The groom's best man is exactly that -- a real standup guy who helps his buddy through the biggest day of his life. This wedding consigliere of sorts is responsible for getting the groom to the ceremony on time, commandeering the groomsmen, throwing an epic bachelor party and giving a YouTube–worthy toast. Acting as a trusted adviser to the groom, a great best man will ask the groom what he needs help with the most and anticipate situations before any problems arise. Though the best man typically has fewer responsibilities than the maid of honor, the MOH is fulfilling the same role for the bride and will be a good ally through the events leading up to the wedding.
Before the wedding
Unlike the bride's, the groom's pre-wedding preparations are fairly simple: Give him a tuxedo and a haircut and he's ready to go. The best man should help the groom choose his tux and get fitted, and can also coordinate fittings for the groomsmen and make sure they pick up their attire. If the groom gets overwhelmed with wedding details (or is overwhelmed merely listening to the bride's to-do lists), the best man should be around to lend a sympathetic ear.
However, the best man's main responsibility is to plan the bachelor party. Whether it's a wild weekend in Las Vegas or a cigar dinner at a local steakhouse, the best man should plan a special night that's unforgettable for the groom (just make sure his fiancée will still speak him afterward!). Attendees typically each pay their own way, so the best man may want to organize collecting funds from the groomsmen and other friends.
The best man should attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. This is often the time for many speeches: The best man can kick off the night with a toast and organize other guests who would like to express their well wishes.
During the wedding day
On the wedding day, the best man is the groom's right-hand man. The best man should help the groom get ready on the day of the wedding and make sure he has all of the essentials: the marriage license, officiant's fee and the bride's wedding ring. He may also confirm any day-of transportation, and make sure everyone on the groom's side of the bridal party is present and accounted for.
Most importantly, the best man helps the groom stay calm and collected. The groom and his buddies often kick off the celebration well before the ceremony begins, but the best man should keep the prenuptial partying in check so that no one is late or embarrasses himself. Ever the responsible one, he should make sure he knows where the groom needs to be at all times and tend to other issues before they reach the groom. During the chaotic hours leading up to the ceremony, the best man should stay in contact with the maid of honor and make himself available for any vital last-minute duties.
As the ceremony time nears, he should corral the groomsmen and make sure they are properly dressed (e.g., boutonnieres are worn on the left lapel, stem down) and ready to go. He may also want to check in with any ushers just before the ceremony to make sure that honored guests are seated in the proper place.
During the ceremony, the best man stands at the altar with the groom, and will provide him with the bride's wedding band for the exchange of rings (if there is a ring bearer, the best man should look after him to make sure no rings are lost). After the ceremony, he can't disappear-he may be needed to sign the marriage certificate following the vows, and should help gather the groomsmen for formal photographs.
At the reception, the best man typically gives the first toast: This should be short, sweet and to the point (aim for two minutes or less)- elaborate song and dance or long diatribes about the groom's crazy college days are not necessary, but he should inject his own personality and humor into it. Practice and write down the speech in advance to make sure all goes smoothly. Once the party gets started, the best man can act as one of many hosts. He should be a gentleman and ask the bridesmaids, mothers of the bride and groom, and other female guests to dance. He should circulate, introduce himself to guests and check in on the bride and groom to make sure things are running smoothly. He should also be on hand to help with anything they might not have thought of, whether it's safeguarding money given to them during the reception or fetching cocktails for elderly relatives.
After the wedding
As the party winds down, the best man should coordinate with the maid of honor to help the bride and groom depart the reception (if they are leaving directly for the honeymoon, load their suitcases and other items into the getaway car). The best man makes sure the groom has all of the necessary documents-tickets, reservation numbers, passports, and itineraries- for the honeymoon. If the groomsmen have rented tuxedos, it may also be his responsibility to collect and return the items.