The Best Man Duties Checklist: Your Ultimate Guide

Have you experienced the call of duty?

We don’t mean the video game, dude (although it does take the bronze for bestselling gamer franchises in the world). The call of duty we’re referring to is strictly for lovers, not fighters.

Your best friend, brother, or another close relative has asked you to step up at their wedding and be their best man. Way to go! What an honor.

So, uh… what exactly is a best man supposed to do?

Consider this your ultimate guide, like a best man duties checklist outlining how you can support the groom before and on one of the best days of his life.

Let’s get your best man tasks started!

The groomsmen hold the bride in their arms
Photo by: Emily Ruth Photography

Best Man Pre-Wedding Duties Checklist With Timelines

The groomsman fastens the cufflink on the groom's shirt
Photo by: Allison Slater Photography

When your best man’s responsibilities begin will depend on whether your actual bro (or brother from another mother) has already proposed to their special someone.

With that in mind, here’s your pre-wedding checklist of best man duties with timelines:

Ring Shopping (12-18 Months Before the Wedding)

Do we hear the brakes squealing in your head? You might think jewelry buying isn’t in your wheelhouse, but an engagement ring is a huge deal, and the groom could use your support.

Don’t worry, all of us get bug-eyed at the sparkly stuff under glass at the jewelry store. He might know the ring style he wants or want your input. Either way, some quality advice online can be just the ticket to help the groom make his choice.

We’ve got your back: here are some entertaining tips on rings that anyone can check out in advance to cut the stress and make ring shopping quicker and (yup, I said it) fun.

Wrestle Up the Herd (Up to a Year Before the Wedding)

The two lovebirds getting married are the stars of this rodeo, but one of your duties is wrangling the groomsmen, and we’ve got some great tips for you!

You may already know everyone in the wedding wolf pack, but if the groomsmen are scattered around or you don’t all know each other, it’s great to set up a chat group on your socials.

It’s natural to have zero clues regarding weddings, but we won’t blame you if you know a thing or two about bachelor parties (hopefully no antics like The Hangover back in the day).

Depending on the groom’s intentions, you can also plan a casual groomsmen get-together in addition to a bachelor party. It’s a great group activity, and we’ve got other ideas for you.

Groomsday: The Wreckoning

This file is a digital download you can edit at home and text or email to the groomsmen. Use it to plan a ballgame or some other event where everyone can have a meet and greet.

We’ve got another great idea for this template: use it as a t-shirt decal, you know, a “my bud got married, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” joke gift!

Show Him Who’s Top Gun

Whether you plan a happy hour afternoon playing pool, a ballgame, or a Vegas weekend away, these Top Gun-inspired t-shirts will be a hit with the crew.

Grab Some YETI® Colster Class

There are beverage koozies you can get printed up for the groom and his mates for a chuckle, and then there are YETI® beverage holders that take the sentiment up a memorable notch.

This selection is the kind of classy touch that everyone will use and remember fondly again and again.

Project Groomsmen (Six Months Before the Wedding)

Fashion-forward guys will like this, but if you’re not the formalwear type, we can help because, as the best man, you’ll be double-checking wedding attire for the groomsmen.

It’s not as heavy as it sounds: you can all rent tuxes online and even fancy patent shoes if need be. But, whatever you do, have everyone get fitted about half a year before the wedding—the sooner, the less hectic.

Make sure you have a contact at the rental site who can confirm that all the wearables are ready for the wedding day, and make sure the guys understand the fit process, so their tuxes are comfy.

If that still sounds like a pain in the patoot, check out our Wedding Pioneer dress tips for guys here.

Dress codes are loosening up for weddings! Here are coordinating style ideas for groomsmen:

Try on Some Flower Power

What’s masculine and cool about this skinny tie with florals? Everything, that’s what!

This dress-to-impress look is celebratory without being stuffy, and it could work great with bridesmaids.

Take That Bowtie for a Spin

Someone decided to turn that bowtie on its head, and we think it looks spectacular! It even dresses up a crisp white button-up shirt.

Sustainable Blazer Looks Stunning

I love this “slow-fashion” suit jacket personally made for you from 100% pure hemp fabric!

Breathable and beautiful, this look is ready for a wedding and equally at home with jeans and loafers on a date night down the road.

A Belt That’s Rustic Wedding Worthy

Here’s another piece of sustainable fashion that makes a great wedding fashion statement for groomsmen. This durable belt is a premium-quality cork in a dark and dressy tone.

Groomsmen’s Boutonnieres 101

A classy accent for your jacket—like this groomsmen hoop boutonniere—makes a suit more wedding-worthy.

The couple may already have boutonnieres picked out for the groomsmen as part of their floral arrangements, but if it’s up in the air or they’re asking for your input, we’ve got other choices!

Go Comi Con With a Comic Book Boutonniere

Wedding parties are raving about these super-cool and unique boutonnieres made from your favorite comic books and accented in the wedding party’s colors.

Birds of a Feather Boutonniere

I love these manly boutonnieres that have an outdoorsy vibe. If the couple is having a rustic barn wedding or getting married mountainside, the guys in the wedding party will look great wearing these.

Do Your Duty With an Ammo Boutonniere

How’d you like to wear a cleaned and shiny Colt 45 bullet casing as part of your groomsmen boutonniere?

These cool bullet brooches come in several sizes of shell casings, and they look outstanding in person and in wedding pictures.

Bachelor Party On (Up to 5 Months Before Wedding, Best Date for Groom)

These days, the emphasis on a bachelor party is stress relief and some downtime with the crew.

Does the groom want a throwdown weekend tailgating at a football game? We’ve already mentioned Vegas, but we also need to say that your bud might not be into crushing beers, and that’s okay!

When planning flights for a bachelor party, current timelines on travel websites suggest that prices can fluctuate to their lowest point between two to three months ahead, depending on the season and the destination.

That’s why we think five months ahead of the bachelor party date is primetime to pick a spot and plan accommodations. If you head to a famous party spot like Vegas, you can save on higher-cost resort hotels by booking a vacation condo or house.

Whatever that looks like to you, you’ll be planning an event to honor the groom, so make sure it’s his style, and he’ll be a happier man for your efforts.

Hats Off to This Bachelor Party Item

A well-made, one size for all ballcap is perfect for a destination weekend away or a golf game at the local club. Make sure to include a high-resolution photo of him to personalize everyone’s hat.

Bookmark That Wedding Website (As Soon As It’s Live Online)

It’s growing in popularity for couples to have a wedding website; trust me, that info will come in handy for you too!

If the groomsmen are traveling from out of town, make sure they’ve got the website deets and share review sites with them for potential cost savings on their travel.

Other Wedding Events

The best man is pretty much off the hook for other party planning and wedding preparations.

You might get invited to couples events and probably attend the wedding rehearsal dinner the night before the grand event.

Okay, guys, we’re in the home stretch now.

Best Man Wedding Day Checklist

The bride and groom splash champagne as the bridesmaids and groomsmen stand around
Photo by: Jenny Marie Photography

In the locker room of life, this is game day, gents.

You can shine in your best man role, and we’ll examine the four main areas where you’ll make the most significant impact:

  • Support for the groom (this is your primary mission)
  • Leader of the groomsmen (don’t miss our tips & tricks)
  • Rock a wedding gift to the couple (we’ve got heartfelt ideas, and it’s not about the price tag)
  • And… wait for it… the best man speech (mike droppin’ hint: you can kill it with a funny speech).

Kick off their wedding day by stepping into your most important role. Best man to the groom!

the groomsmen hold the groom in their arms in the forest
Photo by: Becca Louise Photo

Be Your Best

Nerves are a part of a wedding day; as best man, it’s not uncommon for you to feel kinda jittery too. But you can ease some tension by being there for him, knowing he’s about to head on this crazy-cool new journey.

Grab him a coffee, dust off his attire, and reminisce about some great memories… you know him best, and you can help him relax. That’s why he chose you!

One crucial thing the couple might ask you to do is to hold onto their wedding bands beforehand.

This personalized pouch will keep their wedding rings safe and easy to access in your pocket during the ceremony, and they’ll appreciate this special little keepsake from you.

Lead the Groomsmen

Have you ever corraled a band of boy scouts? Great! You’ll be prepared (sorta) to hold down a gaggle of groomsmen on a wedding day.

We’re just joking! But little emergencies may come up, so you can save yourself some unnecessary headaches with a wedding day “survival kit.”

Time can drag a bit for the groomsmen while they wait for the ceremony. You can break out the game consoles or grab a card deck (check out this custom deck of playing cards that makes a super-thoughtful gift, too!).

Speaking of gifts, here’s some fun stuff.

Rock That Wedding Gift

Your best man budget to get a wedding gift for the couple shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Standing up next to them is probably the greatest gift you can give a couple during their vows, so when it comes to a wedding present, think about their shared interests as a couple because a genuinely thoughtful gift is priceless.

They’ll Love Their Beer Mugs

Getting them a pair of well-designed, personalized beer mugs is a surefire hit and quite romantic to boot—good on yah, best man!

Talk About a Hilarious Snuggle Blanket

Binge-watching and chilling just got snugglier for the newlyweds with this personalized, bone-tastic woven blanket from you.

Light Up Their New Lives

This personalized night light serves a practical and decorative purpose, and they’re bound to use it often if their newlywed digs.

When They Both Can’t Get Enough of Joe

Lazy Sunday mornings with cups of joe will be a touch more gourmet with your tasty coffee gift basket.

They’ll Take Spoonfuls of These

Your bro and his bride will eat these Mr. and Mrs. spoons up!

Perfect for Newly Married Movie Night

Grab them some personalized bowls for their popcorn!

You’re Ready for Their Ceremony

Nowadays, it’s the norm for couples to take pre-wedding photos together before their ceremony. Whether they do take pre-wedding pics or don’t, once you’ve wrapped their sweet gift and put on your best man threads, you’ll be ready for the “I Do’s” that count.

Your central role during the ceremony is to sign the marriage license as a legal witness to their union.

After that, you’ll probably be gearing up for your most public duty of the day: the best man speech at the wedding reception.

The Bestest Best Man Speech You Can Possibly Give

Outdoor wedding celebration. Guests are seated at large beautiful wedding tables outside next to a beautiful brick building.
Photo by: Kalena Photography

By the time the reception meal is over, the happy couple’s nerves are settling down, but yours may be amping up.

When it comes to wedding speeches, good-spirited humor is always the way to go.

Check this out because Wedding Pioneer knows a thing or two about acing your best man wedding speech:

Hit the crowd with a great opener, and your best-man speech will leave them laughing. We’ve got your Top 5 best opening lines here.

We won’t leave you hanging after the first sentence out of your mouth! You can write an unforgettable wedding speech by clicking here.

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