Ask The Expert

Wedding dilemma: How do I get my fiancé to change his choice of best man?

'Cancel the speech, cancel them all if you must!'

"My fiancé picked the worst possible person for best man.

The dude is literally the most unreliable, rude, lewd guy you can imagine. How do I knock some sense into my other half?" - Anon

Solved:

Thank you for asking the question that surely is on the minds of many brides, but they are simply not speaking up about it, because… why exactly?

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In your question you say ‘my fiancé picked the worst possible person’ in the past tense - does that mean he has already asked the guy, or just made the choice, but not done the asking?

In the first scenario, you can only set some limits. In the second scenario, you can still influence the decision. And as in any relationship, a great many things can be resolved by simply talking, honestly and openly.

Let’s discuss what happens if the asking has already been done.

Dear bride, this is not the time to suffer quietly while the best man tries to make the pre-wedding months memorable for all the wrong reasons. You need to have a clear and direct talk with your other half (OH). Have no fear - this is a rehearsal in decision making for your married years. The trick is to make it all about your OH, rather than the best man.

Your OH probably already knows how you feel about the best man anyway. Be very honest. Say that you are worried about the stag do plans, that you are counting on OH to stand up for himself if the best man tries to make him do things that are in any way wrong. Set boundaries. For example, you are okay with them going gambling in Vegas, but absolutely no strippers in hotel rooms. Okay to go to a race track, not okay to jump out of planes.

At the wedding, someone must intervene if the best man has too much to drink and tries to start a riot. And if the speech has any chance of veering towards danger, cancel the speech.

Cancel them all if you must, it will be easier to explain that you decided to go with no speeches whatsoever. Get it? Set clear limits of what you are willing to put up with. If they are crossed, best man is out. He’s fired.

Your wedding isn’t someone else’s joke.

In the second scenario, the OH has picked the best man, but not asked him yet. Perfect! Tell him not to, and suggest a better person. The troublemaking best man can still be one of the groomsmen, but all the best-manning jobs must be done by someone who can ACTUALLY do them.

For example, a best man must be someone who’s dependable and is readily helps when asked.

If the potential best man has been fired from his last three jobs, has caused a riot in every pub he’s ever drank in, and lives off payday loans and his parents, then in practical terms he is not a good candidate.

Tell your OH the first bit (about what a best man should be), and not the second bit (about all the shortcomings of the candidate best man). It’s not personal, it’s practical. Your exact words could be: honey, please don’t. This is a big day for us. We don’t want to be embarrassed by something he does. (Name) would be the perfect best man, make (other name) a groomsman. This isn’t a party, it’s an important occasion.

Don’t let this become a fight. It’s your one wedding day. Lots of things might go wrong, but not the things that are under your control. As a last resort, ask your OH to imagine this scenario: the best man really and truly unleashes the beast on your wedding day. Nobody will remember anything except the mayhem, the embarrassment and the cringe apologies you will both be making. You will loathe looking at your wedding album.

Is that how you want to remember your wedding day? Of course not. Then do what you gotta do and choose the right best man.

Have you a wedding problem you need help with? Let us know! Mail editor@thevow.ie with your pressing issue, and our wedding insider Anna will endeavor to get back to you with a straight forward solution.