So your best bud is getting married and he asked you to be part of the show? That's awesome. But what exactly are you supposed to do, other than stand right to the side of your bud up at the altar -- in an uncomfortable suit, under hot lights, where everyone will be staring? Unfortunately, the answer isn't simple. But we can offer you a nine-point guide to help you through one of the most fun, hectic, happy/stressful times in any person's life.
Throw a Kick-Ass Stag Do
Let’s start with the most obvious of the bunch - the stag's do - aka bachelor party. While stag nights have evolved over the years, having one is still pretty standard fare. From party buses to board games, trips away to one last night out with the guys, there are tons of ways to celebrate (Some couples even celebrate together at the beginning of the night and part ways later). So go out and find some fun ways to send your boy off into matrimony right, but you’d be well-advised to double check with his soon-to-be-missus about what she's comfortable with first, and save you both a potential headache!
Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
While planning the stag's do may be fun, typically groomsmen also help pick up suits or dresses, assist with bridal rehearsals, help the happy couple keep up with dates -- like fittings, when guests are arriving, etc -- and any manner of things. Buying a daily planner and programming everything into your phone's calendar aren't bad ideas. Just be sure to keep up with everything that's going on, have a running idea of how it's supposed to go and make sure that your buddy makes it to the altar on time.
Remember, You're There for Support
Sure, guys aren't "supposed" to talk about their feelings, But that doesn't mean you don't have any. You know your bro’. As happy as he is, getting married is a big deal and the stress of trying to cram everything together, from parents staying over to how to get to the airport after the vows, in just a week or two is enough to max out anyone's patience. Offering to lend a helping hand when it's needed is a godsend. And having a listening ear and some free time doesn't hurt, either.
Team Up for a Bigger Impact
Working closely with the maid of honour and bridesmaids can be really helpful. Not only can they keep you updated with any changes the bride and groom may have forgotten, but they can also help even after the wedding. By compiling photos to email or text to your friend and his new bride, you can help them enjoy photos of their big day before they get the professional prints back. You can also help them compile “thank you” lists, make sure everyone made it back home safely, and all the other niceties that come with the "after-party" of big events.
Have a Good Kit on the Big Day
Sure, you'll be checking in on your buddy as the big day approaches, and especially as it's going on. But all the "are you okay’s?” and "what can I do’s?” don't mean much if you aren't prepared. Keep a kit with a little bit of everything he might need with you. This can include a copy of his speech, some Panadol for stress headaches, and any other small thing that might help throughout the day.
Offer Your Blessing
This is something that gets tends to get overlooked a little more often than it should. Especially in an age when it's considered standard or even humorous for the best friend and girlfriend to hate each other. If he loves her because she makes him happy and you know he wouldn't want anyone else, tell him as much, let him know that you're happy for him and think he's making the right choice. It can really help with any last minute nerves he may have and lets him know that just because he's getting married doesn't mean he's losing his friend.
Learn the Ins and Outs
When someone walks into the venue, they should be able to look at you and immediately know you have all the answers. Okay, maybe that's exaggerated, but it's at least based in truth. No one wants to hassle the bride and groom before the wedding with general faq’s. Act as a guide and help guests with any questions they have. Even if you don't have all the answers, you should know who does and where they should be. This can include everything from where the gifts go to when the shuttle buses are due.
Nail the Big Speech
Nothing ruins the big day more than a tone-deaf groomsman speech. There's a reason the bad speech trope crops up in almost every rom-com ever made. Practice your public speaking skills through groups likeToastMasters. Write out what you would like to say and what you mean, then give it a few once-overs to turn it into something polished and memorable. Don't panic, it doesn't have to be lengthy. It just has to be appropriate for your bud and his new spouse, from the heart, and well-intentioned.
Don't Forget to Be his Friend
At the end of the day, he asked you to be his groomsman because you're one of his closest friends. While he'll appreciate all the confidence builders and helping hands, what he'll want most is to be able to have his friend with him. On this one, I'll share a personal story. When my uncle got married, he asked my dad to be his best man. My uncle had awful, near-crippling anxiety. On the day of his wedding, he was a ball of nerves. So, being the amazing friend my dad is, this happened:
My uncle was styling his hair when my dad told him that he'd been spraying his hair with bug spray. My uncle was horrified but still able to laugh and relax when my dad told him that it was just hair spray. Your friend may be getting married, but he's still your friend. Remind him.
It may be their big day, but if you do your groomsman duties right, it'll be all the better, all the happier, thanks to you. Don't let a seemingly unending list of gopher work put you off. It's actually a lot of fun and by the end of it, it'll have all been worth it.
Post contributed by Emelina Vigier. Emelina is a fashion and lifestyle blogger for Awearness Blog. She is passionate about how fashion intersects with eco-friendly and sustainable living.