Photograph by Tara Koenke
Being asked to serve as one of the groomsmen at your friend’s wedding is a great honor, but keep in mind that it is also a great undertaking. A godparent’s to-do list, while not as long as a godfather’s, is extensive – and there are few responsibilities on a godfather’s to-do list that can be easily forgotten.
Before talking about that, what are godparents? Officially, a best man is one of the groom’s assistants at a wedding ceremony. (FYI: If a girl getting married chooses to have a male assistant, he is known as the groom.) So while groomsmen are well known for tasks like standing next to the groom during their “I two” and helping planning the bachelor party, it is important to remember the lesser known tasks of the groomsmen, such as helping the groom keep calm, being a model wedding guest (RSVP on time, booking the trip and hotel with the block of rooms in advance) and help with the getaway car. So if you’re looking to totally nail the title of “Groomsman,” bookmark this checklist ASAP.
Table of Contents
So what do godparents do, exactly? This is the ultimate list of sponsors’ duties and responsibilities, from start to finish.
Duties of the best man before the wedding day
1. Help choose the ring
Before the couple can “do”, someone has to say “yes”, and that means finding the perfect ring. Prospective groomsmen might be asked to help with the purchase of rings, so if you don’t know much about engagement rings or proposals, just do some research beforehand so you can give an informed opinion.
2. Buying or renting a wedding outfit
Like the bridesmaids, the groomsmen are responsible for the purchase and manufacture of the wedding attire. Whether you have decided to rent or buy your suit or tux, it is important that you start the process early so that you have everything on hand well in advance. This will keep you and your partner stress free!
3. Plan the bachelor party
Everyone loves a good party, and while planning the bachelor party is traditionally a best man job, that doesn’t mean the other groomsmen can’t help out. If you work together, it will be a night or a weekend that you will never forget. If you’re not helping with planning, it’s good to contribute funds for the holidays.
4. Attend the engagement party, bachelor party, and rehearsal dinner
Unless something important comes up, groomsmen are supposed to be present at any pre-wedding activities, excluding the bridal shower. While one of those events may sound much more fun than the others, it is good to show your support for the couple from engagement to the end by saying, “Yes, I do.” Knowing the order of the procession and the recession, which is something you will learn in the ceremony rehearsal, is essential to have a hiccup-free wedding.
5. Get a wedding gift
With a life outside of the upcoming nuptials, getting the couple a wedding gift can be forgotten, but it is customary for the members of the wedding party, including the groomsmen, to give the couple a gift. If you’re not sure what to buy, check your record and find something you can use together. If you don’t have a traditional gift registry, consider dividing an activity, or part of your honeymoon, among the other groomsmen or wedding guests.
6. Book travel and hotel accommodation
You will also need to book hotel accommodation and travel on your own. Couples tend to reserve a block of rooms at a specific hotel near the venue, so be sure to reserve a hotel room as soon as possible. This is especially important for destination weddings. You will want to be at the destination in plenty of time to participate in each and every activity on the wedding weekend. Many people will consider waiting to book cheaper flights, but if you stay out, you’ll be in a bind and the couple will be incredibly stressed when you are potentially late. Avoid all that added stress and make plans as soon as you can.
7. Decorate the getaway car (optional)
It is the job of the groomsmen and bridesmaids to ensure that the couple’s getaway car is properly decorated for their departure. Not all couples will have a getaway car and not all will want their car decorated (especially a rental one), but if they do it is their job as groomsmen to make it look amazing.
See more: How to write a best man speech
B Astonished Events, LLC
The duties of the best man on the wedding day: Pre-Ceremony
1. Keep your boyfriend calm
One of the main duties of the wedding group is to keep your friend or family member calm and quiet before and during the ceremony, so that the groomsmen are tasked with looking after the groom. Contrary to popular belief, grooms can get nervous in the hours leading up to their wedding, so groomsmen should try to keep you relaxed in the hours leading up to “I do.”
2. Get ready with the groom
Make sure you have all your groomsmen attire before you leave for the suite or meeting place. You don’t want to forget your tie or your shoes at home or at your hotel. Once the wedding day rolls around, you’ll dress up with the groom, share a toast, and probably take a few photos while his partner does the same.
3. Have drinks and snacks on hand
Plan to bring the groom’s favorite snacks and foods in preparation for the ceremony. Nerves and stress can lead to not eating, and not eating for an entire day (while drinking) is not a good idea, both for the groom and the groomsmen. Make sure the groom has something to eat before walking down the aisle. Pro-tip: Avoid dirty food that can leave stains.
Amy Jackson Photography
The duties of the best man on the wedding day: Ceremony
1. Help guests find their seats
If the couple has not asked anyone to be an usher, it will be your job as best man to help the guests find their seats. For traditional Christian weddings, the bride’s family sits on the left while the groom’s family sits on the right. This is the opposite in traditional Jewish ceremonies. As these practices are becoming less popular, just make sure everyone has a seat before the procession begins.
2. Know the place and important places
Similarly, you will want to know the details of important places and places like bathrooms, wardrobe, and where to put cards and gifts. The best man and maid of honor will likely be the one to answer any of these questions, but since they have a ton of responsibilities before the wedding, make sure you can help any guest.
3. Know your cue
You have likely learned and practiced your taco for the rehearsal dinner procession. It is essential that you know when you are supposed to walk down the hall and who is to be with you. Some couples will have the bridesmaids and groomsmen walking separately, but if that’s not the case for your wedding, meet your procession partner.
4. Stand next to the groom
This is the main reason they were asked to be godparents. The groom couldn’t get married without you by his side. While standing at the altar, be aware that you are being photographed, so try to avoid making crazy faces.
Photograph by Brad Fugere
The duties of the best man on the wedding day: Reception
1. Interact with guests
The couple will likely do their portrait session between the ceremony and the reception. As groomsmen, you are likely to be in the role of introducing the guests to each other. Keep an eye on the room and make sure everyone is having fun.
Godfathers and godmothers are usually the first to dance, after the newlyweds and their parents. So don’t be shy and dance like crazy. If it looks like you’re having fun, everyone else will be following you soon.
3. Send to partner
As the night draws to a close, make sure the couple is sent to the hotel or on their honeymoon. Sponsors may also want to stick around to make sure all vendors have been paid and all important items (like gifts) have been collected.