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Best man duties - before, during & after

Be prepared to be the best...

If this is your first time as best man then you might well be in need of a little guidance of, well, just what the hell to do? Fear not, we've got your back jack with a complete run down of everything you need to know about fulfilling the role to the best of your ability.

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs...
...Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a (best) Man, my son!”
- Rudyard Kipling

You can break the best man duties into three separate areas; the wedding, the speech and the stag do.

In the lead up to the wedding you will have a few tasks to take care of to help the couple out and on the day itself you are the groom's right hand man, responsible for ensuring everything goes without a hitch and trying to keep all unnecessary stress away from the happy couple.

There's the stag do to take care of, but having found this page means you are already in the best place possible to arrange a stag do that is truly the best a man can get. Well played. If you haven't taken care of business yet then we have over 80 destinations and hundreds of top drawer stag activities to choose from.

Then there is the speech. This is one of the key roles of the Best Man, you are the stand up comic of the wedding reception and the man charged with making sure all the groom's family and friends know what he's really like. We have a complete guide to writing your speech as well as our Best Man Speech Writer App to get the job done.

Before The Big Day

They say getting married is one of the most stressful things in life, it rates right up there with moving house, going to prison and being a Spurs fan ("Champions League…? Champions League…? CHAMPIONS LEAGUE…? Aaaaaand we're fifth!"). That's why any groom needs a great best man.

It's inevitable their will be times when the happy couple won't be so happy, it's not uncommon for couples to have the odd "difference of opinion” along the way. That's where you come in.

  • Be on hand to help the groom on useful fact finding and planning missions (this can be done down the local pub and will be a valuable time for him to get away from wedding planning distress).
  • Help with any decisions and give advice when asked. This could include helping pick suits or helping source entertainment. Be on hand when the groom needs you.
  • Transport. You'll be responsible for getting the main man there on the day, make sure you've given the car the once over and checked ahead of time for any snags on the road that might cause you a delay.
  • Wedding rehearsals. Not every wedding has a rehearsal but it's not uncommon so make sure you're free to attend if needed.
  • Help keep the other groomsmen informed of their duties and any information relating to their roles. Essentially you're head groomsman do it like a 'boss'.
  • Go-fer. With so much going on it might fall on you to pick up the wedding suits or help out with some of the running around before the day. A good best man doesn't wait to be asked, he knows what's going on and is ready to jump in and help out.

As well as those there are of course the two big ones.

  • Writing your best man's speech.
  • Organise the stag do.

Even if you're not involved in any of the wedding preparations (and many best men aren't called to help in the preparations at all) you WILL have to help out plan the stag do to ensure the groom has a proper send off with all his best mates in attendance and write that all important best man's speech.

On The Day

This is when you'll really shine. Firstly you need to get the blushing groom to the wedding venue on time and looking half decent (do the best you can on that part but no one is expecting you to work miracles, you can only work with what you're given). But there are a few more things you'll need to think of.

  • Make sure you have cash on you. It's possible the groom won't have thought about needing cash on the day so make sure you can help him out by carrying some readies.
  • The rings. This is the big one, lose/forget/mislay these and you can be sure that not only will the bride never speak to you again but she'll do bodily harm to you for messing up her big day.
  • Take charge. You're now the head of the groomsmen, make sure they all know their roles and any younger party members are looked after.
  • Crowd control. You might need to step in and help the photographer control the wedding rabble and make sure all the correct faces are there to appear in the correct photos.
  • Speech. Yep, you have to give THAT speech. You might also need to act as Master of Ceremonies during the speeches and make any announcements.
  • Happy host. It might fall on you to help get the party started by hitting the dancefloor either with the chief bridesmaid or just to help get things going.
  • Troubleshooter. The caterers, the venue, the band, the DJ, the videographer and everyone in between will have questions for the happy couple so act as a buffer to answer any questions and solve any issues leaving Mr & Mrs Happily-Ever-After to enjoy their day.
  • Dress the car. If the couple are planning an escape make sure you decorate the car.

The Aftermath

  • When the couple head off into the sunset you might need to help collect up all the gifts and deliver them to their home for when they return from their honeymoon.
  • You might also need to return the groom's suit if it's hired.

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