Being named best man is an honor. There are few surer signs that you have the real trust and respect of a friend, brother, or relative. But it’s also a position that puts no shortage of pressure on a guy. You have a role to play, real responsibilities, and something of a symbolic place of pride in the wedding party. You don’t want to mess it up, so here are a few pointers on what exactly you have to do and how you can be the best best man you can be.
Take the lead on the bachelor party
You are the single person in charge of organizing the bachelor party as best as possible. This means organizing everyone who has to go, which may mean having a pre-emptive talk with the groom about who they want there. It’s also up to you to brainstorm and come up with bachelor party ideas and locations. Keep a checklist of those going and ensure that you know when they have booked any accommodation and travel necessary. Bachelor parties are getting bigger and more extensive, often involving travel, so don’t be afraid to enlist the help of the groomsmen.
If he needs help with the plans, do it
Traditionally, the bride takes care of most of the wedding planning. Just like bachelor parties, however, weddings are getting much bigger. Grooms tend to share more of the planning and organizing duties than ever before and the man in question might find himself overwhelmed. It’s part of your duties to step up whenever he needs help with the planning. You shouldn’t be making any final decisions, of course. The bride would probably kill you. Your duties might be more about picking things up for him, helping him come to decisions, and other little practical tasks. Planning a wedding is stressful, even if it’s shared between the couple, the planner, and the whole family. Just be there to help out when asked.
Take care of the fitting
The groomsmen (and other men in the wedding party such as the groom’s father) are going to need to get their tuxes fitted. Work with the bride and groom to figure out if they have any particular tastes or they know a specific store or suit that they want everyone to wear for the wedding. Then it’s your job to take care of the tux fitting. Arrange the date, time, make sure that everyone who needs to attend will be there, and sort out any necessary transportation. Bear in mind the budgetary concerns, not everyone can buy a tux and will need to rent one out instead.
Rally the groomsmen
If the wedding party is an army, the groom is the commander, you’re the faithful lieutenant, and the groomsmen are the privates. As far as the chain of command goes, you’re in something of a leadership position. Individual groomsmen are likely to have their own duties, whether they’re acting as the usher, performing a reading at the ceremony, decorating the wedding car, carrying gifts after the wedding, dancing with bridesmaids and so on. As the best man, it’s your job to make sure they know what they have to do and to act as their leader while they do it. You don’t have to get super authoritative with them, as most of them have relatively small roles and will step up to the occasion no problem. However, if someone’s not pulling their weight, you should get to them before the groom has to.
Spend time preparing the speech
One of the most nerve-wracking parts of the wedding for the best man is the speech. The spotlight is on you and it’s easy to get mixed-up, frustrated, and flustered. The best way to guard against that is spend time preparing and rehearsing. There are sites great for reading and researching best man speeches, helping you lay out a format that’s entertaining but not a farce, respectful but not boring. After you’ve written the speech, have someone you can test it out against. If you know other members of the groom’s family well, they can be a good sounding board. Practice reading it out loud, so you can gauge how much time it takes, as well. Try not to take too much more than three minutes.
Be there for your friend
If you’re nervous about giving a speech, imagine how your friend is feeling. Not all grooms get the jitters, but those who get jitters need help getting over them. Guys stereotypically aren’t as expressive when it comes to their emotions, so you might not necessarily find yourself having a heart-to-heart. If the groom needs someone to talk to, however, you should be the first up to the plate. Be supportive, listen, let them get it out of their system if needs be. Otherwise, try to keep the mood positive and get them excited for the bachelor party and the wedding as much as possible.
Make sure he has everything he needs
Towards the end of the wedding night, you’ll be able to relax a little more, having taken care of the majority of your duties. However, you’re not quite done yet. Before the bride and groom depart, make sure that they have everything they need. Work with the groom to make a checklist of everything he needs for the wedding night and honeymoon, such as the passport, plane tickets, and so on. Before they leave, run through that checklist with him. You can secure the essentials in a safe, if you’re staying in a hotel that provides it, and note down that you have to remind him to pick up those essentials before he goes. Otherwise, his honeymoon might end before it starts.
Don’t make the groom regret choosing you as a best man. Take the duties and responsibilities seriously, while helping to take the edge off his own wedding preparation, practical and mental. You can end up being the one who holds the whole thing together or lets it down, so get your head in the game.