Can Your Father Be Your Best Man?

Your father can be your best man. There are no fixed rules about who fulfills this duty at your wedding. Traditionally the best man was supposed to have been the groom’s brother or closest male friend, but this is no longer the case, and you can have your father perform this role, especially if you are very close with him. 

Congratulations! You’ve popped the question, and she said yes! Let the wedding planning begin!  Wedding planning is an exciting and busy time for the engaged couple. The wedding party usually consists of relatives and close friends of the couple. The bride and groom designate specific roles to people they wish to include.  They can choose whoever they feel will add meaning to their special day. 

Your wedding day should be memorable for all the right reasons. Ensure that you and your fiancé are both completely comfortable with the level of involvement that your father will have if he is your best man.  If the wedding is a small, intimate event, then the task of being the best man could be straightforward. But, the bigger the wedding, the more complex the role.

Father, who is best man at a wedding, sitting down at table socialising

Check With the Bride 

A word of caution. If your father is your best man, your bride may become uncomfortable with your side of the family being so deeply involved in the details of her big day.

Your wedding is the day that she has dreamed about for a long time, so it is good to discuss the idea that your father acts as your best man with her before you approach him to ask. Conflict between engaged couples often begins during the wedding planning process – so stay mindful of potential pitfalls to ensure a happy start to married life.

Related: Do Fathers Attend Baby Showers

What Are the Duties of the Best Man?

The best man is not just the guy standing in the church beside the groom while waiting for the bride. That is just one of a myriad of tasks he performs.  

Common Duties of the Best Man

When?Duties Of The Best ManCan Your Father Do This?
Before weddingBachelor partyAre you comfortable with your dad planning an event where you may not be able to behave at your best? 
Will your dad plan the bachelor party the way you and your friends would want to celebrate?
Will you be able to relax and have a fun night out with your close male friends if your father is there? 
Before the WeddingWedding attireThe Groom and best man need to wear similar attire. While some variation in the styles is acceptable, the groom and his best man usually coordinate their outfits.  
Your best man needs to advise and guide you when choosing what you should wear. He must ensure that the garments are suitable and the fit is perfect. Do you trust your father to do this?
Before the WeddingGroom’s giftThe wedding is a special day for the groom.  He and his best man usually exchange meaningful gifts before the ceremony. It is a thank you gesture from the groom and from the best man, a symbol of friendship and best wishes. 
Would the symbolism of the gift from your best man be the same if it is from your father?
Wedding dayConfirm all practical aspectsIt is the task of the bridesmaids and groomsmen to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible the day of the wedding
Suppose it unexpectedly pours with rain or another catastrophe. The best man should be able to take it in his stride and work with the bridesmaids and other family members to make alternative arrangements so that the ceremony proceeds. 
On a more mundane level, if you have any set up or tear down required of you at your venue, traditionally the groomsmen perform the “heavy lifting” while the bridesmaids take care of decor. 
Can you rely on your father to do these things?
Wedding dayBe organized! Keep lists with telephone numbers – from the limo company to the ice supplier.Is your father diplomatic and calm in all situations? If the photographer is late, a vehicle has a flat tire, or even worse, the bride’s mother starts weeping loudly – will your dad be able to step in with charm to restore the focus of the event to the bride and groom? 
Wedding dayGetting the groom readyWill your dad be able to focus on you? This is your big day – he would have been automatically included in the wedding party, so be sure that he will be focused on ensuring that you are looking your best.
Wedding dayProvide reassurance Close family members can sometimes be a little too honest with each other. Your father may unintentionally or intentionally project some of his own fears about marriage onto you at the worst possible time. The hours before any wedding is a time of great anxiety and uncertainty for both the bride and groom. 
Your best man should provide support and reassurance to you so you relax and enjoy your wedding. Will your father be your anchor of calm if wedding day ‘cold feet’ start setting in?
Wedding dayKeeper of the ringsDo not let this become a heart-stopping moment! Whether he keeps the rings in his pocket or has secured them to the ring-bearer’s cushion, be sure that you can leave the task of passing over the wedding bands at the right moment to your father if he acts as best man. 
Wedding dayAccompanying the groom  He must provide support while waiting for the bride. If necessary, your best man should check that the presiding officer is ready or check the bride’s progress during long delays. He must continually reassure the groom that everything is on track. 
If the best man is your father, be sure that he will not become distracted by the arrival of particular guests or become anxious if things don’t run to schedule.
Wedding dayAccompanying the maid of honorFrom the moment the couple is pronounced ‘husband and wife,’ it becomes the task of the best man to accompany the maid of honor. He will lend her his arm to leave the ceremony, pose with her for photos, dance with her at the reception, and ensure that she is attended to at all times.  
If you select your father, be sure that he will be comfortable paired with a much younger bridesmaid (and vice versa).
Wedding dayWedding vehiclesIt is the task of the best man to arrange transport.  This includes transportation of the bridal party to the ceremony, the entire wedding party to the photo location, and the reception. Several types of vehicles may be needed and arrival and collection times need to be carefully planned. 
This may be challenging for your father as he will also be deeply invested in enjoying your special day.
Wedding dayToasting the bridesmaidsPublic speaking is often a cause of anxiety. Your best man will be expected to make a toast to thank the bride’s attendants. If your dad is someone who would not be able to do this confidently, either reconsider choosing him as best man or select someone else to make this toast.
Wedding dayAdding fun touches Will your father gather the bachelors for the throwing of the bride’s garter and ‘decorating’ the vehicle of the departing newlyweds (if you decide to include these items)? 
Your father may be so overcome with emotion at your wedding that he won’t remember everything and if you want these “fun touches”, you don’t want to be disappointed in their absence.

What Are the Duties of the Groom’s Father at a Wedding?

 

If your father is your best man, you must assign the duties usually expected from the groom’s father to someone else. Your best man should stay entirely focused on you. He won’t have time to double for any other obligatory ‘father of the groom’ tasks.  If your bride’s bouquet gives you the sneezes and you need your allergy pills, your best man will fetch them. Dusty shoes before the wedding photos? Your best man will buff them.  

If the best man is your father, he may not have time to properly perform his fatherly tasks like welcoming guests at the wedding reception or accompanying your great Aunt Ethel to the buffet, while properly attending to you.

If your mother is in attendance, be sensitive to the fact that she may need your father’s shoulder to lean on. Even when the wedding couple’s parents are no longer together, they often put their differences aside on their child’s wedding day to pose for photos and dance the first dance.  If your father is your best man, he may not be attentive to your mother, leading to feelings of resentment in the family. 

Conclusion

The role of the best man is not just about being your right-hand man at the wedding ceremony. While your father will certainly be deeply touched at your request to be your best man, be sure that you understand what is required of him before you ask him.  All big decisions taken while planning the wedding must be made together by the couple.

If you do decide to ask your father to be your best man, his presence in that role should be a blessing at your wedding ceremony.  Your best man should contribute in making your wedding day the perfect start to married life.