The many jobs of best man

Bouncer, stylist, planner—there’s more to being best man than bringing down the house with a side-splitting speech (although that doesn’t hurt)...

The Entertainer This is the big one, the best man’s moment to shine (or sink): the toast at the reception. It’s such a mammoth task that Essential Groom has a how-to guide to making a killer toast.

The Personal Assistant As the pre-wedding preparation builds, the best man tends to assume the role of PA to the groom. As his right hand man, it falls upon the best man to help out wherever necessary.

The Planner The other big task is, of course, the bachelor party. The best man is instrumental in making it one to remember. He may also find himself a consultant for the groom as he checks of his to-do list, helping to arrange the honeymoon or source a fleet of Mustang convertibles for the big day.

The Stylist At some stage, the best man will be consulted on the weft of a jacket, the turn of a collar or the merits of silver cufflinks. He plays a pivotal role in deciding (and finding) the attire of the groom and groomsmen and may even be called upon to organise fittings. He’ll also have to make sure outfits are delivered to the lads and, if applicable, returned to whence they came.

The Security Guard All this energy and effort is building up to that moment in front of the celebrant when the groom slips a ring onto the bride’s finger. Before that moment comes, the ring is protected for dear life by the best man who then produces it at the appropriate moment at the ceremony.

The Bouncer If anyone gets rowdy, bawdy. obnoxious or particularly messy at the reception, it often falls on the best man to try to pull them into line. Fortunately, the rold doesn’t require the earpiece, dark sunnies and attitude found at an inner-city nightclub—a discreet tap on the shoulder and friendly whisper in the ear is appropriate.

The Escort We mean escort in the olde world sense, not as in gigolio (what you do in your spare time is up to you). Specifically the best man escorts the maid of honour who is essentially his opposite number in the bridal party. This may include, but is not limited to, escorting her down the aisle and cutting a rug with her on the dance floor.

The Coach Cold feet happen. Nerves can set in a month, a week or a minute before the ceremony and the best man is there to slap the groom into shape (not literally). He must be the voice of reason, the epitome of calm and the source of sage, judicious advice. This goes doubly for the bachelor party: keep the groom on the straight and narrow.

The Accountant Once the deal is sealed and the happy couple skip merrily out of the church, the best man ensures that the celebrant gets payment for his or her services. On the plus side, he's not forking out his own dough, simply acting on behalf of the groom who is far too busy being newly married for such trivialities. There may be others—organ player, caterer—that need tipping or payment.

Stay on schedule with Essential Groom's Best Man timeline

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