Your friend popped the question to his longtime love, and his next question was for you — would you be his best man? Your answer was yes, of course — but what exactly does the best man have to do?
We’re glad you asked. It’s vital to understand your role to ensure his big day goes smoothly. This list of best man duties and responsibilities will carry you from engagement gift to reception speech. Keep in mind your special tasks will require some financial outlays, so you should start saving up right away. Follow this list to make sure your best friend and his beloved have the best day of their lives.
Talk About Your Duties
Early on in the planning process, you and your friend need to get on the same page. Schedule a time to go over his expectations. Some prefer to have input on traditional best man duties such as bachelor party planning and groomsmen accommodations. Others would prefer you take care of everything. Ask your friend about:
- His groomsmen’s names and phone numbers
- Dates he’s available for the bachelor party
- What other duties he’d like you to cover beyond the traditional best man responsibilities
Plan the Bachelor Party
First, you and the groom must decide if it will be a destination party or an event held close to home. If he chooses a destination, you must book lodging for the guests, invite the groomsmen, and plan the evening’s entertainment. You may also want to coordinate with the Maid of Honor to plan your weekend so that the bachelor and bachelorette events are held at the same time.
You will act as the host during this party — make sure you help those who may not know the other attendees as well to feel included and relaxed. Put a plan together for how you will cover the cost — will each attendee pay their own way? It’s customary for each groomsman to cover their own costs and for the group to split the groom’s expenses for the trip, including travel, lodging and meals. Make splitting costs clear when you speak with the group and also set up an easy way for them to reimburse you for any costs you cover upfront, like a peer-to-peer transfer service with your bank or credit union.
Get Your Finances in Order Ahead of Time
This honor and privilege of acting as the best man comes with some expenses. Begin budgeting now to ensure you have enough to cover all of the activities, apparel and gifts you’ll need for this big event. Expenses besides the bachelor party may include:
- Suit purchase or tuxedo rental
- Apparel for rehearsal dinner
- Accessories, such as shoes, cufflinks, and ties, for wedding and rehearsal
- Travel to and from the wedding and lodging
How can you be sure you have enough money to pay for these expenses? Making small adjustments to your budget will pay big dividends. For instance, watching movies on TV instead of going to the theater can save you money, as will eating more meals at home. When you do need to spend, you may want to consider using a cash rewards credit card so you can earn money back on every purchase you make.
You can also speak with a salesperson about a deal on a group tux rental or split lodging accommodations with friends after the wedding. Small savings will add up over time.
Best Man Duties at the Wedding
The best man often holds onto the rings until the groom needs them during the ceremony. He also helps with any last-minute crises, such as lost bowties or misplaced marriage licenses.
On the groom’s big day, help however you can. For instance, he doesn’t want to worry about tracking down a chronically late groomsman. If you know someone has a propensity for lateness, offer to give them a ride to the wedding venue.
Best Man Duties at the Reception
If the reception follows tradition, you’ll give the second toast at the reception, after whoever paid for the ceremony (traditionally, the bride’s parents). You’ll also set the order of other toasts by the groomsmen, if anyone wants to give one.
You’ll stay busy during the months leading up to the wedding and on the big day, but all that investment of time and money will be worth it to see your friend happily married. Do you or your friend need help learning how to plan a wedding on a budget? Check out these tips on keeping costs down for the special day.