The Best Man’s Plan
The best man is the sidekick, the ringmaster for the groom’s circus. It's about your pal and never about you. Tweet
He's the well-dressed sidekick, the wing man in the groom's squadron.
So he's got to not only remain sober, he has to suddenly become competent.
A “best man” is a best friend working a double-shift. So the idea of “choosing” one is myth. You know who your best man is because he’s your wing man. According to Merriam-Webster, this isn’t just junk-jargon. It means the guy who “flies behind and outside the leader of a flying formation”. That’s the very definition of a pal and a best man. Here are his orders:
He’s the guy who “flies behind and outside the leader of a flying formation.”
In advance of the wedding: The best man should help plan the rehearsals and act to coordinate the participants’ schedules. He should make himself available to the family of the bride, although it’s not likely they’ll have much need for his services.
Arrange the bachelor party, if there is one. These things can range from a simple, tasteful dinner party to something far more complex and tasteless.
On the day when the groom descends into utter helplessness, the best man should:
- Make sure the groom gets to the church way before the star of the show, the bride. At least a half-hour before the ceremony.
- Arrange all the transportation. Take charge of the car the bride and groom will use to leave the church or flee the reception. It should be fueled, baggage packed. If the Mister is drunk after the reception, find a solution, but don’t hand him the keys and say, “Goodbye, see you at the funeral.”
- Dress the big lug. See that the groom’s clothing and accessories are available for the ceremony. Formal day dress? Towel and flip-flops? Whatever. Just make sure he’s dressed for the occasion.
- Make sure the groom has the marriage license and the ring, Frodo.
- Get the parson’s fee from the groom and wrap it like porn in a plain envelope. Give it to the clergyman following the service. Not in the middle of it, even if it looks like he might bolt. Pronouncing vows is a service, not, technically, a bribe.
- Keep the ring handy so it’s ready to be given to the groom at the proper part of the ceremony.
- Offer the first toast to the bride and groom at the reception and at the bridal dinner, where the best man acts as a sort of compere. The toast should be simple and witty, but not too sentimental. Sincerity’s okay, though.
- Send a card in the groom’s name to the bride’s parents thanking them for both the wedding and their daughter. Make sure about the “groom’s name” part.
- Or see our guide to polyamory.