Best Man Checklist

Being organized can sometimes be difficult… Have you thought about a checklist of things to do? Like short sheeting the Grooms Bed on his big day?

In essence, the best mans duty is to look after the groom, and make sure he gets to the wedding ceremony on time, in one piece and preferably sober too. To make the burden of organizing the days events unfold without hiccup, or at least without the bride having to stress about it. For instance; if it’s raining, hold an umbrella for the bride. If it’s sunny, hold an umbrella for the bride; you are the dogs body on the day, so be available to do whatever is required to make the day seem as smooth as possible for both bride and groom.

There are some things that you can think about now, and certainly there are some expectations of you as a best man, so let’s explore a few of these in as close to a chronological order as possible;

1. Stag party – need to organize this early on. Make bookings etc… (this takes some organizing too, as men being men, you’ll find that they won’t be organized, so you’ll need to act like their wives to “Make things happen”…

2. Start writing your speech. Collect ideas, download books to assist you with putting it together, getting the right flow and mixture of humor is important… so don’t leave this until the last minute!

3. Find out what the first dance is, and learn how to dance to that style, as you’ll need to join in at some stage.

4. Offer your services to the Groom to help organize the wedding; just like a dogs body, you can assist him be offering to help do certain tasks, make bookings, confirm bookings… maybe even make invitations (heaven forbid)… but needless to say, you’re the best man for a reason so get stuck in and help share the load IF YOU’RE INVITED TO. Make sure you offer your services.

5. Help organize tuxedo fittings and selection with the help of the bride & groom. Be sure to co-ordinate with the bride as the color scheme of the bridesmaids dresses and the grooms and best man’s outfits are usually coordinated. In this respect you may find that all you need to do is be available for fitting; maybe take your measurements if the suits are being hired, make sure you have enough funds to cover a suit hire if you’re to sort out your own tux. Either way, it’s all in aid of assisting the groom and bride the best you can.

6. If the wedding is out of town, and you intend to take the groom to the venue, then make sure he gets there in one piece, and in a condition fit to get married in.

7. Collect a list of dates, times, venues, main contact at venues & phone numbers off the bride or wedding planner so that you can take charge of events leading up to the wedding and assist the wedding party and guests with directions.

8. It is often the responsibility of the best man to assist with announcing photos, groups of people for photos etc… to make sure all the shots get taken of the families of the wedding party. Get a list of the photos and the order of the photos to be taken off the photographer before the wedding. That way the photographer needs to only worry about taking care of the perfect shot, and not organizing the herds of people that need to be rounded to get through the photos.

9. If you decide on having a few drinks the night before the wedding, go easy on the groom. He does need to be “At his best” the next day. Make sure you get a reasonable amount of sleep the night before.

10. If you’re in charge of transporting the groom to the venue, make sure you’ve got plenty of fuel in the tank. Also, think about putting an esky (chilly bin) together with water bottles; the bride and groom may need hydrating during photo’s etc… the next day.

11. If the groom is in charge of having the marriage license with him, then take it off him and put it in a folder of paperwork to take with you. In your folder you should have all the contact details of everyone, seating plans, names and numbers of guests and lists of people for photos with timings of events etc… this is your turn to shine, so be prepared, have a folder, be organized and be helpful.

12. Practice you speech again.


1. Wake up the groom in plenty of time to prepare for the wedding. That includes having a shower and a shave! Often you’ll be getting prepared together, so help the groom with fitting his tux, putting the buttonette in, maybe even tying the bow or tie for him.

2. Look after the ring! You’ll most likely be the ring bearer… for heaven’s sake don’t lose it, forget it or anything with it except hand it over to the celebrant, pastor, reverend etc… Check, double check and then check again that you have the ring as soon as you get in the car to go to the wedding ceremony.

3. Organize the ushers; make sure they are in position to greet the guests as soon as they arrive. It’s effectively your job as head of the groom’s party to make sure that everyone is in their place and knows what they are doing, so brief them all before the wedding on what their respective jobs are and the standards you expect. Eg. When greeting people at the church, do it with a smile, be happy and shake their hands in a warm friendly way. Remember, the ushers are often the first people that the guests meet when arriving at the wedding, so make sure they know how to be professional and friendly. Also, it is often wise to make sure that the groom, you and the ushers are at the reception at least ½ hour early… especially if the place needs to be opened up. I have heard horror stories about churches that are turned upside down the night before a wedding… so turn up early and make sure that everything is in it’s place as the Bride would expect.

4. Now it’s time to take your position at the front of the venue, to the right hand side of the groom and witness the marriage. Make sure you have the RING! You may also be asked to witness the marriage certificate, in which case you’ll sign your name. So make sure you have a pen! You’ll be surprised how often this small but significant detail gets missed!

5. If the wedding celebrant needs payment on the day, arrange beforehand that you will take care of the payment so that the bride and groom don’t have to worry about these details on the day.

6. Now it’s time to organize everyone for the photos. So warm up your voice and announce to everyone to stay within earshot of you as these need to be quick and efficient if all the photos are to be done in time. Get some time to yourself to go over your speech again, it’s always good to go through this one more time before you enter the reception.

7. Now it’s time for the reception, time to do your speech! Good luck. Here you will find a collection of well crafted best man speeches,

8. Following the speeches, it’s usually customary for the Bride & Groom to do their first dance. If you haven’t already done an orchestrated dance, like Thriller, or the Dirty Dancing theme; then you’ll need to join in usually for a waltz. You can fake it, but it would be much more presentable if you can actually dance.

9. Dance with the bride’s mother and bridesmaids.

10. If you haven’t already done so, at this point in the ceremony you’ll need to make an excuse to leave for a few minutes and get access to the brides and grooms wedding night room. And vehicle to take them to the room if they are traveling. Here’s your chance to play the wedding night prank