If you’re not the biggest wedding enthusiast in the world, it’s perfectly normal to get lost in the multitude of people that are involved in planning a wedding.
But you probably know the basics: you need a best man and you need to appoint groomsmen. These are two separate roles that have different responsibilities as part of the wedding party.
- Step 1: Make your choices (consult your heart, friends, family and make sure your bride-to-be is cool with the picks)
- Step 2: Buy groomsmen and best man gifts (Check out Etsy, Groomsmengiftsource.com, and Amazon for gift ideas)
- Step 3: Letting them know they’re a part of your wedding with a thoughtful proposal (Think wedding proposals are hard? Yes, they are. In comparison, groomsmen proposals are super easy. Here are some fun ideas.)
Moving along, the difference between the best man and the groomsman is practically identical to the difference between the maid of honor and the bridesmaid, so let’s shed some light on the situation and make it less confusing, so you can pick the best man for the job.
Best Man: Role & Responsibilities
Every member of the wedding party knows that the activities that have to be performed for this most important of days are divided into pre-wedding, during the wedding, and post-wedding activities.
If you are the best man, you will have to make sure that you take care of all the tasks that come in these three separate periods.
As a best man, your role is to help the groom with whatever activities he may need help with, but also to coordinate the groomsmen during the wedding day.
Before the wedding, the groom will most likely require your assistance with buying their own attire, as well as the clothing for the other groomsmen. You could also be asked to make sure that out-of-town groomsmen have proper accommodation.
If the groomsmen decide to buy the groom a gift, you have to coordinate the activity and assist them with an idea of what to buy. You are also the main person in charge of organizing the bachelor party.
If the groom requires any advice or perhaps emotional support before the wedding, the best man should be there, lending a shoulder. Make sure that you are there to listen to his confessions and give him whatever reassurance or support he may need. At the rehearsal dinner, you may be required to give a toast, so make sure that you have a speech prepared.
During the wedding day, you will have to make sure that the groom and his groomsmen stick to the schedule and arrive at all locations on time. If need be, you’ll also have to pry the cellphones away from the groomsmen’s hands.
Make sure that you have the wedding rings in your possession at all times, especially during the ceremony. If someone else is the ring bearer, make sure that you hold onto the rings for safekeeping and only give them right before the ceremony starts.
You should also be available to sign the marriage license as a witness. Make sure that the guests are seated in their rightful places before the ceremony starts. You are also in charge of holding the sealed envelope that contains the officiant’s fee. Consider yourself responsible for mingling with the guests during the wedding reception and making sure that people are having a good time.
However, your most important role as the best man is to deliver a memorable wedding toast. It’s up to you whether you want to read the toast off a piece of paper or memorize it by heart.
Just make sure that whatever you say comes natural (if you’re known for making witty jokes, it doesn’t hurt to add them in the toast as well). Since you are the groom’s best friend, tradition says that you are also the person who would best know what to say on this important day.
Once the ceremony is over, there are still a few things that you can do to help. For example, you can make sure that the getaway car is properly decorated, so feel free to work together with the maid of honor and the rest of the wedding party on this task.
If any of the groomsmen’s attire has been rented, you have to make sure that everything is returned on time and in the same shape as when you got it.
Groomsman: Role & Responsibilities
A groomsman doesn’t have as many responsibilities as a best man, but they are also an important person. Someone who is chosen to be a groomsman is typically a close friend of the groom, someone who they want to play an active role on the big wedding day.
Sitting side-by-side with the happy couple as a member of the wedding party, the groomsman is a person who has to be there in more ways than one.
With or without the help of the best man, you are going to need some proper wedding attire. Unless the groom has given you further instructions, you are responsible for either buying or renting a tux or a suit for the big day.
Make sure that you always consult with the groom beforehand, and see if they have any special requirements or indications as to what you are supposed to wear during the ceremony and reception.
If need be, you can ask the best man for some help in finding a tux you can buy or ask for information as to where you can rent one from.
As a groomsman, you will be required to attend all the important festivities before the wedding, like the rehearsal.
Of course, if you’re also an out-of-town guest, you can talk to the groom and explain that you can’t perform too many trips back and forth; the groom most likely took that into consideration when asking you to be a groomsman. You will also have to help the best man plan the bachelor’s party.
Even if it’s typically the best man’s job to give a wedding toast, ask the groom if you’re supposed to give one yourself, maybe during the rehearsal dinner. You will also be required to buy a gift for the groom.
If you want to get something more expensive, maybe the other groomsmen can pitch in and you can buy a more grandiose gift.
I’ve attended quite a number of weddings where the married couple and the wedding party did a choreography dance, so make sure that you attend dance rehearsals in case this wedding has this sort of artistic moment as well.
During the wedding day, you will most likely be responsible for making sure the guests are having a good time.
You can ask the bridesmaids to dance or dance with the bride or the mother of the bride. Just mingle and make small talk, crack in a few jokes, and relieve the tension if any at all.
As a groomsman, you should be prepared to be the life of the party, but also give out important information or help the guests if need be (like telling them where the restroom is or helping them call a cab when they’re ready to leave).
Basically, when you’re a groomsman, you should be ready to lend out a helping hand whenever the best man asks you to and, of course, help out the groom if it’s required. Don’t forget to be a part of photoshoots and make sure you have your groove on because you should stay until the wedding reception is over!