What are the do’s and don’ts at a bachelor party?
There’s a few weeks before the big day — your best friend is getting married! Among all the responsibilities you have, throwing a great party for the groom is one of them. After all, it’s going to be his “last night of freedom”.
Whether or not the traditional bachelor party is antiquated is currently up for debate. But what isn’t in question is the fact that you and your best bros must go out together and celebrate one last weekend of freedom before you tie the knot. Just make sure you “bachelor party” the right way or you’ll be asking for an annulment quicker than you can say Mr Britney Spears. Don’t become another statistic. Here’s what you can do in order to pull off the last best party of your pre-marriage life.
Do make sure things go smoothly
Women plan everything down to the smallest detail, but men tend to fly by the seat of their pants. You don’t have to be as pernickety as a wedding planner for the Queen of England, but you do have to make an itinerary.
If you are visiting more than one venue, you have to be the timekeeper, you have to know what time you need to move along, and you have to get things ready to move before the last second.
They might not be ready to leave the strip club or the casino when the time is up, but you don’t want to wait until half the guests have said their goodbyes before you get back to your house for the presentation of the gift, a brief speech and the cake.
Leave a little flexibility in your plan when they’re having fun. But when you’re the producer of the show, you have to keep close to the schedule.
Also, be sure to leave at least three or four days between the party and the wedding. A week or more is fine too when you have people’s schedules to consider.
The last thing you want is to make the party end up as a disaster. For sure there will be a lot of alcoholic drinks during the occasion, especially if you are expecting a lot of buddies to come and grace the party. You have to be ready in the event that guests may have taken too much of the drinks served. Better yet, make sure that even if they do get drunk, they can all get home safely.
Don’t schedule it the night before the wedding day
Whoever thinks this is a good idea has watched way too many movies. No one, especially the spouse-to-be, wants a red-eyed and hungover groom come game time.
Many of you may have seen movies where bachelor’s parties are usually held the night before the wedding day. If you want to make sure the groom will walk his bride to the aisle on the big day, never host a bachelor’s party the night before. The bride will never forgive you if her groom does not show up on their wedding day due to a hangover. Scheduling the party at least several weeks before will be the best choice. This will also benefit you and other stags who have a role to play during the wedding celebration.
Do pick a location that’s conducive to the activities you want.
Bachelor parties can take place almost anywhere. While the stereotypical bachelor party may bring about thoughts of booze and gambling, nowadays, lots of to-be-weds are opting for other, more wholesome activities—like a weekend spent bonding in the woods, for example.
Others might plan high-adrenaline adventures such as white-water rafting, skydiving or rock climbing. Tamer bachelor parties might involve a weekend in Atlantic City gambling, a round of golf and a nice steak dinner, or a fancy night at a cigar bar. Of course, weekend trips involve travel and related expenses. If time is of the essence or all parties involved are on a budget, then a local bar, a hotel room or the best man’s apartment are fine bachelor party locales too.
Don’t Forget the Details
Often, the difference between a successful event and a failed one is in the details, so think ahead and try to cover as many bases as possible during the planning stages. You’ll want to consider transport arrangements, places to eat, accessibility requirements (if someone is in a wheelchair) paperwork (passports, visas, insurance, etc.), bachelor games and activities and dress code. Once you’ve got all these details ironed out, let everyone know in a dedicated chat group on Facebook or WhatsApp: this is a great way to keep in touch about the event.
Do something that has special meaning.
A bachelor party is about your group of guys and your bond. You can make the rounds to some of your favourite pubs for darts and a beer, build it around a Monday Night Football game, play a couple of hands of Texas Hold ’em, or start it off with a game of softball or a round of golf.
You don’t want to keep it too pedestrian and ordinary, though, so be sure to do something to up the stakes. Rent a limo, treat him to a prime rib dinner at a nice steakhouse, fly through the local casino for an hour, and get all the guys to chip in on a nice engraved token of your esteem.
It might be an aluminium bat, a crystal beer mug, a gilded putter, or whatever will remind him of the best friends he’s ever had. Oh, and make sure it’s not something his new bride will think is hideous and belongs in the attic.
Don’t be uncivilized.
Don’t get drunk, and don’t let him get too hammered either. You are the social director and possibly the designated driver. If you drink at all, it should be one beer or drink every hour or two, max.
Make sure the groom paces himself, too. Water down his drinks if you have to. There will always be a few characters from “Animal House” at every bachelor party, but don’t let them set the mood or run the show.
Be the host or the maitre d’ during the entire event. Keep things flowing smoothly and in a civilized manner. Have fun but assume the responsibility for the well-being of the whole group, especially the groom.
Be the diplomat who keeps all the tempers cool, and keep a clear head on your shoulders.
Do be prepared with your budget
You want the best for your friend for this party but if you do not have all the money to spend on a big bachelor’s party then make sure you only stick to what is manageable within your budget. Even if some other guys are there to divide the expenses with you, always think of ways where everyone can have fun without compromising your money.
Don’t presume the groom will spend cash for a bachelor’s party
This is like a send-off party from friends, and there is no way you should oblige the groom to pay for the expenses incurred during the occasion. As mentioned a while back, you can split the bill amongst yourselves (equally if you all wish). Make sure that the groom’s expenses are covered. Never let him pay for himself.
This is a night for the groom to feel like a king. If the budget is getting a little steep, get the rest of the groom’s party to ante up a little cash.
This is another reason for planning — it will help you keep the budget realistic and give you time to do a bit of fundraising from your friends.
A bachelor party is not about the last fling of hedonism and debauchery before he gets married. He is already committed to his fiance, and any final flings should have been taken care of before that commitment.
Give your friend a night to remember, not a night of regret that will haunt him throughout his coming years as a husband and father—Party hardy, but party smartly.
Do make sure to do some sort of physical activity
Again, the rule here is: DON’T HURT THE GROOM. That being said, sitting on your butts all weekend is just plain boring. Play pool, throw darts, hell, have a Hula-Hoop contest. Just make sure the sedentary time is kept to a minimum, like tiredly eating breakfast after being up all night.
Don’t do anything super dangerous
Do you know how mad his future spouse will be if he’s in a full-body cast on their wedding day knowing that you could’ve prevented it? Don’t let that happen to you, or more importantly, them.
Do know your limitations and everybody else’s limitations
A bachelor’s party should be fun. We all know that. You have to do everything in your power to keep it that way. It should mean clean fun with no one else getting hurt, especially the groom. Never pull off violent pranks that can cause injury to anyone. You can keep the party going by playing darts or even having a Hula-Hoop contest. Forget about activities requiring too many physical abilities which can result in altercations later on. It will be good to list activities that the groom is very much interested in doing.
Every groom has boundaries, whether they’re ones he’s set himself or with his partner. Your job as the best man is to respect those boundaries, not turn a blind eye to them, regardless of the kind of weekend you and the other guests are hoping for. Remember, this is his big weekend, not yours, so you don’t want him to do anything he’s not comfortable with. Perhaps he’ll want a personal stripper, an evening at a topless waitress bar or some entirely innocent entertainment. Whatever he says, listen to him and respect his wishes.
Don’t invite guests that are not close to the groom
The more people you invite, the more possibility of drama. Your goal is to make sure fewer than two people end up in jail (there’s always that one guy who gets cuffed for public urination). It’s hard to keep everyone in “the pack” if you invite every bro you’ve known since kindergarten.
Or someone that the groom has not approved at all. If you know that the groom is not having a good relationship with someone at the moment, then do not invite someone to the party. The supposed happy mood will be destroyed if you do so!
Do put someone reliable in charge of planning
Don’t plan a single thing. Just make sure whoever is in charge (usually the best man) is trustworthy and knows you well enough that they can plan an entire weekend of activities they know you will enjoy.
Don’t make the groom plan a single thing
How can the groom get blitzed if you’re worried about an itinerary the entire time? Also, the groom should pay for anything. Them’s the rules.
With the stress of planning the big day and those pre-wedding jitters, the groom has enough on his plate; so don’t expect him to help you plan his bachelor party. Of course, you’ll want to run the dates and certain arrangements by him, but it’s best to keep the rest a surprise. This is his chance to feel like a king for a day, so think about what he would ideally like to do and arrange it all behind the scenes. Club together with the rest of the party to ensure the groom doesn’t have to pay anything for the stag do, as this is another great gesture, and then it can be considered a real treat.
A good rule of thumb when learning how to plan a bachelor party is to make sure the planner (usually the best man) takes responsibility for the bachelor and the rest of the partygoers and makes sure that the fun night doesn’t go south. If you’ve seen any of the movies in The Hangover franchise, then you know what we mean by partying too much. It’s okay to follow some bachelor party traditions, but watch out for over-drinking, sloppy behaviour, anything remotely illegal or any poor life decisions that will be regretted the next morning instantly. Part of being the bachelor party planner means you’ve got to step up, be in charge and help keep the party on the right side of fun.