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Do You Have To Have A Best Man? [Why Would You Want One?]

Wedding parties will typically consist of those who are nearest and dearest to the bride and groom, and each member will have certain duties to ensure everything runs smoothly on the wedding day. The best man is one such role. Grooms will typically choose their closest friend or relative to be their best man. Afterall, the best man’s speech is usually one of the highlights of the wedding day! But what if you are struggling to choose your best man – what if no one stands out for you who is right for this role? You may have some questions about what happens in that scenario.

So, do you have to have a best man? No, you are not obligated to have a best man at your wedding. If there is no one who stands out as the obvious choice, there is no need to have one. A best man’s duties can be delegated to other members of the wedding party, such as one of or several of the groomsmen.

A best man is usually the groom’s closest friend or a relative; such as a brother. However, it is the choice of the groom as to whom he asks. If he decides to ask anyone at all.

There are a number of different reasons why a groom may choose to forego a best man.

Perhaps they don’t have particularly close family members or friends that they would feel comfortable asking, which is actually more common than you might assume.  

Or it could be that the groom has a larger group of close family and friends that they simply cannot choose between.

In some cases, the person that the groom would most like to have as his best man, will be reluctant or hesitant to accept the honor because of the duties that are involved – potentially giving the speech or planning the stag do.

Besides, they are required to be by the groom’s side throughout the wedding ceremony ; not to mention the commitment the night before and the morning of the day itself.

If the decision of having a best man is causing any stress or negativity in your wedding planning: then ulitmately, you can consider not having one.

Let us now take a closer look at those other similar and commonly related questions you may be having, such as why you need a best man, the duties that they traditionally behold and who will undertake them if you decide against the idea.

So, be sure to keep on reading until the end to get all the information you need!

Why Do You Have A Best Man?

There are many reasons why you would want to have a best man. However, the main reason being because there is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into a wedding and you simply need the support of others around you.

Best men should be those who are closest to you: they will be and have been there in your life for the times of joy and times of sadness. In essence, they should be the person – other than your significant other – who you want to share this experience with. A friend first of all, but so much more than that.

People choose to have a best man to honor the commitment of that friendship.

Planning the stag do and delivering the best man’s speech are just two of the duties a best man may be given, but typically a best man’s role will stretch far beyond this, let’s look at the duties in the following section.

What Do You Have To Do As A Best Man?

There are duties that typically befall a best man, so if you are choosing not to have best man, you will need to consider who you will ask to fulfil these jobs prior to your big day.

It could be that the ‘Best Man’ duties are split amongst your groomsmen. It could be that you ask family members to be a part of these tasks.

Whatever choice you make, it is important that you feel happy, confident and comfortable with your choice. You will remember your wedding day, and the preparations leading up to it, for the rest of your life.

The best man duties will generally involve the following:

  • Planning the Stag do/ Bachelor Party, this will typically involve keeping these plans secret from the groom until the actual event. Planning a Stag or Bachelor party requires the best man to be organized and in communication with the attendees,
  • Preparing the Best Man speech, an iconic moment of any wedding day, usually due to the content of the speech, sharing anecdotes about the groom’s life, the person preparing the best man’s speech is typically the person with the best stories to tell!
  • Delivering the best man speech, depending on the personality of the best man (or person who is delivering the speech on the wedding day) this will either be a breeze, or a little daunting. Guests are likely to anticipate comedy, so your best man shouldn’t be afraid to toe the line in order to get a few laughs!
  • Staying with the groom the night before the wedding, perhaps this will be at the venue, perhaps this will be at the groom’s home, the night before the wedding the groom will need to relax and ensuring that happens is part of the best man’s role,
  • Attending gatherings, the couple may have an engagement party, and as best man, attendance is important, this will allow you to get to know and build relationships with other members of the wedding party, the couples families and extended friends. Getting to know these people can also provide good material to use in the best man’s speech – just be sure to get their permission first!  
  • Attending suit fittings and potentially paying for their suit, it may be that the best man is required to wear suits in keeping with the groom and groomsmen, traditionally that is the case,
  • Attending the rehearsal, on the day of their wedding, the best mans role involves more than just turning up and giving a speech! A best man will have to attend the rehearsal to know exactly what they should be doing on the wedding day: before, during and after the ceremony.
  • Being there on the actual wedding day, the best man sure ensure that the bride and groom are free to socialise at their reception, being on hand to deal with any minor issues and queries that might arise.
  • Acting Master of Ceremonies, it could be that the best man is charged with announcing various different parts of the day.

As listed, the best man will typically play quite an important role in your wedding – not just the wedding day – but the planning and preparations too.

Can I Have Multiple Best Men?

If you are choosing to not have a best man because you cannot choose between several different candidates – why not have two best men?!

It has become an increasingly popular trend for grooms to ask two to three of their nearest and dearest to be their best men, undertaking the duties between them in the lead up to the wedding.

Having more than one best man is particularly appropriate if the groom has more than one brother or a particularly close group of friends.

Where the best man duties are concerned, it can be reassuring for the responsibility that befalls them to be split amongst a few people. It is likely that your best men will all have different qualities that they will bring to the role.

When considering the speech, it could be that one of your best men delivers it, or all of them could have a role in this! Ultimately, it is the decision of the groom as to who does what.

Who Will Stand In If There Is No Best Man?

If you are choosing not to have a best man, it is likely these duties will need to be delegated amongst friends, family or other grooms’ men.

Think carefully about who you would like to give the ‘best man’s’ speech. Often, groom’s who opt to not have a best man will ask their father, brothers, or other close friends to step in. It is advised that you make this selection based on who you think would be comfortable giving the speech in front of all your wedding guests.

It is advised, that if there is no best man, the groom thinks carefully about who he asks to fulfil each duty in the lead up to his wedding.

Someone will need to take charge of the Stag do, writing and delivering the Best Man’s speech, acting as Master of Ceremonies and being there for the bride and groom on their wedding day.

That being said, these tasks do not all need to be completed by one person.

Make use of your family and friends and delegate the roles between them if you are not having a best man. If you are having a few groomsmen, but not a best man, give each of your groomsmen or ushers a role.

The best man’s duties are there to make the whole wedding experience enjoyable and less stressful for the groom. If planning your own stag do suits you as a groom – plan away!

Tradition is one thing, but in reality, there are so many different circumstances that will need to be considered for your wedding day to be successful. There are likely to be friends and family member who would be honoured to step in and complete part of the best man’s role on your big day.


You do not have to have a best man, although it is recommended that you have someone to fulfil their traditional duties, not only on the day of your wedding, but also in the preparations too.

You can of course have multiple best men, or you can ask family members and friends to step in.

Whoever you choose, make sure that they are both willing and able participants. Afterall, it is your big day and you want to make sure that every part of it is remembered for the right reasons.