There’s a reason that the term, "Best Man", is used. With all the duties that come with the title, one might think it stands for best man for the job.
It is believed that the term actually originates from a time when men literally had to kidnap a bride. The best man stood watch at the wedding, ready to defend his friend from harm, should the wife’s family try to kidnap her back.
Thankfully this practice was done centuries ago and this method of obtaining a bride is no longer the case. The grooms of today would probably translate the term as the best man a friend could ever have. While the best man may not be given much thought by the bride, still, his duty is as important as the maid of honour. He’s the one that has to deal with the male aspects of a wedding.
Once he accepts this honour, he is duty bound to stand by the groom and help with the aspects of the wedding that the groom must attend to. His duties include planning the groom’s stag party, which in itself can be a formidable task. He must arrange for the entertainment, send out the invitations, find a place to host it and try to keep everyone from being trundled off to the hoosegow because of it.
Another duty of the best man is to select the groom’s and male wedding party’s attire for the big day. Tuxedos come in many styles and colours and this can be as nerve wracking for the best man as it is for the maid of honour when accompanying the bride to the bridal shop. The tuxedos must be complimentary to the bridesmaid’s dresses, so he has to deal with the bride as well when it comes to this category of his many duties.
Another of the best man’s responsibilities is to keep the groomsmen informed about what is expected of them at the wedding and the schedule of events planned as the wedding day draws closer.
On the day of the wedding, the best man has a part to play as well. By standing directly beside the groom during the ceremony, he lends his support to his friend as he enters this new phase in his life. He holds onto the rings until the part of the ceremony where they are to be exchanged. Better that the best man take on this responsibility than to have a nervous groom try to take on this responsibility as well.
The last thing anyone wants during the ceremony is to have to hunt for missing rings!
Another duty that the best man has is to compose the wedding toast. It’s nerve wracking enough to have to face standing before what may be hundreds of people and trying to convey how he feels about his best friend and his new bride. The emotional impact of the moment, combined with nervousness makes this a daunting task at best.
Unfortunately you can’t just stand up and wish everyone the best then sit down again. A speech this important may be video taped for posterity, so the words must be spoken eloquently.
While the responsibilities listed above are quite important, the most important role of the best man on the day of the wedding is to be a friend to the groom.
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as wedding planning at http://www.wedding-planning-plus.com