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It’s one of the greatest honors for a friend to receive the title “Best Man”. Apart from the fun parts of being the best man like planning the bachelor party, the title comes with many responsibilities. If you’ve been named the best man, you’re being trusted with some of the most important tasks during the many months of the wedding planning phase, and up until the ceremony itself. You’ll need to know what to expect and how you can be best prepared to support the groom on one of the best days of his life.

1. Keep track of the groom’s stuff.

On the day of the ceremony, the groom will definitely need someone to be there to make sure he doesn’t forget anything. You’ll be responsible for thinking ten steps ahead while his mind is focused on everything else. Use your friendship and knowledge of the groom to prepare for any wedding obstacle. If the groom is prone to anything like cold sores or acne breakouts, you should have his “cold sore medication” or instant acne treatment on hand just in case. It’s important that you talk to the groom and frequently check in to see what he needs, whether that be a reminder to take a prescribed medication or simply take a deep breath.

2. Hold the rings.

In the midst of all the items to keep track of and keep safe, easily the most important are the rings. If the couple doesn’t have a ring bearer, you’ll be responsible for holding each of the rings, and that can be a heavy responsibility. Keep the rings in a safe place that you’ll be able to monitor throughout the day. Or, if you prefer to keep them with you, a simple tip is to keep your hand in your pocket with the rings around your pinky finger. That way, you’ll know for sure you have them and you’ll have peace of mind knowing they’re in or on your hand. No matter what, the location of the rings should be one of your top priorities on the big day.

 3. Come prepared with a speech.

Public speaking has never been the first choice of activity, and there are many reasons for that. It’s extremely nerve-racking, and the pressure of the audience’s undivided attention can cause you to panic at any moment. Start writing down anecdotes and memories you’ve had with the groom as soon as you’re anointed best man. Keep it short, simple and authentic.  Draft an outline of stories, positive qualities, and tips for the bride and groom and practice saying them out loud. The best wedding speeches contain a good balance of a little humor and a little sincerity. Keep in mind that a couple funny stories can lead to laughs from the audience and end up helping you feel less pressure and more comfortable.

4. Manage the groomsmen.

One of the main responsibilities designated to the best man is to make sure that the groomsmen are in the right place at the right time. You are in charge of ensuring that each of the groomsmen is wearing the correct attire and that boutonnieres are secured correctly. The groomsmen should all be experts in their roles for the wedding day. It’s essential that they are trusted to represent the bridal party and especially the couple. Make the groom’s day easier and guarantee that he has nothing to worry about by assuring a smooth ceremony and reception.

5. Be ready to step up.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that the couple’s wedding day is the most special and enjoyable it can possibly be. Be observant and notice when the groom is nervous or stressed out and step in when necessary. If he looks overwhelmed, offer him something to keep him relaxed. Maybe it’s a drink. Maybe it’s a pep talk. Either way, it’s your duty as best man to guarantee that the groom has nothing but positive memories to look back on from his wedding day.

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