Best man. It’s odd terminology when you think about it. Practically speaking, the best man at any wedding is the groom. Clearly, he is to the bride, but the official best man exists only for the groom. He’s a stand-up, the-buck-stops-here, right-hand-man kind of guy.

Most guys get that it’s an honour to stand up for the groom, but acting as the best man is more than a title; there is responsibility attached to the position. Now, this may not seem like such a big deal on the surface – after all, you’ve played the part of wingman for a long time, and your relationship history will serve you well in this awesome capacity. However, this is your opportunity to go deeper, to serve and support your friend like never before.

Hopefully, you’ll have many years ahead to enjoy a lifetime-friendship, but this event, this position of honor, represents a climax, a pinnacle to your bond. You are the chosen one, the best man for the job. You must stand up in the best way that you can. This will require a bit of reflection. Without a doubt, the groom chose you as his best man because of your history together. Maybe together you served your country or played sports with (or against) one another in high school or college. You’ve laughed at the same stupid, private joke for years but can still discuss the deeper things of life, and you’re comfortable on some subjects to agree or not to agree. You knew he had fallen in love before he did, and you couldn’t agree more with his choice of a bride (not that it would matter).

This is the framework on which you will hang your best man duties.

Creating a night or weekend to remember is an easy gig for the best man. It doesn’t have to be a weekend of clichéd debauchery. Your friend’s not mourning a loss of bachelorhood, but celebrating his next big step with his closest friends. Your task is to deliver a celebration that is significantly meaningful to him and worthy of the step he’s taking. Guys don’t spend a lot of time telling one another how they feel about each other, at least not with words. You can skip the sappy stuff if it makes the groom uncomfortable, but creating a signature event is proof of your bond, love, and commitment. Plan a classic night out, a weekend to remember on the lake, or a camping/hunting weekend – whatever best represents the groom’s personality.

Then it’s wedding day. Groomsmen follow the best man’s lead, and as a born general, you kindly command your troops. Pulling the men together in the planning process, you surround your friend with the love and support he deserves. Your focus is the groom and your job is to keep him focused. You’ve taken care of the big and small matters. You have a GPS location on the ring, and are certain that the groomsmen are properly attired; matching shoes, pocket-handkerchiefs, and boutonnieres are all in place. For the first time in your longtime-friendship, you assist the groom as he dresses. You straighten his tie, check his cufflinks and, calming his jitters, you remind him that this is the best day of his life.

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