For some blokes, picking a best man is easy. There’s only one choice. He’s the guy you grew up with, your partner-in-crime from schooldays. If you needed a companion when you were off scrumping apples or searching for discarded porn in the woods, he was the only man for the job.
But what if there’s more than one dude in line for the throne? What if you’re forced to choose, and have to consider which candidate is best suited to the job? This might sound a bit callous, but there are certain qualities that you look for in a Best Man that, if you do find yourself whittling things down, could be worth considering.
And hey, if your lifelong number one chum is a no-brainer for the role but also happens to be a bit of a loose cannon, maybe you could point him towards this article and subtly suggest he takes a few notes…?
The Best Man has a number of crucial responsibilities both on the big day and in the preceding months, and you need to feel confident that he won’t let you down once you’ve signed them off to him. Can he be trusted with the rings? If not, you’re in big trouble.
Okay, so the guy doesn’t have to be a spreadsheet obsessive or anything, but if he’s of the ‘struggles-with-a-piss-up-in-a-brewery’ type, you might want to give that pause for thought. Stag Dos in particular can be logistically complex.
Moderation on the drink
If your Best Man likes a drink, and doesn’t know how and when to put a cork in it, beware. Weddings are like candy shops for big drinkers, and your second-in-command has to withstand many hours of free booze before his all-important speech is due.
Chummy with the bride
This will probably sound obvious, but if your wife-to-be hates the Best Man with a passion, you may not have the smoothest of rides. Deal with this early on, or reap the consequences.
A timid, nerve-riddled Best Man can be a real wet blanket during the speeches. And it’s not just experience of public speaking that’s important – he should also understand that making a wedding speech is ever-so-slightly different from telling bawdy jokes in the pub. If he hasn’t grasped that dead baby gags are inappropriate, you might need to do something about it. (Read my Best Man Speech Tips here.)
On the big day, your Best Man is an extension of you. Consider whether the chap you have in mind is likely to get his balls out during the first dance, or turn up in tracksuit bottoms.
This may be the most important quality you look for in a Best Man. Your wedding day is about you and your bride, and you need the people closest to you to be focussed on ensuring it really does turn out to be the greatest day of your life. If bagging a bridesmaid or emptying the vodka luge is more important to your Best Man than you are, he might not the right guy for the job.
That said, once he’s sorted you out, he is of course morally obliged to cop off with a bridesmaid.
Provided they are not related to you, and are above the age of consent.