal decisions. For example, in Hong Kong, you will have to take part in a trial in order to win the bride over, allowing the groom to claim his future wife. 

Every wedding is different so be sure to speak to the couple about what they expect from you as the best man. 

Conclusion

There you have it, everything you need to know about best man duties and best person responsibilities. All sounds quite straight forward right? Offer advice and support when they need it. Get the groom to the church on time. Throw an epic bachelor party. That’s pretty much it!

Without joking around, being asked to be the best man is a huge honor. Representing your closest friend on their wedding day is a fantastic credit to your friendship and recognition for the bond you have built together.

Providing you are there for the groom when he needs it, you can’t go far wrong.