rca vote now

Preparing for the BIG DAY

What to know when honored as best man or maid of honor

BY NINA GREENPLATE

Standing up as one’s best man or maid of honor is both a sweet tribute and a time-honored position of responsibility.  

Weddings are as unique as the happy couple themselves, yet much of the ‘to-do’ list comes standard.

The honor of the titles comes with some notable practices, both before, and on the wedding day. Here’s to calm leadership, and a few reminders on how to help the bride and groom’s big day unfold effortlessly.

FOR THE GROOM. Prior to the wedding, the best man helps select the groomsmen attire, and keeps the others on task with fittings and pick up. Organizing a bachelor party falls under their scope of duties. 

Decide if the festivities will be close to home, a short drive, or an all-out trip away, including flight reservations. You’re the point person, so stay on top of all details. Remember to coordinate a gift from all the groomsmen unless everyone chooses to go out on their own. 

Finally, prepare and practice the wedding toast. This is traditionally given by the best man but may be shared with the maid of honor. 

FOR THE BRIDE.  Prior to the wedding, have fun helping select the bridesmaid dresses and accessories. There will be countless varieties and styles to choose from. 

The maid of honor will usually host or co-host a bridal shower, depending on, and working with, the bride’s mother on specifics. Planning a fabulous bachelorette party also falls under her responsibilities, and details should be discussed with the bride and other bridesmaids. 

She can organize purchasing the bride’s gift from herself and the other bride’s maids, and consider helping to address wedding invitations as another kind gesture.

The Big Day. On the wedding day, the best man and maid of honor should keep the happy couple, well, happy.  

Assure them that all is going smoothly, and work to make that happen. No adorable ring-bearer? The rings can be held by the best man until the I Do’s are read.

During the ceremony the bride may need a hand with her veil and gown/train, and perhaps her bouquet after walking down the aisle and moving around. Her maid of honor should be alert for this assistance. The best man should also stay aware to keep the groom’s attire slick.

Both would also do well to have an emergency kit on-hand. Pack mints/gum, a small sewing kit, cologne/perfume, Advil, Tide-to-go pen and deodorant.

The Perfect Speech

Humor, advice, or a sweet anecdote. A memorable speech is a genuine sentiment from the heart. Here are a few tips. 

Do:

  • Practice before the big day.
  • Keep the toast between 3-5 minutes.
  • Identify yourself and your connection to the couple.
  • Thank your hosts.
  • Tell how you feel about them now that they’re together.  
  • Be humorous.
  • Give your blessing.
  • Lift your glass and toast the happy couple.

Don’t

  • Bring up past relationships. 
  • Have too many inside jokes.
  • Be long-winded.
  • Be toasted during the toast. There will be plenty of time to enjoy a few cocktails after the speech.