The Best Man Diaries (4/6)
Despite what a best man will have you believe, a stag do is not the most important night of a groom’s life. Or at least it probably shouldn’t be. And if it is? Don’t tell the bride.
We’ve seen how two of our best men performed in organising a killer stag, now it’s time to look at the main event, the crux of the arc, the final crescendo. That’s right. The wedding itself requires just as much organisation and attentiveness. From helping guests to their seats to toasting the couple in their speech, a best man’s job isn’t over until the bride and groom have departed and the party is finally over.
In the last year I’ve been to four weddings, and I’d like to quickly review what made them so fantastic in terms of the best man’s role.
Generally speaking, when you go to a wedding, you ideally want to chill out, enjoy the funny speeches and perhaps make suitable use of the free bar. When you’re a best man you are slightly restricted to what you can get up to. Essentially, as the best man, it is your duty to be at the beck and call of the newlyweds. They might ask you to round up the troops for a photo or help to get the party started by dancing. Who knows. The point is, you’ve got to be on the ball all night, and that doesn’t make for a relaxed evening. Not for you at least.
You see, when you’re a best man, it might seem like it’s all about you. But it’s really all about everyone else enjoying the evening. You can get away with a little self-indulgence on the stag, but when it comes to the wedding, it’s all about the bride, the groom, and the guests.
At Least a Semblance of Organisation
It’s not always the case, but at the weddings I’ve been to this year at least, the best man is usually the ring-bearer. It goes without saying that some variety of organisation is necessary. It seems painstakingly obvious that the rings are important and must be looked after at all costs, but if you’re renowned for leaving things places and losing stuff all the time, you’re probably not best man material. If you’ve been picked as best man in spite of that, you need to seriously up your game, because being a best man is a serious honour, and if you aren’t prepared for that, it isn’t unheard that that privilege could be revoked.
The thing is, even outside of such standard tasks as bearing the rings, you have to help to organise photos, assist in seating guests and, of course, preparing an insane stag do.
Being a Friend
I met three best men this year, all of which had their chance to shine before me. I watched closely and studied their actions eagerly to try and compile a list of quantifiably great best man behaviours. But the truth is, there was only really ever one secret to their success and that was the fact that they cared about their friend and supported them in what they were doing in the best way they could.
Not every best man I met agreed with the marriage. Or with how things were carried out during the wedding, but ultimately that wasn’t their business. They were simply there to help their friend through what is a special, but nerve-racking, day.
Being a best man is tough, and I doubt I could ever compile an exact list or science as to how to do it well. But I think it all starts and ends with love. Forget the bride. If you can be there for the groom, that’s a true bromance that will stand the test of time.
Of course, what do I know? If you’ve got any tips or stories about your best man experiences, feel free to scribble a little comment in the form below.
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