Best Man & His Wife’s Duties?

single_groomsman_tux“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!

5 thoughts on “Best Man & His Wife’s Duties?

    • Author gravatar

      is that ok for my husband as being a best man for his brother to walk with another woman in the church? i feel this is hurting me so much

      • Author gravatar

        How you handle this matters

        Dear PM friend
        The short answer is yes; it’s ok for your husband, as best man, to walk down the aisle with the maid or matron of honor. They both have specific duties and positions during the ceremony that make it expedient to exit together. It’s the customary protocol.
        It appears that you are not the matron of honor, but are you in the bridal party?

        I’m glad you commented on your hurt. My heart reaches out to you and I’ve thought much about your honest statement. Thank you for sharing. Try not to take this situation as anything more than mere formality and ceremonial convenience. Two people walking together doesn’t mean they have a personal relationship nor is it meant to cause hurt to spouses.

        A longer answer is that you are not alone in coming to terms with hurts. All married persons struggle with challenges provoked by uncomfortable circumstances of some sort.

        Please let me encourage you, dear tender one, in your situation. In doing so, it may help others who are also dealing with hurtful things.
        While the aisle walk isn’t a threat to your relationship, your hurt could be if left unchecked. Grasp this situation as an opportunity to put a building block in place towards a successful marriage. Do this by acting with discretion in your words and deeds. Most men do not like dealing with these types of situations. You don’t want your man to feel caught in the middle over something beyond his control. Disregard your hurt and don’t rock the boat with your husband, his family or with his brother and bride. Here’s a good occasion to show trust in your husband by your quiet forbearance. Practice respect for all involved by keeping silent in this instance.

        This said and done, you may still feel the hurt. Bring that to the Lord in prayer. His Spirit faithfully subdues our fears and hurts when given to Him. Stand guard over your feelings here. Emotions are very misleading if we allow them rule our actions. I’m assuming that there is nothing else in this situation to cause you alarm.

        Do you want a successful marriage? Then do your part. Dedicate yourself to learning God’s ways, and then in every circumstance make them part of your manners. “Apply your heart to His words and knowledge; for it is a pleasant thing if you keep His ways within you; let them all be fixed upon your lips, so that your trust may be in the Lord…these are excellent things, of counsel and knowledge to make you know the certainty of His words of truth, that you then may answer (and live) with truth”(paraphrased)….now that you are married, you can learn new ways to practice His truths, even when it hurts. Following Christ is not merely informational, it’s transformational.

        Moreover, determine to be a virtuous woman. Use these types of situations to build strong foundations. Have you read Proverbs 31? Here is the ideal type of woman and wife that a marriage needs. She builds up, and doesn’t tear down. This is a lady who uses adverse situations as building blocks. She discerns what it takes to fit in with her husband’s hopes and plans. The heart of her husband safely trusts in her. She serves him and her household with wise actions and carefully chosen words. We too, can put on dignity and strength so that it becomes part of our character. Amazing stuff is it not.

        I have prayed to be this type of woman. My parents were divorced when I was young. I know the pain it caused. I determined to have a good marriage, yet felt lack of sufficiency in many ways. Practicing biblical principles resulted in a blessed marriage.

        Read Proverbs so your mind is filled with information on how to build a happy marriage…then put it into action: be constructive, don’t tear down, don’t nag, don’t complain, express gratitude, be productive, learn how to live and speak wisely, how to better show your love.

        When reading the godly woman’s example in Proverbs 31, my soul still soars and finds encouragment in her industry, service and strength. Her husband delights and trusts her because she tends to his good. If you want your marriage to prosper and your husband’s happiness to increase, then stand tall and in this situation turn the other cheek.

        If your husband already knows of your hurt, simply tell him “not to worry” that you are proud of him as he performs his duties. Let him know that you are for him, not against him. Meantime, know too, that your discomfort will pass and your relationship with everyone involved will become better because of your congenial efforts.

        Blessings to you. Stay strong in worthy protocol matters.

    • Author gravatar

      BS low – raotntaliiy high! Really good answer!

    • Author gravatar

      all this could have been said with a lot LESS sarcasm and maybe perhaps grasp the fact that 1) you shouldn’t assume the person that is asking the question, what is going on in their life with their spouse about their past and life, or the relationship they have with the bride or groom. it was merely an innocent question, not a invitation to roast them, so try to take it down a notch. 2) many people understand marriage differently, some dont care, which i believe you are one of them, other care to a point that they want to show and represent the ir marriage by being husband and wife through it all. 3) yes although the wedding is all about the bride and groom, they are not above the law to pick and choose who they want to split up for their special day. especially to a gathering that the spouse may not know or be familiar with. what you could have said is have a chat with the spouse and let them know you are not comfortable with it. just because it’s not your day doesnt mean you have no voice. it’s the 2000s, not the 1600s where women have no voice and men are womanizer. I mean I thought marriages work with two people? not one. if one is not happy, they talk. right? or are they suppose to act like the women of the 1600s who stay quiet and smile through it all? I assume she? was simply asking for an opinion and not a sarcastic reply.

      • Author gravatar

        Hello Rachel and thank you for taking time to share your opinion. Please know that my comments were meant to be an encouragement to the sweet lady with the question, and not in any way intended to be a sarcastic “roast”. I agree with your comments about marriage taking two people to make it work and the need for communication in marriage. Today most women have no trouble voicing and expressing their opinion. Ideally, a loving husband listens and pays attention to her feelings as she should to his. Regarding her question & the standard wedding protocol at the conclusion of the ceremony, which species the wedding party depart as a group in pairs before other guests are given leave: In this situation the wife of the best man was not a bridesmaid nor the maid of honor standing up front with the wedding party. She was a guest seated with other guests. She leaves with them. The best man has no control over this. Therefore its helpful to understand that the best man or a groomsman who walk with a bridesmaid as the wedding party comes down the aisle is not demonstrating a personal choice. In this situation his wife best avoid allowing hurt feelings to escalate, rule, or become problematic. Standard wedding protocols like this keep the ceremony flowing in an efficient, uninterrupted and orderly manner for everyone involved and underscores the importance of protocol matters.

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