Welcome back to Grooms' Week on Bridal Musings, this week on the blog, is all about the guys!
Yesterday we brought you Grooms' Attire 101, but today it's all about the other main man at a wedding – the best man.
Being asked to be a best man is a pretty big deal, it means you're a valued friend, you're reliable, you're trustworthy, you look good in a suit, and most of all, you're probably a lot of fun.
But a place at the top table comes with great responsibility.
You've got to be there for the groom (and the bride) every step of the way, attend suit fittings, write a speech, and try your darndest not to botch up the bit with the rings.
And being a mediocre best man is one thing, but how about being the best best man, ever?
We've got you sorted! Follow our top ten tips for best man brilliance, and your friends will be lining up to give you the job…
1. Throw The Best Bachelor Party (Ever!)
While bridesmaids are often expected to do a lot more in the lead up to a wedding, (dress appointments, hair trials, and DIY project crafternoons), your only big job ahead of the big day itself, is to organise a bachelor party or stag night.
The key to planning a great bachelor party, isn't about going with the crowd, it's about catering it to the groom.
Of course, there are the cliches of a stag; pub crawls, strip clubs, and forcing your groom into all manner of embarrassing costumes/dares/challenges, which are all fine if your groom is that kind of guy.
But if not, a camping trip, surfing weekend, a night in a casino, or even a few beers in your local, might just be more his style.
2. See How He's Doing
While we hope your groom isn't a flight risk, he might still be overwhelmed.
Wedding planning has a tendency to get out of control really fast, and while many brides will have been through it before with close friends and family, for grooms, they often hadn't realised how much work, planning, politics, (and money!) is involved.
He's probably so thrilled about being a husband, but it's all the wedding stuff beforehand that's terrifying.
Check in with him regularly, and ask how he's getting on, and give him plenty of space to vent.
3. Be Excited For Him
Maybe you couldn't care less about place settings, photography styles or wedding cakes.
Perhaps you're single, and finding it hard to feel happy for your buddy.
Or what if you're lamenting the fact that your formerly party-loving pal is settling down for good?
Friendships change and evolve over time, it's natural. But putting your own thoughts aside about love, marriage, and china patterns, is important for letting your friend enjoy his time as a groom.
4. Offer To Help
Don't just say, “Let me know if you need any help”, offering specific assistance with certain tasks, is so much more helpful and appreciated.
“Let me collect the suits”, “I'll put the cards in the hotel safe”, “Who's picking your Grandma up from the airport?” – offering to help with precise tasks, shows you know how much there is to do, and you actually intend to assist with it all.
Your friends will feel more supported, and be more likely avail of your services.
5. Pre-Wedding Prep
One of the most important tasks of a best man, is to be present on the morning (and maybe night before) the wedding.
You can't just turn up at the ceremony, and call it showtime. Have a drink (not too many), make sure your groom has everything he needs (maybe learn how to tie a bow-tie ahead of time), play some tunes or maybe even organise a kick around.
It's all about making his day fun, keeping his nerves at bay, and getting him to the church on time!
6. Be On The Ball
If you really want to earn your best best man credentials, attention to detail on the day is key.
Does your groom need a mint? Did the caterer forget about the vegetarian starters? Or will the DJ be an hour late?
Team up with the other groomsmen and bridesmaids to be the first line of defence for any problems that might arise on the day.
Get a list of the important vendors, with arrival times and contact details, prepare a kit with the essentials, (mints, safety pins, pain killers, indigestion pills, a spare copy of the groom's speech) and check in with the bride and groom throughout the day to see if there's anything else they need.
7. Swot Up On The Guests
Aunt Karen should stay away from the gin, the brides divorced parents can't be next to eachother in the pictures, and the groom's cousin is gluten, lactose, and peanut intolerant.
Being part of the wedding party really makes you feel like one of the family, for good reasons, and bad!
Not only should you be prepared for pitfalls, but you should be clued in on the fun guests too.
Know who'll get the photobooth started, who's reliable to pass around the guest book, and which guests will need a little coaxing onto the dancefloor, but will stay on it for the night, once they're there.
8. All About The Speech
Ah, the best man speech. Pretty terrifying, right?
The best best man speeches are hilariously fun, beautifully poignant, and just a touch embarrassing.
You don't want to publicly shame the groom on his wedding day, but you don't want your speech to be dull either.
The key is to go just far enough with the jokes, that you've given a tease of his wilder days, without causing any embarrassment for his parents or other half.
Then reel them back in with something sentimental and tearjerking, and you'll have the guests so adoring, you won't have to buy a drink for the rest of the night!
Oh, and it goes without saying, but don't make your speech all about you and the groom, be sure to include his new spouse in your gushing as well.
9. Soul of the Party
You might have been chosen because you were reliable, because you give great speeches, or because you've known the groom since kindergarten.
But if you want to excel in your duties as best man, you need to be the last one standing at the end of the night.
Get everyone up dancing, make sure the drinks flow, and up the ante when guests start to flag.
Weddings are parties after all, so while you don't need to be the drunkest dude on the dancefloor, you do need to be the one at the front of the conga line.
10. You Can Be a Best Woman Too
Photo by Le Loups
We LOVE that this trend is taking off! You don't need to be a man to be a best man, you can always be a best woman too.
Wear a dress, beaut up a suit, or just dress like the guys, all of the above still applies to make you the best, best woman, ever!
Have you guys got any more tips to share for being the best best man. ever? Please do share them in the comments below.
Follow the rest of our Grooms Week Musings here.