Best Man Checklist

Best Man Checklist

Okay, let’s get to it! If your friend has asked you to step up and be the best man you don't want to blow it, so we're here to help you come up aces. As the best man you're going to have numerous things to accomplish, and to get them done with minimal hassle and maximum style all you have to do is read our Best Man Checklist and work through the steps to nail your job from start to finish.

Your 15-Point Best Man Checklist:

best man and grrom photo-by-xiaoqi-li-photography
Photographed by Xiaoqi Li Photography - Virginia photographers

1. Acknowledge that it is a huge honor and commitment.  To be asked by your brother or buddy to be their Best Man is one of the greatest signs of respect he can show, and your mission, if you choose to accept it, will be pretty big commitment on your part. In addition to being supportive, you’ll have dozens of duties to carry out, special clothes to wear on several occasions, a party to plan, and an array of little things to look after. Not ready for all that? Be honest and don’t take the job. Ready to slay it? Keep reading.

2. Get clued in to all the important details. Is there a wedding website you can use to keep posted? Where can you get directions, the schedule, the vendor information, and stay up on all the little things as they unfold? Keeping everything organized from the start will help be helpful as you get closer to the wedding.

3. Show up at every pre-wedding event on time. These are occasions where fashionably late won’t do. You’re part of the welcome vibe and the groom will want you there to help get things started.

4. Plan a creative and fun bachelor party.  Give yourself at least 3 months to plan and don’t schedule it the night before the wedding. Invite the groom’s party and best friends along with any family members he asks you to. Be creative and base the theme on the groom’s personality. Not every guy wants to go crazy, and BBQs, game nights, hiking, sailing, and a host of other activities may better fit the bill.

Photographed by Zee Anna Photography - Naples, Florida photographers

5. Arrive early on the wedding day. You’ll need to be no later than when the groom is getting ready. Know how to tie a tie well and how to pin on the boutonnieres correctly. Check with the planner or site manager for any changes to the schedule and be suited up to welcome guests as they arrive.

6. Be the leader of the welcoming party. Be ready to cover anyone who needs it with an umbrella or give them help getting up stairs. Knowing the names of parents on both sides, as well as grandparents, uncles, and aunts, will go a long way to making an impression. 

7. Stay close to the groom. As the best man, you will be the first person next to the groom during the ceremony, and you’ll be needed to back him up all through the reception. Keep your sights on him and come to his aid whenever it’s needed.

8. Act as a witness. After the wedding comes the signing of the marriage license, and chances are you’ll be asked to sign on as a witness. Don’t forget this important step in the day’s events.

9. Help gather the bridal party for group portraits. Check with the photographer and be sure you know where and when group shots will be taken and offer to help get everyone there. Nowadays these sessions can happen before or after the wedding and herding friends at the last minute can throw things off schedule.

10. Give a meaningful toast. A wedding is not a roast, it’s a celebration of love and the future. If you know the groom well enough that you know he would like you to share some funny memories, be sure they don’t get him in trouble. The most important thing is to keep your toast brief, less than 5 minutes, and to wish him and his partner the best in life. If you love him, tell him you do, and tell how much his friendship has mattered to you and why. Add how much you like his choice of partner and how thrilled you are to be part of his new future. Don’t forget to end with a short salutation as you raise your glass and look the couple in the eyes.

Photographed by Andrew Billington Photography - London, UK photographers

11. Put on your dancing shoes! If you’re single, you’ll be the toast of the town at the reception, and if you’re married you still be on call to dance with the bride (if there is one) and the moms on both sides. Empty dance floors are disappointing so do your best to keep it full. Pay attention to the MC and ensure they are on task and on time.

12. Assemble guests for the big exit. There may be a fireworks display or sparklers planned, or another type of grand farewell. Be sure the guests are all present to send the couple off with love when the time comes. Nothing on the agenda? Coordinate with the rest of the bridal party and have the getaway car decorated or plan another surprise for the couple’s exit.

13. Talk with the planner and vendors. The groom may have pre-paid or given you checks to pay the professionals on the wedding team. If not, be sure there is nothing owed and no mix-ups in terms of venue and vendor expectations. After doing such an amazing job, you don’t want any issues for the groom to address while he is on his honeymoon adventure.

14. Round up any rental clothing. It saves ample time if one person returns any suits or tuxedos that have been rented and this responsibility usually falls to the Best Man. If you live near the drop-off point, take care of this responsibility and if you don’t, make arrangements to have it handled.

15. Wake up the wedding party. If brunch is planned for the day after the wedding, make some calls to those who are supposed to be there. Wedding night festivities are known to be wild and you won’t want them sleeping through breakfast.

Photographed by Alante Photography - Seattle, Washington photographers

It may be a lot of work to be a Best Man, but the connection it creates is totally worth it. Now that you’ve done your duty, do your best to keep in touch. Don’t assume your family member or friend will be too busy to get together now that they’re married. They asked you to be their Best Man on their big day, so they’ll want you to be part of those important days that are yet to come.

No matter what aspect of your wedding you and your partner are planning, we've got helpful advice in our wedding planning section from how to make a memorable toast to how to do the dip at your wedding along with tons of inspiration in our Photo Gallery for your fashion and decor. Dive in and feel confident about creating the wedding of your dreams.