“Are there any special responsibilities as the wife of the best man?” was the second part of a recent question that Protocol Matters received (and, in this case, the wife of the best man is also the sister of the groom).
Answer: You have some involvement as wife of the best man, however, all etiquette authorities agree that you have no official responsibilities specified in protocol, other than being a cheerful support to your “best man”. You will be invited to the rehearsal dinner, but are not expected to perform any duties.
This does not mean you cannot help, but the amount and specifics of any duties are optional and will generally be in the form of assistance to your husband. This requires discretion and sensitivity on your part. How much assistance does your husband want or need in his duties, which were defined earlier. He will likely be happy to have your help and attention to detail, especially if his time is limited as the wedding day approaches….
…Keep your eyes and ears open as to how you can help your husband in his role. You may be needed to run an errand for him, pick up wedding clothes, or help with other details in the wedding preparations. Other involvement or assistance also depends on the closeness of your relationship to the bride and not stepping on the toes of her attendants in their duties. (I’m assuming that you are not one of the bridal attendants).
At one of my son’s wedding, the wife the groomsman, was a huge blessing as she quietly and considerately lent a hand where ever needed: in assembling wedding programs, picking up loose odds and ends, providing transportation for the bridesmaids, and the bride, the day prior to the ceremony. She remained available for whatever was necessary during the last few days preceding the ceremony. Everyone, especially the bride, appreciated her unassuming, yet thoughtful, background assistance.
Thank you for sharing your question. Enjoy the wonderful occasion! It’s an ideal time for building a happy relationship with your new sister-in-law. I suspect that your husband, your brother, and his bride are glad to have someone like you involved because you obviously consider how to put your best “helpful” foot forward without stepping on toes. How nice for all around that you are a person who understands that protocol matters!
Protocol Matters received this two part Question: My husband is best man at my brother’s wedding. What are his duties before, during, and after the big day? Do I have any responsibilities as the wife of the best man?
Answer: Your questions are good ones, especially since brothers or cousins are often asked to be a best man, and how they handle this important role can impact the wedding (as well as future relations) for better or for worse. Kudos to you and your husband that you care enough to do some advance footwork. I think you’ll find the general protocol helpful… the first part of your question is answered below and a post answering the second part follows in a few days. Continue reading
Question: We have many friends from out of town who will not be able to attend my daughter’s wedding or her bridal shower. The groom’s family is also out of state. Yet these families would like to send a gift. What is the best way to inform them where the bride and groom are registered? I know it is not appropriate to put gift registry information on the wedding invitation. How do we get the word out without giving the impression that the couple expects a gift? Thank you for your advice.
Answer: It helps to know that if an invited guest would like to send a gift it is the guest’s prerogative to inquire about a bridal registry. The initiative for information and gift giving belongs to the guests; not to the bridal couple or parents. Continue reading
Dear Frances from New Jersey. Receptions are times that frequently give us practice in excercising broad social graces, including forbearance, because protocol oversights do happen. They are likely unintentional. Wedding complexities can overwhelm the best of us, especially dreamy eyed brides and nervous grooms. And, should the Continue reading