Congratulations on being asked to be a groomsman! What an honour to be asked! But what exactly is expected of a Best Man or Usher? Whilst each wedding differs a groomsman’s key duty is to assist on the wedding day and support the groom. To help ensure you’re the best Best Man, or the ultimate Usher, we’ve compiled a handy list of some of the most common groomsmen duties.
It is quite the compliment to be asked to be a Best Man. Not only does the Best Man lead the groom’s party, but he also makes sure the Ushers carry out their duties.
Before The Wedding Day:
- Arrange a stag for the groom, and rally the other groomsmen to help out. Be sure to organise something reflects the groom’s personality that he is likely to enjoy.
- Help both the groom and other groomsmen with their wedding attire, whether it’s rented or bought. Traditionally the Best Man and groomsmen pay for their own wedding outfits. Make sure everyone is fitted with enough time ahead of the wedding to allow for alterations, and arrange to collect hired suits one or two days before the big day.
- Offer to help organise suitable accommodation for other groomsmen if they don’t live locally to where the wedding will be held.
- Make an effort to meet the bride and groom’s parents and the bridesmaids.
- Visit the ceremony and reception venues so that the layout and order of events of the day are familiar.
- Attend the rehearsal and introduce people that may not yet know each other.
- Make sure that the groom goes to bed at a decent time the night before the wedding.
On The Wedding Day:
- Wake the groom up in time on the morning of the wedding and make sure he enjoys a hearty and wholesome breakfast. Resist too many celebratory shots!
- Be aware of the photographer’s schedule, as they tend to visit the groom ahead of the ceremony for some getting ready photos.
- Have a last minute run through of the day with the groom, making sure he has everything he needs (especially the rings!).
- Get the groom to the ceremony at the correct time!
- Arrive at the ceremony venue at least 20 minutes before the ceremony is due to begin.
- Stand to the right of the groom at the altar and make sure the bride’s ring is kept in a safe place until the couple’s vows are exchanged (unless a ring bearer has been delegated this responsibility).
- Keep a watchful eye to ensure family and guests are being seated correctly.
- Look out for a discreet signal from the chief usher to indicate the arrival of the bride.
- At the right moment, hand over the wedding ring(s), or assist the ring bearer in doing so.
- Upon request of the couple, join them in the vestry / registry to sign the marriage license as a witness after the ceremony.
- Chaperone the chief bridesmaid down the aisle at the end of the ceremony.
- Ensure the bride and groom are ready for photographs.
- Escort the bride and groom to their wedding car to drive them to their reception venue.
- Oversee that bridesmaids, ushers and families of the bride and groom take the correct transportation to the reception venue.
- Manage any cash payments (for the church or band) which may be required on the day.
- Remain calm throughout the day and be sure to settle any hiccups on the day as discretely as possible without the bride and groom knowing.
- Assist guests with any questions they may have on the day, such as directing them to the restroom / reception venue.
- Possibly the biggest duty required of the Best Man: deliver a Best Man speech. It is advisable to avoid drinking too much until the speeches are over.
- Dance with both the maid/matron of honour and the bride during the reception, as well as any single female guests during the evening.
- Collect any gifts from guests for the couple and make sure they are stored in a safe place.
- Buy the newlyweds a wedding present. Consider teaming up with the other groomsmen or bridesmaids to buy an even bigger and better wedding gift from the group.
- Ensure suitable transportation is available to take the couple from the reception venue to their wedding night accommodation. It is also important that their first night / honeymoon luggage, tickets and passports are in the correct vehicle.
- An extra special touch, for added brownie points, would be to arrange with the chief bridesmaid for flowers and/or champagne to be put in the couple’s wedding night room.
- Make sure that all guests leave the wedding reception safely and assist with taxis as required.
- Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to enjoy yourself on the big day. At the end of the day, you’re celebrating the happiest day of your friend’s life!
After The Wedding Day:
- Return any suits that may have been hired by all the groomsmen.
- Check the reception venue for any items that may have been left behind accidentally, and contact guests of any lost property that has been found.
Good friends or relatives of the groom / bride are usually chosen to be ushers.
- On the morning of the wedding, collect boutonnieres and order of service sheets.
- Avoid drinking too much before the ceremony and arrive at least 20 minutes ahead of the scheduled start time.
- Distribute order of service sheets to guests when they arrive and usher them to their seats. It is becoming more common for the couple’s immediate families to have allocated seats whilst remaining guests have free seating.
- Ensure that guests are evenly balanced on each side of the aisle, so as not to have one side fuller than the other.
- Place the correct number of order of service sheets at the front for the bridal party.
- Let guests know, on arrival, about any restrictions e.g. photographic, phone or confetti.
- Escort the groom’s parents and the mother of the bride to their seats at the front.
- Keep a watchful eye on the entrance to the ceremony venue so that one usher can discreetly gesture to the Best Man that the bride has arrived.
- Usher guests from the wedding ceremony to the reception venue, providing directions as required.
- If necessary, transport flowers from the ceremony to the reception venue.
- Make sure that the ceremony venue is left in a good condition, and collect any remaining order of service sheets.
- Help the photographer by gathering the right guests for group photos.
- At the reception venue, help guests find their allocated table.
- Be prepared for questions from guests should they need any guidance on the wedding day.
PS Don't forget to refer to our tips & advice on Bridesmaid Duties too!