Vogue Ballroom drinking games

Duties of a Best Man in Wedding Preparation

Duties of a Best Man in Wedding Preparation

 

Being asked to be the Best Man in a friend’s wed­ding is prob­a­bly one of the great­est hon­ors a guy can be giv­en. And you’re prob­a­bly left won­der­ing why you? Because this guy has seen you fail over and over again. He has seen every worst side of you, and he still wants you stand­ing next to him on one of the most impor­tant days of his life. Whoa. So the big ques­tion now is how do you go about not screw­ing it up?

 

Looking for the ultimate Wedding Reception Venue in Melbourne? Look no further, Boutique events group is here. 

 

My first blog post here, at Secret Wedding Blog, is all about being a best man. Now when this came to mind, I knew just who to ask! Andrew Mills, originally from the UK but moved to set up a new life in Melbourne. He is one of Mark’s best friends, so I interviewed Andrew online and asked him a few questions.

Welcome back to Grooms’ Week on Bridal Musings, this week on the blog, is all about the guys!

 

Yesterday we brought you Grooms’ Attire 101, but today it’s all about the other main man at a wedding – the best man.

How to ask someone to be your best man is not easy, mainly because we are men. Men as a whole like to avoid such things, and often wait until the last minute to ask. This is where the happy bride-to-be steps in, and through constant reminders, the problematic question gets asked.

 

We’ve pooled our best tips to help you be the best Best Man ever. But we can only do so much. The rest is up to you.

 

WHAT THE BEST MAN TRADITIONALLY PAYS FOR

  1. Bach­e­lor par­ty
  2. Wed­ding day attire
  3. Gift for the cou­ple

 

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN ASKED TO BE A BEST MAN AND WHEN?

I am fortunate enough to have been joint best man twice & I have my third coming up next August in Sheffield. The first was in Cyprus last July, followed in September by Lawries down in Cornwall. I flew back for both from down under; I am still awaiting my costs to be reimbursed!

 

Being asked to be a best man is a pretty big deal, it means you’re a valued friend, you’re reliable, you’re trustworthy, you look good in a suit, and most of all, you’re probably a lot of fun.

 

The Fear

The fear of asking exists on several levels. Unlike the marriage proposal, where the fear of rejection figures prominently, asking your best friend to be your best man brings out concerns that you may appear overly sentimental, primarily if your relationship with your friend, close as you may be, is based on a manly lack of emotional expression.

 

BEFORE THE WEDDING

 

Aid the groom

 

The job of the best man is to be there for the groom dur­ing the wed­ding plan­ning sea­son. It’s going to get a bit hec­tic in his house, so there will be times when he needs to vent or needs to get out of the house or needs help putting togeth­er flo­ral arrange­ments.

 

HOW EARLY DO YOU START PREPARING THE SPEECH?

Haha, you want the honest answer? The first one I reckon I started as soon as I had been given the call-up. Safe to say I was pretty excited. I tried to get as much down on paper as possible; I think they all started as a 4-page assault on the groom! The majority of the ideas come early, but the fine-tuning & structuring so that all of the audience can engage is something that is just an ongoing process.

 

But a place at the top table comes with great responsibility.

 

You’ve got to be there for the groom (and the bride) every step of the way, attend suit fittings, write a speech, and try your darndest not to ruin the bit with the rings.

 

This is not the same as your wife asking her friends to be part of her bridal party, that has usually been discussed ahead of time. Instead, you’ve already got a set of close friends, but often it’s not easy to tell which of your close friends you’ll end up picking. Let your finance worry about her wedding party, and instead, you focus on your wedding and the most critical guys that will be a part of your wedding day.

 

You just nev­er know what might hap­pen and you need to be pre­pared to assist with any­thing he might need. Keep him sane and help make sure this wed­ding goes off with­out a hitch. Keep in mind, too, that this is not the time to com­plain to him about his bride. He can nag, but you can’t. Just lis­ten and nod along.

 

I like to practice reading the speech out the night before to friends when they all say “Is that it?” & “It’s not very funny”, I let others get involved & give me a few jokes. The last one went down an absolute treat so I can’t take full credit for my “sh*t joke”, cheers boys!

 

And being a mediocre best man is one thing, but how about being the best best man, ever?

 

We’ve got you sorted! Follow our top ten tips for best man brilliance, and your friends will be lining up to give you the job.

 

There still exists this silly fear of asking the closest guys in our lives to be just that, a close friend, and be a part of our wedding. There are many ways one might be asked to become the best man, and it depends on the personality of the individual asking, and the nature of the individual being questioned.

Attend suit fit­ting

If nec­es­sary. If he’s going with online rentals, this won’t be required, but if not, it’s your job to be present when the bride’s not there and to help make deci­sions. Not to men­tion, you’ll need to be on top of your suit, as well. Get­ting fit­ted, han­dling any mishaps grace­ful­ly and get­ting it returned on time.

 

WHAT WERE YOUR DUTIES AS BEST MAN?

There were numerous duties, lots of housekeeping that only really get outlined on the day just to ensure the day runs smoothly, get everyone to seats & usher them around, nothing too hard. I suppose the unwritten rule/duty is to entertain & ensure everyone is having a great day out.

While bridesmaids are often expected to do a lot more in the lead up to a wedding, (dress appointments, hair trials, and DIY project crafternoons), your only big job ahead of the big day itself, is to organize a bachelor party or stag night.

Who to Ask

For the most part, people tend to have associations with people of the same temperament or like personality. Still, I won’t go into that because then this would be a book on psychology and not about men and weddings. Of course, such is not always the case.

Head grooms­men

The Best Man is essen­tial­ly the top dog grooms­man. The groom is going to rely on you to relay infor­ma­tion to the rest of the par­ty and keep every­thing in order. It’s your job to keep every­one in check, to make sure the oth­er grooms­men don’t go too crazy before or dur­ing the wed­ding.

HAVE YOU HAD ANY SITUATIONS IN WHICH YOU, AS THE BEST MAN, HAD TO RESOLVE?

There was one at Lawries Lawrie got thrown in the pool at his wedding reception, so I had to go up to his room & collect clean clothes etc…. it may have been my fault, but it’s a situation nonetheless. At Harry’s the only issue was the weather, 40 degrees & light blue shirts, thanks mate. Resolution to this was to drink more.

 

Organising your best mate’s bucks? Check out our exclusive list of Bucks Party Ideas in Melbourne.

 

The key to planning a great bachelor party isn’t about going with the crowd; it’s about catering it to the groom.

For example, a strong, outwardly-confident man might simply instruct his quiet friend that he is to be part of his wedding, whereas a mild, meek individual might have a lot of trouble approaching his more dominant friend to ask him to be his best man. If it’s your brother, that might be a whole different dynamic, and frankly more natural. Just go with what’s natural.

THE BACHELOR PARTY

It’s up to the Best Man, along with the oth­er grooms­men to plan the bach­e­lor par­ty. It’s best to be as orga­nized and accom­mo­dat­ing as pos­si­ble when it comes to plan­ning this rite of pas­sage. Here’s our shortlist of tips for plan­ning a bach­e­lor par­ty:

HOW NERVOUS WERE YOU BEFORE GIVING THE SPEECH?

The honest answer, bricking it. The first wedding, I hardly ate or drank before as I was that nervous. Fortunately, I was doing a joint speech which I think helped me get through.

Of course, there are the cliches of a stag; pub crawls, strip clubs, and forcing your groom into all manner of embarrassing costumes/dares/challenges, which are all fine if your groom is that kind of guy.

The bottom line is that a wedding is a significant occasion and the question, however it comes, may not have been so easy to ask. As men, the fact that few women know, we possess a particular form of communication with each other. A sixth sense if you will.

Don’t ignore the ground rules. While, of course, you want to have the best time pos­si­ble, you also want to keep the groom’s (and bride’s) wish­es in mind before plan­ning to spend half the night in var­i­ous strip clubs. You can plan sur­pris­es, but ask the groom for some ideas that he thinks would be fun and the things that are off lim­its. Don’t take him sky­div­ing if he has a fear of heights.

The second one I was the sole speaker; therefore, all eyes were focused in. I ate plenty, drank a lot & portrayed that I was the most confident man in the room (which is pretty tough when you’re following a comedian groom & the father of the bride who has worked in a public speaking industry for 25 years)! I’m hoping the next one will be a breeze.

But if not, a camping trip, surfing weekend, a night in a casino, or even a few beers in your local, might just be more his style.

We can usually tell, for example, what the other is thinking when a beautiful woman walks into the room. Then there are those brief gestures that we share across a crowded room, trying to scope out location or favourites in the crowd, gestures that no one else may understand or even notice. Then there are team sports. 

Tim­ing is every­thing. Pick a week­end that the most amount of peo­ple can join and when build­ing your itin­er­ary for the night, keep in mind that not every­thing is going to go accord­ing to plan.

HOW LONG WOULD YOU RECOMMEND A BEST MAN SPEECH SHOULD BE?

10 minutes tops. As its one of your nearest & dearest you could talk for a lot longer than a given, but just remember the bar is open.

While we hope your groom isn’t a flight risk, he might still be overwhelmed.

Wedding planning tends to get out of control fast, and while many brides will have been through it before with close friends and family, for grooms, they often hadn’t realized how much work, planning, politics, (and money!) is involved.

Here we have the innate ability (some more than others) to be able to make a blind pass or shot to a friend, knowing without question that he is there. It is for these reasons that when it comes to essential items in our lives, we often leave them unspoken.

Stay in bud­get. Bud­get of every­one else in atten­dance should also be con­sid­ered. Not every­one can afford the across-coun­try trip, and you want to make sure to include all of the groom’s close friends (and fam­i­ly mem­bers). On that note, while the grooms­men are most­ly in charge of pay­ing for the bach­e­lor par­ty, this doesn’t mean you have to cov­er the groom’s por­tion of every­thing. Talk amongst your­selves and see what extras you can all afford.

WHAT CRITERIA DO YOU HAVE TO INCLUDE?

  • Tear the groomsman to shreds – this is the time to embarrass him!
  • Compliment the bride & bridesmaids.
  • Do any thank-yous that have yet to be done.
  • Share a few stories (hopefully to get a few laughs).
  • A few hearts felt sentiments are always lovely.
  • And finish with a toast.
  • Simple 

He’s probably so thrilled about being a husband, but it’s all the wedding stuff beforehand that’s terrifying.

Check-in with him regularly, and ask how he’s getting on, and give him plenty of space to vent.

Reading His Mind

We assume that our friend will know exactly what’s on our minds. After all, we are men. This, however, does not always work, blame it on bad connections if you will, and so we are forced to put our thoughts into words.

. Like you can all split the hotel, and each buys him a few drinks, but he could pay for his food and any extra juices. This shouldn’t be a prob­lem with the groom, but you might want to men­tion that to him before­hand.

WHAT ARE THE ABSOLUTE NO NOTHINGS THAT YOU SHOULD NOT MENTION IN A SPEECH?

The things I wouldn’t mention would be any past conquests/history. The last thing you want to do is ruin anyone day. I’ve been asked to avoid anything overly sexual with close family & grandparents, which is fine. Anything else I think is fair game…

Maybe you couldn’t care less about place settings, photography styles or wedding cakes.

Perhaps you’re single and finding it hard to feel happy for your buddy.

Or what if you’re lamenting the fact that your formerly party-loving pal is settling down for good? Looking for the ultimate Bucks Party Ideas? Check out our list of ultimate bucks ideas. 

 Many of us will simply blurt it out in a single breath. “Hey, I’m getting married, want to be my best man?” “Sure.” Others will take the scenic approach. “Hey, did you see the game last night, wow, I can’t believe they won.” “Yes, what a comeback.” “Oh, by the way, I asked Deb to marry me, and she said yes. Want to be my best man?” “Sure.”

Plan trans­porta­tion. Is one of you stay­ing sober? Are you hir­ing a ser­vice? Get­ting an Uber between loca­tions? Some­thing to con­sid­er before­hand.

bucks beers with the boys

YOU HAVE BEEN JOINT BEST MAN TWICE, HOW DO YOU THINK THIS DIFFERED FROM THE TRADITION OF HAVING ONE BEST MAN?

The first it was great having 2. It was our first time at doing the role, so roles were shared even down to the speech. The second we defined more specific purposes, so Lloyd did more with regards to the service & I was at the top table for the reception delivering the speech. Having two just takes some weight off the best men to enjoy & take in the day a little more.

Friendships change and evolve; it’s natural. But putting your thoughts aside about love, marriage, and china patterns, is essential for letting your friend enjoy his time as a groom.

Then there is the more cordial or professional route. “It is determined on this day, by myself and my bride-to-be, that on the sixth day of December, in the year of the Lord 1998, we shall be wed before the eyes of God, and several close friends and family. It is thereby sworn to ask you to be in attendance on this occasion to serve as my best man. That is, of course, if you would be sporting enough to patronize us on this day with your approval?” “Jolly good of you to ask.”

Go hard, but don’t go hard too ear­ly. No one, the groom espe­cial­ly, should be pass-out drunk at 11:30. That’s not too much fun, now is it? If pos­si­ble, it’s also a good idea to have one of you that doesn’t drink as much as the rest to make sure no one gets into too much trou­ble. Eat when you need to and every­one should be drink­ing water between shots. Let’s aim for zero trips to the hos­pi­tal.

HOW DID YOU DIVIDE THE BEST MAN DUTIES IN BOTH WEDDINGS?

The first wedding, it was very much down the middle & it was a hell of a lot of fun, its not very often you can do this with one of your best mates who you’ve known since kindergarten.

Don’t just say, “Let me know if you need any help”, offering specific assistance with certain tasks, is so much more helpful and appreciated.

The sentimental path:

“Well, we’ve been friends for a very long time, and well, it just wouldn’t be the same if you couldn’t be there to be a part of our wedding. I think of you, not only as a friend, but as a brother, and that, well, I love you, man.

THE WEDDING

Dri­ve groom to the venue

If nec­es­sary. You might be stay­ing at or close to the site and not need trans­porta­tion. Or the groom might have arranged for a car ser­vice. Don’t for­get to be on time.

The second we divided the roles so that Lloyd would have a much more significant role during the ceremony as his little girl was a flower girl (she stole the show!). I sat on the top table to do the speeches so he could sit with his family, it just made logical sense & I think worked pretty well.

“Let me collect the suits”, “I’ll put the cards in the hotel safe”, “Who’s picking your Grandma up from the airport?” – offering to help with precise tasks, shows you know how much there is to do, and you intend to assist with it all.

Your friends will feel more supported and be more likely avail of your services.

Would you be our best man?” Sniff, sniff. “Sure.” Of course, your friend may not personally tell you this in words – men seldom do; however, I am quite sure that this is what has been left unsaid and articulated through some passive grunts and maybe even a handshake or a hug. 

Help the groom get dressed

More than like­ly, you’ll all be get­ting ready togeth­er, but you’re there to make sure his tie is tied cor­rect­ly, and the right but­tons are but­toned before the cer­e­mo­ny or pic­tures.

AS A BEST MAN, WHAT HAS BEEN THE BEST PART OF THE ROLE?

On the day – you have a licence in the speech to take the Micky out of your best mate & it’s excellent (both have done it to me over the years, it was payback time).

One of the most important tasks of a best man is to be present in the morning (and maybe the night before) the wedding.

Then we will immediately turn the conversation to sports. The “I’ve known you for a long time” approach. “Well?” “Of course.” The “we’ve been friends forever” approach (like a couple of mimes without the make-up or silly costumes). The groom-to-be approaches his friend, who gestures to him that there is a pretty girl across the street.

The rings

The groom will usu­al­ly be in charge of get­ting the wed­ding bands to the cer­e­mo­ny, but he will pass them off to you before. That’s your most impor­tant job of the day. Mak­ing sure those don’t run off and are ready for the exchange dur­ing the cer­e­mo­ny.

Outside of the day – organizing the stag. I missed one due to living down under; the second was held to a tee & went beautifully. Indeed, a few new lifelong friends made I cannot discuss any detail!

You can’t just turn up at the ceremony, and call it showtime. Have a drink (not too many), make sure your groom has everything he needs (maybe learn how to tie a bow-tie ahead of time), play some tunes or perhaps even organize a kick around.

It’s all about making his day fun, keeping his nerves at bay, and getting him to the church on time!

The groom refuses to look. His friend, surprised, raises his eyebrows and shrugs his shoulders in a “really?” matter-of-fact way. The groom nods in assent, to which his friend smiles and extends his hand to congratulate his friend, patting him on the back. The groom then lowers his eyes, and stumbles in his motions, kicking a stone on the ground, as if he wants to ask his friend something difficult.

Keep the groom sober

Yes, yes, I know, you want to take round after round of shots before and after the cer­e­mo­ny, but that’s not what’s best for him or the wed­ding. We’ve made it this far, let’s not dis­ap­point the bride now. Give the groom a drink before the cer­e­mo­ny to calm the nerves, but no more. And dur­ing the recep­tion, no one should be drink­ing heav­i­ly until grand­ma has gone home and the real par­ty begins.

I didn’t either. I bought a book/guide. It talks about everything you need to know. From congratulating the newly engaged & thanking them for having such an honour bestowed on you through to the day after the wedding. I also did a lot of research online, read lots of speeches & talked about the role through with numerous friends & family. The other key point is to start organizing the stag nice & early, and you will become very popular very quickly.

If you want to earn your best man credentials, attention to detail on the day is critical.

Does your groom need a mint? Did the caterer forget about the vegetarian starters? Or will the DJ be an hour late?

His friend senses this and places his hand on his friend’s shoulder. Their eyes meet, and the groom offers the expression of “well,” to which the friend happily nods. This done, they shake hands again, and the friend tilts his head in the direction of the street, and the two leave for a celebratory drink.

Tips for ven­dors

Check out our Top List of Bucks Ideas to help you create the most memorable night for your best mate. 

The groom might take care of this him­self, but if he pass­es it off to you, it’ll be your job to get the pay­ments for the ven­dors to them before the end of the night. They are best kept in marked envelopes some­where out of the way, but easy to access.

THE VIDEO BELOW SHOWS YOU GIVING YOUR SPEECH WHEN WATCHING THIS VIDEO, HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?

The speech is something I can look back on with great pride, and it really is an honour to be called a best man & this was undoubtedly the better of my two attempts I reckon I may have even got a few laughs for the first time in my life!! Do you think I have a career in speech writing?

Team up with the other groomsmen and bridesmaids to be the first line of defence for any problems that might arise on the day.

You should also put some thought ahead of time as to what their responsibilities may be before the wedding and on the wedding day, so you’ll manage their expectations upfront. It could be that you want them to help the maid of honour with the rehearsal dinner. Or it could be that you want them to do something specific at the wedding ceremony.

Keep every­one in check

Includ­ing your­self. Not only do you need to help make sure the groom isn’t drink­ing too much, but you should also keep an eye on the oth­er grooms­men. While all the fam­i­ly is still at the recep­tion, you and the boys need to be on your best behav­ior. Smile and hold the door for every­one you see, strike up a con­ver­sa­tion with the bride’s crazy aunt, slow dance with a cou­ple brides­maids. Be the gen­tle­man we all know you can be. All bets are off after 10 pm.

Get a list of the critical vendors, with arrival times and contact details, prepare a kit with the essentials, (mints, safety pins, pain killers, indigestion pills, a spare copy of the groom’s speech) and check-in with the bride and groom throughout the day to see if there’s anything else they need.

Organizing the bachelor party is also something they’re likely to do, but don’t assume that they’ll do it. Ask them. The one thing they know they’ll have to do is the speech. So don’t forget to mention that. The best man speech is something that usually a critical part of their role, besides being with you at the altar.

THE BEST MAN SPEECH

Also known as The Speech. Sure the bride’s father and maid of hon­or and who­ev­er else will be giv­ing speech­es and toasts, but is any­one real­ly lis­ten­ing? No. They’re wait­ing for you. Here is our shortlist of tips for writ­ing a killer best man speech:

Aunt Karen should stay away from the gin, the bride’s divorced parents can’t be next to each other in the pictures, and the groom’s cousin is gluten, lactose, and peanut intolerant.

Being part of the wedding party makes you feel like one of the family, for good reasons, and wrong!

The ESP route: If you stop and think for a moment how your friend initially asked you to be his best man for his wedding, you may get an idea as to how difficult it was for him to ask. 

  1. Start with an atten­tion grab­ber. This is usu­al­ly the last of the speech­es, so you want to make sure you still have everyone’s atten­tion, even if they’d rather be on their way to the bar.
  2. Intro­duc­tion. A short wel­come and thank you to the guests.

Not only should you be prepared for pitfalls, but you should be clued in on the fun guests too.

Know who’ll get the photobooth started, who’s reliable to pass around the guest book, and which guests will need a little coaxing onto the dancefloor, but will stay on it for the night, once they’re there.

That being said, he is happy that you answered yes and realizes that it wasn’t so tight after all. Now that you have been asked to perform this honourable duty on your wedding, you know that you have no idea what to do, and you didn’t bother to factor in this variable when you so quickly answered your friend. What’s next? Don’t forget to get the lucky groomsman a best man gift! That might help you out when popping the question – to him, of course.

  1. Talk about how you met the groom. By all means, be fun­ny, but don’t be offen­sive, his entire fam­i­ly will be there. Some sto­ries are not for all ears. Any jokes should be at his expense, rather than the bride’s, but not cru­el enough to make her fam­i­ly have sec­ond thoughts.
  2. Talk about the groom’s char­ac­ter and accom­plish­ments. You don’t need to rag on him the whole time. If ever there was the best oppor­tu­ni­ty to get sen­ti­men­tal about your friend­ship or how he han­dled tough sit­u­a­tions, this would be it.

Ah, the best man speech. Pretty terrifying, right?

The best man speeches are hilariously fun, beautifully poignant, and just a touch is embarrassing.

You don’t want to shame the groom on his wedding day publicly, but you don’t want your speech to be dull either.

  1. Men­tion the bride. While mak­ing fun of her is off lim­its, you should def­i­nite­ly men­tion her and their rela­tion­ship. Think of a sweet sto­ry or a way to com­pli­ment her.
  2. Toast. Give your well-wish­es and raise a glass.
  3. Deliv­ery. Write it and rehearse before­hand. You real­ly don’t want to mess this up. If you need to, have notes on your phone or index cards to take up there with you. And don’t for­get to speak up and enun­ci­ate.

The key is to go just far enough with the jokes, that you’ve given a tease of his wilder days, without causing any embarrassment for his parents or another half.

Then reel them back in with something sentimental and tearjerking, and you’ll have the guests so adoring, you won’t have to buy a drink for the rest of the night!

Oh, and it goes without saying, but don’t make your speech all about you and the groom, be sure to include his new spouse in your gushing as well.

Scroll to Top