The ultimate best man’s guide
10 Nov 2014
The ultimate best man’s guide
Tips for the best man, what to do and what not to do, by Liz Ballinger, Wedding Co-ordinator at The Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa
Your best mate has asked you to be the best man at his wedding and while you’re certainly flattered, secretly you wish he’d picked someone else. The pressures of speech writing, ring guarding and whatever other things best men are supposed to do can make even the most confident feller cringe. But fear not, because we’ve put together the ultimate best man’s guide to fill you in on everything you need to know about your very important job.
The official best man’s duties
· Be involved in the planning: You’re going to be just as important in the run up to the wedding as you will on the big day, so be close to your bro for physical and moral support. Go with him to check out luxury wedding venues if he’d like you to, and help him manage his budget if he needs you to.
· Go to the pre-parties: Be there at all the ‘do’s’ leading up to the big day, from the engagement party to the rehearsal and everything in between.
· Sort the stag do: Traditionally the best man organises a last blast for the groom and close pals, but it doesn’t always have to be a surprise. Surprise stag parties involve a lot more planning and liaising with the bride-to-be, and sometimes it’s just easier to ask the groom what he would like to do.
· Bear the rings: Apparently Reece Witherspoon wanted a dog to be the ring bearer at her wedding, and if a pooch can be trusted with this job, then you should just about cope with stuffing a couple of rings in your pocket.
· Give the speech: It’s very easy to get all hung up on the best mans speech and how to make it funny and entertaining. Remember, this is meant to be a toast, not a roast, so make it clean. Extra brownie points for not bringing up the subject of ex girlfriends or ridiculous parties the two of you had when you were teens.
· Mind the ushers: The ushers are the guys who tell everyone what to do and where to sit, particularly at the ceremony itself. Make sure they’re on the ball, and if one gets a bit too drunk and incompetent, politely relieve them of their duties.
· Get the happy couple out of there: Have your exit strategy for the newlyweds sewn up from the start. Help with their luggage, organise transport and tie up any business with the reception venue or hotel once they’ve left.
The unofficial duties
Aside of the formal bits and pieces you need to keep on top of, there are plenty of ‘unofficial’ things that will be required or expected of you. Basically, you are your grooms ‘body man’ for the day. This means you need to keep things running smoothly for him from start to finish, which could mean helping with cufflinks, calling caterers, herding guests… basically everything bar flossing his teeth for the day. On top of being treated like a bit of a skivvy, you’ve got to suck it up and act like you’re totally loving the whole thing.
While being a best man is certainly no walk in the park, it’s not out of your reach to get it done, and done rather well. Our best advice to you? Don’t get too drunk. You need to be on top of your game all day long, and when the end of the evening comes and everyone is plastered, its you who will need to make sure your wedding venue and the couples pile of wedding presents is left unscathed and intact for the following day.
Above all, enjoy your role. You’re the most important guy in the world to the chap who has asked you to be best man, so be the best you can be for him and revel in the responsibility for the day.
Liz Ballinger, The Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa Wedding Co-ordinator has had many years’ experience in helping to plan couples’ special days, offering support to both the bride and groom in the run up to, and on the wedding day itself – helping to make the whole day a special one to remember.