Groomsmen

Is a 17-Year-Old Brother Too Young to be Best Man?

Is 17 too young to be a best man?

I’m trying to decide on my best man. 

My actual best friend is my younger brother who is 17 (I’m 25).  My other groomsmen are my friends, but nowhere neat as close as my brother and I are. 

Is 17 too young to be a best man? 

He’s going to have to give a speech and be there for me throughout the day, which I know he will, I just wanted to see what someone else thought.  Sure, I could pick one of my other friends as the best man, but they aren’t my best friends and I’m afraid I’d hurt my brothers feelings.”

-Plunge Reader

Big Brother,

Almost every “wedding expert” (this phrase still cracks us up) says that the job of the best man is very, very, important, that it should be taken very, very, seriously, and that you should choose him very, very wisely.

Please. Let’s get some perspective here. Most of that conventional wisdom comes from “experts” who, to paraphrase James Cameron in this superb New Yorker profile (not relevant, just cool), have “gotten high on their own product.”

See also: Easiest Job In The Wedding – Duties of the Groomsmen

The best man should be your brother or your best friend, period. In your case, happily, these are the same person, so you face no conflicts. Now, back to the heart of your question: at 17, is your brother too young?

At 17, our society trusts you to do the following:

1) Drive a car. Think about that. You’re trusted to hurl a 1.5-ton object down the highway at 70 miles per hour, rocketing past baby carriages and grandmas. Every year, 4.3 million people are killed by 17-year-old drivers. (Note: this statistic is completely made up, but the actual number of innocents killed is certainly greater than 5.) You can do this at 17. But you can’t put on a tuxedo?

2) Get a job. Operating a cash register at Dairy Queen, on any given day, involves hundreds of cash transactions, fights with bitchy customers, and suffering the delusions of grandeur from your prick Assistant Manager. This is more challenging than hanging out with the groom for 5 hours.

3) Attend college. Your freshman year includes classes like Calculus, Statistics, and Intro to Philosophy. Trust us. Holding a frickin’ ring for 30 minutes is less complicated than Hegel.

Yes, the best man has plenty of responsibilities. (Full article here.) And yes, there are plenty of ways he can drop the ball. This does NOT, however, mean that it’s sooooo complicated you should scrutinize the candidate’s character, weigh the pros and cons, consider their merits, and form a “vetting committee” like it’s a search for a Vice-President. It’s not that complicated. Even at the tender age of 17, yes, your brother’s plenty qualified.

See also: Train Wreck Videos – Wedding Toasts Reviewed

Oh, and there’s one more added bonus. Precisely because your brother is 17, this will be a sneaky asset.  When he gets up to give his toast, everyone in the room will expect NOTHING. He’s 17, right, surely he’ll suck!  All he has to do is say something like, “Um, I’m just really proud of my…of my… sorry, just a little nervous here… proud of my…brother.”

Ahhhhhwwww! The crowd will lap that shit up. Since your brother’s only 17, people will assume he’s in way over his head, and he’ll surprise them (and you).

Pick your brother. He’ll be fine.

P.S. Admittedly, there are a few things that your brother won’t be able to do, mainly: go to bars, casinos, or other, ah, “adult establishments.” For this he’ll have to sit on the sidelines, and one of your other groomsmen can step up. This does not, however, disqualify him from the actual role of best man.

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