Part 1 of this ‘Best Man’ series can be found here.
Best Man Duties Before, During & After the Wedding Ceremony
1. Create a best man emergency kit
You never know what mishaps may occur on the morning of the wedding, so, as the Boy Scout motto goes: Be prepared! Head to a drugstore the week before the wedding and pick up essential toiletries like spray deodorant, bandages, tissues, and pain relievers. You’ll also want to bring a stain remover, sewing kit, and even an extra pair of socks and tie in case someone forgets their own. Also, don’t forget to bring cash in case of emergency.
2. Get dressed with the other groomsmen and groom
The best man should be a relaxed and upbeat presence on the morning of the wedding—especially if the groom is feeling a bit nervous. Play music, break out some beers, a deck of cards, or video games to help pass the time. And be sure to memorize those how-to-tie-a-tie YouTube videos before the wedding in case anyone needs last-minute assistance!
3. Please make sure the groomsmen are wearing their boutonnieres
If the groomsmen are expected to wear boutonnieres, ensure that everyone’s is pinned on properly before walking down the aisle.
4. Try to keep things on schedule
Ask the couple to provide you with a timeline of the wedding day’s events before the big day, so you’re aware of what needs to happen when. The best man may have to play camp counsellor a few times during the day—if you notice that people are wasting time instead of lining up for photos, or not where they should be at the appropriate time, try to get things on track. You should also introduce yourself to the venue coordinator and wedding planner, and volunteer your assistance.
5. Hold the wedding rings until the couple’s ring exchange
If there is no ring bearer, the best man may be responsible for holding the wedding bands until the ring exchange portion of the ceremony. Be aware of where the rings are at all times and keep them in a safe place, like your inner jacket pocket (check in advance that your pocket doesn’t have a hole in it!).
6. Stand next to the groom
The best man usually stands next to the groom during the ceremony. This is a clear display of your love and support for your pal, so—we’re going to sound like your grandma here—stand up straight, look interested, and smile during the ceremony! While the best man typically walks down the aisle solo during the processional, he will likely be paired with the maid of honour during the recessional.
7. Deliver officiant’s payment after the ceremony
The newlyweds will typically be a bit busy immediately after the service, so the best man is usually tasked with ensuring that the wedding officiant receives his or her payment. Talk with the couple before the wedding to see if this is a task they’d like you to assist with.
8. Sign the marriage license as a witness
The marriage license is super-important—without it, the couple isn’t married! The couple will usually sign the license after the ceremony, but sometimes it’s signed before. The best man is typically present for the signing—and as two witnesses generally are required, the best man and maid of honour usually fill those roles.
9. Pose for pictures
Whether the couple takes wedding party portraits before or after the ceremony, you’ll need to be game to smile for the camera—many, many times over. Being in front of the camera might not be your favourite thing in the world, but the couple will be grateful for your cooperation.
Part 3 will follow soon.