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Have you recently been asked to be the best man? Or do you have to pick a Best Man but not know how to? Well, if you’re either and have no clue, that’s what we are here for!
Don’t be alarmed, being the best man is an honor and a privilege. What it signifies is the grooms utmost trust in you and your abilities. As with most positions of privilege, they come with responsibilities.
So, without further ado, let’s lay out a few thing. First, what are characteristics of a Best Man. Second, what are the duties of a Best Man before the wedding ceremony. Lastly, what does a Best Man do during the wedding ceremony.
How to Choose your Best Man
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We know you think the person you have in mind might be the best. In truth, they likely are. But, you should think about the sort of help they will need. After all, you don't need someone dangerous planning your stag night.
The Best Man is someone who will be heavily involved in the planning and execution of your wedding ceremony. As such, they will need as many of these characteristics as possible. Where they lack, the groomsmen or yourself can pick up.
So, let’s do a quick top 5 characteristics of a Best Man.
A Best Man should be able to help the bride and groom with preparations. This includes things that he either can’t or doesn’t want to deal with. As the Best Man, you need to make sure that the groom and the other groomsmen are on point.
2. Good Social Skills
You want someone who’s organized, but, not a sergeant major. Your Best Man ought to be likeable and approachable. He’ll be moving around and talking to a variety of guests. Namely, the in-laws, family, and vendors in attendance. So, a friendly conversationalist helps a ton!
3. Not Too Showy
It is your big day. So, you can shamelessly say that you don’t want someone stealing the limelight. Least of all your Best Man. If you’re worried your pick of the litter might behave outlandishly, it’s best to rethink. Pick someone who can keep it low-key when they must.
A delicate touch can be delivered by a man too! Your Best Man should know basic dining etiquette and decorum for a wedding. It is safe to say that whomever you pick reflects well on you too. We’re not asking you to pick a smooth operator. Just a gentleman.
With the laundry list of tasks already pilling up before you, you’ll need the help. Your Best Man should be ready for responsibilities before, during, and after the wedding. After all, you’ll want someone who doesn’t lose the rings hours before the wedding!
So, on to the Duties of the Best Man
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As we’d mentioned before, the Best Man is also a busy man. His involvement will be constant and he’ll likely be as busy as the bride and groom. With this in mind, it’d be wise he gets a heads-up on his time commitment.
Holding the rings is just one aspect of his responsibilities. It ain’t that easy.
As such, this section is 2-fold. We’ll go through what the Best Man has got to do before and during the wedding ceremony. Quick warning, it’s a doozy!
Duties of a Best man before the Wedding
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Everyone knows that planning weddings are a headache and a half. From picking a suit to bouquet selection, it’s tedious. But, as they say: “many hands make light work”.
So, for light work, here is how the Best Man can offer some assistance.
1. Ring Selection
If you were asked to help pick the engagement ring, it’s already a good sign. But, the wedding bands are something else entirely. Your expertise in jewelry is irrelevant, the groom just needs a shoulder to cry on after the purchase. Also, to be the voice of reason if needed!
2. Lead the Groomsmen
We know we mentioned earlier that you didn’t need to be a sergeant major. That was for the guests. As we well know, the groomsmen can be a different breed. Depending on your social circle, you’ll find that folks vary in levels of independence.
There will come times where you’ll have to rally them and get them in order to help around. These apply to duties before, during and after the wedding. Start whatsapp groups, facebook chats and email threads to get things organized and moving.
3. Shop for Formalwear
The groom and his groomsmen need to look like a unit. After all, those wedding day candids will be your memories of the event. In those photos, you’ll want everyone looking sharp.
You’ll assist the groom in picking out everyone’s suits and ensuring their timely purchase. It’s best if you purchase it as a group. This decreases logistical nightmares and ensures everyone has the same attire.
It's also important to consider what the bride has in mind for the color scheme.
4. Counselor and Confidant
Stress, it’ll get to everyone. That’s what the groom has his Best man for. He will need to rely on you to help him make decisions and solve problems. It is important that a Best Man be supportive and be a listening ear.
5. Coordinate Travel and Accommodations
Especially if it’s a destination wedding, you’ll need to ensure everyone makes it there on time. Empty seats at a wedding ceremony are the last thing the couple wants. If the couple invited out-of-towners, contact them to coordinate their arrival and accommodations.
6. Plan the Bachelor Party
Otherwise known as a stag night, you need to think ahead. Do not plan like the Hangover movies. Please talk to the groom. Seriously. If the movies were any warning about the night that could ensue, don’t risk it! You’ll also have to take into account budgets and time constraints. Ensure that your stag night is responsible.
7. Assist the Guests
They may have questions about everything from the dress code to schedule. So, in preparation for this, be ready to dish out the couple’s wedding website address. You might want to have a mental list of FAQs ready to answer questions face to face.
8. Attend Pre-Wedding Events
As the old adage goes, “preparation is key”. You’ll likely be attending ceremonial rehearsals and the rehearsal dinner. During these events, familiarize yourself with the flow of events so you don’t get lost. Better yet, voice things out that you feel could make things better.
9.Coordinate the Groomsmen's Gift to the Groom
This applies to you if you’ve all decided to get the groom a gift. Usually, it’s the best man that proposes this. So, ask the groomsmen if they’d like to chip in to get something special. This can be anything from a good bottle of wine to a nice timepiece.
10.Hold the Wedding Rings
This is the most important of responsibilities. The job is simple; hold on to them and don’t let them out of your sight. You’ve been entrusted with the symbol of their commitment to each other. So, don’t lose them!
Duties of a Best Man During the Wedding
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1. Greet the Guests with the Couple
Unless you’ve got more urgent matters to attend to, stay with the couple as they greet their guests. Particularly if they’re a traditional couple, they’ll be doing this. So, put on your best smile and make yourself known.
2. Enter the Reception with the Maid of Honor
When the reception begins, the wedding party will make their entrance. You’ll be announced entering with the maid of honor. Ensure your beside her 5 minutes before your supposed entry.
3. Play host
When the everyone else is preoccupied, guests may turn to you for anything. This includes restroom locations, the timetable or where to get more food. Since you were involved in the planning process, these should be easy to rattle off. So, don’t be afraid to make yourself useful!
4. Dance with the maid of honor during first guest dance
This is tradition and there is no escaping it. If you’ve been picked as Best Man and you’ve got 2 left feet, it’s time to start practicing. Your role is to encourage the other guests to join in on the dancing. If you look like you’re having fun, it takes the edge of everyone else.
5. Make sure groom eats and drinks
The groom will be caught up in the flow of events. He’ll be pretty busy socializing and walking the aisle with his betrothed. So, in the quieter moments, ensure he has a bite to eat and has something to drink.
6. Give a best man speech
The best man typically gives the second toast after the father-of-the-bride. We actually wrote something on how to prepare for this speech! For more details, check it out here:
7.Take Charge of Transportation
This applies to couples who have hired transportation services. Ensure you have the relevant contact information and ensure they’re on time. You might also oversee chauffeuring the couple to and fro. If that's the case, please ensure your sobriety.