The role of the Best Man for a wedding is undoubtedly an honour, but is also a huge responsibility that can’t be taken too light heartedly. One of the most daunting prospects for many will be the wedding speech, but the responsibilities often extend far beyond that infamous role.
The responsibilities of the best man will start many months before the actual wedding day, and he will be involved with many of the plans. One notorious responsibility is organising the stag night, this may be organised with the groom or separately, to ensure the groom has a great time without having to worry about the arrangements. Depending on what is planned for the stag night, it is advisable to have this some time before the wedding, usually a few weeks, if not a month before the wedding date.
The best man may also visit potential venues with the groom to help in the decision process, this will also give an opportunity to familiarize himself with the surroundings, parking and any other arrangements. The best man will certainly have a responsibility in helping choosing the men’s wedding attire and accessories.
A major part of the role is to provide support for the groom, being available to help with any arrangements as required during the months before the special day. It may be the best man’s responsibility to arrange the transport for the wedding day, including transportation to and from the venue and reception and transportation for the bride and groom following the wedding to the airport or honeymoon destination.
The best man will need to be familiar with the seating arrangements at the venue and reception and he will also need to liaise with the ushers before and during the event, to ensure everything runs smoothly.
It will be necessary to attend the wedding rehearsal an d communicate with the groom about any final arrangements. As the day approaches, he may also be required to collect any hired suits or items, confirming any final arrangements with the ushers, ensuring order of service sheets, buttonholes and rings are all ready.
The week before the wedding will also be time to finalise the speech, which for many will be the most worrying part of the day. However daunting the prospect, always remember the guests will be supporting you, and as long as the speech is funny and moderated, without causing any offence, it is sure to be well received. The secret is to prepare well in advance and practice in front of family or friends if you feel nervous and this will also gauge how the speech will be received.
On the day of the wedding you will be required to assist the groom in his preparations, ensuring you both arrive at the venue at least half an hour before the ceremony is due to start. Safe custody of the rings until the required time will be paramount.
It is traditional to sit to the right hand side of the groom and you will usually be required to witness the register signing and it is traditional to escort the chief bridesmaid if the ceremony is in a church. The best man may also take a role in assisting the photographer in organising the guests and also ensure everyone has transport to the reception venue.
At the reception, always be available to help with seating the guests and be prepared to announce the speeches if there is no appointed master of ceremonies in attendance and read any cards, messages or emails, as well as announcing the cake cutting, as well introducing the other speeches and making your own important speech.
Other duties may include organising decorations for the going away car and If the wedding has an evening reception, it is traditional for the best man to dance with the chief bridesmaid. Following the wedding, the responsibilities may also include ensuring wedding presents are safely stored and returning hired outfits and accessories following the ceremony. Importantly, don’t forget to afford yourself some time to enjoy the day.

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