What, Exactly, Does the Best Man Actually Do?

Some grooms wonder why they need groomsmen and why they have to choose a best man. I mean, what’s he for, really? There’s that image in the back of most people’s minds of the wacky best man sobering the groom up after one last night of debauchery or the grown up best man having a stern pre-ceremony chat with the groom who has cold feet and even the sad best man who’d really like nothing more than to be marrying the bride himself. I suppose those are things some best men do, but pouring black coffee and pining away isn’t really the same as addressing invitations or choosing linens or whatever else many MOHs are expected to do.

Lucky bastards.

Some best men no doubt do get involved in the planning side of their friends’ weddings, but tradition still dictates that the individual standing immediately next to the groom has a fairly short list of responsibilities. If nothing else, the best man may be expected to get fitted for and acquire a tux, help transport stuff to the ceremony and reception sites, prod the groom into punctuality as necessary, sign the marriage license, hand out tips or vendor balances, and keep the rings safe until they’re on the appropriate fingers. He may even carry the groom’s emergency kit or run last-minute errands on the morning of the wedding. Easy stuff, all told. Well, except for the best man speech, which does set some men’s knees to knocking.

The best man is also often the go-to guy where the bachelor party is concerned, whether you’re talking about planning or paying. Be aware that his vision of the perfect pre-nuptial party may be very different than the groom-to-be’s vision of the perfect pre-nuptial party. The groom-to-be can prevent misunderstandings by dropping clear hints well in advance of the night or weekend set aside for this event. Picture the expression on the face of the poor best man who wants nothing more than to go camping with his soon-to-be married best pal but plans a sordid extravaganza involving strippers, whipped cream, caning, creepy clowns (like Ouchy from Ouchytheclown.com), donkeys, and a river of booze… when the groom-to-be finally admits he would have much rather spent a sedate weekend in the woods with his buds.

Image: Disaboom (check out the accompanying post!) Excerpt: iDo: Planning Your Wedding With Nothing But Net

One Response to “What, Exactly, Does the Best Man Actually Do?”

  1. Monex says:

    Typically the grooms speech is about the bride – his wife and about their future together and to thank the people involved in making their wedding a memorable occasion. As well as the traditional thanks the Groom may wish to add a few words about how he met his wife activities they share etc.