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Best Man Duties: What Does a Best Man Do?

10th April 2018 |By | Be the first to comment

Have you chosen your best man yet? Or perhaps you’ve been asked to be the best man and you’re not sure what the best man duties involve. We break down the role of the best man and what the best man duties are here – so you can make sure you really do have the best man for the job!

Still trying to decide? Here’s how to choose the best man.

Best man duties

Who is usually the best man?

The best man is usually a very close friend or male relative of the groom, but there’s no hard and fast rule about who can be a best man. The majority of grooms tend to pick their brother or best friend, but you could ask your dad, your granddad, your son…or if your best friend is female, there’s nothing stopping you having a best woman at your big day.

It needs to be someone you trust – being the best man involves a lot of responsibility so think carefully when it comes to asking someone to be your best man.

What does it mean to be the best man?

It’s an honour to be asked to be the best man at a wedding and it’s something that should be taken seriously! It’s not just about organising an epic stag do. The best man will of course have to take on organising the stag do, but they’ll also have to help out with wedding planning tasks, look after the rings on the day of the wedding and make a best man’s speech, amongst other duties.

Here are 10 things you can ask the best man to do.

Can you have two best men?

It’s becoming increasingly common to have two best men – it is a huge job, so if you have two candidates that are ideal for the role, there’s no harm in asking them to share responsibility. Having two best men can make the best man’s speech easier too, as there’s someone to bounce off. This will help if you think your best man or men might be a little nervous about making a speech.

best man and groom messing around

What are the best man duties?

Being the best man involves a lot of duties. It’s up to the couple how much they choose to involve their bridal party in the planning of their wedding, but the typical best man duties include the following:

  • Helping to pick the groomswear
  • Planning and organising the stag do
  • Make sure the rest of the groomsmen attend suit fittings
  • Organise a gift for the groom
  • Write and give a best man’s speech
  • Collect telegrams or messages to be read out during the speeches
  • Make sure the groomsmen know their duties for the big day
  • Collect items for the wedding such as suits, buttonholes, etc.
  • Stay with the groom the night before the wedding
  • Help the groom to get ready on the wedding day
  • Give a reading or be a witness during the ceremony (if necessary)
  • Organise guests for group photos
  • Announce key parts of the wedding day (cake cutting, first dance etc.) if there is no toastmaster or master of ceremonies
  • Dance with the maid of honour after the first dance

Does the best man plan the stag do?

One of the biggest best man duties is the stag do. The best man will need to chat to the groom and see if there are any definite no-goes when it comes to the stag do. Check if going abroad is okay, and ask who the groom would like to invite – never just assume you’re inviting his father-in-law-to-be!

best man on stag do

Set up a group chat and put some dates out there, then you can start to plan. Be mindful of budgets, as you want as many of the groom’s friends to be able to attend as possible. The best man can delegate jobs to others for the stag do – such as booking separate activities, organising t-shirts and checking certain venues will permit stag parties.

Read up on the best stag do destinations in the world to kick start your planning.

It’s advisable to plan the stag do so it takes place at least a month before the wedding – this gives bruises time to fade and shaved-off eyebrows time to grow back! If you are planning a big blow out with the boys, it might be a nice idea to plan a more low-key night out too that male family members of the bride and groom can attend.

What does a best man’s speech involve?

The best man’s speech is usually the funny speech – no pressure! In the order of wedding speeches, it typically comes last and the groom will introduce his best man to the wedding guests (queue the cheesy joke about not being able to trust a word he says due a ‘spontaneous lying disease’).

We’ve got some unusual wedding speech ideas to inspire you.

best man giving a speech

The best man should lead a toast to the bridesmaids (if there are any) and comment on how great the partner of the groom is, and how perfect they are as a couple. He should also read out any messages or telegrams that he has collected ahead of the wedding – these could be well wishes from guests who couldn’t attend, or you could go the extra mile and try and get some messages from the couple’s favourite celebrities.

You should also make a few jokes in the best man’s speech – everyone will be expecting it to be funny. If you are feeling the pressure, try to relax as everyone in the room is a friend who wants to enjoy your speech.

You can study our best man’s speech template for more ideas.

Does the best man buy the groom a gift?

It’s traditional for the happy couple to buy their best man a gift to thank him for his support and effort during their wedding planning. Best man gifts can range from simple tokens such as a personalised pint glass to more lavish gifts such as an engraved watch.

It’s not required for the best man to buy the groom a gift, although it’s nice for him to treat the newlyweds to a wedding present. That being said, it’s a lovely touch if the best man and the ushers club together to get the groom a treat on his wedding day – a nice bottle of whiskey, for example, just to show your appreciation for being so included on his big day.

Still puzzling over groomsmen duties? Read our guide to being an usher for more advice.

Zoe Burke
Written by

A total geek for all things wedding-related, Group Content Editor Zoe has worked in the industry ever since graduating university. You'll often find her located near the wedding cheese stands at the National Wedding Shows.

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