The Best Man’s Guide to Wedding Responsibilities: Everything You Need To Know

Have you just been asked to serve as the best man in your close friend’s upcoming wedding? If so — it’s important to understand that in most cases, the role extends well beyond simply appearing center stage at the ceremony. In fact, it can entail quite a bit, encompassing everything from planning the bachelor party to even helping coordinate travel arrangements for guests coming to the wedding from out of town. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure to cover all your bases. Here are the most important things to consider.

The Bachelor Party

The first step is finding a day that works for everyone in the party. You’ll also want to figure out the groom’s expectations because after all, it is his party and the goal is to create memories that will last a lifetime. Bachelor party ideas could include but aren’t limited to:

  • Camping
  • Road tripping
  • Skiing
  • Relaxing on a beach
  • Paintballing
  • Hiking
  • Skydiving
  • Tailgating at a game
  • Attending a concert

Don’t be afraid to ask the groom directly to find exactly what he wants to do — in most cases, he’ll pick an activity that everyone can enjoy. You can also feel free to make some recommendations to the groom — because after all, he probably has a lot on his plate already in terms of wedding planning.

Coordinate Together

First and foremost, communication is key. Setting up a group text chat or even a Discord chat is a great way to arrive at a consensus for a variety of important decisions.

Figure Out a Budget

Find something fun, but make sure you’re going to be living within everyone’s limits. You’ll need to talk to everyone in the party to figure out how much each person is willing to spend on the prospective trip.

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix it Up

Bachelor party trips can involve (but certainly don’t have to) multiple activities — which could look like a sporting event in the morning and bar hopping in the evening. Each activity will need to be factored into any budgeting you do.

Figure Out Where to Stay

If you’re staying out of town, you’ll need to find lodging accommodations. While hotels are a more traditional option, booking lodging through Airbnb is useful because in larger cities, some Airbnbs are even set up specifically with bachelor parties in mind.

Make Reservations

Lodging, of course, requires reservations, but even if you don’t think you’ll need reservations for simpler things such as restaurants, bars, game activities, it’s better to be safe than sorry by calling ahead. Even one small slip-up in having a spot not ensured ahead of time can throw a wrench in your plans. Tickets for activities can usually be purchased online, and in some cases, at discount prices!

Figuring Out Formalwear

As the best man, you might be tasked with finding formalwear for the groomsmen — and if you’re not asked, it’s nice to volunteer. This task can include making sure you’ve picked out good attire that fits the wedding theme and seeing that everyone’s measurements are in.

Businesses like the Black Tux allow you to set up an online invite where everyone in the party can enter their tux measurements individually and have rental tuxes shipped out well before the wedding day. That way, if something doesn’t fit, there’s still time to send it back and receive a size that might work better. This is a great option, particularly when groomsmen live in different states.

Otherwise, you can rent formalwear from a more traditional tux shop. It’s also good to know you can usually get your tux/suit measurements taken for free at many brick-and-mortar locations.

Other Pre-Wedding Events

Aside from the bachelor party, pre-wedding events can include the ceremony rehearsal along with the dinner rehearsal — the latter of which provides a chance for the best man to give a toast to the happy married couple-to-be. Pre-wedding events also give the best man an opportunity to socialize with friends and family members of both the groom and bride. Such events can serve as great chances to let others know that, as the best man, you are there in a supportive role for the groom during this important time in his life.

Duties That Are Sometimes Overlooked

In addition to the big things, the best man might be expected to cover some of the loose ends at unexpected moments. These things can include:

  • Figuring out transportation between wedding events (Hello, Uber!)
  • Collecting gifts for the groom and ensuring they’re somewhere safe
  • Making sure all groomsmen are dressed and ready to go for the ceremony (make sure no shoes are left behind!)
  • Ensuring vendor expenses for the reception are covered
  • Providing emotional support to the groom
  • Helping attendees find their seats during the ceremony

Lastly, you want to make sure the couple has a great send-off once the wedding reception is wrapping up, whether they’re headed right for their honeymoon, or taking some time to relax after such a busy and monumental event. At the end of the day, you’re expected to be there for your friend in a supportive role, ensuring that everything on the groom’s side goes as seamlessly as possible, while your counterpart, the maid of honor, does the same for the bride. By organizing beforehand and being communicative throughout the entire process, you’ll be on the road to success.

Photo: Shutterstock

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