Everything You Need to Know About Being a Best Man

ultimate guide to being a best man - Megan Wilson PhotographyMegan Wilson Photography

The tradition of the ‘best man’ is thought to have originated with the Germanic Goths of the 16th century. Back then, he was the ‘best man’ for, specifically, the job of stealing the bride from her neighbouring community or disapproving family. He was probably the best swordsman too.

Nowadays, the best man’s most visible duty is helping guests find their seats before the ceremony and standing near the groom throughout. It’s rare for you to be involved in the day-to-day, nitty-gritty of wedding planning, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a long list of best man duties for you to work through.

Being asked to be best man is a huge honour, and there’s a lot more to it than organising the stag and delivering your speech!

Here’s everything you need to know about being a best man…


ultimate guide to being a best man - Mirror Imaging PhotographyMirror Imaging Photography

  • Help the groom choose, rent or buy the suits and accessories. Attend fittings if necessary and ensure the groomsmen have everything they need.
  • Organise the stag do. Find out who the groom wants to attend, think carefully about location and remain aware of budget constraints. Incorporate personalised details such as t-shirts or costumes and, most importantly, ensure the groom makes it home in one piece!
  • Prepare and practice your speech. There are some great tips in this article about giving the ultimate best man’s speech.
  • Check in with the maid of honour/chief bridesmaid and find out if she needs any help. Allow her to delegate wedding day tasks to you, such as ferrying bridesmaids between locations or keeping a supply of umbrellas and blankets on hand.
  • As the wedding day approaches, offer to collect and/or deliver hire items.
  • Help the bride and groom set-up the venue.
  • You may be asked to stay with the groom the night before the wedding. If so, it’ll be your responsibility to ensure he gets an early night and eats a proper breakfast in the morning.


ultimate guide to being a best man - Geoff Kirby PhotographyGeoff Kirby Photography

  • Take delivery of the buttonholes and distribute them among the bridal party.
  • Keep track of the groomsmen and their roles, so they’re in place before the bride arrives.
  • Collect messages/telegrams from absent guests.
  • Look after the wedding rings.
  • Ensure the groom arrives at the venue on time.
  • Participate in the wedding ceremony.
  • If the couple opt for a receiving line, you may be expected to join in and greet guests.
  • Encourage people to sign the guest book.
  • In the absence of an official toast master, you may need to act as master of ceremonies. You’ll need to announce the bride and groom, call guests into the wedding breakfast, and introduce the speeches.
  • Deliver your speech and read out any messages for the newlyweds.
  • Dance with the maid of honour as part of the couple’s first dance.
  • Decorate the wedding car before the newlyweds leave at the end of the night.


  • Help clear the venue and return hire items if needed.
  • Look after any wedding presents until the newlyweds return from their honeymoon.


Don’t miss our post detailing everything you need to know about being a bridesmaid.

Until next time,

Happy planning!

Val x     

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