Best Man wedding day for best man

Published on February 23rd, 2016 | by Staggered


On the Wedding Day: What You Signed up For


Today is big for the best man – It’s wedding day!

Hopefully you’ve had a good night’s sleep and are raring to go for the wedding itself. You’ve planned and pulled off a killer stag do, you’ve rehearsed your best man speech to death, so now it’s time to clear the final hurdle before racing away to victory and an eternal spot in the Best Man Hall of Fame.

So rise and shine and pour yourself a big cuppa coffee, as we guide you through the final steps needed for the big day.

best man on the day

Before the ceremony

It’s traditional for the bride and groom to spend the night before the wedding apart, so if the groom has been kipping at your place, make sure you wake up early and make him a decent breakfast.

Don’t load his nervous stomach up with anything too stodgy though – a classic fry up will probably do more harm than good at this point. Instead, opt for a healthy one like scrambled eggs and
avocado on toast.

wedding day breakfast

Once breakfast is out the way, the groom will have enough to worry about, so this is your time to play mum and make sure his shoes are shined and his shirt and suit are properly ironed. Once you’re both suited and booted, make sure one of you has the all important rings.

Cover all the bases

With these essentials sorted you can start to think outside the box. Do you have everyone’s numbers stored in your phone just in case? Do you have a spare phone charger? There’s nothing worse than standing outside the church waiting for people to show up with no idea they’re stuck in traffic.

If you look out the window and see storm clouds gathering, grab a few emergency umbrellas in case the heavens open before the bridesmaids are safely inside.

You’ve probably already sorted transport, but make sure it arrives in plenty of time, leaving some breathing space in case you run into traffic (or forget something and have to turn back once or twice). Believe us, it happens.

Before you head off to the wedding venue, make sure you grab any money that’s been provided by the bride and groom, just in case you need to pay anyone on the day, such as the band, photographer or the caterers.

Once you arrive at the venue it’s time for a little prenuptial catch-up with the ushers – we find having a little hip flask for Dutch courage usually goes down well at this point. Check with them that they know their duties for the day, seating plans, parking arrangements and so on.

Give your team and star player (the groom) one final pep talk and a few words of encouragement before things get going.

You’ll be amazed how quickly the day passes and how hectic things get as soon as guests start arriving, so make the most of this quiet time and remember that a bit of preparation goes a long way.

At the ceremony

As you all nervously await the arrival of the bride, make sure everyone has their buttonholes nicely fastened to their suits and their ties properly done up.

The groom will be jittery with nerves at this point so get him in position at the entrance of the venue
before the bride arrives. Let him welcome his guests, then guide him to the front and stand beside him once the guests are seated.

Have some water handy, as the groom will be suffering from a dry throat as the butterflies swarm around his stomach.

And even the blokiest of blokes get overwhelmed when they see their bride walking towards them – so have tissues or a hanky at the ready for your emotional man.

wedding rings

Remember to hand over the rings at the right moment, acting as the official witness and signing the registrar if necessary. Also if anyone attempts to speak during the ‘lawful impediment’ pause…it is your job to tackle them to the ground.

After the ceremony

So the vows have been said and the legal documents have been signed. It’s nearly time for the party, but first comes one of your more civilised duties of the day – walking the maid of honour or chief bridesmaid out of the venue.

wedding photographers

In all the excitement, the photographer will want to to get a few pictures so gather the other members of the bridal party and any required guests.

It’s always a good idea to prepare a written list of essential photographs in advance and a list of all the people needed.

Bring copies for you or an usher and one for the photographer, so there’s not too much standing or scrabbling around to find people.

Once the photography buzz has died down, guide your mate and his bride to their car where they’ll be whisked away to the reception. Once they’re on their way you can begin directing guests to the reception, making sure absolutely everyone has left before you head off yourself.

Remember, you’re secretly running this show, so you should be the last to leave.

At the reception

This is the final moment for you to really shine. Take the pressure off the bride and groom by giving staff and suppliers the heads up that, should any issues arise, they are to go directly to you, the best man.

You don’t want the happy couple being troubled with anything on their big day, especially admin.

As guests are greeted with the receiving line, check in with the ushers and make sure they know where to seat people. Ensure the top table is comfortable and settled before stepping in as master of ceremonies (unless one is included with the venue or somebody else has been given this task).

As you make sure all the tables are seated as planned, try and remember the name of at least one person at each table. This will make life much easier when you try to round people up for photos later.

Nail the Best Man Speech

Once things are in full flow, it’s time for your moment of crowning glory – the famous best man speech. You should have already prepared your speech but it can still be good to remind yourself just what goes in to making the perfect best man speech.

Once everyone’s finished eating, it’s your job to be the life and soul of the party. The best man traditionally joins in the first dance with the maid of honour towards the end of the song, so let the bride and groom have their moment before you step in and encourage other guests onto the dancefloor.

wedding dance

With everyone (hopefully) dancing and having a good time, take some time out to mingle and socialise with the guests, trying to get outside of the bubble of mates you’ve always known to make sure everyone feels included in the day.

As well as having a great time, try to make sure things behind the scenes are going well and get everyone paid when they need to be.

This might have already been sorted but, if not, it’s your job to step in and make sure the caterers, band, and DJ are paid for their hard work at the end of the night.

At the end of the evening

If the couple are going super traditional, they’ll be heading off at the end of the night to fly away on their honeymoon.

Get the car ready to whisk them away and add some of the typical tin cans and silly string for a surprise. Make sure their bags are in the car, as are their passports and other flight/hotel documents.

wedding car

You’ll likely have to make an announcement to the guests, informing them of the newlyweds departure. Before the groom dashes off you’l need to find some way to get his suit off him if it’s rented.

Use your imagination here, and make sure the poor guy has a decent outfit to wear when he heads off on his honeymoon.

Stick around until the end and make sure everything (and everyone) is cleared out of the venue and that nothing important has been left behind. You can either take responsibility for any items left behind or alternatively, hand them over to the mother-in-law or the manager at the reception.

You’ll also need to find suitable transport to take all the wedding gifts back home. It’s good to have those taxi numbers handy as there may or may not be one or two stranded guests needing to get home.

And a final word on the wedding day

Now that everyone is safely off, it’s time to…breathe a massive sigh of relief. You did it!
You might have a morning meet up with close family and friends to regale tales of an epic wedding night. You can smile now knowing everything went off without a hitch.

Your mate definitely owes you one…so make sure you milk it when he gets back!


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About the Author


Staggered is the world’s leading publisher for grooms, best men and fathers of the bride. Across websites, emails and magazines we help over 73,000 men every month.

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