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Being the best man in a wedding is a serious responsibility. As someone that is not used to responsibility, I found it to be a daunting task.
Before graduation, we all had one last night together in our house. Many drunken promises were made: naming your kids after brothers, visiting each other postgrad, who will be a groomsman, etc. You never really think about these inebriated pacts until the call comes. Women do this weird thing where they send you monogrammed shit or clever puzzles to solve. Mine was “Hey man, I’m getting married. It’d be an honor for you to be my best man.” I still couldn’t believe someone liked me enough to put me in charge of the male social side of their wedding.
Whether your wedding party consists of fraternity brothers, high school friends, coworkers, or your wife has to set you up because you’re a pathetic loser that has no friends, the title of best man carries a lot of obligation. Nothing I read on my newfound undertaking was particularly helpful. In fact, most of it was pure garbage. So, with wedding season upon us, I penned a column that will hopefully help you if you ever find yourself being the best man.
Odds are the groomsmen won’t all be from the same group. For me, there were three other groomsmen, two of which I’d never met before. Arranging a bachelor party and getting everyone on the same page was my first task. I recommend making a spreadsheet with who has paid, phone numbers, emails, etc., and finding a method of contact that suits the majority.
Next, you’ll want to get some ideas on venues. For us, Vegas was out of the question. This was due to both budgetary constraints as well as “respect for the bride,” even though I lived next door to the groom and could hear all the depraved things he did as he railed her out down the hall from her infamous “Banshee wail.” Ultimately, the day is about your buddy and being a man. I combined these two sympathies and we rented a great cabin on the lake, acquired some moonshine, built fires, and got drunk. Relationships were made between the cousins, uncles, college friends, hometown friends (think Good Will Hunting) and everyone eagerly looked forward to the wedding.
Just Before The Shitshow
Arrive a bit early on the rehearsal day and reestablish the bonds that the bachelor party established. Make your room the party room where all are welcome. As tempting as it is to get hammered, you’re the risk manager now. You’re the flock leader and all the other male attendees are your sheep. Go through the wedding rituals as needed and establish rapport with the bridesmaids. This is crucial.
Now comes rehearsal dinner time. Let the hair down a bit and bring together the wedding parties. This will make photos and seeing each other vomit later in the night less awkward. I hatched a plan for us to all go out afterward, but the bridesmaids over-served themselves at the rehearsal dinner and watched some shitty woman show instead. So I went out to a bar with everyone that could handle a few more hours of freedom and got obliterated.
Your job is to keep the booze flowing, and your bank statement should indicate that later.
You’re here to keep everyone in order. Ducks fly together. I kept a friendly flask of Jameson on hand for those that needed to keep their nerves under control. This also garnered a look of disgust from the Padre, but whatever, he can’t even get married. He doesn’t know what this shit is like.
Your other job is to run interference and keep your boy in check. Also, don’t lose the fucking ring. There is no coming back from that. You will be universally hated. I probably checked my ass pocket 35 times throughout the wedding. Go through the motions, keep a big smile and don’t take your sack out during wedding pictures.
Game Time Part II: Electric Boogaloo
The after party. The reason everyone came to the wedding. From here on out, all bets are off. This is where all your hard work making friendly with the bridesmaids, looking classy, being a good friend and not taking your balls out during photos will pay dividends. All that stands between you and wedding bliss is that best man speech you’ve practiced for the last few months. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered on the speech.
After the delivery, you’re a grizzled wedding veteran, and you’ve earned your leave. Get a drink in each hand because you deserve it, and it’s time to get sloppy. There is no guide for this portion of the evening, so as the rage machine Jiminy Cricket once said, “Always let your conscience be your guide.” This can be interpreted however you’d like.
Make sure your gift doesn’t suck. Be thoughtful because gift certificates show you just don’t care. My group of friends got together and got him a sweet addition to his man cave.
My experience went over swimmingly and I wish you all the best luck in your endeavors. Being a best man is an unforgettable experience. Unless they get divorced with today’s going rate at about 50 percent. At least you’ll always have the stories..