Choosing a best man is one of the most challenging decisions a groom will make. Choosing between friends or family, among a close-knit group of friends or brothers, can seem like an impossible task.
One approach to solving this problem is to choose the perfect best man, based not just on the kindness, friendship, and love he has shown over the years but on how he will perform in the role and shoulder the responsibilities.
Being the best man is more than acting as a good friend and giving a thoughtful speech. The best man is often the coordinator of events, the bachelor party planner in chief, and the MC of the reception. When choosing a best man, pick someone you have a close relationship with who can also handle the responsibilities of the position with excellent wedding etiquette.
To help you make your decision, explore the following ideas for grooms to find the perfect best man to join your wedding party on the big day.
Not everyone has a huge family or a wide social circle. Some people only have a few close friends, and maybe none are particularly fit to be the best man. If you don’t have many people to choose from to fill the part of the best man, consider the following.
The role of best man is optional, so if you don’t have someone you’d want to fill the part, you can choose not to have a best man. However, you may need to get creative if you want someone to fill the position.
Think about someone who has been there for you through tough times or guided you to become who you are today. You might pick:
Some couples choose the best man together, so you may decide to talk to your bride to be and see if they have any family members or a best friend who can perform the part.
Each option is non-traditional for the best man position, but they can all make an excellent option if they accept. They may feel deeply honored that you’ve asked them to fill such an important role, and their unique place in your life can make for a great toast full of wisdom and understanding.
Some grooms are spoiled for choice because they have a large family with many people they can choose for the best man position. The role of best man traditionally goes to a brother or close family member, but for those with multiple close brothers or cousins, choosing one to be the best man can be difficult.
There are two good ways to address this problem. First, you can go with a non-traditional approach and opt for more than one best man. Choosing more than one person to fill the position, particularly when you are equally close, can avoid hurt among all the groomsmen.
You can delegate different responsibilities depending on their strengths if you have multiple best men. For instance, one person can organize a wild bachelor party, another can give the best man speech, and another can interact with wedding guests during the reception.
If your circle of family members is so large that even a group of best men would be tough to pull off, you might consider having them pick a best man among themselves. Have a get-together or camping trip and let them know you can’t possibly choose on your own and ask them to help you decide.
You can ask them to vote on one best man candidate with the right personality for the role or who has the time available to commit to taking on the best man’s duties. By voting, you can minimize hurt feelings or avoid making someone the best man who may find it to be too much of a time commitment.
Similar to grooms with large, close families, those with big friend groups often struggle to find one person to choose as the best man. While the strategies for big families will also work well here, the social dynamics of friend groups are often more complex.
Family members know you your entire life, but friends come and go throughout different chapters in your life. By the time you get married, you may have outgrown your high school friends and only occasionally see them. You may feel closer to a more recent friend with whom you have more in common, despite lacking years of personal history.
You may also have multiple friend groups whose members don’t know each other well, which could make it challenging to have them choose among themselves.
If you have a large friend group, your best option is to choose your closest friend who fulfills the part best, even if they aren’t your longest friendship. You want to pick someone who will do the job well and would enjoy planning the bachelor party, but also someone with whom you share a current close friendship.
Having a solid, dependable best man is more important than scrutinizing years of friendship to see who ranks highest.
Beyond being the groom’s closest friend, a best man needs certain characteristics to thrive in the responsibility. The best man is an honorary title, but you also need a best man who can rise to the role of wedding wingman, elevate your wedding, and help make your big day as memorable as possible.
When it comes to choosing the person for the position, select someone who is:
Best men are often involved in a lot of behind-the-scenes wedding plans. They can be responsible for delivering decorations, paying the DJ or band, or booking a getaway car. They might also get gifts for the groom and ensure the wedding rings arrive safely at the wedding venue.
Choose someone who can easily keep track of all these elements while having a good time.
While best men don’t need to be glad-handers with the wedding guests, they often fill the de facto role of reception MC at pre-wedding festivities, the rehearsal dinner, and the wedding.
Choosing someone confident with public speaking and taking on the social aspects is a good idea.
Jeff Lano, co-founder of Hola Weddings, suggests having someone that is naturally calm. “Your nervousness level can be pretty high on your big day, so you want a buddy that can calm you down and will not be adding to the stress.”
Choosing someone level headed will keep you more relaxed and will bring you down to earth if a crisis were to arise.
Despite the comedic attempts of many best men, wedding ceremonies are not the time to roast a groom or tell an embarrassing story. You need a best man who can tell the difference between a gentle ribbing and an embarrassing story that shouldn’t be shared in the presence of your family.
Toasts should be about the bride and groom, fun, love-focused, and light, so choose the best man who can write one that fits the bill.
Weddings are parties, and sometimes they can even be wild parties. The best man will need to sacrifice some of his potential fun to ensure everything runs smoothly. You don’t need someone who doesn’t drink or skips happy hour, but you do need a best man who knows how to pace himself and stay on an even keel throughout the reception.
A drunk best man spending all night flirting with bridesmaids is not what you are looking for. You need someone to take care of your guests and ensure everyone has a fun and safe evening.
Your wedding day can be the best day of your life. You’ve already found the bride of your dreams; now you just need to choose a best man to stand by your side and help you organize your wedding festivities.
Choose the person you think will be the most responsible and best representative of your friend group and family. Ensure that you feel proud to stand next to them and that they are someone you can rely on to put your and your new wife’s needs first on the wedding day.