How to Choose the Best Man

The groomsmen and best man pose for a photograph

The best man at a wedding ceremony and reception is a celebrity. He is known for his hilarious (and sometimes embarrassing) speech, and he can throw one hell of a bachelor party. The best man is the guy who gets the party started and keeps it going all night. He’s also the guy that you rely on to accomplish some wedding tasks, like holding onto the rings, helping you pick up the tuxes, and helping you determine what kind of beer you should serve at the reception.

Out of all your buddies, who should you choose to be your best man? If you don’t have any idea of who you should ask, or you’re torn between two guys, here are a few things to consider to help you choose your best man.

Family is Typically Chosen Over Friends for the Best Man

If you have a brother, your job of choosing a best man just got really simple. A brother, whether younger or older, has all the makings of the perfect best man: he knows you well, he’s likely met your fiancée/fiancé, and he would know exactly what kind of bachelor party he should throw for you when the time comes.

Unless your brother is significantly younger or older, or you just really don’t get along that well, having your brother as a best man is often the easiest choice. If you have more than one brother, there’s no “rule” that you can’t have more than one best man. Have them divide up the responsibilities between them to avoid any potential conflicts. The last thing you need is a brother-on-brother smackdown due to the wedding.

Which Friend Lives Closest to You?

A man looks at the camera as his friends sit nearby

One way of choosing a best man is to choose a friend who lives closest to you. After high school and college, friends have a tendency to move away, and a lot of your buddies might be on the other side of the country from you. Living close to your best man would give you the advantage of being able to meet up and chat about the wedding. There’s also an advantage of being in close proximity to a solid support system that you’re going to need before the wedding day.

Which Friend Have You Known the Longest?

When you’re thinking about asking a friends to be your best man, you might find yourself reflecting on your friendships. You meet friends throughout your life: in college, at work, at happy hour; but there’s just something about a friendship that has lasted the test of time. Choosing a friend who you’ve known since you were a kid, or who you’ve known for a long time, is always an appropriate choice for a best man. This person likely knows you the best out of all your friends and has been there through good and bad times in your life. Who would be a better choice to stand next to you?

Which Friend Actually Knows Your Future Spouse?

You never know when you’re going to meet your future spouse, but when you do, you’ll definitely want to introduce them to all of your friends. But sometimes this isn’t possible, as friends tend to move away, making it difficult for them to meet your future spouse.

The best man adjusts the bow tie for the groom

Choosing a best man that actually knows your relationship with your future spouse will make the celebration just that much sweeter. They’ll probably also be the one most qualified person to talk about your relationship during their big toast, which is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

What if Your Best Friend is a Girl?

In this modern age of weddings, traditions are meant to be broken, including thinking that your best man has to be a dude. If your best friend in the world is a girl, or you think your sister would be more than up for the task, then by all means, ask her.

What if You Can’t Decide Between Two Friends?

There’s no such thing as having too many friends, and there’s no set-in-stone rule that says you can’t have more than one best man. If you have two great friends that you can’t seem to choose between, ask them both to take the job. Find a good way to split up the responsibilities.

If you simply must choose one best man, determine which of the two friends would have the most time to commit. Who would be available to plan the bachelor party and be there for you when you need help with wedding tasks? If one of your friends just had a new baby or got a big promotion at work, it may not be the best time to put any more responsibility on him. Whomever you choose, just be sure to explain to the other friend about your decision and let him know that you still want them to be involved in every detail of your wedding.

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