Similar to the Maid of Honor, the Best Man is part organizer, part valet, but mostly a friend to the groom, helping him through the day and calming his nerves. As such it is imperative you do not drink too much, best not to drink at all – leave that for the bachelor party.
As best man you have special responsibilities:
Before the Wedding
1. Plan the Bachelor Party
Since the 5th century BC, the groomsmen and groom attended a dinner the night before the wedding. Only in very recent times, the dinner was replaced with a ‘party’, including g-strings, gambling and lots of alcohol. Maybe instead of viewing a bachelor party as your friend’s last chance for debauchery, your party could serve as an opportunity for male bonding and a time to blow off pre-nuptial jitters. If you think a mere dinner is too boring, organize an activity, like fishing, camping, golfing or whatever you think the groom might enjoy. Plan the party to take place well before the wedding, maybe even coordinate with the Maid of Honour to have it on the same day as her Hens party. Cost for the bachelor party is paid for by everyone attending (except the groom), so make sure everyone can afford to come.
2. Get fitted for your Suit
These days, the groom expects his groomsmen to pay for their attire themselves. Whether you are buying or renting you will likely be expected to get fitted for your suit. You are responsible for showing up to the appointment and making sure the other groomsmen do as well.
3. Go to all Rehearsals
The day before the wedding, there will be a rehearsal held where the actual wedding will take place, so everyone knows what they are expected to do on the day. After the rehearsal, those in the wedding party, will attend the rehearsal dinner, typically held at a restaurant. Don’t be tempted to try your speech out on this occasion, wait until the real event. Make sure you are not late for the rehearsals, as they can not start without you.
The Day of the Wedding
Your job as the best man is to take the burden of stress off the groom and keep him calm and sober. Be his personal assistant, go-between, organizer and above all, be his friend. Make sure the groom eats and drinks (water is best), has everything packed for his honeymoon, has his suit ready and make sure to get the groom to all his appointments in plenty of time.
4. Before the Ceremony
Keep your friend calm and relaxed, without resorting to alcohol. There may be some downtime before the ceremony, so have some activities ready to take the grooms mind off things and just chill. Offer calming encouragement and keep an eye on the time. Drive the groom to the ceremony location at least 30 minutes before the ceremony is due to start.
Distribute the boutonnieres to all the groomsmen and the groom and make sure they sit properly in the left buttonhole of the lapel
5. At the Ceremony
Enter with the groom as rehearsed the day before. It is your job to keep the ring save. Check your pockets for holes before putting the ring away and use a pocket that is easily accessible, but safe, so the ring won’t fall out and you won’t need ages to get it out when needed.
After the ceremony escort the MOH to the table where the marriage license will be signed. It is both your duties to sign the marriage license as witnesses.
6. At the Reception
Your speech is one of the first at the beginning of the reception. Don’t be nervous, but do take this task seriously. The best speeches are those that have been well prepared, so don’t try to wing it. Start by thanking everyone for making the day special. Than tell a story about the groom and the couple. Avoid talking about past relationships, controversial topics, embarrassing stories and definitely no inside jokes! End by raising your glass and toast to the couple.
After the couple had their first dance, it is your turn to dance with the MOH.
During the reception, you and the groomsmen can sneak out and decorate the couples car. Just don’t get too carried away and damage the car. If the couple is renting a car, ask the owner what is allowed and what is not. If the couple needs to be driven to their hotel or the airport after the reception, make sure you are completely sober or hire a driver.