Best Man Wedding Duties: The Ultimate Checklist

A comprehensive guide on the most important best man responsibilities.

groom and his best man getting ready

Photo by Photo by Julieta

While the end result will be absolutely beautiful, weddings require a lot of strategic work along the way. That's why many couples choose to designate people to stand by their sides, in order to help them with the process of planning their big day—for grooms, in particular, this is the best man.

Similar to a maid of honor (or a person of honor), the role of the best man (or best person) typically comes with specific duties. In general, the best man is meant to serve as the groom's right hand, lightening the groom's workload before, during, and after the wedding. But if you're wondering what exact tasks are required of this special person, we've put together a guide to help you keep track of everything a best man should know and do. Read on for the ultimate checklist of duties and don't forget to take notes.

Who Is the Best Man or Best Person?

The best man or best person is the groom's right hand throughout the planning process and on the day of the wedding. They're typically in charge of the bachelor party and serve as a point of contact for everyone on the groom's side (including groomsmen and family members).

An Overview of Best Man or Best Person Duties

To start, it's important to know who's generally asked to hold this special position. "It's usually a sibling or best friend, but we've definitely seen other family members, such as a son or father, in that role," says Kate Ryan, co-founder of Gold Leaf Events. And while the exact person a groom selects is a personal choice, the duties of a best man are more set in stone.

Though every wedding is different and should be personalized to suit the couple's exact needs, when it comes to the best man's responsibilities, most are asked to organize the bachelor party, collect money and purchase a gift for the groom, and help the groom and groomsmen to pick out their wedding day attire.

What's more, during the wedding, the best person traditionally holds the rings, welcomes guests to the ceremony, and makes sure the groom and groom's people are in the right place at the right time. Following the ceremony, they're also tasked with giving a speech and ensuring all guests are having a blast throughout the reception.

Meet the Expert

Kate Ryan is the co-founder of Gold Leaf Events, an event design and production company with offices in Aspen, Colorado, and New York City.

Best Man Duties: The Ultimate Best Man Checklist


Pre-Wedding Responsibilities

With the continued help from Ryan, we break down everything a best man should know as it relates to prepping for the big day.

Assist With Outfit Details

In most cases, the best man is in charge of supporting the groom with all wedding day attire needs. (This includes helping with final suit selections for the groom, groomsmen, and important family members). According to Ryan, the best person may even opt to put together emergency kits for the groomsmen, with items such as extra cufflinks, shoe polish, or an extra tie to be sure everything is in line on the day of.

Organize the Bachelor Party

A bachelor party is an age-old tradition that can come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it's an event on a yacht, a day of golf, or a night out at the club, the best man is typically in charge of planning the whole celebration, while recruiting the other groomsmen to help along the way. "The best [person] is typically the one who takes control of the schedule and any accommodations the bachelor party entails," says Ryan.

Before any planning begins, the best man should consult with the groom in order to host an event that aligns with the groom's wants and wishes.

Coordinate the Groom's Gift

If the groomsmen have decided to get a gift for the groom, the best person often leads the effort by collecting money and choosing the final item. "I've often seen [groom's people] gift the groom a favorite drink of choice, whether it's a vintage bottle of wine or a higher-end bourbon, scotch, or tequila," says Ryan.

Provide Emotional Support

Providing emotional support is one of the most important tasks the best person has during the wedding planning process. It is their duty to patiently listen to the groom's complaints, confessions, and questions without any judgment. It's also their job to reassure their best friend that everything will be okay, and to keep him focused and alert in the moments leading up to the big day.

Be Present for the Rehearsal

Of course, the whole wedding party should be present during the rehearsal, but the best person can be tasked with wrangling the wedding party so that the schedule moves along flawlessly. Additionally, the best man may make a small toast during the rehearsal dinner to kick off the festivities.

Wedding Day Responsibilities

Now that you're aware of the all pre-wedding activities, here's a breakdown of everything the best man should do during the ceremony and reception.

Keep the Groom and Groomsmen on Schedule

Time can certainly get away from you throughout the big day, especially in the moments leading up to the ceremony. That's why the best man is often tasked with keeping an eye on the clock the morning of the wedding, in order to ensure that everyone gets to the venue on time. The best man also helps wrangle the groomsmen throughout the ceremony and is the one to ensure that everyone is at the right place at the right time.

Hold the Wedding Rings

Another vital duty, the best person is often entrusted with holding on to the wedding rings for safekeeping. Additionally, the best person may be asked to hold things like the groom's cell phone, wallet, vows, and any miscellaneous accessories.

Welcome Guests

Since the best person is typically a sibling or best friend of the groom, chances are they know a large portion of the guests in attendance. With so many connections, this makes them the perfect candidate to help welcome guests to the wedding ceremony.

Serve as a Witness

A couple needs two witnesses as they sign their marriage license, and this duty is often reserved for the best man and maid of honor. The best man should always be readily available for this task and should have a backup pen in his pocket in case of any last-minute mishaps.

Kick off the Toasts

If a couple opts to open up the floor for toasts, the best man is often the first to step in. This should be a well-crafted speech that focuses on the newlyweds and their love story.

Keep the Reception Moving

"[For] couples who decide to do a first dance, often the best [person] is the first one out on the dance floor afterward," says Ryan. The best man is also expected to mingle at the reception and ensure everyone is having a great time. They may even dance with the bride, the maid of honor, the mother of the bride, and the mother of the groom during the reception.

The best person should be ready to emcee in a pinch. If the DJ or the band happens to show up late, a good best man will step in and crack a few jokes, get the crowd to the dance floor, and introduce the key players so the party can go on as planned.

Collect Gifts

This will certainly depend on the set-up of the wedding, but the best person can play a helpful role in making sure gifts get to the right place. If there is a specific location the couple would like gifts stored, it's important for the best person to assist in collecting them so guests don't have to run around. What's more, it's also helpful to put the best man in charge of transporting gifts to the newlyweds' home after the wedding.

Post-Ceremony Responsibilities

The responsibilities don't stop just because the wedding is over. Ahead, here are the final tasks all best men are required to do once the celebration has ended.

Return Clothing

This is especially important if the couple is leaving for their honeymoon right away, but the best man may be asked to take care of the groom's clothing after the big day. Along the way, they should also make sure any rented tuxes are returned on time (and intact).

Check-In With Vendors

Once the party comes to an end, the couple will be ready to whisk off into the night. In order for that to happen without interruption, the best person is usually tasked with making sure all wedding-related expenses are handled. While vendors are paid in full one month before the big day, in the event of any outstanding payments, it's the best man's job to make sure everything is settled before the night comes to a close.

Coordinate and Decorate the Getaway Car

The best person may be asked to help coordinate car transportation for the newlyweds to leave the reception. And while they're at it, the best person may enlist the help of the whole wedding party to help decorate the getaway car.

  • How many best men can a groom have?

    Traditionally, there is only one best man at a wedding, but that doesn't mean there can't be more. Some grooms may have two or three depending on their personal preferences.

  • How do you choose a best man?

    The best man should be someone who holds a significant role in the groom's life, like a brother or best friend. They should also be dependable enough to commit to the duties required of the role.

  • Does the best man have to be a man?

    Of course not! The honor can be given to anyone that befits the role whether that's a best man, best woman, or best person.

  • How do you ask someone to be a best man?

    This is a completely personal choice. Some choose to bring it up during a shared favorite activity or drop the information in casual conversation, while others may take a more sentimental approach by writing a card or sending a gift.

Related Stories