Can (or Should) Your Dad Be Your Best Man? Real Couples Tell All

Here's what it's like to have your dad as your best man.
Can (or Should) Your Dad Be Your Best Man? Based on Real Couples
Photo: Digital Skillet | Getty Images
Jessica Estrada - The Knot Contributor.
Jessica Estrada
Jessica Estrada - The Knot Contributor.
Jessica Estrada
The Knot Contributor
  • Jessica contributes wedding planning, wedding etiquette and relationship content to The Knot.
  • She also covers lifestyle and wellness topics for print and digital publications such Refinery29, Bustle, Well + Good, Cosmopolitan, Byrdie, The Zoe Report, The Cut and more.
  • Jessica has a journalism degree from Cal State University, Northridge and is certified as a life and success coach.
Updated May 16, 2023

Choosing who your best man will be at your wedding is a big decision. You want it to be the person who knows you best and is always there for you, which for some people is their dad. This begs the question: Can your dad be your best man? As with all things wedding related, there are some etiquette principles to keep in mind. To learn more, we chatted with an expert. Below, find the answer to whether you can ask your dad to be your best man, things to consider when having your dad as your best man, and tips on making the decision.

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Can Your Dad Be Your Best Man?

The short answer: Absolutely! You can choose anyone you want to be your best man at your wedding, including your dad. It is your wedding, after all. "If you want them by your side, that's the only reason you need," says Jamie Chang, owner and destination wedding planner of Mango Muse Events. That said, if you do ask your dad to be your best man, it's important to do so for the right reasons. "If they're your best friend or the person you're closest to, then you should definitely choose them," Chang continues. "But, if you're choosing them because you don't want to choose someone else, that might not be the best reason."

And if you're curious about how real couples feel about this, according to The Knot Community, although it may not be "traditional," having your dad as your best man at your wedding is not uncommon. Many people consider having their father as their best man a great honor and are happy with their decision years later.

Benefits of Having Your Dad as the Best Man

There are some benefits to having your dad as your best man. For starters, Chang says that since dads are naturally older, that commands authority and respect from your wedding party. "That means if they ask the wedding party to do something, they will," Chang says, making your life much easier come the wedding day. "You'll have a built-in ring leader for the group when you choose your dad, which can be helpful."

On the other hand, the age difference can be a con for some people, particularly if your wedding party includes more people than your best man. "Being of a different age means [dads] won't necessarily be on the same page with regards to bachelor/bachelorette parties, attire, or silly moments getting ready," Chang says. "The vibe just may not be cohesive depending on the dad and the rest of the group, which can be very awkward for you, your dad, and the rest of the wedding party."

With that in mind, it comes down to the dad and their personality. For instance, Chang says your dad may get along just fine with your wedding party and be great at keeping on top of all the best man duties and father of the groom responsibilities, ultimately creating less stress and coordination on your part.

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Considerations When Having Your Dad as the Best Man

Not sure if you should have your dad as your best man? Here are the top things to consider.

Processional and Recessional

When opting to have your dad be your best man, Chang says one thing to consider is the processional and recessional during the wedding ceremony. Specifically, she says to consider when, how, and with whom your dad will walk down the aisle. There's no correct answer here, just something to think about. "Depending on what the rest of the wedding party and parents are doing will play into what makes most sense for you," Chang says.

Best Man Speech

Since a wedding reception typically includes a father of the groom speech and a best man speech, Chang says you may want to ask an additional person, such as a friend or family member, to deliver a speech to make up for it. Or, just stick with the best man father of the groom speech combo if that works for you. Either way, Chang says dads can get creative with their best man speech for their sons.

"A nice combination is to have a little bit of a roast speaking to the son's past/childhood, but also sharing some wisdom and wishes for his child and partner," she says. "A dad is in a unique position to have the past to present to future to pull from given his age/wisdom and time spent with his child. So his toast can actually be very full, funny and heartwarming and much more than just a traditional best man toast."

Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

Generally, the bachelor party can get pretty wild with drinking, partying, and crazy antics, which Chang says may not be very dad-friendly. So that's another thing to consider. There are some ways around this though. One option is to have the party with just your friends. Or, if you want to have your dad at your bachelor party, perhaps a more mellow, non-traditional celebration would be better suited. Or, you can skip a bachelor celebration altogether. Again, there's no correct answer. It comes down to what feels best for you and makes everyone comfortable.

How to Decide if You Want Your Dad To Be Your Best Man

So now that you have the considerations in mind, how do you decide whether or not to have your dad as your best man at your wedding? Chang says your relationship with your dad is the most important factor in your decision. "If they're your best friend, the person you're closest to, the person who knows you the best, and is the person you want by your side, then having your dad as your best man/man or honor is the right choice," she says.

The one factor that may or may not be a deal breaker for some people is how your dad will fit into the wedding party dynamics, Chang notes. So be sure to think about how everything and everyone will flow together leading up to and on the wedding day before deciding.

Most importantly, it comes down to what matters most to you. If having your dad be your best man is the most important thing for you, then do it and figure out how to make all the other details work. As Chang notes, it is possible to have everything you want; it just may not look or be "traditional," and that's okay.

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