It seems as if women instinctively know what is expected of them when asked to be a maid of honor. It just seems to be hard-wired in a woman”s DNA to be a helper. Women automatically know how to calm fears when the bride freaks out and have a sewing kit full of last minute emergency fixes. They can dab tears without smearing makeup, coach the flower girl down the aisle, keep the mother of the bride in order, and can even put the fear of God into the groomsmen if they are goofing off and not doing their part.
But when men are asked to be the best man, they most often simply see themselves as being responsible for the bachelor party and standing beside the groom during the ceremony, glad they themselves are not the person getting married. Unfortunately, though, the job does come with real responsibilities. So, guys, here is a rundown of your responsibilities.
First, congratulations! You are actually responsible for planning and organizing the bachelor party. It is extremely important, however, that you consult the groom before you begin any major planning. Remember that while it is his last party before he is actually married, he has already made commitments to his fiancee and may not want the same things you want. He also simply may have different tastes than you, and this party is all about him, so make sure what you have planned will fit within those guidelines. These days, camping trips (with lots of meat and beer), golf outings (with lots of meat and beer), and concerts (with lots of meat and beer) are replacing bars and strip clubs. Always remember that no matter what you do, the groom never ever pays for anything!
Most couples will have a time at the reception that is reserved for toasts. If they do, the best man is responsible for writing his own toast. Toasts are when things can go notoriously wrong (The Wedding Singer, anyone?). Make sure your toast is heartfelt and respectful. Some humor is OK, but don”t use obscure or inside jokes or crude humor. Remember to keep it short; a toast should be no more than three to four minutes.
Keeping groom organized will be your main job before and during the wedding. Helping him out in whatever way he needs is the best man”s job. Whatever task the groom asked of you is what you need to do. He may need assistance picking up out-of-town relatives from the airport, decorating, arranging transportation for after the wedding, making sure the groomsmen know their duties and schedules, and, of course, getting fitted for your tux or suit.
It is important that on the wedding day you are calm and collected yourself so that you can help keep the groom calm and collected. Reassure him he is doing the right thing if nerves kick in, let him know everything is under control and taken care of, and don”t let him stress about anything. You are his right-hand man, and all he may need from you at any given moment may just be companionship.
After the wedding, you may need to help carry gifts, clean up a bit, stack chairs, or direct traffic. When you are finished and it is all over, go out and grab a drink, you deserve it!