Choosing a Best Man

How to Choose and What He Should Do

Choosing a best man.
Rebecca Moses

Typically, the best man is the groom's brother, cousin or close friend, although the groom's father is often designated best man.

Did you know, according to the 1957 edition of Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette, "The best man is adviser, messenger, valet, secretary, and general factotum to the groom"?

This book's list of the best man's duties spans an entire page and includes waking up the groom on the day of the wedding and packing the wedded couple's car trunk with their luggage for the honeymoon (depending on the friend, this might leave with you a suitcase full of jokes and little else).

Today, the best man generally does no more than keep the bride's wedding ring in his coat pocket and make the first toast to the bride and groom (and of course, plan a phenomenal bachelor party).

Typically, the best man is the groom's brother, cousin or close friend, although the groom's father may also be designated best man. What's most important is the person has the time and ability to help with the responsibilities you wish for him to handle.

Avoid selecting a best man who is chronically late, painfully shy, or generally unreliable. A capable best man can relieve the groom of many wedding-related details, helping things stay on track and the groom relaxed.

Likewise, don't select someone who has a problem with alcohol, as--unfortunately--weddings are often occasions for overindulgence. There are few things worse than a best man making a toast that is slurred, incomprehensible, and drags on past the two minutes allotted.

 
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