One of the exciting parts of planning a wedding is choosing who will be part of the wedding party. The bride’s attendants are usually comprised of one main attendant (Maid or Matron of Honour) and other attendants are known as bridesmaids. The Groom has the same with the main attendant being known as the “Best Man” and the others as groomsmen.
Traditionally the groomsmen were not only part of the young groom’s circle of friends but were also ever ready to defend the groom or to help keep the intended bride for the groom safe should another suitor try to win over the fair maiden. Also in days of yore it was often assumed that evil forces would try to put the wedding asunder. Therefore if something should happen, the evil forces would be confused as to who was the groom and who was not as the groomsmen as all would dress alike very similar to the groom.
Some folklore stories are based on the bride being snatched away at the wedding ceremony before the wedding vows were officially conferred. The danger the best man was prepared to take on was from either another man trying to steal the bride or the bride’s own family who might try to capture her to prevent her from marrying someone whom the family had withheld their approval of. Actually the original name for the groomsmen was the bride’s knights and sometimes their role was to kidnap the bride from her parents to be sure that the wedding took place.
Another belief about the best man was that should anything untoward befall the groom (i.e. die while young or become extremely incapacitated) the Best Man’s job would be to care for the wife and protect her and look after her. Because this was such an honour it was reserved for the male friend or family member that the groom trusted the most in this world and would therefore take care and respect the bride in his friend’s absence.
Traditionally some of the duties the Best Man and the groomsmen attend to on behalf of the groom include ones that range from obtaining coordinating tuxedos to decorating the wedding car and ensuring that the wedding gifts end up at the Bride and Groom’s address post the wedding reception.
The Best Man and the Groomsmens’ duties can include but are not limited to the following:
- Planning the Bachelor Party
- Getting fitted for suits/tuxedos
- Attending the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
- Attending to the needs of the groom while he gets ready for the wedding
- Drive the Groom to the wedding location
- Distribute the boutonnieres to the male attendants
- Enter the wedding ceremony with the Groom
- Hold the groom’s ring (s)
- Sign the marriage licence
- Escort the Maid of honour and bridesmaids out of the ceremony
- Kick off the speeches at the reception with a toast to the Groom
- Help with escorting key guests to their seats
- Dance with bridesmaids
- Decorate the getaway car
- Deliver the fee envelope to the officiate and others
Article courtesy of the Ottawa Wedding Show