Should you ask someone to be Best Man just because you were theirs?

Oct 21, 2016 | Best Man

For many guys, picking a best man is a simple process, but for some of us, there are social landmines lurking beneath the surface.

One of these cases is when you were best man for your friend, but he isn’t your first choice picking your wedding wing man. Suddenly there’s an expectation and obligation to ask him and a risk of offending him if you don’t.

So what do you do? Read on…

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Returning the Favour: Reasons this could be a problem

Problem #1: He’s your best friend, but you also have another.

Guys usually aren’t as sensitive as women can be about being overlooked for this important position, but if you have two best mates who are both vying for the title, it could create a little bad feeling. Yes, you were best man for one of them, but the other isn’t engaged yet and you know he’s probably planning on choosing you when he does.

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Problem #2: He’s your oldest friend and that’s why he picked you.

You guys have been friends since you were kids or maybe since secondary school – either way, he’s your oldest mate. But you guys may have drifted since going to college or entering the working world. You have a new Goose, but this guy considered your long-term friendship important enough to give you the best man job.

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Problem #3: You’re close to the guy, but you know he wouldn’t be good at the job.

He asked you and yes, you think he qualifies for the job in terms of your friendship, but you know he’d be no help to you at all. A lot of people will argue that the person you pick as your best man doesn’t actually have that much to do and if he screws up, you can just delegate to another person. However, you know that a good best man can really make the entire experience much easier on you, helping you to shoulder wedding prep tasks and putting a stop to jitters.

Problem #4. He’s your brother.

This is definitely an awkward one, especially since choosing your brother is the go-to way to get out of an awkward best man situation with your friends. You guys may be close or he just has a strong sense of family duty and honour (the Ned Stark of your family), but there’s a friend who you’re much closer to and really want to be by your side on the day.

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Solution to your best man conundrum

At the end of the day – although we know it’s easier said than done – you shouldn’t choose your best man out of obligation. It should be someone you actually want to give the honour to. This is a rare opportunity for a man to tell his best friend that he thinks highly of him without getting the mick taken out of him.

If you’re torn between two friends, an easy way out is just to ask your brother and tell your friends it’s a family thing or just choose the guy you’ve been friends with the longest if it really is a toss-up.

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In regards to the friend who will just be a terrible best man, groomsmen aren’t expected to do anything, so realistically they’re probably going to be a bit annoyed if you start dumping the best man’s jobs on them. That means you’ll have to shoulder your best man’s jobs on top of your own. If you’re ok with that, then go for it; if not, it’s probably best that you’re honest. If he’s always late or flaking, he will know where you’re coming from and shouldn’t mind being a groomsman.

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Bonus Best Man Problem: You actually do want him, but the bride hates him

This is a tough one – on one hand, you don’t want anything to spoil the wedding for your fiancée but on the other, you should be able to have the person you want as your best man.

Solution: We’d recommend sitting her down and talking through her issues with your pick, while you highlight how important it is to you that he has the job. The fact you were his best man will definitely work in your favour here because you can say how bad you’ll both look if you exclude him. It might also help to organise a few nights out with the two of them before you do this, warning your potential best man to be on his best behaviour.

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