The Gentlemen

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The best man is the guy who gets to assist the groom with and at the wedding. The best man is usually someone close to the groom, either his brother or his closest male friend.

Best men usually think that their most important duties are the bachelor's party and the speech at the reception. However, have a look at the Best Man Printer Friendly Checklist to see how many duties this poor guy has to fit in.

It is becoming increasingly important to make sure that both the groom and bride are happy with the bachelor and bachelorette parties. Many a marriage has started with either the groom or (usually) the bride being very unhappy with what happened at this party. The best man does not really want to be remembered for that. See our guide on Bachelor Parties to help you decide on the best way forward.

A good speech is something else the best man will be remembered for and it is normal to feel a little nervous. Luckily the best man should know most of the people and they will be fairly forgiving at the odd bad joke. It is important to remember that this is not the time and place for sordid details from either the bride or the groom's past. Read more on making a good speech here.

The most important duty of the best man is to get the groom to the church on time, completely sober and be the one person who can keep him calm when he experiences some stress.

Your duties include:

- remembering, holding and looking after the wedding rings during the ceremony and
- to witness the signing of the marriage certificate plus
- giving a first, memorable toast at the reception

Tips for a great speech:

- Practice, practice, practice - while you have time.
- Write the speech for everyone to understand. Don't rely on the guests remembering what you are talking about, as half of them may not know about the memory.
- Make at least 4 copies of your speech and ask dependable fellow-guests to keep it for you.
- Make eye contact with individuals and address that person one at a time.
- Relax and remember everyone there wants the speech to go well, and also for the speech to be brief!
- Keep jokes and anecdotes short.
- Joke around the groom and compliment the bride sincerely.
- Introduce the next speaker and/or refer to the previous one.
- End with a sincere toast.

Go to our Best Man Printer Friendly Checklist now and start with the duties...

While the best man gets to assist the groom the groomsmen get to assist the best man. They are chosen by the groom and the best man and are usually brothers, close relatives or friends of the bride and groom.

Go to our Groomsman Printer Friendly Checklist now and start with the duties...

The ring bearer is usually selected from the bride and groom's nephews or younger brothers. He is normally older than 5 but younger than 9. These days this function is very much symbolic with the ring bearer carrying a large white satin pillow on which imitation rings are sewn. The real wedding rings are with the best man.

A page boy is traditionally a younger member of the family who carries the brides train if she is wearing a dress with a long train.

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