I’m not going to lie, being the best man is a tough job!
You’re the groom’s right-hand-man and will be expected to step up and take on duties and responsibilities that will put extra pressure on you, before and on the wedding day. But it is such a wonderful job and really rewarding, especially when you’ve finished your speech and see the newly married couple looking so happy and enjoying their day (all their hard work paying off).
I’m not a best man expert, I only know this stuff, because this weekend, I completed my duties as best man and have just included some ‘best man’ tips that I learnt along the way, which will give you, the reader, an understanding of what is expected of you and hopefully make you a better best man:
To be [Best Man], or not to be?
I worked on a wedding once, where the best man spent most of the day at the bar getting drunk and slating the bride. If you have any baggage with the bride or groom, talk to them about it before accepting the role, and if you can’t sort it out I would suggest not even going to their wedding. Ruining their special day is unforgivable and they’re really not going to thank you for it later!
The couple had spent so much money on a beautiful 5* hotel that was positioned on the beach, which is where the ceremony took place. Through working there I had seen some of the most incredible weddings. However, what was meant to be the best day of their lives finished with the best man shouting his thoughts for everyone to hear, which then erupted into a fight and the police were called. Not the best way to finish a wedding.
Thankfully, I have a great relationship with the bride and groom and so it was a no brainer. If anything, the whole experience had brought our families, friends and us closer together.
Organising the Stag Do
You’ll need to put together the stag do for the groom, his family and friends. Please refer to an earlier post purely based on how to organise a stag do: The Song Sheet to Stag Do Planning
Writing the Best Man Speech
There are so many good websites and books that specialise on helping people write speeches, so I’m not going to try and compete – I would just suggest Googling ‘best man speeches’.
However, one problem that I had, was that I had asked his family and friends for photos from his childhood and was planning to print them off to give out during the speech. But I spent so much time planning and practising the speech, I left it to the last day to print everything off and had software and printing issues. So if you are planning to provide any handouts or a slideshow – the earlier you do this, the better.
Listening to the Groom’s Speech
Let him practise as many times as he wishes until he gets it right and make sure you give him honest feedback or let him know if there is anything he has missed, for example he hasn’t mentioned the bride. If you can, do this a week or so before the wedding so that he has time to learn the new bits, otherwise he’ll be freaking out at the last minute.
The Night Before
It’s your job to entertain the groom the night before and you might want to incorporate his family and any close friends. We just went for some food and drinks with everybody in the local pub – just make sure he doesn’t drink too much!
Watered and Fed
Getting married is a long day and it’s important that the groom drinks plenty of water and eats breakfast in the morning.
Look after the Rings
Looking after the rings up until the ceremony and then handing them out to the bride and groom during the service.
Getting the Groom to the Venue
It was over an hours drive for us to get to the wedding venue and the groom is a bit of a car buff, so hired a sporty Mercedes for the drive. I requested a ‘good luck’ message on radio show we were listening too, which the groom absolutely loved, plus he received calls and messages from guests making their way to the wedding – I then sent a text thanking the show for doing that and they called me up and interviewed the groom live on air. The groom was so over the moon! I must admit, I was a little worried that his first words to the bride was going to be “I was on Radio One” rather than “you look amazing”, but thankfully he didn’t do that.
Just before we got to the wedding venue, we popped to the hotel the bride and groom were staying at and put Champagne, chocolates and fresh roses in the room.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
When we got to the wedding venue, I was told by the organiser that from now on any problems or decisions that need to be made are handed over to the best man and she won’t bother the bride and groom, she’ll be coming straight to me. This sounded worst than it actually was. The day ran smoothly and I only needed to make a couple of decisions, such as moving the band, giving the nod for things like food and when the band should start.
Talk to Everyone
I tried to talk to as many of the guests as possible, which made the next two tasks much easier. Also, find out exactly what is happening on the day and where the toilets are – throughout the day I had hundreds guests ask me those questions.
Support the Photographer with rounding up guests for photos – this means the photos get done much quicker, and it is less stressful for the photographer and everyone else – then you won’t have an angry Photographer screaming out peoples names.
Delivering the Speech
The order of the speeches are: the Bride’s Father, the Groom and then the Best Man. Three things that I was told before delivering the speech were: 1) make sure that everyone can hear you, a speech dies if people can’t hear because they then start talking 2) don’t come across as too cocky, otherwise people won’t like you and won’t want to listen 3) react to the audience, timing is everything – pause if they’re laughing, laugh with them!
Optional: Check if Suppliers have Drinks, such as the Band, Photographer and Magician, etc
If all the staff are happy on the day, then it is more likely that guests and most importantly the Bride and Groom are going to have a good day. I think a nice touch is saying thank you to those working on the event – letting them know that they are doing a great job and helping make the day really special.
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