Best man masterclass (1/2): quick and simple tips
- Best man masterclass (1/2): quick and simple tips
- Best man masterclass (2/2): the perfect speech
So you’re the best man. Wow, what an honour. What a wonderful experience this is going to be.
It’s a bit scary too, though. Right? Especially if you’ve never done it before. You’ve got a job of huge responsibility for a hugely important, hugely expensive event. So any cock up on your part could be a huge problem.
But fear not. We’ve rounded up three veteran best men to give you the complete what’s-what-and-what’s-not of how to be the best man you can be.
Meet the best men
Between them, Kevin, Mark and Rob have ‘best manned’ eight different weddings in four different countries. They’ve experienced all the highs, lows, pleasures, pressures and surprises that come with being a best man.
They’ve been to dozens of weddings in recent years and they’ve given speeches in front of lots of different crowds.
Follow their advice and you can’t go far wrong.
Part one: quick and simple tips
In part two we’ll focus just on the speech. Because, let’s be honest, that’s the scariest part.
But for now, grab your notepad and pen for some quick-fire tips.
Keeping the groom calm and happy
[Mark] As with all things, communication is key.
[Rob] Make sure you know and understand what his expectations are of you on the big day.
[Kevin] If you have a nervous groom, give frequent and scheduled updates to calm him down and reassure him that the day’s under control.
[Mark] A more organised groom will like to know that everything is going to plan. Conversely, a less organised one will be happy for you to take charge of things.
[Rob] Some grooms won’t want to know anything unless there’s a problem.
[Mark] You should know the groom well enough to know how often you need to update him.
Getting organised beforehand
[Rob] Try to be involved in the proceedings and know what’s happening when. Don’t just ‘turn up’ on the day.
[Mark] Make sure you know the wedding itinerary inside out.
[Kevin] Meet the key people (parents, important family, etc.) before the day. Gaining familiarity with family members means you can rely on them to identify people you need to round up or allocate small tasks to.
[Rob] Attend the venues beforehand – especially the reception venue. This can help your preparations for your speech. If you need props or a projector, make sure they’re working as expected.
[Kevin] Understand and be fully aware of the stages of the day. You’ll be looked at to give guidance, especially when moving from one location to another.
If you’re organising the stag do
[Kevin] Make sure you get a small deposit from everyone in the group. It helps people to commit and reduces the chance of last-minute bailers.
[Kevin] Keep the size of the group manageable. More than ten is fine, but more than twenty can make it difficult booking accommodation, restaurants and such.
[Kevin] Be aware of the age range of your group – you need to cater for everyone.
On the big day
[Rob] Try to stay relaxed and focus on your responsibilities.
[Mark] You’re basically the groom’s bitch for the day. The groom has a tight schedule ahead, so you need to ensure not only that you’re one step ahead of him, but that you’re available for any further requests he may have. You’re his leader as much as his follower.
[Rob] Make sure you do anything you can to make the day as successful as possible. I remember being best man to my twin brother and jumping out in front of traffic to make sure the camera man (who had roof-mounted car camera) left the church directly behind the wedding car.
[Mark] Try to minimise your drinking before the reception, and don’t let socialising distract you from your duties.
[Rob] Be prepared to think on your feet and react to any possible situation. I once got a phone call on the way to the church, to say the wedding car had broken down and the company wasn’t sending a replacement!
[Mark] It’s also your responsibility to make sure the groom always looks his very best.
[Rob] Remember to enjoy the experience too!
Then you’ve just got to nail your speech
In a few weeks, in part two, we get the how-to on writing and delivering the perfect speech.
And for the ladies, check out our guide on how to be the perfect bridesmaid – coming next week.
About the author