It’s happened. Your best mate in the whole world is getting married. He’s found the partner of his dreams and now he’s bestowed you with one of the greatest honours a man can receive – being the best man.
This is not something your friend has done lightly. Out of all of his pals, he’s chosen you to be by his side during one of the biggest days of his life. It’s not just a title; it’s a testament to how much your friend loves and appreciates you. (You feeling the pressure yet?)
But with great power comes great responsibility. There’s a lot you’ve got to consider. If you’re puzzling over how you can do your friend proud, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve put together nine killer tips on how you can put ‘best’ in ‘best man’.
1. Plan An Epic Stag Do
Planning a stag do is one of the most fun parts of being a best man. But it’s a bit trickier than a lot of guys think it is. The key word here is planning.
Sure you can put together the typical night out to a strip club, but there are so many other cool stag do ideas out there. How about rounding up the lads for an unforgettable beer tasting at a trendy micro brewery? Or a sophisticated pairing of fine whisky and excellent cigars? Or an unforgettable Scottish golf getaway?
The possibilities for a classier stag do are endless. But they all mean thinking ahead of time and booking a suitable location for the correct number of lads attending.
If you do want to go the route of strippers and tequilas shots, make sure you don’t blow your role as best man by organising something his bride wouldn’t be happy with. There’s always a line for bachelor parties, and you should do some research to make sure you don’t cross it. One of the best ways to do this is to check with the maid of honour, which leads me to my next point…
2. Check with the Maid of Honour
You and the Maid of Honour have a lot in common, so make friends with her if you’re not already. You both want the best for the future newlyweds and you both have quite a handful of responsibilities when it comes to pulling off an amazing wedding.
If I know a good Maid of Honour, it’s that she’ll know exactly what’s going on, and she’ll have an Excel spreadsheet to prove it. Most importantly, she’ll know what the bride wants and how she wants it done; and that’s useful information for you to have.
If you have any questions for the wedding, write them down and set up a meeting with the maid of honour before the wedding. You won’t want to burden the bride with these sorts of questions before the wedding – she’s got enough on her plate to worry about!
3. Keep Him Calm
It’s likely that the groom is going to be a ball of nerves before the wedding – wouldn’t you be? As his best man it’s your duty to keep him as calm as possible. Leading up to the wedding, check-in on him regularly to see how he’s doing. Chances are he’s going to need to vent about all this stressful wedding stuff.
On the day, traditionally all the groomsmen will get ready together before the wedding; this may be the most nerve-racking time for him.
Keep the atmosphere fun and relaxed. Make a joke. Make him smile. And remind him of all the good times you’ve shared together, and how many more he has to come with his future Mrs.
4. Be Thoughtful
On his wedding day it’s likely that the groom’s thoughts are going to be all over the place. His head is filled with important thoughts like vows and confessing his love in front of all his friends and family, not trivial matters like wearing matching socks.
So it’s up to you as the best man to think of the smaller details that might seem insignificant, but make all the difference. Remember that it’s his big day, and not yours.
I’ve listed just a few things for you to remember on the day that will have everyone impressed by your thoughtfulness:
- Tissues. Even if you don’t make use of them yourselves, carry some tissues for the bridesmaids or anyone else who might need them during the ceremony. What a gentleman you are.
- Marriage License. This is a pretty damn important piece of paper. Check with the groom that he has the document with him.
- Boutonnières. This is the floral decoration worn on the lapel of each groomsmen’s suit jacket. It’s your duty to distribute them to each of the groomsmen and make sure they’re wearing them properly. Pro tip: they should be placed in the buttonhole of the left lapel of one’s suit jacket.
5. One Ring to Rule Them All
One of your biggest responsibilities is being in charge of the wedding rings.
Make sure you keep them somewhere safe and somewhere where you will remember them – you don’t want all eyes to be on you during the ceremony as you fumble around feeling for the rings. I recommend keeping them in your vest pocket. And make sure you know the appropriate time to fish them out.
If there is a cute ring bearer, make sure the child knows what they need to do and when.
6. Nail the Speech
This is probably the most terrifying part of being a best man – delivering an epic speech.
The greatest best man speeches are carefully crafted ahead of time – that means no winging it or scribbling down something last minute.
Try and construct a speech that has a little bit of everything – some witty remarks, a joke or two, a touch of romance and even a PG embarrassing story. You don’t want the speech to be dull, but you also don’t want to humiliate the groom on his wedding day in front of his entire family and friends.
The really shameful stories can be kept for the stags.
7. Be the Life of the Party
A great wedding means a great reception. And that means a great party.
If you really want to be the best best man, you’ve got to be the life and soul of the party. Keep the drinks flowing, keep the DJ spinning on the decks, and most importantly keep dancing!
Invite everyone to dance, from the bridesmaids and the maid of honour, to the bride and her great great aunty. Even after the reception is over, you’ll be remembered as the fun guy who kept the party going.
That being said, it can be tempting to go balls to the walls during the reception, but keep it under control when it comes to the booze. You’re still on best man duty until the very end.
8. Buy A Unique Wedding Gift
An amazing wedding gift is the perfect opportunity for you to thank your friend for choosing you to be his best man. And to wish the new Mr. and Mrs. a lifetime of happiness.
When it comes to gifts for couples, I recommend buying an experience gift that they can actually enjoy together. Surprise them with a romantic getaway, a delicious date night at a fine dining restaurant, or an entire couples day out.
They’ll certainly appreciate some time alone after their months of manic wedding planning.
9. Help Out After the Wedding
Just because the wedding’s over doesn’t mean you have to stop being the greatest best man ever. There are plenty of things you can help out with after the wedding bells have stopped. Here are just a few things you can volunteer to do:
Have the groomsmen suits dry-cleaned or returned if rented
Drive any visiting family of the bride and groom to the airport
Make sure all of the groom’s wedding-related expenses are taken care of
Stepping up to the plate and dealing with these post-wedding tasks allows the newlyweds to really relax on their honeymoon.
Put the Best in Best Man
And there you have it! Nine killer tips to help you be a stellar best man to your best bud on his big day. It can be a lot to remember, but he didn’t just choose you as his best man because you’re a ball of fun. He chose you because he knows you’ll do a great job.
Get out there and do him proud!