It’s going to take some time to process the major changes to your buddy’s marriage will have on your bromance. You’re not quite sure why your buddy has decided to tie the knot with one vagina for the rest of his life, but you’re happy for him – mostly. I know, at this moment you’re struggling with the concept he has been hosted by a parasitic thing called a wife that will leach your friendship away from you, which is why you need to plan the absolute perfect bachelor party.
It has to be as much a celebration of finality to his single life, but also send him off to the wedding with a complete gut-punch last “hoorah” of the ‘#manshit’ life he is sacrificing for his bride.
Here’s our guide on making his stag night, a night to remember.
If he remembers it.
Start Planning the Bachelor Party Early
You need to start planning at least 3 months before the day of the party.
The earlier you can get started, the greater the opportunity people will have to narrow down a date that will work for everyone – or mostly everyone. It can be tricky, but a 3 month lead time is usually enough for people to start discussing when they may need to take some time off. Waiting too long to start making arrangements is going to cause a lot of frustration when people don’t have as much flexibility to keep their schedule open and ultimately lock in a date on the calendar.
If there’s a chance you’re going to do some traveling for this stag party, you might consider adding even another month or two of lead time to account for the additional logistics involved. Not only is going to take a ridiculous amount of time to agree on a destination, but you also want plenty of time to make travel arrangements far enough in advance so you don’t end up paying premium prices for airfare and lodging.
Consult the Groom
Obviously, checking with the groom to figure on some dates that will work is mandatory. It doesn’t do a whole lot of good to settle on a date with everyone that’s invited if the groom just so happens to have a work trip planned that same weekend.
I’m in the camp that bachelor parties should be surprises and that the groom shouldn’t have complete control over the destination and activities…but the party should also accurately reflect the personality of the groom.
Don’t be the guy that plans a trip to Nevada with the intention of hitting up brothels (for your own selfish pleasure) when you know your buddy is a devout Christian. Know what I mean?
Some guys might have a different moral compass than we do and think a weekend down in wine country sounds perfect. We’re not those guys, but we definitely wouldn’t ruin their celebration by focusing on getting wild and crazy for the sake of living up to some standard of what a bachelor party “should” be. It should really be whatever and whenever the bachelor wants it to be, without completely putting him in the position of planning it.
Keep him in the loop just enough to provide feedback without completely letting slip all the cool plans everyone has discussed in the group chat.
Nail Down the Guest List
The guest list should be determined primarily by the groom and the best man. Most likely, it will be the same group of friends that always hang out together along with a couple of new faces. You just want to make sure you’re not making the situation awkward for anyone.
Here’s the deal, if you know the bachelor is all about rubbing his face in a stripper’s cleavage, he might not be keen on his soon to be brother-in-law and father-in-law watching him get slapped around by a set of tits. There’s no hard and fast rule that says any certain members of the wedding party must attend the bachelor party. Make sure you’re taking this into consideration before adding his soon to be wife’s dad to the group chat, especially considering that even though what occurs in the chat might not be a reflection of the groom, it could be perceived that way.
Here’s a Pro Tip: If you don’t want his soon to be in-laws jealous they wren’t invited to the shenanigans, consider having a second, much lower key and cheaper party that involves the remaining individuals. As long as everyone keeps their mouth shut, the bachelor’s future in-laws will never find out he had his face stuffed between a strippers ass a week earlier.
Lock in the Date
Your bachelor party should be no later than 2 weeks before the wedding, but ideally no more than 2 months prior. The week leading up to the wedding is going to be stressful for the groom. While it might seem like the perfect time for some alcoholic stress relief and a bunch of strippers, that week really needs to be designated to any last-minute preparations the couple might need to resolve.
There are a lot of things – work, home projects, peace & quiet – that the couple is likely going to want to focus on before they tackle the wedding and subsequent honeymoon. Not to mention, many couples will be traveling for their wedding or welcoming family into town. Adding to the surmounting list of last-minute responsibilities with a last-minute party is going to distract from the bachelor enjoying himself, even if the intent is for it to be a good distraction.
Plus, you’re going to want to add plenty of time before the wedding just in case you have to do a manhunt to find the bachelor if he goes missing.
On the flip side, having the bachelor party too early, and you end up getting so far separated from the event that it can tend to lose relevancy. Then you end up with the wedding date nearing and find yourself discussing one last hoorah, even though you already had “one last hoorah” 4 months ago.
Learn From My Mistake: Do not ever plan the bachelor party for the night before the wedding. Seems obvious, but I was peer pressured into one last night of debauchery after the rehearsal dinner. It is very difficult to enjoy watching your bride walk down the aisle when you’re nursing a hangover.
Pick A Destination
Since this is a blog for “bros”, we’re not going to suggest you head on down to wine country. We can only assume you know the bachelor best, so if he isn’t going to appreciate watching naked midgets juggling bottles of whiskey while a stripper grinds her daddy issues on a pole teasing the Gluck Gluck 9000 for an extra hundred, that list might not be for you.
At the end of the day, this is the bachelor’s party, so pick a location that he will appreciate. You don’t want to end up uninvited from a wedding because the bachelor didn’t think it was as hilarious to get wrestled by a nude sumo lady as you did.
As important as the destination is, keep in mind that the actual success of the bachelor party is going to rest more on the group of people invited than where you actually go. In most cases, the groom would rather surround himself with his most valuable posse 2 towns over rather than a trip across the globe that means the majority of people can’t attend.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to read reviews. Don’t just take a blog post’s word for it either (awkward) because most of them are going to be biased by affiliate links or purely writing from second-hand information. Go to travel review forums and seek out third party opinions with greater knowledge on the area.
Don’t forget to consider the cumulative enjoyment of the trip. Just because the bachelor is a huge fan of golf doesn’t mean you should be searching out the top golf destinations. Just because it was the world’s greatest golf course doesn’t mean it has much else to offer when the sun goes down.
Here’s a Pro Tip: Use a service like StagIt to find package deals. Not only will working with a bachelor party planning service allow you to get awesome discounts for your bachelor party group, but they’ll give advice and information on all the events from their personal experience. Plus, with StagIt group members can create accounts to pay toward the event!
Get Everyone On Board Financially
Here’s the thing, if you’re going to take a buddy out for drinks for his birthday, it only makes sense to me to buy his drinks – unless he’s one of those guys that celebrates his birthday all month long, then fuck that guy.
So if you’re going to take your buddy out for his bachelor party, it only makes sense for everyone else to chip in for his night. Likely, he has enough financial stress with the wedding to attend to, adding a night of luxury indulgence in all things manly he doesn’t have to pay for is going to be appreciated. With a decently sized group, you can usually split his costs up pretty affordably if the overall trip is affordable.
It is important to balance the affordability for those involved to make the most of the night. If there are only a couple stragglers that can’t afford a trip to Vegas, realize you can’t please everyone, but also remember that the people there to celebrate with the groom are likely going to be more important than where the bachelor party is held.
If you and only one other guy in the group are on doctor salaries with the idea of boarding a jet to Budapest, setting up shop in a penthouse suite, and letting the bachelor shoot 3000 rounds of ammunition down range before blowing fat stacks at the craps table but the other 6 guys involved can only afford a party bus around Kansas City…you might want to rethink the situation.
Be prepared to compromise while also putting a priority on the bachelor. Since I have the perspective that this should all be a secret for the bachelor anyways, unless someone lets it slip that he could have been partying in Ibiza, he isn’t going to know what he would have missed out on anyways.
However, if 90% of the group is keen on a Vegas bachelor party than consider putting a priority on if that might be the best mix of friends and destination for maximum stag party satisfaction. And if everyone is super flush with cash and only one other guy can’t afford the trip, consider taking up a collection to assist with him, too.
If affordability really does become a huge issue, while treating the bachelor out for his meals and such is great, it isn’t against etiquette to see how he feels about paying for his own airfare.
Here’s a Pro Tip: Consider starting a bachelor party fund that combines an equal contribution from everyone. This will create a total budget for the trip that the best man can use for expenses. Just be sure to be transparent and discuss with the group before making major purchases.
Make Reservations Well In Advance
Even if you’re just doing an impromptu getaway and letting the alcohol set the course for the evening, it is a good idea to contact places in advance and scope out arrangements for your group of 10+ guys beforehand.
Not only will you find out if some places have group discounts, but more importantly, you don’t want to spend half the evening standing in line or driving around trying to find a place that isn’t jam-packed because you didn’t do your due diligence.
Plan For Transportation
In addition to making reservation arrangements, you should also take the opportunity to align this with transportation plans. Two things are likely to be true for this bachelor party: you’re all going to be shitfaced and you’re not going to want to get an OWI.
A party bus is awesome and can actually be relatively affordable for very large groups compared to Ubering around. Make sure you don’t overlook the little things like this that result in turning what should be an awesome night into constant waiting around for rides or worse, getting picked up with a DUI.
Have a Checklist
We put together our own little bachelor party checklist to reference.
The role of being the best man thrusts into the position of a party planner, which you probably don’t have a degree in. Planning a bachelor party isn’t much different than any other guys’ night, but this also isn’t your average guys’ night. Being organized and communication is going to be the key to success.
Just remember, you’ll be on the receiving end soon enough and can pick someone else to put through the hassle. Obviously, you should send the best man you pick here so we can help guide him in planning the best bachelor party ever, also.
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