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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Guest Blogger: Blake Daniels, How to Breeze Through Your Best Man Duties

My little brother (well, I guess he’s not little any more) just announced his engagement. I couldn’t be prouder of him – his bride-to-be is a spectacular woman, and they’re an absolutely lovely couple. I’m also honored that he asked me to be his best man. But I have to say I’m a little nervous, since I want everything to go smoothly on my brother’s big day, and I’ve never been a best man before. After a little research, I’ve uncovered a few extremely helpful tips. With these ideas in mind, the best man’s duties look a little less intimidating.

Ace the Speech

First and foremost, the best man is responsible for making a toast. I’m not much of a public speaker, so this part is a bit challenging. The solution is simple: practice. Of course, this requires preparation well in advance – it’s not a good idea to “wing it” at the reception. The first step is composing the toast, and this speech infographic is a huge help when it comes to the writing process. Key hints are to keep the speech relaxed and succinct, as well as personal. Keep in mind, a well-written speech doesn’t equal a well-delivered speech. Don’t read from a notecard, and don’t let memorization lead to a robotic inflection. Practice your toast in the mirror, on your way to work, in the shower. By the time the wedding rolls around, you’ll know it better than the alphabet.

Show Your Appreciation

As the best man, you’re going to be the groom’s right-hand man through the wedding prep process. In addition to that, you’ve probably been chosen for this role because you already mean a lot to the happy couple. Because of this special relationship, it’s crucial to pick the right wedding gift. If you’re choosing from a registry, make your purchase early, or you may end up with few options. The set of potholders left at the end of the list probably isn’t the best choice. But also consider buying something that’s not on the registry, especially if you want to put extra thought and creativity into the gift. Moreover, as a key member of the wedding party, you’ll also need to think of groomsmen’s gifts. This doesn’t have to involve cufflinks or ties. In fact, there are a lot of great DIY options, such as these creativedrink boxes. I like that you can give each box a personal spin, which shows you’ve given thought to the individual groomsmen. The overall goal for gift-giving is finding options that are thoughtful, heartfelt, and inventive.

Plan the Right Party

Another important best man duty is planning the bachelor party. Traditionally, this involves things the groom won’t be able to do after marriage, such as excessive drinking, limos, etc. However, before you pencil in the local strip club, think carefully about the groom’s personality, as well as the various groomsmen and other attendees. Some may be more conservative or laid back. If there’s any question of insecurity when it comes to wilder activities, plan something a little different. This might be as simple as bar hopping or touring breweries, or as crazy as skydiving. Use your imagination, and the groom will be surprised and impressed.

Ideas like these help simplify the various duties of a best man. The role doesn’t have to be intimidating at all. Instead, I look at it as an opportunity to bond with my brother, as well as show my camaraderie. With the right planning and attitude, it’s bound to be a truly wonderful experience.

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