The Bestman’s Responsibilities

The popular perception of the best man at a wedding is of a risque boor whose main interest in the day is the chief bridesmaid. Nothing is – or should be – further from the truth.

The best man has a range of important duties which, if done well, will go unnoticed.

These in chronological order are:

  • Organise the groom’s stag night and ensure he comes to no harm. Never hold a stag night the night before a wedding. A hungover groom is not funny.
  • Remember the rings.
  • Ensure the groom arrives on time and in condition, i.e. sober.
  • Remember the rings again.
  • Ensure that the ushers, page boys and flower girls know what they have to do, and check that they do it.
  • Escort the chief bridesmaid down the aisle.
  • Remember the rings and have them ready when required.
  • Make the speech toasting the groom.
  • Act as toastmaster if no professional toastmaster is present.
  • Ensure security of any wedding presents given on the day and safe delivery of those presents afterwards.
  • Organise somewhere for the bride and groom to change if they are leaving on honeymoon after the reception.
  • Ensure the couple’s luggage is packed and ready to go.
  • Return the groom’s hired clothes if he has gone on honeymoon.
  • Act as compere and roving host, introducing people to each other, getting conversations started and generally making sure things go smoothly.

Although the best man is usually referred to jocularly, he has a position of serious responsibility, so choose him with care – a bad best man can seriously damage your wedding!