Your best friend sends you a message one day saying something along the lines of, “let’s go grab a beer.” You knew he had already planned and executed a perfect proposal with a positive outcome and was on his way to getting married. Of course, you are ecstatic for him, but you can tell something is on his mind. Halfway through your first (okay, maybe second) beer, he starts getting sentimental and reminiscing on how much your friendship has meant to him. He’s talking about where you met, some of your best memories, and then he spits out, “Will you be my best man?” Before you know it you are saying YES YES YES!
As you get back to your apartment, it dawns on you: you have never done this before, and you have no idea where to start. This is where we come in… this is a Guy’s Guide To Being A Best Man.
Photo Credit: UrbanFarmhouseTampa
Best Man Tips for Before the Wedding
Planning The Bachelor Party
Is your best friend the type of guy who goes to Vegas on long weekends? Or, is he more the type to spend his nights under the stars? Don’t be afraid to ask his preference, he probably has one! During the big weekend, it is your job to make sure he has the time of his life. Whether that means making all the arrangements, handling the coordination of the other parties attending, or making sure he is always having a drink in hand, you are responsible. TIP: try and coordinate dates with the maid of honor so the bachelorette and bachelor parties fall on the same weekend to make it easier on the couple.
Photo Credit: Glasser Images
Pick out your Wedding Suits
You want your boy looking as good as possible. It is in your hand to make sure he gets himself fitted, as well as all of the other groomsmen. At this point, the couple has most likely chosen the perfect color scheme for their wedding so be sure to coordinate with both the bride and groom as you’re getting the groomsmen on the same page. Keep in mind, it can take up to two weeks to tailor a suit. If you’re going for the rental suit or tuxedo option, be aware that they are in high demand (especially depending on the chosen wedding season), so reserve those rentals early and schedule your fitting far in advance.
Photo Credit: Weddington Way
Buy a Wedding Gift
Buying a wedding gift for your groom from you and your fellow groomsmen is an important addition to this list. It will be a memento for him to keep for the rest of his life. Make sure that you make it thoughtful, personal, and from all of you. You and the team will present this gift to him on the wedding day. Some ideas: a photo album that highlights the different relationships he has with each individual groomsman, a personalized golf club, surfboard, snowboard, etc. that has a signature from each guy, engraved cufflinks.
Photo Credit: Hot Metal Studio
The day before the wedding is the rehearsal dinner. Make sure you don’t miss it, you will have to stand next to your best friend as everyone practices for the big day tomorrow. After the rehearsal, those closest to the bride and groom (this includes you) will head to dinner. This is a great opportunity for the wedding party to get to know each other better before they escort each other down the aisle. As you’ll be walking with the maid of honor, focus on getting more comfortable with her. Chances are, she is going through the same responsibilities and situations that you are! During the dinner, many people will be making toasts to celebrate the happy couple; however, hold off until tomorrow, that’s when you will have to bring your A-game.
Photo Credit: Mike Larson Photography
Buckle up, it’s officially D-Day. After a late brunch and maybe a quick golf or surf session, all of the groomsmen will be getting ready together. In the excitement of it all, it is your responsibility as the best man to keep your groom calm, cool and collected. You will be in charge of any deliveries to the bride before the ceremony (letters, gifts, etc.) as well as making sure that all of the groomsmen are early and on their best behavior. At some point in the day, the groom will hand you the ring and you will act as ring bearer. Warning: don’t lose that ring or else that will be brought up at family gatherings for the rest of your life.
Photo Credit: Sally Pinera
After the Wedding Reminders
After the ceremony, remember to walk the maid of honor out of the church – this isn’t the time for your fancy dance moves, that’s when you enter the reception. Once you have entered the reception (see fancy coordinated dance move mentioned above), you will typically be seated at the head table with the rest of the bridal party. After the dinner has been served and small talk has been had, it will be your job to kick off the toasts with the best man speech. This is not the time to reminisce about that one time in Vegas, or wing the whole thing and shoot from the hip. Instead, plan ahead and focus on keeping it positive, talking about both the bride and the groom and avoiding any risky jokes that may induce total silence. Taking a line or two from the wedding movie, The Wedding Planner, may not be a bad idea either!: “May you have enough happiness to keep you sweet, enough trials to keep you strong, enough hope to keep you happy, enough friends to give you comfort, enough determination to make each day a better day than yesterday. Congratulations guys, I love you both. WOO!”
Photo Credit: Photography by Britton
While the Bride and the Groom are killing it on the dance floor, sneak out and decorate the bridal getaway car so your friends can ride into the sunset in style. As you waive them and the night goodbye, you can finally take a breath and know that you were a phenomenal best man. Cheers!