Everything you need to know about best man duties – from the stag do to the speech

Your need-to-know guide to what a best man does

Planning a stag party and giving a witty speech are the two roles most commonly associated with being a best man, but there's a lot more to it than that! A key part in the wedding party, you'll be expected to be the groom's right-hand man throughout the wedding planning process, as well as on the big day itself. Read on for our ultimate guide to best man duties…

What does a best man do?

Pre-wedding duties

  • Support the groom with any wedding planning admin and guidance needed in the lead-up to the big day.
  • Help the groom to choose and rent or buy outfits for himself, the best man, groomsmen and other members of the wedding party.
  • Organise the stag party with the groom's close friends and family.
  • Co-ordinate the groomsmen's gift to the groom if applicable.
  • Prepare a speech.


Wedding day duties

  • Help to ensure everything runs to plan, making sure the groom and other groomsmen are ready and arrive at the ceremony on time.
  • Co-ordinate the other groomsmen and ensure everyone knows what they are doing.
  • Deal with any suppliers on behalf of the groom if needed.
  • Keep the rings safe until the ceremony.
  • Welcome wedding guests to the ceremony and guide them to their seats.
  • Be the ring-bearer if applicable.
  • Mingle with guests at the reception.
  • Assist with gathering groups for official photographs if required.
  • Give the best man's speech and offer a toast to the newlyweds at the reception.
  • Collect the gifts and cards guests may bring to the reception as required and store safely.

GALLERY: See these celebrity best men and groomsmen


Best man speech checklist

There is a lot of expectation that comes with a best man's speech, including sharing funny anecdotes about the groom, congratulating the newlyweds, and to deliver it in a manner that is engaging (and appropriate) for all guests, young and old…. no pressure, then! Get started on your speech with our checklist of the traditional elements you should consider, including…

RELATED: 7 tips on how to give the best wedding speech

  1. Introduce yourself and explain how you know the groom – don't expect that everyone will know who you are because you are the best man.
  2. Thank the organisers
  3. Share some anecdotes about the groom, but know your audience. It's traditional to poke fun at the groom, but be careful not to embarrass him, his bride or their families.
  4. Say a few words to and about the bride.
  5. Give a mention to the bridesmaids and/or the rest of the wedding party.
  6. Finish your speech by leading the guests in a congratulatory toast to the newlyweds.

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