A Wedding Planner's Perspective
The next wedding professional who will be sharing with us their wedding know-how and real-life best man speech stories is a wedding planner. Wedding planners know a lot about weddings because, besides coordinating them, they attend more weddings in a year than most would in five. Moreover, they know of every single thing that happens at a wedding. Whether big or small, backstage or in front of everyone, they know. Therefore, and it is safe to say that, wedding planners are a great source of information regarding your role.
Danielle Aspromatis of d'Luxe Events, a New Jersey-based event planning company whose consultation and coordination services have been repeatedly awarded "Best of Weddings" by The Knot, sat down and talked shop with us. She shared some great tips for best men that you may be interested in considering. Here's our chat with Ms. Aspromatis:
BESTMANSPEECHWRITER.com: What, in your opinion, is the best man’s overall role in a wedding? Have you noticed it change over the years?
Danielle: Being a best man to me means that you are not only honored as a special person in the groom's life, but that you get to be one of the select few who spends time with the groom right before the ceremony. I love being able to watch those one-to-one moments between a groom and his best man - having a drink, last words of wisdom, helping the groom put the finishing touches on like a pocket square or cufflinks. Not everyone gets to spend a whole lot of time with the groom on his wedding day besides the bride and the best man, and that time is special and unique.
Another advantage to being the best man is giving a speech and your speech is more than just a responsibility. It sets the tone for the evening and serves to welcome the guests and kick off the night. Your best man speech is very important but at the same time should be a relaxed moment filled with joy and love.
One thing that has not changed over the years are the jitters I see during the moments leading up to the best man giving his speech! However, one thing that has changed is the bachelor party. In the past, it used to be totally up to the best man to throw a bachelor party. But, nowadays, I am seeing more and more bridal parties and groomsmen come together to throw a bachelor party together so the pressure is not just on one person.
What are the top 3 most important duties of a best man before the wedding?
Speech writing, bachelor party and listening to the groom complain about wedding planning duties!
What are the top 3 most important duties of a best man on the wedding day?
Holding on to the rings is his most important job! Also keeping the groom calm and, of course, delivering that speech and toast!
We've heard from a number of former best men that they prefer to be in the thick of wedding planning with the groom rather than stand on the sidelines. From your experience, is this advisable?
I would say leave the planning to the couple. Too many cooks in the kitchen often leads to arguments. The only place that I see a best man's input as being valuable is perhaps in the renting/purchasing of the groomsmen's tuxes or suits (as well as spearheading this entire task). It would be great to have a point person - other than the groom - who can gently remind everyone of their attire deadlines.
By now you have probably "sat" through a lifetime's worth of best man speeches. From your experience and perspective as a wedding planner, can you share with us:
Your #1 best man speech pet peeve?
Contrived humor that comes off as trying a little too hard.
The key ingredients to a great toast by the best man?
Honest well-wishing, enunciation, and keep it simple.
The best/unique/most memorable thing a best man has ever done during his speech?
I have seen some very funny PowerPoint presentations that involved old pictures, video and a lot of very well-planned humor.
The worst thing a best man has ever done during his speech?
Embarrass the groom to an inappropriate tasteless level. Humor is welcome but it should be light and not overboard.
How a best man is treated after giving a good speech versus a bad one?
Generally, no one is going to be treated poorly after a bad speech but, of course, every best man that I have seen execute a phenomenal speech seems to have a much better time for the rest of the reception!
Any best man speech advice?
Speak from your heart and do not have too many drinks before your speech! Also remember this is the day and age of video and social media. You will be captured for all of time so speak clearly, stand up straight and don't forget to smile - it is a wedding, not a funeral!
If a best man needs to coordinate something for the wedding day - whether for his speech or something else - he should contact the wedding planner, yes? About how far in advance should he do so?
Yes, of course! Wedding planning packages are often customized to each couple, so it would be proper etiquette to ask the couple first if their package allows for time spent helping the best man or any other member of the wedding party. After clearing that with the couple, it is encouraged for the best man to contact the planner at any time that they need assistance.
Any advice you’d like to share with present and future best men?
Being a best man is truly an honor and the experience should not be taken lightly. This is one of the biggest days in the groom's life, and he has carefully chosen you to be by his side through it all. Also, brush on your pocket square folding skills so you're able to assist the groom and groomsmen with a proper and neat fold. (YouTube is a great source for this.)
A big thank you to Danielle of d'Luxe Events for taking time out of her busy calendar to share with us her knowledge, stories and advice. For more information, visit d'Luxe Events' Facebook page and website, www.dluxeevents.com. And remember to brush up on your pocket square folding skills.