The very term ‘best man’ implies that you’ve come in first; that you passed the finishing line with flying colours; head and shoulders above the rest. It’s the ‘best’ that does it.
And yes, we know that your role as best man is to ‘support the groom’ in the run up to the wedding, organise the bachelor party, make sure the rings are there, give a speech without too many gaffs, attend the rehearsal, witness the marriage license (don’t forget to demonise the getaway car) etc.
But really, a best man is the guy the groom chooses as the one, out of all the men he’s met in his life, that he most wants by his side on the day he gets married. It’s one of those infrequent moments when your best buddy publicly declares that there is a bond that is strong enough that he wants you by his side. In a sense, you’re the best man for life. A wife can always walk.
The bottom line to the art of being a best man is that you’re the ‘reliable’ chap, the tower of strength for the big day. And the two most obvious roles you’ll need to fulfil and make a success of are the bachelor party and the speech.
No-one expects you to be a toast master, but you’re representing the groom when you get up to toast the bride and groom, and saying what he is unable to say. Hopefully you know your groom well.
More than likely there are countless events in your together past from which you can draw material, so that you can use humour and establish a tone that unites everyone at the reception. You’re also supposed to be the major witness as to why this particular gorgeous bride is so very suitable for the groom.
So, if you can, avoid making an ill-timed pass at one of the bridesmaids, or stumbling through an inappropriate anecdote, or a hackneyed joke. Have the best intentions towards the groom at all times and worry less about how you’re going to look and more about supporting him, and things will go swimmingly.
Happy Wedding Planning!