So you’ve popped the question. Again. And he said yes. Now you need to make sure your best man is fully clued-up on exactly what you need him to do as pal, confidante, ally and partner in crime to give you a smooth run through the marital madness ahead. You already know he’s a safe-hands choice, so it’s up to you to give him all the gen he needs and an early heads-up on the details so you’ll both shine on the day. From the stag do, rings and iconic speech to the minor touches that can kick the occasion from awesome into ruddy amazing, we’ve put together an essential best man checklist to get him on his way.
Best man duties – the build up
Your best bud knows the score, the chances are he’s been with you through thick and thin (and more than likely a few dubious occasions never to be spoken of again) over the years, so it might be early on in the game but now’s the time he’ll prove his best man credentials with a few well-timed ‘team groom’ meetings (yes, the pub) if you’re already starting to look a little frayed around the edges. It’s also a top time for him to make himself known to key VIPs in the bridal party so he’s fully clued-up on the main players for the big day.
The Stag Do
Along with the rings and speeches, planning a kickass stag do without doubt ranks as a top three contender when it comes to best man duties. Let’s face it, once marital bliss sets in you could well find your chances for any more away days with the lads somewhat severely reduced (sorry gents, we don’t make the rules). Take lead from the expert bods at StagWeb on this one; it’s your pal’s job to make sure he doesn’t ‘balls up the stag weekend’ (couldn’t have said it any better ourselves – GoGroom salutes you, sirs!), so make sure he’s fully aware of your wants and expectations before he gets cracking on preparations.
Next up on the best man checklist – time to secure a set of wheels for the big day. It’s your best man’s responsibility to get you safely to the ceremony, so he’ll need to take care of logistics ahead of time, whether it’s cleaning up his own trusty motor, booking a Batmobile or checking ahead for any road-works or local major events that might cause disruption on the day.
Hire or buy, you’re likely to need the entire team groom ensemble to head for suit fittings in the run-up to the big day. The other lads are going to want to look just as dapper as you, so lean on your head honcho for an honest opinion if you’re unsure. Unless you’ve gone for all things ruffled, frilly and fuschia. In which case we suspect you’re on your own.
Best man duties – the big day
Before the ceremony
- Morning checklist – First up, unless he’s delegated to a safe-hands usher on this one it’s traditional for the best man to head over to the bride’s home to check final arrangements and reservation details, pick up your honeymoon essentials (luggage, passports, tickets etc), collect buttonholes and service sheets and – most crucially – make sure he’s got the rings on board.
- Team Groom to the venue – Once he’s made sure you’re in the right clobber and looking mightily presentable, it’s off to the wedding venue in the top motor dutifully arranged for the occasion, ideally arriving at least 30 minutes before the service begins so he can distribute buttonholes to the necessary VIPs and make sure the groomsmen are fully clued-up on their duties before guests begin to arrive. And also make sure he’s still got the rings on board.
During the ceremony
- Right-hand man – As a general rule, whether you opt for a church or civil ceremony, you’ll be first into the venue, straight to the front right-hand pew, swiftly followed by your best man, who’ll remain to your right throughout the entire service. It’s up to him to keep an eye out for a nod from the ushers to let you know when the bridal party arrive so you can take your place at the front of the service.
- The rings – You chose this man for a reason, so right on cue he’ll produce the rings without a wobble in sight. And if you’re nifty about it you can always have a word before proceedings begin and get him to lay the bands flat on the palm of his hand. That way if your own hands aren’t quite so steady you won’t have to fiddle around getting them out of the boxes yourself.
- Witness and escort – If you’ve asked your pal to be an official witness to the event, tradition dictates he’ll accompany the chief bridesmaid to the signing of the register before escorting her back down the aisle as the bridal party leaves.
After the ceremony
- Crowd control – Does what it says on the tin. It’s always handy if your best man and ushers can make themselves known to the photographer before the service begins so they can get cracking on rounding up the masses for post-nuptial shots straight away. Then it’s time to make sure the crowds get a smooth ride to the reception, when he’ll generally catch a ride with the bridal party.
At the reception
- MC duties – If your wedding doesn’t have its own Master of Ceremonies, taking the mic for a few announcements, or even making key introductions during a formal receiving line can make for a useful practise run before your main man takes centre stage himself.
- Best Man speech – You’ve already given your guy the heads-up with our guide to getting it right, so time for him to wow the crowds with his suave delivery, blinding funnies and spot on tales of what a great guy you are. If you’re on for a traditional affair best man duties also customarily include conveying any well-wishes from guests who couldn’t make it on the day, and giving thanks on behalf of the entire bridal party.
- Dance floor duties – Once you’ve had your twinkle-toed moment with that iconic first dance it’s traditional for the best man and chief bridesmaid to join the newlyweds on the dance floor before the rest of the wedding collective get into the groove.
- Crowd control – Your best man needs to be on standby throughout the reception to deal with any queries or concerns raised by venue staff, the band, DJ, caterers etc. or indeed any of the guests, with extra assistance given by the bridal attendants if necessary.
- Wedding gifts and luggage – If you need a hand with a mountain of wedding presents, it’s up to your best man to arrange a (possibly) merry team groom into something resembling an orderly bunch to give you a hand up to the bridal suite, or to the wedding car with the truckload of goodies and any luggage as necessary.
- Car decoration – Let’s be honest, you’re not going to get a choice on this one. Good luck chaps!
Best man duties – after the main event
- Return suits – While you and your new bride head off to sunnier shores, it’s up to your best man to get your suit safely back to its supplier.
…. And then celebrate with a well-earned pint or three for a mission superbly accomplished.