Historically the “Best Man” was chosen because he was the best fighter among the groom’s friends and so the best man to protect his bride from rivals planning to abduct her. Such issues are less of a problem these days so the role of the best man has changed considerably.
Usually he will organise the bucks party. It is meant to be a great night out for the groom with all his mates. At the same time the best man is responsible for getting the groom to the ceremony in a fit state at least 30 minutes before the ceremony is due to begin. Having the bucks party a few days to a week before the wedding and ensuring it doesn’t get out of hand will go a long way towards filling that responsibility.
On the day the best man needs to be a calming influence on the groom, help him where possible and make it all look easy. One of the biggest tests seems to be the rings. Unless there is a ring bearer the best man is usually responsible for looking after the rings and making them appear as if by magic at the appropriate moment.
At the reception the best man will almost certainly deliver the best mans speech. In it he will respond to the toast to the Bridesmaids and no doubt follow the tradition of giving the groom a thorough roasting. It does not need to be crude. I can still see my son-in-law Dave’s best man running through the “eras of Dave” – cricketing Dave, golfing Dave, fishing Dave, disco Dave and darling Dave (modeling no less) – painting vivid word pictures of each, while a grinning, red-faced groom nodded in agreement.
After the big day our best man has the final duty of collecting all the formal wear and returning it to the shop. He can now relax – a job well done.