Wedding etiquette: Best man - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Wedding etiquette: Best man

 By: Valarie Roberts     

In recent articles we have reviewed the responsibilities of key people in a wedding, such as the maid of honor and the mother of the bride and groom.  The last specific role we will look at is the best man.

Originally, the best man would be the man that introduced the groom to his bride.  In recent days, the best man is a brother or close male friend of the groom, whom he entrusts with the following responsibilities:

  • Make absolutely sure that the groom has the marriage license with him.
  • Receive the minister's fee from the groom and give it to the minister privately following the ceremony.  
  • Help the groom pack for his honeymoon.
  • Help the groom dress for the ceremony.
  • If a ring bearer is to be in the wedding, the Best Man is responsible to oversee the child and be sure he understands his duties.   
  • Assist with luggage arrangements for both the bride and the groom so that everything will be ready for their departure.
  • Make sure car or travel arrangements are set and that the groom is carrying any necessary reservations, tickets, money and travelers checks.
  • The Best Man will want to ride to the church with the groom.
  • It is the Best Man's responsibility to make sure the ushers are together and ready before the ceremony begins. 
  • Alert ushers as to the ladies who will be wearing flowers and make sure they are not seated before receiving them.
  • Check all the men's boutonnieres. These should always be worn on the left lapel, stem down. 
  • Perform any task or errand the groom or the bride's mother may request at the church.
  • If applicable, remind the groom to remove his gloves as the bride comes down the aisle. 
  • Be first at the reception in order to welcome the bride and groom. 
  • The Best Man is responsible to make the first toast to the bride and groom at the wedding. The Best Man is also responsible to make the first toast at the rehearsal dinner.
  • The Best Man should act as a host, making introductions when necessary and helping to make the guests feel welcome.
  • The Best Man should dance at the reception with the bride, both mothers and as many of the bridal attendants and guest as possible. 
  • Help the groom change into his travel clothes after the reception. Find out when the bride is ready to leave and with the maid/matron of honors, help the bride and groom depart.
  • Return the groom's tuxedo to the tux shop or if it belongs to the groom, be responsible for taking it to the cleaners.
  • Order flowers for the bride and groom's room at the first stop of the honeymoon trip.
  • Another responsibility of the Best Man may include the signing of the marriage certificate. This is not only a legal document but also a beautiful keepsake for the couple. Many times, the Best Man is not aware that his signature may be required and he may be off with the guests.

Note about ring bearer: The Best Man has the responsibility of carrying the bride's wedding ring. However, many times the couple will also want to have a ring bearer. I recommend that the "real" ring be kept safe in the pocket of the Best Man...just in case.

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