Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Best Man: And you thought you just had to carry the ring

My sons were all each other’s best man (men?). Their duties consisted of:
Pre-wedding–throwing an awesome bachelor party
Wedding–holding ring
Post-wedding– offering toast speech while choking back tears

But would those have been the sum total of their responsibilities back in 1953?
Not according to
Teen-Age Etiquette  by Grace Ramquist, published in that auspicious year and a resident of our family bookshelves ever since.

Grace informs us that the Best Man must:
-organize and instruct the ushers
-see the groom’s bags are packed for the honeymoon
-ensure the groom has clothing in which to change into after the reception
-help the groom dress
-take care of the clergyman’s fee
-make sure the marriage license is on hand
-see that the boutonnieres are on hand and pinned on the proper male
-arrange for transportation for the newlyweds from the church
-see that the groom and his bride have everything they need for their honeymoon.
(Conspicuously absent from Grace’s guidelines is any reference to the bachelor party or the toast)

What is left for the groom to do?
Furnish gloves for his attendants.

Yup. That’s it.
And this of course explains the whole marriage/baby boom of the 1950’s.

It was less stressful to just get married than take a chance of being asked to be a best man.
No doubt another Best Man Duty

1 comment:

Lori Lipsky said...

Etiquette books are fun, and the old-ish ones are a delight.

Groomsmen with gloves--makes me feel so young, since I know I've never seen that.