Dear Lifehacker, Last week I found out my best friend is getting married later this year and I have the honour of being the best man. With this honour comes two main responsibilities and it's the reason I am writing to you. The first task is organising a buck's night.
Never having gone to a buck's night (this is the first of my group of friends getting married) my only exposure to one is from the movie The Hangover, something I don't want to replicate. At the same time I don't know where to start and would like some tips to making a great night out for my mate. The second task is the speech at the wedding: what makes a good speech? Thanks, Better Best Man
Photo: Charlie Brewer
There are many ways to make a buck's night memorable and the best choice will naturally depend on the groom's personality. If you're not using the buck's night as an excuse to embarrass and debase your mate, there's no reason why he can't be part of the initial planning process.
Throwing ideas around will ensure he actually gets to do something he wants and allows you to gauge the appropriate level of debauchery (i.e. -- is he the type of guy who would prefer a boozy fishing trip or a seedy night in a strip club?) Without getting into too many spoilers, find out what kind of activities he'd like to partake in and plan the buck's night accordingly.
One popular option is to rent a property (preferably near the coast) and extend the buck's night over a weekend. You can then hit bars, hire a boat, bum around on the beach and/or hire strippers as the weekend rolls on.
This also gives the event a neat, satisfying finish as opposed to a slow, undignified death -- instead of everyone drunkenly slinking off in the wee hours of the morning, you get to enjoy a few hours of recovery and a celebratory breakfast together. The important thing is to keep the schedule loose and fun with plenty of free alcohol for the buck.
Here are some important no-nos:
- Keep the total cost reasonable: If the price is too hefty, the poorer/tighter members of your posse wont turn up.
- Avoid insane levels of depravity: My own buck's night was organised by the editor of a leading porn magazine. I still get occasional 'Nam-style flashbacks and none of them are pretty.
- Keep it legal and safe: See above.
- Don't get hammered too early: Take it easy to begin with or everyone will be too drunk to function before it even hits midnight. The event will subsequently be remembered as a bit of a fizzer.
- DON'T HOLD IT THE NIGHT BEFORE THE WEDDING: This is an epically stupid move that will put you in the dog house with his missus forever.
When it comes to the speech, the key is to keep it reasonably brief and heartfelt. Concentrate on one or two anecdotes that are funny and/or a testament to his character and throw a few compliments in the bride's direction too. While you should resist the urge to be unduly insulting, some good-natured ribbing is never a bad thing: it keeps the speech from getting boring and is an easy way to get some laughs.
If you're not great at public speaking, it's definitely a good idea to practice in the lead-up to the wedding. One good training method is to keep track of your "Ums" and "Ahs"; this is nervous filler that can kill a speech in its tracks.
It also helps to focus on the reality of your audience -- these people aren't out to judge you (in fact, most of them will be more interested in their slice of wedding cake or the cute guy/gal at the next table). You can find a veritable smorgasbord of additional public speaking tips here.
If any readers have their own buck's night tips -- or just want to share the crazy stuff they got up to -- let BBM know in the comments section below.
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