Although wedding planning is stereotypically the domain of the bride-to-be, the best man is traditionally responsible for two very important parts of the wedding process. We'll take a look at both of these roles individually.
Thankfully, we have finally progressed to a point in society that we have done away with the testosterone induced bachelor full of alcohol, strippers and questionable behavior. Oh, wait, no we haven't.
The best man is traditionally responsible for the planning and execution of the bachelor party. Presumably, this is because he knows the groom better than anyone and knows what kind of "send off" would be most appreciated. Sadly, many guys end up going the booze n' stripper route simply because they don't realize that they have options.
The bachelor party is designed to be the last hurrah for the groom to be. It's his last opportunity to hang out and party with his buddies as a single man. This does not automatically equate into drunken debauchery, however.
With increasing frequency, bachelor parties are mutating into a more benign creature: sporting events, camping trips and even co-ed parties which include the bride and her friends are becoming more and more popular. It is up to the best man to know what the groom would appreciate, enjoy and remember.
Be creative and tailor the party to fit your friend's personality and interests.
Best Man's Toast
Traditionally, the best man gives a verbal toast to the couple early on in the reception. This tradition fails to take into account the fact that, a) not everyone is cut out to be a public speaker and b) not all best men have anything worthwhile to say. The stereotypical nightmare of a drunken best man regaling an aghast wedding party with tales of the grooms indiscretions as a single man are...well...too often accurate.
Instead of feeling locked into the traditional verbal toast, a best man should consider incorporating the increasingly affordable and easy to use technology designed to create presentations.
Going this route, the best man can collect pictures of the happy couple, usually beginning in infancy, and have them progress in a (roughly) chronological way leading up to the wedding day. With programs such as PowerPoint widely available, creating this sort of slide show isn't difficult at all.
Thanks to technological advances, the best man can even interview important people (parents, siblings, friends, etc.) and have interview segments accompany each photograph as a voiceover.
This sort of toast is much more effective as it keeps the focus exactly where it should be: on the bridge and groom. When confronted with the prospect of standing in front of dozens or hundreds of people and speaking, too many best friends feel the need to turn into standup comedians. This is usually not all that successful and can easily make a best man look like he's trying to steal the couple's thunder.