Ask any guy what the role of the best man is and the response will almost always be “to plan the buck’s party!” A select few may be even less helpful by piping up with “to sleep with the maid of honour”.
In practice there are a few formalities traditionally given to the best man. The most important function of these is to act as the ring bearer – keeping the rings safe until they are asked for by the celebrant during the ceremony. Be sure the best man isn’t likely to wear the rings to avoid losing them – the rings being stuck on the best man’s finger is an old cliché used widely in popular culture (think Hugo in The Vicar of Dibley, for example).
Another traditional role of the best man is to act as the dance partner of the maid of honour, as the bridal party and then other wedding guests take to the dance floor after the bridal waltz, and of course will be a key person in all your bridal party photos. Depending on how in depth you prefer your speeches to be the best man is often also asked to get behind the microphone and share (somewhat embarrassing but not too controversial) stories about the groom.
However don’t think that the duties of the best man end there – far from it! The best man also acts as the groom’s go-to guy for everything in the lead up to and on the wedding day. This include helping the groom to tie his bow tie; finding that missing cufflink at the last minute; providing assistance with writing the vows and the speech; ushering guests into the church/ceremony venue; helping the groom with suit fittings; ensuring the newlyweds get away to their honeymoon or wedding night venue; and generally smoothing out any hiccups which may arise on the day.
With such a hands-on role within the organisation and running of the wedding, it’s crucial that whoever is chosen as the best man be reliable, honest, quick-thinking and responsible. Just remind your soon-to-be-hubby that this is his ultimate opportunity to delegate responsibilities, so choosing wisely will greatly influence his enjoyment of the whole wedding experience!