What should I do as my brother's Best Man?
February 7, 2011 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Could you guys help me out with some pointers on being Best Man in my brother's wedding?

Hey guys,

I've been asked by my brother to be the Best Man at his wedding in October. I'm honored that he asked, so I want to make sure that I do everything right. Is there anything in particular I should watch out for or make sure I do?

1.) What are my specific duties for the bachelor party? I know I'll have to book the hotel and plan everything, but do I need to do stuff beyond that?

2.) What are the traditional requirements of being best man?

posted by AndrewShortComedy to Human Relations (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You make a toast to the couple is one of the duties. Make sure you write it before hand and learn it. It sucks to get tongue tied when you do it.
posted by lampshade at 11:31 AM on February 7, 2011

Best Man Checklist

Wish I had this around when I was a best man.
posted by lampshade at 11:32 AM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's an honour to be the best man, but it really is a job- you're the one who needs to look after (doing it yourself or be sure someone else does it) all practicalities mentioned above so the groom can focus on the ceremony, his wife, enjoying the day, etc. as much as possible.

Keep your brother from doing anything at a bachelor party that could cause him serious grief later.

Look after the marriage license and rings. If someone else says they have them, take them away (forcibly if necessary) and hold onto them. I can't stress these things enough.

Be prepared for tux emergencies. Safety pins (or even a stapler) will always come in handy. It's cool to organize food of some kind in the AM. Keep everyone sober.
posted by variella at 11:41 AM on February 7, 2011

Just want to chime in on the bachelor party duties - check with your brother about what he wants the party to be. I've been to bachelor parties where the best man decided what entertainment and events would be happening, and they were clearly not what the groom wanted to be doing. Get a clear idea of what he would like, and do that. Keep him safe from other guests who will want to take the party in undesired directions, and keep him safe from himself once he has had a few drinks.
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:55 AM on February 7, 2011

I would advise that you do not have the bachelor party the night before the wedding. Hangovers and/or lack of sleep don't look good in photos. Give the man (and yourself, and any other groomsmen who might be at the bachelor party) time to recover and get some sleep.
posted by cooker girl at 12:03 PM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes it is your job to create the bachelor party if the groom wants it. Yes you have to keep the rings on hand. Yes you need to seat guests and do other super traditional things if the groom wants it.

None of these things matter in comparison to one major thing. Keep the groom alive and ready for the wedding. Your real job is to make sure that everything is going smoothly and to keep crazy from getting to the groom. Everyone has a nutty uncle, everyone has pre wedding jitters, everyone will have some sort of oh shit moment before they tie the knot. Just expect it and be ready to work through it without a melt down by the groom.

Remind him at all times about how much he loves this girl and how this will be the best decision in his life.

People forgive lame parties, poor best man speeches, people forgive improper seating arrangements or floral bouquets that are not perfect. No one forgive a no show groom or a super drunk or hung over groom. Keep him on time and ready to go.
posted by Felex at 12:10 PM on February 7, 2011

I was the best man for my brother's wedding a few years ago. Here's what I did. Your (his) wedding may vary:

1. Kept in touch with all the groomsmen and enlisted them to help figure out things to do on the weekend of the bachelor party (my brother had his a few months before the wedding on a convenient weekend for all the guys.) I looked into various activities and proposed itineraries for the weekend. In the end, we just went out for meals and hit a few bars both nights.

2. Made dinner reservations for the group of us at a great restaurant in D.C. I didn't take everyone out, but I did cover my brother.

3. As mentioned above, kept my brother out of too much trouble while all of us were out on the town

4. Worked with the groomsmen on a group present to give my brother. Collected money from them, etc.

On the day of the wedding, I just made myself available to my brother to run various errands for him and make sure he had everything he needed. I hung on to the rings and to the money that my brother and his wife wanted to give her family pastor for officiating the service. While all the ladies were getting their hair done and whatnot, I took all the guys out for lunch at a pub around the corner from the hotel where we were staying. Good burgers and a round or two of beer.

Pay very special attention to the comment above about giving a toast, and planning it out beforehand. I didn't do that. Don't do what I did and wing it.
posted by emelenjr at 12:19 PM on February 7, 2011

A useful previous question: How to be the best best man.
I will reiterate my advice from that thread: when giving your toast, be classy.

I believe the best man also orchestrates the decorating of the get-away car, if you're into that sort of thing.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:55 PM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

One great piece of advice that I've rarely seen mentioned: make sure you have a decent amount of cash on hand for the actual wedding. In the rush of wedding planning, things tend to fall through the cracks. The last thing your brother wants to deal with on the day of his wedding is the DJ asking about why he hasn't been paid yet, and refusing to perform until he gets what he's owed. Bring some cash, and if there's any issue about money, you deal with it and get the money back from your brother later.
posted by Guernsey Halleck at 3:00 PM on February 7, 2011

The groom is not allowed to pay for anything at the bachelor party. It is your responsibility to make it so.
posted by jmd82 at 3:26 PM on February 7, 2011

I arranged, with his permission, to carry the groom's checkbook. There are people (e.g., florists, catering) that may need to be paid, and the bride and groom deserve not being interrupted.
posted by dws at 5:42 PM on February 7, 2011

I'm about to be a best man in a few months. Here are three things that I'm responsible for that were unexpected, but the groom has been helpfully clear about already:

1) The night before the wedding, he's staying in my hotel room. This sort of thing of course depends on timing & location & such. It helps that I'm not taking a date or otherwise sharing the room. I think it'll be a good way for the two of us to hang out a bit, discuss logistics and emotions as necessary, and perhaps go out for a few drinks as a mini bachelor party.
2) I am to dance at the reception. Not in any kind of staged or weird way, but the maid of honor and I should be the first ones on the dance floor at the appropriate time, getting our groove on. We're to set the tone of having a good time.
3) I am in charge of tipping the relevant people at the end of the reception. He'll hand me a list of people and cash, but then it's my responsibility to dole out said cash to the DJ, servers, and probably some other people I don't even think about. Hence the list. See: Right Hand Man.

Regarding the bachelor party, I've been to my fair share of them. E-mail has really helped these progress in organization. Make sure you know who's showing up where & when, who is bringing a car if need be, who is willing to be a designated driver, and so on. Make sure everybody's cool with what's happening & price points set. Are you hanging out in a hotel room to have a few drinks before hitting the town? Get an ice tub or fill the bathtub with bags of convenience store ice. It's lame to have to keep running down the hall with the little bucket to fill from the icemaker there. Bachelor parties in my experience often have a cluster or two of guys who know each other really well already, then a few random guys like the groom's office pal. These randoms can feel awkward, so try to make things easier for them socially. And n-thing above, know the groom's limits.
posted by knile at 12:30 AM on February 8, 2011

And hey, ask your brother what he needs. What he'd like to know will absolutely for certain taken care of so he doesn't have to worry about it. along with all this other great advice :)
posted by lemniskate at 5:40 AM on February 8, 2011

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