By Adam Bailey
Being chosen as “the best man” isn’t just to fill out a list that comes with the wedding invitation. At the risk of sounding like a pageant contestant, being the best man is a privilege that comes with responsibilities. That the groom—likely your best friend—has trusted you to be dependable when it comes to all things wedding-related.
While that sounds straightforward—it is not so simple. After all, the groom has asked you to stand by his side during one of the most significant events of his life. If you haven’t done this before, or if you would like to know what it takes to become the “best” best man, here’s a list of what to do so you can easily perform your duties.
In moderation obviously, but from the moment you get the invitation to be the best man, to the moment the bride walks down the aisle, you are the groom’s go-to for anything from administrative issues to managing any pre-wedding jitters. No counseling is necessary, rather a simple ‘if you’re worried about anything, feel free to give me a call’. Though don’t just be a ‘yes’ man, don’t be afraid to offer up actual advice. Things like, “No, you can’t have an LSU theme for your wedding” and “Yes, you should get her something to open on your wedding morning” usually fit the bill.
Plan the bachelor party.
Let’s get this straight. Volunteer to plan his bachelor party, not yours. While the idea of a wild, unrestricted night of debauchery may sound like the perfect plan to you—it’s important to ask the groom what he wants. Not all bachelor parties have to fit the Hollywood stereotype. Maybe, instead of going to a strip club, he’d rather bond with his wedding party at the fishing camp over a few cases of beer. Ultimately, the party should be a celebration of your friend’s last stretch of bachelorhood. So, he should be allowed to enjoy it the way he wants.
Once you’ve decided on a theme, start planning the details—such as managing the budget, scouting venues, and delegating tasks to other groomsmen.
Lead the Groomsmen.
A successful groom’s party is one that ensures the wedding runs smoothly with no hiccups. It’s not an army exercise, but just requires a bit of authority, and someone to decide who’s doing what. Unfortunately, the things that are not done, are the ones that get noticed. Call a team talk at the groomsman’s lunch to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Don’t Forget Small Talk.
Weddings are a celebration of love, so share some around. Make time for key family members and their friends—so introduce yourself and explain how your and the groom’s friendship came about. Why? Because for the older generations, a wedding’s appeal extends past the free bar. Any anecdotes about when you first met the bride, or how you and the groom are such good friends, will be fondly remembered. And appreciated.
Nail the Speech.
Best to follow the three F’s: fitting, full of sentiment (not innuendo), and funny. Deliver the first two and the third will follow. Setting out to be hilarious ends in failure ninety percent of the time—so don’t try to be the exception. Poke fun at the groom, even tease the bride about what she’s got herself in for, but this is no place to be dishing up dirt. Pleasantries like “Doesn’t the groom look dashing today” and “Everyone’s excited about your future” go down well.
Moderation is Key.
Enjoy yourself at the wedding, especially at the reception. It is, after all, a celebration that calls for serious fun and merrymaking—so by all means dine, drink, and dance throughout the night.
That said, while it may be customary to drink with your fellow groomsmen or take a swig of whisky during the morning preparations, don’t go overboard. Drink in moderation and if you can, skip the cocktail bar, especially before your big speech. If you are bringing a flask, please don’t drink from it before the reception. Nobody likes or wants a drunk Best Man.
Don’t forget that it’s an honor to be chosen as the best man, not a chore. Such bravado can be hard to come by in today’s worlds—so embrace every moment and make sure you’re the “best” best man you can possibly be.