The Professional Best Man: A bride’s best friend, too.

Four years ago, I proposed a new job for myself:

The professional best man.

I was serious about the proposal but less than hopeful about my prospects, but since publishing that post back in 2011, a number of remarkable things have happened:

  • Four grooms have attempted to hire me. Two lived in California. Two lived in the UK. Geography and timing (the weddings were taking place during the school year) prevented me from taking any of these gigs.
  • Three reality show producers and a documentarian have contacted me about writing, consulting, and/or starring in a series about a professional best man. Two were in the US and two were in the UK.
  • Kevin Hart, the actor and comedian who stars in the upcoming The Wedding Ringer (based upon the concept of a professional best man), contacted me and acknowledged that I had the idea first. He did not offer any financial compensation.


So my dream of working as a professional best man is still alive and well, but it’s recently been pointed out to me that I have been missing an entire segment of my potential customer base:


Sure, a man might find himself in need of a professional best man, but it’s equally likely (and perhaps even more so) that a bride might feel that her future husband is in need of a professional best man, too.

She may love her man, but does she love her man’s best friend?

Not always.

And even if she thinks that her fiancée's best friend is a great guy, is he competent enough to handle all  of the the responsibilities of a best man? Is he going to remain sober on the wedding day? Is he going to plan a bachelor party that will make her future husband happy while eliminating the possibility of alcohol poisoning, naked women, and police involvement?

If not, I’m your man.

I have met many outstanding best men in my role as a DJ, but I’ve also met many who are too nervous to deliver the toast, too drunk to assist a groom in need, and too disinterested in the role to be helpful in any way.  

Besides, why burden your fiancée's best friend with all of these responsibilities when all he really wants to do is have a good time at the wedding as well?

Instead, hire me. Your professional best man.

What, you may ask, are my qualifications for such a job? They are, admittedly, quite extensive:

  • I’ve attended more than 500 weddings as a DJ, minister, guest, groom, member of the bridal party, and best man, so there is little that I have not seen. As a result, I will be ready and able to assist in almost every unexpected or unusual circumstance.
  • My experience and expertise allow me to ensure that the band, DJ, minister, photographer, caterer, and any other vendors are serving the bride and groom to my exceedingly exacting standards.
  • I have extensive experience in dealing with irritable in-laws, drunken guests, angry ex-girlfriends, belligerent uncles, wedding crashers, and any other potentially disruptive wedding attendee and am adept at deflecting these distractions away from the bride and groom.
  • I can deliver an outstanding toast. I am often instructing criminally- unprepared best men on what to say just minutes before their toasts and making them sound quite good.
  • I am a skilled party planner and will plan a bachelor party that your fiancée loves while also ensuring that he does nothing that he will regret the next day.
  • I possess a wide range of interests and am skilled at ingratiating myself to a wide range of people. I can do jock and nerd equally well and rarely meet someone who I cannot find common ground. We may not be best friends after your wedding, but for the duration of our nuptials, I will be surprisingly likable and chameleon-like in my ability to blend in with your group of friends. And who knows? One of my best friends is a former client. It could happen for you, too.

And what if you want to hire a professional best man but your fiancée has a friend who also wants the job and would be upset to learn that you went with a professional?

No problem. Simply have two best men.

One who will get drunk during the cocktail hour, hit on one of the bridesmaids during photos, deliver a humorless speech, and forget to end it with an actual toast.

The other will not drink at your wedding (except if he is capping off an amusing and heartfelt toast), will keep you fiancée's best interests in mind at all times, and is skilled and experienced enough to ensure that everything goes smoothly on your wedding day.

Doesn’t your fiancée you deserve another friend on his wedding day? A friend absent of personal needs and petty grievances. A friend who will guide him through and past every awkward, annoying, unfortunate, and potentially disastrous moment of your wedding.

Don’t you deserve the services of a professional on your wedding day?

A professional best man.


Don’t say goodbye to the bride and groom. Just leave. Let it be your final gift to them.

Slate’s Seth Stevenson argues in favor of not saying goodbye.

Ghosting—aka the Irish goodbye, the French exit, and any number of other vaguely ethnophobic terms—refers to leaving a social gathering without saying your farewells. One moment you’re at the bar, or the house party, or the Sunday morning wedding brunch. The next moment you’re gone. In the manner of a ghost. “Where’d he go?” your friends might wonder. But—and this is key—they probably won’t even notice that you’ve left.

I am an enormous fan of ghosting. My wife, however, would never allow it. My wife’s goodbye ritual takes at least 20 minutes and includes the scheduling of at least one future social engagement and engaging in at least one conversation on an entirely new topic before the farewell is complete.

For me, ghosting will never be a reality. Nor will it be for most people. Social conventions are incredibly difficult to change, and they are even more difficult to ignore for the vast majority of people.

It takes a special kind of arrogant rule breaker to ghost on a consistent basis.


But there is one social engagement where ghosting shouldn’t even be an option. It should be standard practice:

A wedding.

As a wedding DJ with almost two decades of experience, I believe that ghosting at a wedding is not only acceptable but represents an act of kindness and generosity toward the bride and groom.

Every weekend, I watch as brides and grooms are pulled off the dance floor during one of their favorite songs by friends or family members who feel the need to exchange idle, meaningless, and soon-to-be-forgotten pleasantries before saying goodbye.

Don’t do it. Just leave.

Consider the numbers:

If there are 150 people attending the wedding (an average number of guests for the weddings that I do), that means that the bride and groom will need to say goodbye to approximately 75 couples.

In the course of a five hour reception (also the average), that amounts to a goodbye every four minutes.

Since most guests don’t start leaving four minutes into the reception, what it really means is a constant stream of goodbyes during the last two hours of the reception, when the bride and groom are supposed to be dancing with friends and family and having the most fun.

Years ago, I would make an announcement with about 15 minutes left in the wedding imploring guests to join the bride and groom on the dance floor and stay for the last few songs so the bride and groom could enjoy them in peace.

“Don’t make the bride and groom spend the last few precious moments of their wedding saying goodbye to you.”

The announcement rarely had any impact on the selfish jackasses who thought that leaving 15 minutes early was more important than the happiness and enjoyment of a bride and groom on their wedding day, so I stopped making it.

But if there was ever a social event to ghost, it’s a wedding. The bride and groom will never remember who did and didn’t say goodbye to, nor will it matter to them.

I promise you: There has never been a bride or groom in the history of the universe who were concerned with saying goodbye to their guests in the midst of their reception.

If saying goodbye is important to you, stay until the end. Wait for the music to stop and the lights to come up. Then say goodbye.

Otherwise, just leave, damn it. Let the happy couple be happy.

Wedding etiquette torn down by one of the most popular advice columnists in the world. I’m impressed.

Emily Yoffe, the Ask Prudence advice communist for Slate, recently did a podcast in which people were able to ask questions about wedding etiquette via the telephone as part of Slate’s wedding issue.

Yoffe tends to lean toward tradition and formality, which differs from my natural inclinations, but I found myself both in agreement and incredibly impressed by her answers during the course of this podcast.

In response to a bride-to-be who recently learned that her mother-in-law plans on wearing a cream-colored dress to the wedding, Yoffe told the caller not to say a word to her future mother-in-law about the choice of color. Yes, it’s true that it’s traditional for only the bride to wear a white dress to her wedding, but Yoffe assured the bride that no one is going to mistake and the mother-in-law because their dresses are similar in color, nor does the mother-in-law’s dress have any bearing over the enjoyment that the bride should have that day.

Moreover, and more important, she also implored the bride to take the high road if someone commented on the dress color at the wedding by simply stating that she thought her mother-in-law looked beautiful.

The tradition that the bride is the only woman wearing white at the wedding is true enough, but Yoffe is also willing to acknowledge that this is a fairly meaningless tradition, and that the bride’s relationship with her mother-in-law, who has already bought the dress and expressed her love for it, is more important than ridiculous matters of dress color.

Yoffe also acknowledges the likelihood that the bride would speak about the mother-in-law’s decision behind her back and is wise enough to advise against it. I cannot tell you how many times my respect for a person has eroded after listening to them make petty, backbiting, materialistic comments like the ones Yoffe anticipated about someone who is not in the room. 

Another caller expresses her concern over the mounting cost of four weddings that she is going be in this year as a bridesmaid. As a fulltime student with a part-time job, the cost of the dresses, the alterations, shoes and the out-of-town bachelorette parties has become too much for this woman’s checking account to bear. She asked Yoffe if it would be acceptable to not bring a gift to the wedding.

Yoffe says that you are obligated to do “only what you are able to do.”

Then she speaks blasphemy:

“Gifts are optional.”

Except it’s not blasphemy. We all know how much it costs to be a bridesmaid these days with bridal showers, bachelorette parties and wedding costs.

What kind of bride would not acknowledge and understand this when it comes to the bridesmaid’s choice of gift?

A despicable one, perhaps, but you shouldn’t be serving as bridesmaid for a despicable person.

Yoffe goes on to say that you can pick up something small but nice for as little as ten or twenty dollars, wrap it up and you have “discharged your duty.”


What Yoffe fails to acknowledge is the disgusting and all-to-common custom of discussing the quality, choice and even cost of gifts with friends and family members after the fact.

“Can you believe that Aunt Judith only gave me $50?”

“My friend, Tina, went off-registry and bought me this awful looking vase that I’m sure was on sale.”

“What did Kim and Joe give you for your wedding? Were they as cheap as they were with me?”

On this week’s Slate’s DoubleX podcast, Slate editor Allison Benedikt actually argues in favor of bridal registries for this very reason, claiming that the potential gossip material that bridal registries provide is too valuable to allow the tradition die.

If this woman follows Yoffe’s advice and gives an inexpensive gift or no gift at all, it is likely that the bride will gossip about her, maybe only to her parents or sister or favorite cousin, but probably more.

It’s possible that the bride possesses the degree of grace, dignity, restraint and/or perspective necessary to to never speak about the quality of this bridesmaid’s gift, but I fear those people are few and far between.

As vile and disgusting as this kind of gift gossip happens to be, I have seen far too much of it over the course of my lifetime to believe that it won’t happen here.

Still, I agree and admire Yoffe’s advice. She’s right. The cost of the gift should never matter, but it should especially never matter when a bridesmaid is involved.

To hell with the possible gossip. If you spend hundreds of dollars on a dress, shoes, alterations, hair, a wedding shower and a bachelorette party, you should not be expected to also purchase a wedding gift.

Only a loser moron materialistic cretin who sucks at life would say otherwise.