Your job is to look after the groom The following instructions are the traditional duties of the best man and can be varied in consultation with the bride and especially the groom as it is normally at his request that you 'stand up' with him.
The bestman usually arranges the 'stag night' but he also must make sure nothing horrible happens to the groom. Good clean fun is fine. But no stripping and tying him to a lamp post for the early morning motorists to find. If this sort of thing happens, the bestman is supposed to free him and get him home intact and unharmed. Sillyness aside. The night before the wedding the bestman and the rest of the bridal attendants usually meet with the bride and groom and their families for dinner so everyone gets to know each other. A wedding rehearsal can be arranged before the dinner as well although often it is a week or so before the wedding day.
The bestman and the groomsmen get dressed at the grooms location and they travel together to the ceremony venue.
The bestman stands beside the bridegroom during the ceremony. He escorts the chief bridesmaid or matron of honour (the bridesmaid is called the matron of honour if she is married.) The bestman usually looks after the rings unless a page boy or flower girl has them on a cushion or nestled in a basket of flowers. I have had a well trained dog carry the rings. Also a very badly trained dog run OFF with the rings. At the reception the bestman replies to the groom's toast "To the bridesmaids" on their behalf. (If the chief bridesmaid does not do so on behalf of herself and the other bridesmaids which often happens these days.) Generally the bestman tells tall stories about the groom in the best of taste please or recalls escapades from their childhood days if that is appropriate or about how long they have been friends. He reads out any messages of goodwill which have been forwarded to the couple via fax, e-mail etc. The bestman always reads the messages prior to reading them in public and weeds out those he feels are inappropriate, especially any containing sexual innuendo which older guests would be upset by. It is also the bestman's job to return the male members of the bridal party's hire suits. Please check the pockets in case anything of value has been left behind especially the marriage certificate which does not take kindly to being dry cleaned.
The following day the bride and groom and the wedding party meet for a present opening brunch/lunch or a farewell to out of town guests and the members of the bridal party are expected to be there as well. Remember you have been asked to support a friend at his wedding one of the most important days of our lives and if you keep the word 'support' uppermost in your mind, you will not go wrong. I hope you enjoy the day