To be chosen as best man in a friend or relative's wedding is an honor. It means being a very special person in the groom's life, one who is trusted with several important responsibilities.
The best man's first official duty is to plan and host the bachelor party. He's also responsible for purchasing a gift for the bride and groom on behalf of the men in the bridal party and to collect any money earmarked for the bachelor party and gifts.
It is the best man who must get the groom dressed and to the church on time. If there's anything the groom needs, it's his job to get it for him. He arranges and pays for the limousine or other transportation to and from the wedding and reception. If the groom will be arriving by car, the best man is the designated driver. This may also entail driving the happy couple to their reception and hotel or airport afterwards.
Further proving he is someone to be trusted with important details, the best man is the person who is responsible for holding the bride's wedding ring and giving it to the groom at the appropriate moment. In addition, it is his responsibility to escort the maid of honor down the aisle at the end of the wedding and into the reception hall where they are required to dance one dance together in honor of the bride and groom. Before the reception, the best man is to stand in the receiving line and pose for photos. Afterwards, it is his job to witness the marriage by signing a certificate and present the clergy person, organist, altar boys and anyone else who participated in the wedding with payments or tips.
The best man, along with the maid of honor, is to act as host and hostess for the reception and greet guests on behalf of the bride and groom. Traditionally, the best man is also required to toast the happy couple and make a speech in their honor. If tips are required for servers, busboys, disc jockeys or anyone else who provided services, the best man will make sure they're paid at the end of the evening.
Once the reception has ended, it's up to the best man to make sure the groom has his going-away clothes and collects his tuxedo and all its components and make sure it gets returned to the rental place in a timely manner. If there is a car to be decorated, it's the duty of the best man to get together with the ushers and jokingly adorn it while the bride and groom remain unaware. He can then drive the happy couple to their intended destination.
If there are any gifts or cards that were left behind, the best man can hold it for the newlyweds' return or see to it they're left at the couples' house or the home of one of their parents.
While being a best man is obviously an enjoyable experience, it's certainly not one that should be taken lightly. Without the best man, the wedding might not go off as smoothly as it could. The groom chose someone for the job that he felt worthy of title and whom he could trust to stand up for him. As you can see, being a best man is truly an honor.