To be the best best man at a wedding, just ask

Groom and best man drinking and smiling during wedding party
Groom and best man drinking and smiling during wedding party

QUESTION: I have been asked to be the best man in my friend’s wedding. I was honored, but realize I am not sure what a best man does. I will ask him what it requires, but do you have any ideas?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: The role of the best man can vary depending on the expectations of the groom. Generally, the best man is in charge of planning the bachelor party and everything that entails. Also, the best man is in charge of making a toast, either at the rehearsal dinner or at the wedding reception. Last, the best man is in charge of holding the rings during the ceremony. After that, just try to be helpful and ask the groom about whatever he needs.

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: First, like you mentioned, start by asking your friend what role he needs you to play as best man. What would help him the most? Is there something he’d like for you to be in charge of?

Generally, you’ll plan or help plan the bachelor party and possibly keep groomsmen organized and informed about what attire they need, where they need to be and when, a group gift if there is one, etc.

You’ll attend wedding events that the groom does and you might be asked to make a toast at the rehearsal dinner or wedding. You’ll likely also be in charge of handing him the rings at the ceremony. Your role is to be there for the groom in support, which is what you have likely done throughout your friendship already since he asked you to fill such a role of honor. Your duties might be as big as the ones mentioned above, but they also can include things like making sure to bring him food and drink during the wedding reception itself. Start by asking what his expectations are of you, and then have fun!

HELEN’S ANSWER: How lucky you are to have been asked to be the best man in your friend’s wedding. Hopefully you can help the groom enjoy his special day. You are responsible for getting him to the ceremony on time and are responsible for the wedding ring. Other duties could include getting the ushers together to give a joint gift to the couple, helping plan the bachelor's party and giving the first toast at the wedding reception. You are the groom’s witness to sign the wedding certificate. There are many other ways you, as best man, can help. Just communicate with the bride and groom to figure out your responsibilities.

GUEST’S ANSWER: Linda Miller, former Oklahoman fashion editor and author of “Fashion Matters” Blog: Certainly ask your friend if he has any special requests or needs, but know that a best man's "duty" list can be extensive. In the most broadest of terms, you're the groom's go-to guy and that can and often does include everything from coordinating with the groomsmen about their attire to arranging transportation to planning the bachelor party. It's your responsibility to help make sure the planning, the wedding and reception are as stress-free as can be for the groom. Oh, and as keeper of the rings, don't lose them.

Since 2009, Callie, Lillie-Beth and Helen have written this generational etiquette column. They also include guest responses from a wide range of ages each week. So many years later, Callie is 20-plus; Lillie-Beth is 40-plus and Helen is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: 20-40-60 etiquette: Best man spot is honor and duties can vary