Being a best man isn’t just about copping off with the hottest bridesmaid. From the minute the woman of your best mate’s dreams says yes, your role is as important as anyone else’s when it comes to making the wedding a success.
If you’re in need of some help to lead you through the jungle of responsibilities, check out our handy guide to The Duties Of The Best Man:
Best Man Duty No. 1: STAG DO
Assert yourself as point of contact
Stag dos often involve the coordination of a fairly large group of people, many of whom may never have met each other. Early on in the process, make yourself known to the group and elect yourself first point of contact for any questions or queries. The smartest move is to collect everyone’s e-mail address and start a message chain.
Plan the stag activities
You know the stag best, so it’s your job to make the first suggestions, and have final say, on what the stag group will be getting up to for activity. Be decisive and authoritative – this saves everyone a lot of time in the long run.
Collect money (in advance, if possible!)
Budget is a classic stumbling block on stag weekends. Be honest and upfront about how much things will cost, and be sure to consult all relevant parties before deciding to spend four thousand pounds on a giant pair of inflatable buttocks with the stag’s face printed on them.
Keep everything secret from the stag!
Tell him only what he needs to know. It can be fun to get his cogs whirring by feeding him the smallest morsels of necessary information, but for god’s sake don’t let slip that you’ve hired a Bangkok ladyboy with a ping-pong ball-related talent for the finale.
Lead proceedings on the day
When everyone arrives at the Stag do, they’ll be looking for a leader. Someone to kick off the drinking games and separate the men from the boys. That’s your job – let the games begin…
Best Man Duty No. 2: WEDDING PREPARATION
Prepare your speech
Don’t be the guy who writes his best man speech in the toilets ten minutes before going on – do this nice and early, at least a few months ahead of time. Seriously. When you’re bricking it during the canapés, you’ll be thankful that you started well in advance. AND KEEP IT SHORT.
Help the groom plan outfits
Depending on how complicated and/or posh the wedding is, this might include
contacting and visiting a tailor, coordinating waistcoats and ties, or just making sure he’s thought about what kind of pants he’s going to wear.
Touch base with the bride’s family
This may be as simple as one quick e-mail, but it’s always a good idea to introduce yourself formally to the bride’s family if you haven’t already done so. Let them know you’re there to help, and make yourself available in case you’re needed for anything that the groom is too busy to take on himself.
Best Man Duty No. 3: THE BIG DAY
Look after the rings
This may be the most important thing you do all day (not least because you’ll lose your testicles if you screw it up). Consider in advance where you’re going to keep the rings until they’re needed, and check regularly (every half an hour or so) that they are where they should be.
Be a shoulder to cry/laugh/puke on
At the end of the day, a ‘best man’ is really just a best mate in a suit. Chances are the groom will be fine, but if he’s freaking out, or overjoyed, or sick with nerves, it’s your job to be there for him. Make sure he knows that.
Keep the groom organised
Weddings are full of duties and traditions, many of which come with their own complicated array of accessories – cufflinks, condoms, cummerbunds. The groom is going to be busy contemplating pledging the rest of his life to one woman, so you should make it your job to know where his breathmints are.
Ensure the ushers are fulfilling their roles
The ushers will have various tasks to carry out on the day, normally things like helping people park their cars, showing guests to their seats in the church and moving crowds of tipsy relatives from one room to another. Keep half an eye on their progress and make sure they don’t forget anything vital (this duty may well be shared with the head usher, if there is one).
Stay (relatively) sober until you’ve delivered your speech
This sounds obvious, but in the midst of all the excitement, emotional celebration and free booze, it can be difficult to uphold. Keep an eye on what you’re drinking, and resist the temptation to use alcohol as a way of calming nerves. The reward? Hitting the bar ruthlessly once your speech is all over…