A guide for the best man is helpful when you're asked to stand up for your brother or best friend. This important day places a lot of responsibility on your shoulders and as best man, you want to live up to the groom's expectations.
Best Man Guide: Getting Started
Your friend chose you to be his right-hand when it comes to planning the wedding and activities. That alone says he trusts and respects you. If your friend has faith you can handle the position, then have faith in yourself.
Beyond accepting the position and standing next to him at the altar, you do have a few more duties. You should expect to do the following wedding related activities in the course of your duties:
- Pay for your tuxedo rental (and show up for fittings).
- Throw a bachelor party.
- Pay for your own accommodations/gift to the couple.
- Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
- Arrive at the ceremony/photo session ready to go and in a timely manner.
- Have photos taken as part of the bridal party.
- Either stand at the front of the ceremony site with the groom or escort the maid-of-honor down the aisle.
- Hold the rings.
- Give a speech at the reception. (See our article on free best man speeches for help!)
- Dance with the maid of honor during the bridal party dance.
While it may sound like a lot, your friend has confidence you can excel in your position. Make a point to get to know the rest of the bridal party during the planning process. It can make the whole process a lot smoother, and by the time the wedding comes around, you will be more relaxed and comfortable.
As the best man, you may be asked to help out in several other areas. It is not unusual for the groom to request that you help do the following before the ceremony:
- Arrange for bridal party transportation the day of the wedding.
- Coordinate tuxedo fittings for the other groomsmen.
- Run a few simple wedding-related errands, like picking up invitation samples.
- Choose a honeymoon destination.
At the wedding, the bride and groom may have a few extra requests. Do not be surprised if you are called on to:
- Help finish up any decorating that needs to be done.
- Snap a few photos of the groom, father(s) of the couple, and groomsmen getting ready.
- Make sure that a special relative or friend gets seated.
- Decorate the "get away" car for the bride and groom.
- Gather up all the rented tuxedos and accessories, and return them to the shop after the reception.
Planning a wedding is stressful for your friend and his fiancé, and all of the help you can give them is appreciated. Even if geographical distance prevents you from helping with a lot of pre-wedding plans, you can make sure that you stay up-to-date by checking in periodically with the groom. If you know he is stressing about finding a honeymoon destination, offer to pick up a few pamphlets and mail them to him.
Stressed? Don't Be!
Remember, you are doing this because you love your brother/friend/relative. He will appreciate all of the effort you have gone to, making his day special. Not only are you there to help in the physical duties of the best man position, but simply be a support for your friend.
You may have a lot of responsibility, but he is the one making the life-long commitment to the woman he loves. Be there for him if he needs emotional support during this time in his life. The best way to do that is to keep your own stress levels down.
Here is a best man guide to keeping your stress at bay.
Not sure you can handle planning the bachelor party? One of the easiest things to do is get the rest of the bridal party involved. Ask the groomsmen and ushers to help. Divide up different duties, such as finding a restaurant, bar/club, or sports event to attend.
As the groom what he pictures himself doing. Would he want a night out clubbing? Or would he rather spend the day at a casino playing blackjack? Keep in mind what the groom wants to do, not what you think would be fun.
Consider having a double party. Ask the maid of honor about the ladies' plans and consider coordinating the date. You can have both sides meet up at a designated time.
Public speaking may not be your forte. Just the thought of making a speech in front of hundreds of people might make you lightheaded. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself:
- Use a speech writing website to get ideas
- Have a trusted friend (even the groom's father) read your speech and give you pointers
- Practice in front of a mirror
- Practice in front of the other groomsmen or your family
- Make your speech heartfelt, short, and sincere
Do you think you will look funny in photos? Worried about losing the rings? Small fears such as these can be helped by using a few relaxation techniques. Do the following the week or two before the wedding:
- Get a haircut
- Clean your glasses
- Write a list of things to pack/take to the ceremony
- Get a massage
- Stay on your regular workout and eating routine
- Sleep at least eight hours a night
- Take several deep breaths and count to ten when you get overwhelmed
If you know the groom is getting stressed, make a day of it. Do errands in the morning, but spend the afternoon golfing. Go out for lunch and get massages later in the day. Your friend will definitely appreciate the extra attention as his big day comes closer.
Hopefully this best man guide has helped you get ready for the big day. Have any tips for guiding a best man through his duties? Share them here, as LoveToKnow is interactive!