A best man in a dark suit with a very fancy watch, adjusts his tie

The Ultimate Guide to Being the Best Man: Duties, Responsibilities, and How to Nail the Role


Congratulations, you’ve been chosen as the best man! This honor is a testament to your close relationship with the groom, and it comes with a unique set of responsibilities that are crucial for the success of the wedding. The role of a best man is steeped in tradition, but it has evolved to fit the complexities and nuances of modern weddings. This comprehensive guide will walk you through your duties as a best man so you can support your friend on one of the most important days of his life.

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding the Role of a Best Man
  2. Pre-Wedding Responsibilities
    • Planning the Bachelor Party
    • Helping with Wedding Preparations
    • Attending Pre-Wedding Events
  3. Wedding Day Duties
    • Assisting the Groom
    • Coordinating with Other Wedding Party Members
    • Holding the Rings
    • Signing the Marriage License
    • Delivering the Best Man Speech
  4. Post-Wedding Responsibilities
  5. Conclusion
  6. Additional Resources

Understanding the Role of a Best Man

The title “best man” is more than just a label; it’s a role filled with tradition and significance. Historically, the best man was chosen for his strength and loyalty, ready to defend the groom against any obstacles. Today, it’s about providing emotional support and ensuring the wedding festivities go off without a hitch. Your mission is to be the groom’s right-hand man, personal advisor, and chief support officer.

Pre-Wedding Responsibilities

Planning the Bachelor Party

The bachelor party is often what comes to mind first when thinking about a best man’s duties. It’s your job to plan a celebration that reflects the groom’s tastes, ensuring he has a memorable time. Remember, this party is for the groom, not for you, so keep his comfort and preferences at the forefront. While traditional bachelor parties might involve a night out on the town, don’t be afraid to think outside the box with a weekend getaway, an outdoor adventure, or even a quiet evening with close friends.

For tips and ideas, check out The Plunge, which offers extensive advice on planning the perfect bachelor bash.

Helping with Wedding Preparations

Your duties also extend to helping the couple with wedding prep. This could mean attending vendor meetings, giving feedback on decisions, or simply being there to help the groom navigate the planning process. You might also coordinate the groomsmen’s rental fittings, making sure everyone looks sharp and uniform.

The Knot (www.theknot.com) is an excellent resource for understanding wedding preparations and can provide you with a wealth of information to assist the groom effectively.

Attending Pre-Wedding Events

From the engagement party and rehearsal dinner to potentially a couples shower, your presence as the best man is important. It shows your support for the couple and allows you to bond with the wedding party and family members.

Wedding Day Duties

Assisting the Groom

On the day of the wedding, your main job is to keep the groom calm and help him with any last-minute details. This might include ensuring he has breakfast, helping him dress, and making sure he arrives at the ceremony on time. It’s also your duty to take note of any special requests or tasks the groom might forget in his nervous state.

Coordinating with Other Wedding Party Members

As the leader of the groomsmen, you’re responsible for coordinating their movements and ensuring they know their responsibilities, from ushering guests to their seats to being in the right place at the right time.

Holding the Rings

In many weddings, the best man holds the bride and groom’s rings until the exchange during the ceremony. It’s a small but vital role — those rings can’t get lost!

Signing the Marriage License

In most states, the best man is required to sign the marriage license as a witness. This is a legal duty and an honor, marking your permanent place in the couple’s story.

For a breakdown of this process, check out Marriage License 101, which explains the ins and outs of marriage licenses in the U.S.

Delivering the Best Man Speech

Perhaps the most daunting task is the best man speech. It’s your moment to share heartfelt sentiments, funny anecdotes, and well-wishes for the couple. Remember to speak from the heart, keep it appropriate, and practice, practice, practice.

For speech writing tips, visit The Art of Manliness for their guide on crafting a memorable best man speech.

Post-Wedding Responsibilities

After the wedding, you might need to help in coordinating the return of any rented attire or assist in making sure personal items and gifts end up with the couple.


The role of the best man is multifaceted and vital. It’s about providing practical support and emotional strength to the groom and the wedding’s success. From the pre-wedding festivities to the wedding day logistics and the poignant best man speech, your role is pivotal. By embracing these duties with enthusiasm and care, you’ll ensure the couple’s special day is as perfect as possible and solidify your place as a trusted and cherished friend.

Remember, the best man’s journey is also about enjoying the experience. You’re part of a joyous occasion marking the union of two people in love, and your contribution is invaluable. Take a moment during the busy schedule to soak it all in; this is a unique time that you’ll remember for years to come.

Additional Resources

For more information and resources, the following websites are invaluable for the best man looking to excel in his role:

Remember, being selected as the best man is not just an honor, but also a responsibility. With this guide, you’re well-equipped to tackle the tasks ahead and make the wedding a spectacular event for everyone involved, especially for the groom, who’s counting on you to be the best best man you can be.