Best Man: Can I Have More Than One Best Man?
As far as wedding decisions go, choosing your groomsman, particularly your best man at your wedding, is a big decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. However, if you have more than one very important "best man" in your life, it begs the question: Can you have two best men? Maybe you're deciding between a brother, friend or family member, or perhaps you're entertaining the idea of having your dad be your best man and can't decide who to choose. To help with this, we turned to the pros. Read on to learn whether or not you can have two best men at your wedding (or more?), the pros and cons of doing so, and expert tips on how to navigate all the logistics if it's the right option for your big day.
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Can You Have Two Best Men?
Absolutely! Although traditionally, one person is assigned to be the groom's best man at the wedding, it's becoming more common to have more than one best man (also referred to as "best people"). "Many couples have been opting for multiple best men/persons as a way to honor their close relationships with both family and friends," says Deliece Knights, founder and CEO of Dhalia Events LLC. "It can be a wonderful gesture and can help alleviate the pressure of the role itself."
According to Keith Willard, owner of Keith Willard Events, real-life couples are a fan of having two best men at their wedding. "Couples are loving the opportunity to make their wedding theirs. It's following traditions but putting their own spin on it," he says. "Plus, it's memorable in the most loving of ways."
Knights agrees that couples are very open to it. "Couples are more interested in recognizing and honoring those that they love over following strict tradition," she says. "Love, to them, must be celebrated, and that includes the love they have for their other close friends and family in addition to their life partners." So if you have two special men in your life and can't decide who to choose as your best man, consider this your permission slip to not have to choose.
How Many Best Men Can You Have?
For logistics and ease of planning, Willard and Knights recommend having at most two or three best men or best persons. Knights say this ensures that those closest to you feel recognized by the title. Conversely, Willard says having more than that will make the title of best man or best person become less emotionally valuable.
That said, it's your wedding, so always feel free to do what feels best for you and your partner, regardless of what's recommended. For instance, Knights says if you or your partner feel it's important to have multiple people be your best men or best persons, go right ahead. In this case, she would recommend not having a best man altogether and simply honoring them as equal wedding party members.
Pros of Having Two Best Men
The best news? Knights says having more than one best man is not as logistically challenging as it may seem, and there are some pros, too.
You don't have to choose.
Hands down, one of the biggest pros to having more than one best man is that you don't have to choose between the most important people in your life. "That reduces stress and the possibility of unintentionally hurt feelings," Willard says.
You'll receive more support with best man duties.
A best man's duties at a wedding are many, and having two best men means you have additional support leading up to and on your wedding day. "This is perhaps the most valuable reason for having more than one best man/person," Knights says. "The marrier can feel confident that all the logistical details or common expectations within the best mate role are going to be well taken care of."
It will provide a mix of personalities and help relieve tension.
"Having more than one best person allows the marrier to enjoy the aspects of each person's personality on the day in a way that they wouldn't be able to if they were not both best mates," Knights says. Furthermore, she adds that having more than one best person can help relieve any awkwardness or strife between wedding party members.
Cons of Having Two Best Men
While there are pros to having two best men at your wedding, there are also some cons to consider before deciding if it's the right option.
Some people may be upset.
One potential con is that having two best men at your wedding may create unnecessary tension. "People are sensitive, and there is always the possibility that someone takes it as a slight that they are sharing the position with someone else," Willard says. "Family and friends may give you a hard time. This is a relatively new scenario, so those who are more 'traditional' may say that it was because you couldn't make a decision, but that's their issue, not yours."
It may cause conflict or confusion.
Having two best men can also cause some conflict between the two best men themselves. For example, "if both have the same title, but one does all the work, animosity can quickly build," Willard says. Even if there isn't conflict per se, Knights says there may be confusion as to who is in charge of what duties. Similarly, she adds that having more than one best man may confuse guests and vendors, and they may not know who to address or ask questions to on the wedding day.
How to Handle Having Two Best Men
You've weighed the pros and cons of whether or not you can have two best men. Now it's time to review the logistics of how to best approach having more than one best man at your wedding.
Decide where they should stand at the altar.
So if you have two best men, who will stand where at the altar? Ultimately, deciding who stands closest to you at the altar is up to you. But, to keep things super simple, Willard recommends having them line up based on height.
Practice constant communication.
For a smooth experience, Knight says that clear and constant communication is key when dividing up the best man's duties. This ensures expectations are met regarding how they both manage the role. To make communication easier, Willard suggests creating a group text chain between you and the two best men to make all the plans as a team. "Inclusivity is everything," he says.
Be clear with the division of duties.
It's up to you how you want to divide the duties. One option Knights suggests is having one best man be in charge of pre-wedding things such as the bachelor party and fittings, and the other in charge of wedding day things such as guest questions and coordinating groomsmen photos. As far as the best man speech goes (one of the most coveted best man duties), Willard suggests having them give a joint speech as one unit. Or, if they opt to do separate speeches, he recommends that they work on them together to avoid repetition.