Wedding Tradition Breakdown: The Best Man

Weddings are often thought of as the bride’s big day. This special day can be nerve-wracking for the groom as well. Many grooms lean on their best man to help them get ready and get through the wedding. Best men have been a staple at weddings for a long time. These days it’s not uncommon to see people forego the large wedding party, but couples still include a maid of honor and best man. The best man provides more than emotional support. They’ve actually played an integral role in weddings for years. This is how this tradition came to be.

 

History

The origin of the best man isn’t exactly a great one. Historically, the best man was responsible for helping the groom get the bride to the wedding. This could mean preventing a runaway bride situation or even kidnapping the bride from a reluctant family. This tradition has been dated back to 16th century Germanic Goths.

 

Historically, the best man actually stood next to the bride during the ceremony. This was to keep anyone from trying to stop the wedding before it finished. Later on, they were moved over to the groom’s side though.

 

Wedding Tradition Breakdown: The Best Man-AGI StudioWedding Tradition Breakdown: The Best Man-AGI Studio | Toronto Wedding Photographers

 

Title Origin

While many people think that the title of “best man” comes from it being someone close to the groom, it was actually because the best man had to be the “best” in terms of fighting and strength. The groom needed the best man to help him fight off anyone that stood in the way of him getting his bride.

 

The role of the best man is quite old, but the term wasn’t always used. In fact, the earliest surviving written use of the term “best man” comes from 1782. It was observed that the “best man and best maid” in the Scottish dialect were equivalent to “bride-man and bride-maid” in England.

 

Wedding Tradition Breakdown: The Best Man-AGI Studio | Toronto Wedding PhotographersWedding Tradition Breakdown: The Best Man-AGI Studio | Toronto Wedding Photographers

 

Today

Today, the best man plays a much more civilized role at the wedding. The groom typically selects a close friend or family member to be his best man and stand beside him on his special day. Many believe that the best man is the third most important member at the wedding after the bride and groom.

 

The best man typically performs a number of tasks for the wedding. They’re in charge of planning the bachelor trip and making sure the groomsmen have their tuxes. They also usually hold the rings for the ceremony (depending on if there is a ring bearer), act as a witness in the signing of the marriage certificate, and make a speech at the wedding reception.

 

The role of the best man is more important than just completing tasks though. Our wedding photographers know how nervous a groom can be on the big day. Photographers love to capture the friendship between the groom and the best man and know how important the best man can be in calming the groom’s nerves.

 

Wedding Tradition Breakdown: The Best Man-AGI Studio | Toronto Wedding PhotographersWedding Tradition Breakdown: The Best Man-AGI Studio | Toronto Wedding Photographers

 

Some of our wedding photographer’s favorite photos are of the groom and best man. We’d love to capture your special day and the loving friendship between you and your best man. Contact us today if you’re looking for a Toronto wedding photographer!