How To Plan An Epic Bachelor Party
Bachelor party, stag night, buck’s night, gentlemen’s dinner. Whatever you call it, it’s a night to celebrate a man who’s about to enter the next stage of his life: Marriage. Bachelor parties are not a new concept. They have a long history, originating back to the Spartans in the 5th century BC. The night before his wedding, the groom was celebrated with feasting and toasting. The celebration carried on through time. Traveling closer to the present day, in the 1940s and 1950s the celebration was known as the Gentlemen’s Dinner. This rite of passage was thrown by the groom’s father and included dinner and drinks. Eventually the bachelor party evolved into what most of us think of when we hear the term: Booze, gambling and strippers. Today, bachelor parties are mellowing out, becoming less about partying and drinking and more about male bonding.
Use this guide, tips and tricks to help plan an epic bachelor party that will be talked about for years.
Today, it is most common for the best man to plan the majority of bachelors party. It is the best man who is closest with the groom, so he should know best how the groom will want to celebrate. In some cases, the groom or another groomsmen may help plan.
The Guest List
The first real step to planning a bachelor party is compiling the guest list. The list should be made up of close male friends and family only. Not every male invited to the wedding is invited to the bachelor’s party. (It’s ok to leave out the groom’s second cousin Jeff, who shows up to family reunions but no one really knows how he is related.)
The number of guests to invite can depend venue. If the party is a night out on the town, the list can be slightly larger. But if there is a weekend getaway in the plan, stick to the groom's innermost circle.
Once you have the guest list compiled, run it by the groom to ensure you didn’t forget a VIP.
Now that the guest list is set, the best man should contact the other men to discuss a budget. Not everyone can afford a $1,500 weekend to Vegas and no one wants to miss out because there was no budget set. While most of the planning does fall on the best man, everyone attending the party, except the groom, should split any costs. This includes transportation, lodging, food, admission and any other expenses that may be incurred as a group. The groom typically does not pay for his bachelor party. The one exception is if the party is out of town. In this case, the groom should pay his own way, hotel and airfare. The cost of the groom’s activities still might be covered by the guests, but it really depends on the trip location, duration, etc.
Once a budget is confirmed, the activity and location can be set. As said before, not everyone’s version of fun is the cliche bachelor party activities. When choosing the activity and location, pick something the groom will enjoy and be memorable for everyone involved. Choose the activity first and the location will follow.
To help, here are some ideas for a fun guys’ night out or weekend away.
- Rock climbing
- Boxing match
- Comedy club
- Brewery or distillery tour
- Rent jet skis
- Deep sea fishing
- Skiing or snowboarding
- Fishing trip
- Rent a cabin
For the sake of everyone, DO NOT plan the bachelor party on the night before the wedding. The bride will not be happy and no one wants a hungover groom standing at the altar. The best time frame is about one month to one week before the big day. Consider any out-of-town guests that will be attending the bachelor party as well as the wedding so they are not having to take time off and travel. Although you can catch some major discounts by planning for the middle of the week, the weekend makes it easier for most work schedules.
Just a few extra tips and things to think about.
Don’t let people drive drunk. If a night of drinking is in store, rent a limo or car service, or make reservations at a hotel within walking distance to the bar. The best man should also bring some extra cash with for cabs, just in case anyone in the party gets a little too tipsy.
Make an itinerary. It doesn't have to be set in stone, but with a larger group or a weekend getaway, an itinerary will help to maximize fun!
And finally…don’t forget the camera!