Photo By Craig
Your best man is the only person that can ensure you get to enjoy your wedding. With all the responsibilities of the best man, be sure you make the right decision.
By Justin Thompson
Finding the right woman to ask the single most important question you’ll ever ask, “Will you be my wife?” is hard. And you’d think that once you’ve decided on your bride and the commitment to this single person for the rest of your life, in the eyes of your peers, your family, in some cases – God, you’re then faced with the second biggest choice of your life: Who will be your best man?
The position of best man is a highly coveted, albeit secret, spot on the peer ladder when it comes to a guy and his relationships with his friends when he’s about to get married. Unlike the maid of honor, there’s less open vying for the position but I daresay it’s just as important.
After asking several friends who were either in the role of best man, or who have yet to pick theirs, it was clear there are several different types for the position.
Sometimes guys pick that wild and crazy guy in their life, who might even be disliked or untrustworthy in the eyes of the bride. He serves his role as the court jester of the proceedings, perhaps organizing a stag night with copious amounts of alcohol that can leave you and the rest of the groom’s party with staggering illness the next day.
A brother. A cousin. Maybe even your dad. Always a good bet – they probably know you well and even in 10 years, unlike some friends, you’ll probably still be talking to them. Sometimes the person who is your best man might be your best friend at the time, but in the future it might not be the case. Plus, your brother is a simple pick and takes the high road out of the ‘Who do I pick?’ scenario.
Let’s call it what it is – bromance. It’s when a guy finds that other guy in his life who is there for him in life’s most trying times. He’s the male counterpart to the bride in the groom’s life. The one who knows the darkest secrets that even family doesn’t know. While girls may have several very close friends that can make their decision difficult, men tend to have maybe a handful of these very close friends and chances are, all his friends are friends with each other – so they’ll be there anyway.
I asked around and found that expectations vary for the duties included for the best man, but basically he serves as second in command. From organizing the bachelor party to providing emotional support, the roles can vary depending on the person who’s filling the position.
Some guys have their best man help them pick out an engagement ring or offer advice on the proposal, run errands for the best man when he’s called away during cake testing or other matters of import, organizing groomsmen for any and all questions regarding the ceremony and of course, the most infamous and popular duty, planning the bachelor party.
Depending on your expectations, it can be beneficial to choose a best man who’s either been married or served in the role before. This can take some of the pressure off the husband-to-be so that he can enjoy the building to the wedding day instead of worrying about his own details (especially when the bride will have enough to consume her as well as him!).
And what about the big day? Well, the best man usually is there to serve as a level of comfort to the groom, who is nervous, excited and probably more emotional than usual. So giving words of wisdom, or even a wordless embrace can keep the groom pepped up and excited about the next step from single life to marriage.
Photo By Z. Zilch
By this point, the tension is over and the happiness and excitement is now allowed to be openly expressed via cheers, chants, song and dance. But…ooh, there’s one more thing.
A toast. Yes, the toast.
So what does one even say? I think the key to a toast is to be brief, to be humble, to reflect upon the changes and to wish congratulations. These can be somber or emotional moments for the best man, and while it’s okay to succumb to the emotions of the day, nothing can kill a party like a grown man crying, especially if he’s severely drunk. It’s not even ‘American Pie’ funny at that point.
So brevity and some humor would be my suggestion.
It’s weird that at 25 I have no intention of getting married in the foreseeable future. Somehow my friends are only now starting to get engaged and eventually married, so I’ve just started to be part of this hullabaloo. Even as a guest, it’s truly a remarkable thing to see two people come together, surrounding by the most important people in their lives, to mark the occasion of their commitment to one another for the rest of their lives.
It also leaves me with the thought of, “Who will I pick as my best man?” and what expectations would I have of him. I’m pretty sure I know who I’d pick, even before I have a bride in mind.