Today is the big day! Hopefully you’ve had a good night’s sleep and are raring to go for the wedding itself. You’ve already planned and pulled of 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 getting yourself 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.
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. 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 is properly ironed. Once you’re both suited and booted, make sure one of you has rings.
Thinking Outside of the Box
Once the essentials are sorted, you can start preparing for any potential hiccups. 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. Check the weather too, if there’s a storm coming grab a few umbrellas in case the heavens open.
You’ve probably already sorted transport, but make sure it arrives in plenty of time – leaving you some breathing space in case you run into traffic (or forget something and have to turn back). Trust us, it happens. Before you head off to the venue, make sure you grab any money that’s been provided 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 flask of 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. And finally, give your team and star player (the groom) one final pep talk and a few words of encouragement before things get going.
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 jitter with nerves at this point, so get him in a 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. Even the blokiest of blokes get overwhelmed when they see their bride walking towards them – so have a hanky ready for your emotional mate. Remember to hand over the rings, acting as the official witness and signing the register if necessary. If anyone dares to speak at the ‘lawful impediment’ pause, it’s your job to tackle them to the ground!
After the ceremony
It’s nearly time for the party, but first comes one of your more civilised duties of the day – walking the maid of honour out of the venue. The photographer will want to get a few pictures so gather the other members of the bridal party. Afterwards, guide your mate and his bride to their car where they’ll be whisked away to the reception. Then, begin directing guests to the reception, making sure everyone has left before you head off.
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, should any issue arise, they are to go directly do you. You don’t want the happy couple being troubled with anything, especially admin. As guests are greeted with the receiving line, check in with the ushers and make sure they know where to seat people.
Master of Ceremonies
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 have to round up people for photos later.
Once things are in full flow, it’s time for your moment of crowning glory – the famous best man speech. You don’t need any more advice here, as we’ve already given you the best possible tips with ourultimate guideto writing a best man speech.
After The Food
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 happy couple have their moment before you step in and encourage other guests onto the dancefloor. Then take some time out to socialise and mingle with the guests, trying to get outside of the bubble of mates you’ve always known.
Behind The Scenes
As well as having a great time (we know you deserve it), try to make sure things behind the scenes are going well. Get everyone paid – photographers, caterers etc. – and then you can properly enjoy yourself. This may not be your job, but if it is, make sure you do it – no one wants multiple invoices arriving on their honeymoon.
At The End of The Night
If the couple are going super traditional, they’ll be heading off at the end of the night to 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. Plus, it’s worth making an announcement so the other guests can say goodbye.
Last One Standing
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 of the venue. You’ll also need to find transport for the gifts, so it’s worth keeping a taxi number or two handy!
Now that everyone is safely off, it’s time to…. Sigh a massive sigh of relief. You did it! You might have a morning meet up with close family and friends to retale tales of an epic wedding night. You can smile now, knowing everything went off without a hitch.
Finally, it's almost over and you can go home to recuperate. We've tried to cover the important stuff within our ultimatebest man guide, from planning the ultimatestag doto writing a fool proofbest man's speechbut there's always going to be something you need to fix that can't be found in any guide or instruction manual.