Being asked to be the best man at a wedding is an honor and privilege, and it is also a big responsibility. But you can handle this. That’s why they’ve asked you. Here are some sure fire ways to make sure you own this title of Best Man and help your friend to have one of the best days of his entire life. There’s actually a good bit of stuff to handle BEFORE the big day, so we’ve compiled it all here in a clear, no fluff breakdown. If you do these things, you groom and the groomsmen will be on track to get things done and make this marriage official. The bride will also really appreciate you for keeping her man’s best interests in check.
If you haven’t seen it already, here’s our equally important blog post on How to Be the BEST Best Man on the Wedding Day.
A quick history – the history of the role of “Best Man” is possibly really horrible. It’s thought that the modern day “best man” originated in the olden days of Germany, where the best man was in charge of kidnapping a bride from a nearby village and safely escorting her to his friend so he could take her as his wife, including pressing on despite any [completely understandable] battles that would ensue from this. Let’s hope this is not what’s expected of you if you’ve been asked to be someone’s best man. What this all boils down to is you are here to help your friend get married, have an awesome day, and make it so he doesn’t have to worry about a thing.
BEFORE THE WEDDING
While the biggest jobs that come to mind when it comes to the best man are proposing a toast, guarding the rings, and hosting a bachelor party, there are a few other jobs a best man should be taking care of leading up to the wedding.
1. Own Looking Good
Chances are the bride and groom spent a lot of time picking out suits and dresses for this very expensive, very important event. A lot of groomsmen don’t always appreciate this, and notoriously procrastinate on getting ready. As the best man, you should be the first to get your suit or tux fitted, ordered, and everything squared away. You should also corral all the other groomsmen and make sure they all follow through with their fitting WELL BEFORE the wedding. Take this burden off of the groom and stay on their case until everyone is good to go. Consider organizing a meetup with the groomsmen and/or groom for a fitting and getting everything done in one sitting if you can.
2. Write a Good Toast
This one is important. This may be no sweat for you, or this may be making you really question if you’re the guy for the job. You can do this. Just keep the speech about the couple – not about you and your friend, and remember to propose a toast at the end of it (raising glasses.) We wrote you a handy guide here on how to propose the best toast.
3. Plan a joint gift for the groom
You can coordinate with the groomsmen on a joint gift for the groom to be given to him at his bachelor party or on the day of the wedding. Be sure to make this something the groom will like; not just something you would like.
4. Throw a Bachelor Party –
You should be organizing the bachelor party for the groom. Make sure you ask the groom who he wants to be at this party, outside of the groomsmen, and take care of everything.
This is not about giving the groom one last scandalous experience before he gets “tied down”, it’s not about embarrassing him (and please, please don’t hire a stripper.) And make sure he doesn’t spend his wedding day hungover. It’s a good idea to throw the bachelor party a few days or weeks before the wedding. Remember how almost every sitcom in the 90s had a wedding episode where the groom had cold feet and had a bachelor party far away from the wedding location and he had to race his hardest to get to the wedding the next day? It’s your job as best man to make sure that DOES NOT happen.
The biggest thing on this is make sure you know what your groom wants. Maybe he wants to party hard but be capable of functioning and enjoying his long-planned, very expensive, very important wedding day. Maybe he doesn’t want a crazy party all night that he can’t remember. He might honestly want to spend a whole day with his closest friends, doing what he loves and have one last big day with them before he isn’t as available anymore. Bonus idea: learn a crazy and random skill from art of manliness like how to make your own bow and arrows, and teach the rest of the crew at the bachelor party. (But again, an arrow wound to the groom or anyone else right before a wedding would be a pretty hard fail for the best man. Also don’t play with bows and arrows if you’re drunk. That’s literally one of the worst ideas ever.)
Keep the groomsmen organized
For out of town groomsmen especially, help them out with making accommodations ahead of the wedding day. Help your groom not to worry about whether his crew are all where they need to be, when they need to be.
4. Attend the Rehearsal
And be on time. Not only does this help you to help things go well for the wedding day itself, but you get a free rehearsal dinner out of this. Aim to be the best dressed of all the groomsmen for this. Continue to keep the groom calm from here on out.
Prep the night before
Ask the bride (and groom) if they already have a tasklist for you.
Plug every location into your preferred navigation app, and double check that you have the right place!
Offer to help with any DIY / wedding setup needs. Chances are the bride and groom will have a random slew of setup or things that still need done or are behind the few days before the wedding. Be as helpful as you can without stepping on anybody’s toes.
Double check that the officiant will be bringing the marriage license for everyone to sign. If they’re a pro, they will definitely do this. But if they don’t, you’re going to have to go with the bride and groom to the courthouse later on to do it. More on this later.
*Learn how to sew a button on (and pack a sewing kit). Seriously. You can get these anywhere. Consider packing a few towels and basic first aid stuff, too. Pack extra socks & underwear.
Make sure the groom goes to sleep at a reasonable time.
You got all that? Take notes, and make it happen, but really, at the end of the day, being an awesome friend and an amazing best man is about looking out for the groom’s best interest leading up to the wedding, and helping to think through all the details so he can enjoy all these moments.
If you follow this advice, you will be an amazing best man. Probably the BEST best man. Maybe even better than that. You’ve got this.
Be sure to read up on our other blog about being the best man on the wedding day.
Have any other ideas we missed? Let us know below. We wouldn’t want our best men to be less than best. Share this with someone who needs some pointers on the best man role!