By Blessing Rutendo Chibanda
A best man is usually a close friend or relative, who is approached to stand by the groom’s side to support and assist in any way possible before and during the wedding. The history of the tradition of the best man goes back to as early as the sixteenth century when the sole duty of the best man was to help the groom kidnap a woman who he is going to marry.
However, time has evolved together with the tradition as a woman can also be a best man. A groom can have a friend, brother, or father as a best man, it is all up to the groom. The modern-day best man does not only wait for the wedding to make himself useful but has roles that can be divided into before, on, and after the wedding.
Before the wedding day, the best man has several roles to play, of which the first is helping the groom with choosing his outfit. Just like the bride needs assistance in selecting the perfect wedding gown for her big day, the groom also needs help with the choice of the suit he will wear on his wedding day, and another outfit if the couple will change clothing during the wedding. This is a very important role as the couple are the celebrities of the events hence the significance of a careful selection of the outfit. This presents the best man as someone who should know the groom’s style very well.
Not only does the best man help with choosing the outfit before the wedding, but the best man is also responsible for helping the groom with the choice of groomsmen. This task is difficult for the groom as he might have many names in mind. The best man then must select mutual friends of the couple to be groomsmen as he is next to the groom. This is why the best man needs to be someone close to the groom
The groom’s best man also must organize the bachelor’s party. The best man needs to check whether or not the groom wants a bachelors’ party or not. It is not a big deal if the groom denies one but if yes, the best man has to make sure it is to the groom’s liking. This is to make sure that the groom enjoys thee pre-wedding ritual of honouring his last days as a single man.
The best man is expected to take time out of his schedule to make an emergency kit for the groom and his men. This has been pointed out by Kate Ryan who is the co-founder of Gold Leaf Events. It is not only the bridesmaids who need an emergency kit for the wedding but the groomsmen as well. Not that accidents are anticipated but anything can happen which is why a best man should organize an emergency kit with extra cuffs or anything of that sort to make sure everything flows perfectly.
On the big day, the best man during the ceremony witnesses the wedding. The wedding is witnessed by two people and the best man is one of the two who witness the wedding. The role of witnessing is very important as this certifies that the couple is officially married and would de best done by someone close to the groom for support.
The next major role of the best man at the wedding is to deliver the best man’s speech. The best man’s speech is crucial as he knows the groom very well. The best man in his speech has to be very selective and careful of what he says. For instance, the best man shouldn’t mention previous relationships. The speech should consist of the introduction where the best man introduces himself and gives a brief explanation of how the two know each other, jokes of the groom, and lastly a congratulatory message accompanied by a toast to the couple.
After the wedding, there is not much left for the best man to do, but just the tying up of loose ends. The best man is supposed to make sure that the valuables of the groom are in a safe place whilst he is away for the honeymoon. It is also the responsibility of the best man to make that the hired outfits have been returned in time to avoid problems after the weddings which could have been prevented.
The best man has to make sure that he fulfills his duties as he is a significant person in the smooth running of the wedding.