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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