Bachelor Party Planning 101: Everything You Need To Know
A bachelor party is a man’s last chance to go out and live it up with his closest friends before settling into married life. Typically, the responsibility of planning the party falls on the groom’s Best Man or a close family member or friend. If you’re the one who has been tasked with bachelor party planning, you may be stuck on how to host an event that is fun, cool, and does a good job honoring the groom. These are his last single days, so you want to make sure your stag party is up to snuff.
This guide will help you put together a pre-wedding celebration that will be talked about for years to come. Learn how to plan a bachelor party with these clever and classic ideas.
What is a Bachelor Party?
Though it can seem like a wild party to some, there is some significant bachelor party meaning. The tradition dates back to the 5th Century B.C. when Spartans would hold a feast for a man before his wedding and spend the night toasting and drinking in his honor. The tradition would take on a life of its own in the United Kingdom in the centuries that followed. Called a stag party in the U.K., the definition is essentially the same. The night is meant to mark the transition of a man’s life from bachelor to spouse.
Who Plans the Party?
Typically, the person in charge of planning the bachelor party is the Best Man. In many cases, the duty is split between this individual and other men in the wedding party. If the groom has any brothers or close male friends or relatives, these men are usually the ones who take on the most tasks associated with planning. The groom should also have some say in how the night plays out, as the whole affair is meant to honor him.
Who Is Invited to the Bachelor Party?
The guest list for the bachelor party shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out. All of the men in the wedding party should be invited, as well as any close male friends or family members of the groom. The groom should technically be the one in charge of this aspect of bachelor party planning. You don’t want to make a mistake and invite someone he’s not very close with or forget someone important.
Who Pays for the Bachelor Party?
Since the entire point of the bachelor party is to celebrate the groom for a final night of excitement, you want to make sure he doesn’t pay for anything. All of the men in the party should take care of the expenses related to the night. He deserves a night out and it is a celebration in his honor, so be sure to tell him to leave his wallet at home.
How to Throw a Bachelor Party
Bachelor party planning takes time. The best way to figure out how to plan a bachelor party is by writing out a timeline for yourself. You want to start a few months before the date and work through a checklist of items for the stag party at certain points along the way. By paying attention to the timeline, you will have a much easier time figuring out creative ideas for bachelor parties at the right moment. Use this framework to create your own schedule and follow a path of success for bachelor party planners.
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Before The Party
Start early to give yourself lots of time. A month or two before the wedding is ideal for giving everyone plenty of time to get ready.
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Select a Date
Perhaps the biggest decision you will need to make is selecting a date to hold the party. In the past, the night before the wedding was the traditional time to hold this event. Since this is no longer the norm, you want to work closely with the groom (and even the bride) to find a date that works well for everyone. With so many different wedding-related events happening around this time, it is important to pick the date with plenty of time to spare.
Pick a Place
After a date has been set, your next task is figuring out a location for the event. There are many bachelor party ideas that can help you find the ideal setting, but first you need to weigh out some factors. Typically, you want to think about how many guests will be present, what the overall budget is for the event, and how much time is available for the festivities. The more you ruminate on these points, the easier it will be to pick your destination.
Establish the Budget
Figuring out a sensible budget is also a task you want to complete very early This is a part of bachelor party planning that cannot be ignored. The entire groom of groomsmen need to come together and decide how much each person can contribute. This will help determine exactly what the group can afford to spend. Once you’ve got a firm understanding of the funds you’re working with, you can finalize other details and make more progress with the plans.
Craft the Guest List
The guest list can sometimes be tricky to work out for smaller events like the bachelor party. As mentioned, your best bet is to consult with the groom to craft a list that is suitable for the night you are planning. If the event is being held in a public place, you can be a bit more loose with the list. Tell some other friends to swing by for a drink or two and include some additional friendly faces in the mix.
Weeks Before The Party
The preliminary tasks should all be completed by this point. You have your guest list and location and budget all set. Now, it is time to move into the part of bachelor party planning that involves more specific steps.
Create a Menu
Depending on the location of the party, you may need to think about food options. If your night includes a lot of drinking at local bars and clubs, then dinner may not be a part of the equation at any of the spots you’re hitting. Be sure to start the night with a good meal somewhere to ensure that everyone eats enough to handle the amount of drinking they will be doing.
Book a Hotel Room
Are you and the boys headed to a location that is a bit farther from home? If this is the case, you need to think about booking hotel rooms. Planning this early is key, as you don’t want to wait and run the risk of all vacancies being filled. To save money, consider sharing rooms or going in on a rental house. Again, what works will depend on what your plans are.
Think About Alcohol
Bringing along some extra booze is also key to a successful bachelor party. You’re going to be hitting bars, restaurants, and clubs, of course. Still, you want to have some extra bottles or cans for when you’re hanging around the hotel room or figuring out your next steps. If anyone in the group does not drink, be sure to have alternative options for them and make sure they feel comfortable with all of the night’s events.
Entertainment is also an angle to consider when it comes to planning out the night. There are all kinds of fun things to do for a bachelor party. Whether you’re looking to get down and dirty or you want some bachelor party games clean and easy, there are some great options to weigh out. Do a little search of games played at bachelor parties to get a feel for how you can get the boys hyped for a night of fun.
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During the Party
Your mail goal during the party itself is to have a good time. Still, there are a few points you will need to focus on throughout the event.
Organization Is Key
Throughout the night, you may notice that a few snags occur. Perhaps a guest can’t find the bathroom or you’ve noticed it is taking longer than it should for dinner to be served. Take on the role of the host in these moments and keep the group and the itinerary organized as best as you can.
When you take a bunch of guys out for a celebration and add alcohol to the equation, things can get out of control fast. It also means that some of the men might drink too much and forget the night’s plans. To avoid losing anyone, communicate the plans frequently. You should also give digital and physical copies of the itineraries to everyone so that they always know where to go.
Think About Safety
Safety should also be a top priority. None of the guests who are drinking should be getting behind the wheel of a car. As the host, you should probably try to stay on the sober side during the early hours of the night to ensure everyone is behaving in ways that won’t create unsafe or dangerous conditions.
As the guy in charge of the night’s events, you are going to be the one who everyone looks to when a problem arises. Someone drinking a bit too much and making a scene? You need to handle it. Is the bar you had your heart set on closed unexpectedly? You need to figure it out. No matter how much time and effort you have put into planning out the party, you absolutely can expect issues to arise along the way. Be prepared for anything and it can help you retain control of the night.
Give the Groom Lots of Attention
Though he is the man of the hour, you’d be surprised with how easy it is for a groom to get lost in the shuffle of his own party. Successful bachelor party planning puts the groom at the front and center of the night’s events. Be sure to check in with him frequently to ensure he is having the best time possible. If he isn’t, then you might want to be flexible with the plan and cater it to what you think the groom would rather be doing. Be sure to take lots of pictures, as the night should definitely be documented for him to enjoy later.
Bachelor Party Planning Checklist
Seeing success with bachelor party planning is all about learning to be thorough. If you are putting together a stag party, a checklist can be a lifesaver. Use this simplified checklist when planning a bachelor party and stay on the right track no matter what.
Bachelor Party Etiquette
There are plenty of bachelor party traditions to consider when putting together your event. However, there are also going to be a few points that you may be uncertain about. Understanding the dos and don’ts of throwing a bachelor party can help you avoid an awkward scenario.
Should Strippers Be Involved?
The classic image of the bachelor party depicted in movies and television programs is one of wild revelry where strippers and exotic dancers are par for the course. While there’s nothing wrong with visiting a strip club or hiring a dancer for your event, you need to make sure it is something the bachelor will be comfortable with. All men have different tastes and it is presumptions to assume your friend is going to want to dance with a stranger so close to his wedding night. Discuss this with the groom and, in turn, he may need to run it by his bride to be.
Do We Need To Go Out and Party?
Again, the popular depiction of bachelor parties is one of serious partying. This is a fine way to go about the night’s events, but it is far from the only route to consider when you’re bachelor party planning. There’s a whole world to see and your imagination is the only limit you have. You can go for an unforgettable weekend to Las Vegas or hike part of the Appalachian Trail. Lounge on the beaches in San Francisco or go to Ireland and hit some authentic pubs. Trying something unique instead of following a script can help make for a truly fantastic night.
Keep Up the Energy
Some bachelor parties can go long into the night and, in some cases, into the wee hours of the morning. If you’re not used to late nights anymore, then you need to find a way to keep up your energy levels. If the host starts to wane, it can throw off the entire vibe of the night. Get plenty of rest during the days leading up to the party, drink lots of water, and pace yourself throughout the night to ensure you don’t get too wasted too early. Also, coffee will be your friend throughout the excursion, so learn where you can grab a decent cup nearby.
Be Sure To Start Far in Advance
It has been stated many times here that you need to plan the bachelor party in advance. Waiting too long can create a number of problems with logistics. Start a month or two before the date of the party and put in the required work to make sure that everything goes according to plan.
Be Mindful of the Groom
As the host, it is your responsibility to make sure the party doesn’t get too out of control. The groom is about to get married, so the debauchery needs to remain within the realm of good fun. Should the groom do anything he regrets, it is going to cause lasting ramifications. Be mindful of the groom at all times and try to keep him away from the kind of trouble that happens when good times roll.
Enjoy the Experience
With so many different tasks to take care of, you may find yourself distracted throughout the entire party. While you need to remain responsible to a degree, you also need to have fun. This is a unique opportunity to celebrate one of your closest friends. Let loose a bit and get into the spirit of the night.
Bachelor Party Etiquette For Guests
Guests should also stay mindful of a key few rules of engagement. Be sure to inform all the guest of these points to see success with bachelor party planning.
Should Guests Bring Gifts?
Bringing a gift to a bachelor party isn’t required. Unlike a bridal shower, this event is more about the activity itself. If guests do bring gifts, they’re usually the kind that can be used during the event like a bottle of wine or a case of beer. Be sure to let guests know whether or not they should bring bachelor party gifts.
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This Isn’t a Frat Party
Guys can get wild when they get together and get drunk. This is especially true of good friends with a long history. While you may want to go crazy the way you boys did when you were in college, you need to stay somewhat in control. Have a great time, but definitely remain within the wheelhouse of safe and clean fun.
The Groom Controls the Night
No matter the direction the night takes, you’re in it for the long haul. Leaving a bachelor party before it is over is an easy way to make the groom feel like his friends aren’t having fun. Keep the energy up throughout the night and be sure to take the lead from the groom whenever you’re unsure of what the plan is.
Though there are many steps involved with successful bachelor party planning, it is entirely possible to throw a fantastic and memorable event with a little advance work. Give yourself ample time to plan out the party a few months out and refer to your checklist whenever you hit a snag. By the time the big day arrives, you and the guys will be ready to go off on a one-of-a-kind adventure that you’ll be talking about long after you’ve all settled down.