When the Best Man is the Groom’s Dad (Strippers? The Toast?)

A reader writes:

“I am the best man at my sons wedding.

“How do I handle the toast? I need to do the bachelor party but I am a parent so I will not take a group to a strip club.

“I really need your advice.”

Best Dad,

Good question. And you’re not the first to ask us this. Let’s break down your two main concerns: the bachelor party and the toast.

The Bachelor Party

Congratulations on your good judgment. It always baffles us when we hear about Father/Son trips to the strip club. Football, hunting, talking about the importance of good health insurance: these are all fine Father/Son bonding activities.  Taking turns getting whacked in the face by the Double-D breasts that belong to a stripper named Peaches? Less so.

You have three approaches on handling the bachelor party:

1) Throw a PG bachelor party.

Plenty of options in our article here: 20 (Stripper-Free) Bachelor Party Ideas. This could work out okay. It depends on your comfort-level with your son’s friends. Would it be weird hanging out with a bunch of dudes a generation younger? Up to you.

2) Recuse yourself from the bachelor party entirely.

Tell your son that you want him to have a good time, but look, let’s be honest, it’s not a place for Dads. You can delegate the entire enterprise to one of his other groomsmen. Not much downside here.

Or, our favorite:

3) Exit early.

This option is a hybrid, of sorts, of the first two. You have dinner and/or drinks with the whole crew, then leave at 10pm (or whatever) so they can do their thing. This way you get to participate in some of your son’s revelry–which both he and you, presumably, would enjoy–and then you hoof it before things get weird. These could even be two different social occasions; maybe you do a low-key “guy’s night out” one evening, and then, at another date, they do the Whole Nine. Everybody wins. Even Peaches.

The Toast

The basic structure of the best man speech will work just fine. (More on that here: The Toast with the Most.)  But since you’re the groom’s dad, you have a unique and privileged position to dish on some fun anecdotes.  There’s one word that should be your guiding principle, and that word is this: “Firsts.”

Think about past milestone events and “firsts”–first steps, first day at school, first time he wore a suit and put the tie on backwards–that sorta thing.  Everyone loves this stuff.  Usually they’re sort of embarrassing and humorous, but it’s all very lighthearted and cute.

The best part? No matter what you say, people will be predisposed to looooove your speech. That’s the nature of the beast. Women will say or think, “Ahhhhwww! He has his dad as his best man! That’s addoooorrrrable!”  Milk this goodwill. You’ll be fine.

Good luck.

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