Last week we discussed the role of the bridesmaids in your wedding preparations and on the big day. In the interests of equality, it’s only right that we cover what the boys have to do too. After all, a wedding day for them shouldn’t be all about the partying afterwards!
The history of the best man is typically male. Gothic tribes used to have to marry within their communities wherever possible. However, when the supply of available women ran out, the men would have to raid neighbouring tribes to steal a wife. The man never went alone and had a faithful friend to help.
That faithful friend would also attend the wedding ceremony to prevent any rescue or attempts from other males of the tribe to steal her. He would also stand guard outside the couple’s home on the wedding night to ensure all went well. That’s why the groom always chose his closest friend.
Modern best men have it much easier. They just have to help with organisation, help the groom make good choices and be there for him on the day. Next time your best man complains you’re giving him too much to do, remind him what was once expected of him!
The role of the best man is to help the groom choose the things he has responsibility for. It will also to be to reign in enthusiasm, control silliness and offer some taste (hopefully) and distinction to his choices.
The best man will help the groom select suits, organise the fitting sessions, organise any ushers, organise the stag party, rescue the groom from any embarrassment after said stag party, ensure the ushers have somewhere to stay, attend rehearsals and much more.
The day before the wedding, the role of the best man becomes one of a courier. Collecting buttonholes, suits, people and anything else necessary for the wedding to happen. That could include washing cars if you’re using your own, decorating them, collecting people from bus or rail stations and driving them to accommodation and so much more.
The role of the best man is whatever the wedding couple want it to be. Much depends on how much you have handled already, how reliable the best man is and how much you trust him to get the job done.
The Wedding Ceremony
At the wedding itself, the role of the best man is to ensure the grooms side of proceedings goes as well as can be expected. He will have to ensure the groom is ready on time, that ushers are all present and correct, ensure any buttonholes look the part, collect all mail and wishes ready for the reception, ensure that everyone arrives at the venue on time and that any last minute hiccups are managed.
During the wedding ceremony, the best man will walk in with the chief bridesmaid, stand by the groom and hold the rings, he will work with the bridesmaids to ensure everyone is where they should be, witness the signing of the register and be on hand to help organise everyone for wedding photographs.
Once it’s over, the best man should then organise the couple’s departure from the ceremony and be on hand to ensure the rest of the wedding party can get to the reception. Depending on how everything has been organised, it can be the role of the best man to pay the church, caterers and anyone providing a service on the day.
The Wedding Reception
At the wedding reception, as well as act as emotional backup for the groom, the best man will stand in the receiving line, announce speeches and cake cutting, act as toastmaster if there isn’t one, read cards and wishes, give the speech and ensure any formalities are addressed.
Once the dinner or formalities are over, the best man has to dance with the chief bridesmaid after the bride and groom have had their first dance. Both should then spend some time circulating and ensuring everyone is okay and that anyone who is there alone is socialised according to their comfort level.
The best man will also have to decorate the car ready for departure and work with the chief bridesmaid to ensure everything is ready for the bride and groom’s departure. At the time of departure, the best man will announce it to the guests and organise the send-off. Only once that’s done can the best man truly relax!
Like that of the bridesmaid, the role of the best man is to ensure the entire wedding day goes as smoothly as possible. Depending on the personalities involved, that could be simple or hard work. You just have to hope that the groom’s friends are all fairly sensible!