A guide to being best man

You practically lived at each others houses during school, you road-tripped across Australia together in a van, took Europe by storm in you gap year, got jobs in the same office and now you’re his best man. The honour and privilege is second to none. Your best mate has entrusted you with the duty of ensuring his big day runs smoothly and efficiently. Here’s how not to screw it up.

Suit fitting

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The male equivalent of choosing the bridal gown, the suit fitting should not be a simple walk-in-walk-out job, after all, you’re not shopping for something to wear to the footy. You, your mate and the other groomsman will be standing at the altar, on show for every mother-in-law and nosy Aunt to judge, so don’t give them reason to reconsider their marriage blessing. As best man, it’s your job to source a trusted and competent tailor who is happy to accommodate the groomsmen, who can provide good service and quality bespoke suits. Why not make an afternoon of it? Talk to your tailor about having a few beers and snacks during the suit fitting. It makes the idea of getting unchanged a million times more bearable and it’s a great way to kick off afternoon drinks with your best mates.

Bachelor party

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This is the part that every groom and groomsmen looks forward to the most (second to spending eternity with the love of his life of course). As best man, it’s your role to plan a party perfectly suited to the groom. Carefully consider the guest list, you don’t want to invite too many people that it’s impossible to organise. Also, remember it’s your mates party, not yours, so don’t invite your best friend from uni if he’s only Facebook friends with the groom.

Contrary to the popular belief that bachelor parties are all strippers and booze, the bachelor party is just a great excuse to get the boys together to have some fun. Consider activity bachelor parties as an alternative to night club raves. Laser tag, paint ball, go-cart racing or deep sea fishing are great all-day activities that won’t leave you feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus of regret.

If you’re keen for a night out, skip the deep-v t-shirts and cheap vodkas and head to the casino for a night of suits and good whiskey. You can organise a suite at the hotel, making it a weekend boys trip that allows you to cram in more activities and more whiskey.

The big day

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This is it. The big day. You can remember how nervous your mate was on his first date with ‘the one,” you helped him choose the ring, coached him through the proposal, and now you’re both standing there, suited up and ready to welcome the rest of his life. He’ll be experiencing a nervous-excitement, so make sure you at his house bright and early on the big day with a great playlist, a six pack and words of encouragement. Keeping things casual and relaxed will put him at ease, so have some tunes playing in the background, play a few video games and make sure he’s looking sharp and is on time. Essentially, you’re his wedding wingman, so its your responsibility to make sure everything runs smoothly and to fix any problems that may arise. If the cars haven’t arrived to take him to the ceremony, don’t make it his problem. Think on your feet and call your mate who has a passion for Mustangs to come pick you up in a GT 428 Cobra Jet.

The best man’s speech

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Too many times we’ve been sitting at a wedding, wincing at we watch the best man slur through his wildly inappropriate rendition of the groom’s first date, that wasn’t with the bride. Don’t be that greasy guy that guests will laugh at for years to come. It’s more than okay to have a few drinks, but stay sharp and make sure you can construct full sentences at all times, your best man duties aren’t over yet.

When it comes to the speech, keeping it short and sweet is the key. With a dance floor itching to be waltzed on and food to be eaten, guests don’t want so sit through a “This is your life” episode (especially one that isn’t hosted by Mike Munro).

Remember your audience. You’re talking to the groom’s parents, his boss, and the bride’s family. They don’t want to hear about how you met the groom while he was passed out in a gutter, a bottle of bourbon at his side. Nor do they want to hear about his personal conquests before he met the love of his life. Steer clear of personalised stories (especially those between his 18-25th birthdays) as no one will understand your personal joke about pineapples and you’ll be left with a room full of crickets.

If you’re genuinely happy for the bride and groom, the sentiment will come through in your speech. Pepper the mushy stuff with a humorous anecdote or two, a champagne toast at the end, and you’ve got yourself one mighty fine best man speech.

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