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Responsibilities of a Successful Best Man

  1. I will not completely destroy the wedding, nor will I allow the other groomsmen to completely destroy the wedding.
  2. I will organize a great bachelor party that won't destroy the wedding or result in injury to any guests or paid entertainers.
  3. I will prevent the survival of any tangible proof that the bachelor party actually took place.
  4. I will ensure the groom's attendance and successful completion of the wedding ceremony.
  5. I will ensure that the groom is sober and functional at the reception.
  6. I will give a good speech that makes at least one person misty-eyed or prompts at least one guest over the age of 70 to utter the phrase: "Oh dear, wasn't that nice?"
  7. I will out-do the Maid of Honor and the bridesmaids at every juncture of the wedding while remaining an example to children.
  8. I will, if "single," meet someone new at the wedding.
  9. I will, if "happily single," not fall prey to the wedding/relationship gravitational pull.
  10. I will eat and drink in moderation until the completion of my duties.

These responsibilities may appear overly simple or might "make light" of the best man's duties but in practice it's the simplicity of judgment that usually gets lost. The previous points are from the collective experience of a many best men. The ability to apply these goals will become increasingly difficult throughout the wedding process. This will be the time when you'll be tested and ultimately judged on your abilities - so remain modest and calm, but always engaged.

The Engagement Party

The engagement party is a fun event that can consist of anything from a small cook-out with close family and friends to a foreshadowing of the wedding reception with all the hoopla of a big dinner, slide shows, and speeches. Many Brides and Grooms don't get around to officially choosing their wedding party until after the engagement party. Even if they have picked you, you'll have very few obligations as a Best Man or Groomsman beyond those of any close friend. Just enjoy the party and try to meet as many people as you can, because many of them will be attending the bachelor party, rehearsal dinner, and wedding. First impressions are important; keep that in mind during this event.

The Bridal Shower

This event will be a women-only party 95% of the time. The Groom may be invited, but if you have any say in this, encourage him to politely but firmly decline the invitation. The purpose of this event is to allow time for friends of the Bride, her mother, and the Groom's mother to get acquainted with one another. The Bride may be invited to more than one bridal shower, depending on her family.

The Bachelorette Party

This is another pre-wedding event, a more recent tradition. It often follows the bridal shower, and will involve the Bride's inner circle of female friends taking her out for one last night of raising Cain. As with the bachelor party, which we'll talk about later, the watchword is the same: silence. Remember: What goes around comes around.

The Jack and Jill Party

There exists one more type of pre-wedding event called a Jack and Jill Party. This is a co-ed party, which is a hybrid of an engagement party and a bridal shower. These parties can be entertaining if some events are planned beyond just watching the Bride and Groom open gifts to the peanut gallery's forced "oohs" and "aahs."

best man responsibilities300The Tuxedo

Many Best Men and Groomsmen have questions about the tuxedo rental process. But it isn't a given anymore that the Bride and Groom will ask you to wear a tux. If they choose not to have tuxes, they should either give you clear instructions as to what to wear or rent the outfit for you.

If the Bride and Groom choose to have a tux, the rental process is very easy. Most of the work is done for you. Normally, the Bride and Groom will choose a tux rental shop near the Groom's house and, with the help of the store employees, select the right tux for their wedding.

It isn't up to you to pick or comment on the style, color, or shoes selected. The Bride and Groom then provide the shop with the names of the people renting tuxes for their wedding.

Your job is twofold: First, you must get your tux measurements to the store within a week of the wedding. Any tux rental store, not just the store used by the Bride and Groom, will take your measurements and send them to the store chosen by the Bride and Groom. This is great for those people who live out of state and don't want to wait until they are in town to deal with the tux. Most stores charge a fee of between $10 and $15 for this service. Second, your job is to pick up your tux within a few days of the wedding and not lose it. The store will request that you try the tux on while in the shop, so take that time to see that it fits properly and that all the appropriate extras are attached.

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