Best Man’s duties by Grant Morgan, Wedding Planner Kent
When asked to be a best man, the first emotion is usually that of pride, followed by concern, eventually giving way to horror and anxiety when the reality of the task ahead finally sinks in.
What about the stag do? Where, when, with who and how much? How long should the speech be? What should I leave in? What should I leave out? How on earth am I going to get the laughs!?!
The stag do and the speech are just the tip of the iceberg (and, in some ways, not the most useful tasks you will be expected to undertake).This blog post will aim to define exactly what should be expected from a best man and how to manage the task successfully.
Prior to the wedding
One way to look at the role of the best man before the wedding is as a mental and physical back-up for the bride and groom.
The best man should visit both the ceremony and reception venues to familiarise himself with the layout. It would be prudent to do this with a copy of the timetable to help visualise how the day is expected to pan out. NB. it is not the role of the best man to find fault with the planning or even to suggest alternatives (unless asked) but if something appears to be logistically impossible or unrealistic, a careful word in the groom’s ear is precisely why he has a best man in the first place.
Making oneself known to both families as well as the chief bridesmaid well in advance will help enormously both before and during the wedding.
The best man should also attend the rehearsal (which normally occurs a day or two before the wedding day itself). During the rehearsal, the best man should be on hand to introduce guests who have not met and to generally make sure everything is running to plan.
The final act the best man must perform prior to the wedding is to stay with groom the night before. This is the perfect opportunity to go through everything with the groom and ensure he has everything he needs. It is also a good time for the best man to take possession of the rings.
Organising the ushers
Another role of the best man is to organise the ushers. This involves:
- running through the wedding prior to the event
- making sure the ushers have the correct clothes
- delegating tasks on the day and ensuring each usher is comfortable with the task assigned to him.
Top tip: another duty for the ushers on the day is to organise family and friends for the group photographs during the drinks reception. The temptation may well be to enjoy some liquid refreshment at this point but aiding the photographer during this time will speed up an often long-winded section of the day.
Organising the stag do
This is probably the part of being a best man that will appeal the most – a great excuse for old friends to take a ‘holiday’ together.
* Stag dos will be covered in greater detail in an upcoming blog *
There are however certain considerations that will ensure the stag to runs smoothly. Central to this is: know your groom. More importantly: know his fiancée!
A conversation with the groom to establish the following is essential:
- Who? How many people are invited. To few people and the event may lack a vibe; too many and you risk fragmentation. Are there potential attendees who don’t see eye to eye? If so, can you discretely speak to them beforehand?
- What? What does the groom expect from a stag do? Very often, drinking is involved but is this to be the sole focus of the event? Are there activities that the group usually enjoy? What is the balance between say, sightseeing or exploring and letting one’s hair down?
- When? Traditionally, the stag do occurs the evening prior to the wedding. Unless your stag do is going to take place in library, I cannot stress enough how bad an idea this is! I have seen the effects of following this tradition first hand on two occasions and neither ended well!
- Where? Does your groom have a favourite destination? Is ease of access important? A rural retreat or a big city? Do you stay local or go exotic?
- How Much? This very much impacts on the last point. Depending on the expected size of the group, dropouts through financial feasibility are to be expected. How can you minimise this? Look for online deals, compromise with travel arrangements (a few stopovers may decrease the price of your flight) or, if possible, look for lesser known gems perhaps next door to the well-established resorts.
Best Man’s Duties by Grant Morgan, Wedding Planner Kent – part 2 coming soon…
Chinos in top image by Clements and Church.