Best Man and Woman’s Guide to a Gay Wedding

Have those questions that you don’t want to ask the groom so it seems like you’ve got everything under control? Perhaps you’re about to choose your Best Man/Woman and aren’t sure what they are supposed to do? Well, we have created the ultimate Best Man/Woman’s Guide to a Gay Wedding!

What is a Best Man/Woman?

The Best Man/Woman/Person is the groom’s strong right arm to help them coordinate and navigate through the wedding process. From the Stag Do/Bachelor Party to going and picking up the groomsmen or women’s suits and many other tasks. Similar to the Maid-Of-Honor, they are there to support with specific tasks to help lighten the load. We all know wedding planning can be stressful so pick someone close to you! There is an undoubted honour to be asked to be the Best Man or Woman as you are accompanying someone in such a pivotal, life-changing event!

Who should be the Best Man or Best Woman?

Leave gender choices to the hetero-normative world. The name “Best Man” has connotations to it, but you can absolutely choose a Best Woman or a Best Person. You do not need to conform to having a “Best Man” – they can be whoever you feel is going to take on that role! They are usually the closest friend to the groom but again they can be a close relative or anyone you want. Keep in mind you don’t want them to be a stranger or choose your other half’s cousin who you both barely know! When it comes to your final night of freedom you want them to get it right – they’ve only got one shot after all!

What are the Best Man or Best Woman’s duties before a gay wedding?

  • One of the main duties of the Best Man or Woman that comes before the wedding is to plan the groom’s Stag Do or Bachelor party. We have plenty of guides on what makes a great party so don’t panic! The earlier you start planning the better and bigger the party can be. Early planning gives the guests a chance to save and budget which is important if you’re planning on going for a weekend break abroad.
  • Wedding attire is such an important part of the wedding. It brings together the aesthetics and themes plus as the Best Man or Woman, you’re going to be in a LOT of videos and pictures so make sure you are there for all the fittings. Don’t be afraid to give your honest opinion about what you’re wearing either. If you think the groom is making a terrible fashion choice then pull them up on it! Everyone wants to feel comfortable and gorgeous on the day. Read more: How to choose a gay men’s wedding suit.
  • Keep calm! This continues through till after the wedding but making sure the groom stays relatively stress-free by offering your ear or any extra assistance during this time is an important duty, not only as the Best Man or Woman but also as a friend. This journey is no doubt going to be a stressful one and checking in from time to time on their wellbeing, not just to talk about wedding plans will make the groom’s journey a little less overwhelming.
  • A gift from you to the groom isn’t necessary but it is a thoughtful way of saying thank you for the honor of being in their wedding party. As the Best Man or Woman you’ll probably know what will bring a smile to their face with this little memento. Gift this on the morning of the wedding is a good way to gather the wedding party and set the day off in a positive direction.
  • Sit down with the happy couple and discuss any potential guests that the Best Man or Woman should keep their eye on before the wedding is the key to an undisrupted event. That one questionable uncle who likes a drink (or a few) may need a close eye, or there may be a task for an eager young cousin who can help hand out the confetti. As the Best Man or Woman, it’s your job to make sure things go smoothly on the day so the couple can relax. No pressure!
  • Finally, before the wedding, make sure to sit and write out your Best Man or Woman’s Speech. This is either going to be the most dreaded or most anticipated part of your duties. The speech usually kicks off all the other speeches at the reception so make sure it’s personal, entertaining and doesn’t feel rushed. We really do not recommend trying to write the speech the night before the wedding! Plan whether it’s going to be a funny speech or a heartfelt speech, it will help when it comes to you performing it. Read More: How to write a Best man’s speech at a gay wedding.

What are the Best Man or Best Woman’s duties during a gay wedding?

  • Technically this comes before the wedding but on the night before the big day, make sure you’ve double-checked all wedding party’s suits are accounted for, the rings are in a safe and secure place, and the groom isn’t getting cold feet! If he is, then it’s your job to calm his nerves!
  • It’s the morning of the wedding and there’s a slight panic in the air. Round up the wedding party to calm things down and have some breakfast. This is so that everyone can begin to get ready on time and relax before the day begins (you also don’t want anyone to pass out because they forgot to eat!). This can also be where you give the groom his little memento from you or the others in the wedding party. The getting ready process is the final few moments before the groom becomes one with his other half. He’s sure to be nervous so try raising a toast with a cold glass of champagne to take the edge off those wedding jitters but limit that to only 1 or 2 glasses as we don’t want you or the groom swaying at the altar. Accompany the morning with some light-hearted music that gets you in the wedding spirit. It is a party and a celebration after all!
  • You’re dressed to impress, the groom hasn’t backed out yet and now you’ve got a wedding to set up. You’ll want to help make sure everything looks perfect before guests start piling in so try lending an arm to move some chairs or fixing the aisle so it’s in a straight line all whilst trying hard not to mess up your outfit!
  • Round up the ushers and make sure they all know what their tasks are. If there are bridesmaids then who are they walking with? Make sure you know where they should stand when the ceremony begins. These are all things that may go over your head. Why do you think we wrote this article? Start writing a checklist! Your organisation skills are probably one of the many reasons you were chosen to for this task! Make sure you have things like a spare copy of both yours and the groom’s speech (just in case!). Non-necessities such as paracetamol, plasters and gum can come in handy throughout the day so it would be a good idea to keep some on hand.
  • The rings. Please remember the rings! It’s a simple yet hugely important task and you do not want the blame for a sudden panic at the last minute. You should have checked they were in a safe place the night before and secured them again in a safe pocket for the ceremony. If there is a ring bearer then make sure they get the rings before the ceremony starts and ensure they know what they are doing. Those rings are probably pretty valuable! We’ll say it again – please remember the rings!
  • The marriage license needs witnesses and the head of the wedding party are typically the ones to sign it, so make sure you are present when called upon!
  • You are the dance floor guru – even if just for one night! Livening the party up can sometimes be an awkward task but someone’s got to be first on the dance floor. The music is about to pop off but the happy couple are off for their sunset wedding photos and no one is brave enough to step foot on the empty dance floor! As the Best Man or Woman, you should take the initiative to ask someone else in the wedding party to dance and we guarantee in no time there’ll be no space on the dance floor left!

What are the Best Man/Woman’s duties after a gay wedding?

  • The reception is coming to a close, everyone is beaming with joy and it’s time to say goodbye to the happy couple. If the couple has a newlywed’s getaway car, then before the wedding you and the wedding party should decorate it before they leave. Get the confetti guns out and send them off in style!
  • The wedding festivities are over so now what should you do? The last task you can offer to help with as a Best Man or Woman will be to help return the outfits while the couple is on their honeymoon. Suits can be hired but if they were bought then you can skip this task.

Differences in having a Best Man or Woman at a Gay Wedding

Wedding parties & their roles are subject to change a lot because of the specifically titled gender roles. Both partners may choose to have their own separate wedding parties, or they may choose to have one best man and one maid-of-honour between them. If you’re trying to be more gender-neutral/inclusive, name your wedding party as “attendants” rather than bridesmaids and groomsmen. Or maybe even mix it up and call them your “top team”. Finally, if you want to change up the roles entirely then try to have a “Best Lady” or a “Man-Of-Honor” instead. The rules become your own when planning your gay wedding so have fun with it! Make it as unique as you are!

Chante Mclaughlin
Author: Chante Mclaughlin

Creative Executive for