It’s on! Your best buddy–or your beloved brother–is getting hitched, and he’s looking to you to act as his best man. Congratulations on this special honor. This is an important role and it will help to know some of the costs and responsibilities–beyond that all-important reception toast–that go hand-in-hand with this task.
When it comes to expenses, a best man can anticipate paying for a couple of things.
- Tuxedo–Most grooms today do not require their groomsmen to buy their tuxedoes. But if he does, purchase prices start at about $300 and go up from there. Rentals begin at about $50 and can reach upwards of $300. The Bridal Association of America lists the average cost of a tuxedo or suit at $197 nationwide.
- Bachelor party–You shouldn’t shoulder the entire party’s expense by yourself. Each person invited should pay for themselves and chip in to cover the cost for the groom. The invitation stage is the best time to ask the attendees to contribute to cover the groom’s expenses.
Beyond these two, a best man is not expected to pay for much more other than a few miscellaneous items, like decorations for the couple’s getaway car or gas money to drive the groom to the ceremony.
Truly, a best man’s job is to help the groom get everything he needs in place and make sure these things get done on time. The more you can do to relieve the groom of the details, the better.
Here's a list of some of the activities counted upon the best man to handle:
The Bachelor Party
By far, this is a best man’s most involved responsibility. Determining the specifics of the party, such as when, where, and whom to invite, are on you.
- When–Try to set the date a few weeks before the wedding. Having it too close to the actual event may tire out the groom, who will have more than enough things to do as his big day approaches.
- Where–Although exotic dancers and clubs get the headlines, many bachelor parties focus on the tradition of the event, which celebrates the groom’s friendships with an activity and a good meal. Think about what the groom enjoys doing and make appropriate arrangements. This may be attending a sporting event or engaging in a favorite activity, like golf, fishing, snowboarding, etc.
- Who–Everyone in the wedding party should be invited as well as the groom’s good friends and relatives. For a formal event, send out invitations. A more relaxed activity requires only a phone call or email to give notice.
Decide with the groom a good time for all the men in the wedding party to get fitted for their tuxedos. Besides yourself, you need to make sure everyone shows up at the appointed time to alleviate any concerns for the groom.
The Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner
Normally, these two events take place the day before the wedding. Help the groom by ensuring all the groomsmen make it to the event on time. The rehearsal dinner begins the celebration of the nuptials to come. Toasts may be given and you can prepare a short speech, but you are not obligated to do so.
Meet with the groom early in the day to hang out and get prepared. Try to keep in mind all the things he will need such as all the pieces to his tux; his boutonniere; as well as the marriage license, tickets, and reservation numbers for the honeymoon; luggage; etc.
This is also the time for you take on the responsibility of the bride’s wedding ring. Make sure the transfer takes place and that you keep it safe and secure.
As best man, you may be responsible for taking the groom to the ceremony, and it’s best to arrive about a half-hour ahead of time. Keep tabs on the groomsmen so they too are prepared and arrive at the ceremony on time.
During the ceremony itself, you will likely be escorting the maid or matron of honor down the aisle ahead of the bride. Stay loose and natural throughout the ceremony and do your best to avoid any behaviors that would distract from the couple in any way. After the ceremony, you may be called upon to act as a witness by signing your name on the marriage certificate.
The Best Man Toast
Remember, this is meant to be a toast and not a roast or lengthy speech. Keep it short and sweet, with the focus on the bride and groom, and practice before the event.
Decorating the Getaway Car
You can handle this yourself, along with the groomsmen, or delegate it to someone else. Just be sure it’s not overboard, and that the car isn’t damaged. Keep in mind that window paint is designed for glass and can permanently scar the car’s paint, plastic windowsills, and tires.
Paying for Service
Help the couple by arranging to get any monies owed and tips secured for the various services. These may include paying the officiant, band, caterers, etc.
Tuxedo Cleaning and Return
When the groom heads off on his honeymoon getaway, be sure you get his tuxedo cleaned and returned for him on time.
A good best man ensures the details are taken care of so the groom can relax and enjoy his wedding day and honeymoon. This is an important role and one of great prestige. Enjoy the honor, take responsibility, and you’ll do just fine.