Ultimate Guide to Being a Great Best Man

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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?

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
groom in blue suit waiting at alter

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. 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.

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 own suit, as well. Get­ting fit­ted, han­dling any mishaps grace­ful­ly and get­ting it returned on time.

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.

best man helping groom with his tie

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 short list of tips for plan­ning a bach­e­lor par­ty:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Stay in bud­get. Bud­get of every­one else in atten­dance should also be con­sid­ered. Not every­one can afford a cross-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. Like you can all split the hotel and each buy him a few drinks, but he could pay for his own food and any extra drinks. This shouldn’t be a prob­lem with the groom, but you might want to men­tion that to him before­hand.
  4. Plan trans­porta­tion. Is one of you stay­ing sober? Are you hir­ing a ser­vice? Get­ting an Uber between loca­tions? Some­thing to con­sid­er before­hand.
  5. 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.
groom and groomsmen in blue suits

The Wedding

Dri­ve groom to the venue

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

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.

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.

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.

Tips for ven­dors

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.

Keep every­one in check

Includ­ing your­self. Not only do you need to help make sure the groom isn’t drink­ing too much, 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.

groom and best man in blue suit and floral tie

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 short list of tips for writ­ing a killer best man speech:

  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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Toast. Give your well-wish­es and raise a glass.
  7. 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.
groom in black tuxedo crying when bride walks down the aisle

Other Resources

As the best man, it’s your duty to the groom to make sure every­thing goes off with­out a hitch, while also par­ty­ing all night long. To help you be the best best man ever, here are some addi­tion­al blog posts. And if you don’t see what you’re look­ing for, we have plen­ty of oth­er guides and pots on our blog.

Fea­tured image by Wild Jas­mine Pho­tog­ra­phy

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