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Best Man Duties Explained

If you’re reading this, congratulations – you’re going to be the best man at your friend’s wedding! There’s no rule about who can be a best man (or best woman), but whether you’re a relative or a friend, there’s one thing for sure: if the groom has chosen you for this role, it’s because he loves you and trusts you to do him proud on one of the most important days of his life.

So from practical help to emotional support, here’s how to nail it for your buddy…

Philippa Sian Photography

Before the big day:

Help the groom choose his outfit

Plus kit for you and the groomsmen. Whether the groom already has a firm idea of what he wants, or is starting with a blank canvas and wants to pick your brains, you’re there to give a second opinion and also to help with practical tasks, such as making sure all the groomsmen turn up on time for fittings, and collecting the suits when they’re ready. Remember, it’s your job to be honest if something really doesn’t suit him, but not to dictate the look or get stroppy if you’re not crazy about what he picks for you. It’s his wedding, and he needs your support. For inspiration, check out our mens wedding suit ideas.

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Organise the stag do

OK, this is the fun bit – but it’s an important job, too. Before you book a weekend for 15 in Croatia or plan a boozy night in your local, make sure you check in with the groom and ask for pointers on what he does and doesn’t want – because what makes for a great Saturday night or a brilliant lads’ holiday at any other time of the year isn’t necessarily what he wants for his big send-off.

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Be the groom’s wedmin wingman

However calm and organised the groom is, there will be times when he needs emergency assistance or advice – and that’s where you come in! Whether a supplier has let him down, or he’s having a crisis of confidence about his speech, he needs to know you’re ready and willing to help – be that by listening or by transporting 100 chairs to the venue on a rainy day.

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Write your speech

When it comes to the best man’s speech, there are no hard-and-fast rules. It can be serious, funny, long, short… the main thing is to consult the groom and ask whether there is anything he doesn’t want mentioned, and to remember that the kind of jokes you all laugh at in the pub might not go down so well with the bride’s gran. (Oh, and some praise for the bride is never a bad idea!) If you’re nervous about giving the speech, practise, practise, practise!

On the day

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Help the groom get ready

n the morning of his wedding, he needs you to be part valet, part therapist, part life coach! That means keeping on top of all the wardrobe items such as bow ties and buttonholes (and, of course, guarding those rings with your life!), but also keeping him calm and dealing with any last-minute hitches with suppliers etc, so that he doesn’t have to.

By Lumiere

Look after the Bride's wedding band

Probably one of the most important tasks of the day - and certainly not one you're going to want to forget. Check, check and double-check you have the bride's wedding ring on you on the day, ready to hand over to the groom during the ceremony.

James Kilcoin

Organise the groomsmen

Make sure the groomsmen/ushers know what’s expected of them (liaise with the groom to decide this) – and keep an eye on them throughout the day to make sure everything is going to plan. Between you, you need to make sure the day runs as smoothly as possible and that any hitches are nipped in the bud before the bride and groom have a chance to get stressed about them!

Lee Scullion

Make announcements

If there is no official host or MC for the day, the groom might want you to step in to make announcements (eg that he and his bride are about to cut the cake, or take to the floor for their first dance), introduce the speeches or round up guests for group photographs. Make sure you know in advance what the groom expects of you… but be on your toes in case anything unexpected crops up!

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Give your speech (see above)

Take a deep breath and go for it – and remember, everyone in the room is rooting for you!

Dance with the maid of honour

It’s traditional for the best man to do this – but if the bride doesn’t have a specific maid of honour, why not dance with all the bridesmaids?!

Enjoy the party

After all, you’ve worked hard to help this wedding come together and you deserve it!