The ultimate guide to choosing the best man

Jul 7, 2016 | Best Man

More often than not, the bride tends to make the majority of decisions when it comes to the wedding, but one thing she can’t take off the groom’s plate is choosing the best man.

Choosing the Best Man

While guys tend to be more laidback about being chosen – or overlooked – for the job, there are still a number of issues to consider and problems that could possibly arise. Maybe you were best man at another friend’s wedding and he’s expecting to be yours; maybe your brother thinks he’s going to be best man, but you actually want to choose your best mate.

Whatever the issue, it’s important to remember that it is your day – and there’s a way out of every sticky situation!

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Choosing the Best Man: What are my options?

Picking a guy to stand beside you at the alter (and maybe stop you from jumping out a bathroom window that morning) won’t necessarily be black and white. Unless you get married straight out of secondary school, chances are you have a couple of contenders for the position.

choosing the best man

The Old Friend

This is the guy you’ve known since you were a kid or who you met in secondary school. You survived puberty together, but have gone down separate paths since and drifted a little. You meet up once or twice a year, maybe around Christmas, and while you have closer friends, he may expect you to choose him because of history.

The Best Friend

Wherever life has led you, this guy is your current best mate. You’ve gone on the pull together, probably double-dated with girlfriends, gone on lads’ holidays and he’s one of the first people you contact when you want to go out or need a hand with something.

choosing the best man

The Brother

He’s been around all or most of your life, you two are fairly close and your mum’s heart would melt if you chose him. Also, while someone may be your best friend now, you’re thinking that this doesn’t mean you’ll still be hanging out in 10 years’ time. Family, on the other hand, is for life. Other pluses include not having to deal with friend politics over the position as you can use the ‘Oh but he’s family’ excuse.

choosing the best man

The Party Friend

The stag party is your main priority and this is the most fun guy in your group of friends – the one who organises the best events and has the best stories to tell. He’s probably going to be useless at helping with wedding prep, but you’re guaranteed a wild stag.

The Responsible Friend

Not the first person you think of when you want to organise a night out, but you know he’s the most dependable person and will do whatever he says he will. He may not organise the most insane stag, but everything you ask him to do will get done and you know you’ll have solid help during wedding preparation.

Choosing the Best Man: The most common complications

Now you know who yours options are, let’s look at the most common situations that can give the groom a headache when deciding who to pick.

choosing the best man

Problem #1: I have two best friends

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.

Solution: An easy way out is just to ask your brother and tell your friends it’s a family thing. If you don’t have a brother, just pick the one you’ve known the longest and explain to them that while you’d have picked them both, the bride insisted the wedding was traditional.

Problem #2: One person expects to be chosen

Maybe it’s your oldest friend, maybe it’s the guy you’ve partied with the most or maybe it’s someone who asked you to be their best man – whatever the situation, it can be awkward if they’re not the person you want.

Solution: The ‘picking your brother’ move really will get you out of all awkward friend situations, but if it’s not an option, just be honest with the guy. You obviously have good reasons to go with someone else.

Choosing the Best Man

Problem #3: The person I want to pick wouldn’t be good at the job

He’s your best mate or closest brother, but you know he’d be no help to you. 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. The reality is that a good best man can really make the entire experience much easier on you, helping you to shoulder jobs the bride has assigned you and keeping you motivated.

Solution: 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. If it’s really important to have this person as your best man, choose him, but be prepared for more jobs on your plate.

Choosing the Best Man

Problem #4: The bride hates the person I want to pick

This is a tough one – on one hand, you don’t want anything to spoil the wedding for your bride but on the other hand, you should be able to have the person you want as your best man. We’d like to see how she’d react if you vetoed her maid of honour choice…

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. 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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