:: Best Man - Roles and Responsibilities ::


Help and Advice for your Best man and Ushers


Choosing the best man can be a particularly stressful and nervous time.

A good best man can be a crucial factor in the smooth running of your day by being a trusted supporter who takes their role seriously and can influence the whole feel of the day - especially the speeches.

Although being asked to become a Best man is an honor in itself. The best man is chosen as the groom’s main moral support during a very emotional point in his life where he needs to be someone with whom the groom is entirely comfortable with.


We have seen lots of "Best men" get very nervous when offered this opportunity and worried at the many questions they cannot answer:
- What will I say during my speech?
- Will my speech deliver impact?
- What am I supposed to do?

So if you are the best man, considering you will be at your best friends/brothers wedding day in front of a big crowd of people (most of whom you will probably already know) and most likely with a video camera pointing at you. It all sounds very nervous but fortunately, you shouldn't feel it! - because the good thing about it all is that the audience will be on your side and rooting for you, they really want to laugh, and even if you don't think you material is that funny - you can be assured that you will still get a laugh at the weakest of jokes.

The ushers are chosen by the groom and his best man and are usually brothers, close relatives or friends of the bride and groom. As a general guide you will need an usher for each 50 guests. Traditionally the ushers are the responsibility of the best man, who ensures they know their duties.

We speak to lots of grooms, best men and their ushers before, during and after their events and over time have built up a repository of information that will be sure to help you get to grips with this task and some of the worries you might be having.



6 months before the day.
- Discussing the wedding plans with the bride, groom and chief bridesmaid will help to understand the plan and flow of the day - this is likely to change so ensure that you are aware of any changes.

- If not already enlisted by the groom, help to choose the ushers and explain their duties to them.

4 months
- Organize the stag party - check out our download to keep track of who is coming and who is not. Give the rest of the stags plenty of time to allow them to take the weekend/time off.

- Your job is to look after the groom so enjoy the time but be weary and avoid any facial hair being removed (i.e for photos - it would be a total waste of money if their wedding photos didn't look right)

- Prepare your speech for the reception, start thinking about family moments, memories, search the web for ideas

- Compile a list of close family members who should have special seating arrangements at the ceremony and share the infomation with the ushers.

- Discuss the photographer list with the bride and groom, they may have already worked with the photographer but it would also help if you knew about it too as you may be called to gather people for the wedding photos.

- Visit the ceremony and the reception venues with the bride and groom to check on timings, parking arrangements etc.


- Arrange to purchase or hire clothes and agree who will pay for them.

1 week before
- Check the groom has all the necessary documents for the ceremony and the honeymoon. Double check their passports and visas.

- Attend the wedding rehearsal.

- Liaise with the ushers on the final arrangements.

- Check for roadworks, diversions, carnivals etc taking place on the wedding day that may effect timings or the route.

- Arrange transport for the groom and self to ceremony.

- Arrange transport to and from the reception.

- Arrange going away car for the bride and groom from the reception if required.

- Make a note of details and availability of emergency taxi companies.

- Finalise speech.


- Have your hair cut and look smart. Guests will be looking to you for direction
- Confirm final travel arrangements with the best man and any other ushers, including the time of arrival at the church or register office.

- Obtain for the best man a list of family and guests who should be personally escorted to their seats.

- Attend the wedding rehearsal if required.

The day before
- Collect any hired clothing and accessories.

- Wash car if driving to the ceremony.

- Organize decorations for the going away car.

- Collect any hired clothing and accessories.

On the day
- Check final arrangements for the ushers, buttonholes, order of service sheets and rings.

- Collect messages, cards and emails to be read at the speeches/reception.

- Keep the rings safe until the required time in the service.

- Help the groom get ready (so be ready before him).

- Ensure the groom gets to the church on time, approximately 20mins before the ceremony is due to start.



- Collect buttonholes and order of service sheets from the brides home.
- Arrive at the church at least half an hour before the ceremony is due to start.

At the church
- Check on the ushers.

- Sit on the right hand front pew with the groom.

- Witness the signing of the register, if required.

- Ensure all fees are paid to the church or registrar.

- Escort the chief bridesmaid out of the church.

- Assist the photographer in organizing the guests for the photographs (based on your list above)

- Ensure everyone has transportation to the reception venue.



- Help with car parking facilities.
- Greet the guests and hand out the buttonholes, order of service sheets and maps showing the route to the reception.
- Ensure the officiant has order of service sheets for the bride and groom.
- Seat couples with young babies and children near the exit.
- Escort the brides mother and appropriate guests to their seats.
- Assist the photographer.
- Ensure the church is left tidy and check for any left property and unused order of service sheets.
- Ensure all guests have transport to the reception.

At the reception
- Stand in the receiving line and greet the guests.

- Announce the speeches and cake cutting, if there is no Master of Ceremonies or Toastmaster.

- Read any cards, emails and telemessages.

- Give the third and final speech and reply on behalf of the bridesmaids.

- Dance with the chief bridesmaid once the bride and groom have completed their first dance.

- Decorate the going away car.

- Put any luggage required in the going away car.

- Make sure the bride and groom go and change on time and announce to the guests that they are about to depart.

- Take charge of the groom's wedding clothes, if required.


- Assist with car parking facilities.
- Offer drinks to the guests as they arrive if appropriate.
- Assist any elderly or infirm guests.

After the wedding
- Ensure the wedding presents are safely stored.

- Return any hired clothing and accessories.

Return any hired clothing and accessories.






What you should avoid in your Best Mans Speech. (link)

How to triumph at your best Man Speech (link)








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