Being the Best “Best Man”

Look at you dressed in a sharp suit/elegant tux. The role is “Best Man”. You will be navigating some tricky situations, thinking on your feet and protecting your assignment: the groom. So keep calm and not mildly intoxicated and you should come out of this in stellar shape.

Responsible is your code word and all involved – groom, bride, their parents – will see that you are the best choice. You will be punctual, tactful and always presentable in appearance. Your ability to listen to the groom and act as an intermediary is crucial.

Best Man

Some of your duties include:
• Bachelor partying preparation
• Prompt delivery of groom to ceremony in good condition
• Official witness
• Help execute proficient photo ops
• Evacuate guests to reception checkpoint
• Deliver reception speech with a cool head

Rehearsal and Dinner

The official wedding schedule should be finalized by or before the rehearsal dinner. Your job is to know all the fine details/times and to pass it along to the ushers/groomsmen, ensuring they know their individual duties (where to stand to greet and seat guest, where to pass out programs, keeping the front pews vacant for the VIPs, assisting in parking navigation and helping rally the troops for photo ops). Familiarize yourself with the venue, the layout of the parking lot, photographers/videographers line of site, nearest restrooms, where you and the groom will be standing, etc. Confidently introduce yourself to the minister. You should become familiar with ring bearers/flower girls names and their parents in case a disruptive tantrum needs to be neutralized quickly. At the dinner you will stay sharp and make sure the groom does the same.

(Wedding) D-day

Wake the groom in plenty of time to acclimate to the day ahead (secure three alarm clocks for this important task). Calm his nerves by assuring him of all the positives that go with this decision. You will help him dress making sure he looks as exceptional as you do. Verify location of the ring! Remember phone/chargers, and wallet with a lot of tip money. Arrival time is three hours pre-event so allow for traffic and car mishaps. Pass out boutonnières.

You will greet guests in the reception line in a charming fashion. Your speech is set and ready.

You will also introduce the father of the bride as the speeches commence. Further duties will include starting the dancing after the newlyweds first dance, packing the car for the honeymoon, transporting any presents to the correct location and returning all rented clothing including the grooms.

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Now a word from the best man

Your ability to entertain an audience for ten to fifteen minutes may be limited. Luckily no one expects you to be perfect but they do expect you to be prepared, entertaining, tasteful and heartfelt. You are the best man for a reason so now is the time to rise up to that challenge.

Step one to delivering a memorable speech is to start early … three months early in fact.
This time frame allows you to ask parents, friends and siblings for anecdotes about the groom and his bride as well as adding your own. Little known character traits can help keep things fresh.

Grooms Suit

Step two is to actually write down your speech. Yes, it is better if you can memorize it but that is an unnecessary stress.

Step three is to drink after your speech to avoid the common slurred alcohol induced deliveries found in most weddings. A new trend is to give speeches before the actual meal which makes for more sober speeches. Also the speakers can better enjoy their dinner.

“The ‘X’ Files”: Things to avoid
Bringing up ex-spouses or ex partners even in jest tends not to go over well. Also verboten is stag party shenanigans or graphic stories. Best to keep this adult friendly fare.

What to include.
Start with a great opening and you’ll have an attentive crowd throughout. Humor is encouraged as are moments of thoughtful sentiment on this occasion. Remember to thank the speakers who have gone ahead of you (father of the bride, groom) for their kind words. Be mindful to make mention of the wedding party, congratulate the newlyweds, and compliment the beautiful bride as well. Also include a story or two about your personal history with the groom. The audience will appreciate an amusing story that reddens the grooms cheeks.

As you near the end, take a serious moment to include why you were chosen the best man. Commend his good features and praise how they will be a positive to his bride and his new wedded life. Add a touching quote and propose a toast. Finally sit down and commence enjoying the celebration!

A few final tips on delivering the speech would include: practice, practice, practice. Practice alone or in front of an honest audience, preferably someone not going to the wedding. Stand comfortably, speak slowly and enunciate. Record yourself to see where you can improve your delivery. Run through your speech ten minutes prior to the other speeches starting. Establish eye contact with people in the room and if you’re a little parched, have a glass of water available.

Remember to be the “best” best man you can be confident, striking in stature, and poised for any assignment!

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