Planning a bachelor party can be tough. After all, the groom is trusting you — his best man — to set up his final bout of shenanigans as a bachelor. But if you pull it off, you’ll go down as a legend amongst both him and his groomsmen, so the energy is worth the investment.
Some grooms like the element of surprise while others like to get involved in the planning. Make sure you know where he stands, but you should know the guy well enough by now to handle most things. If you’ve already convinced the groom to have an open bar, the rest should be cake – here’s our roadmap to organizing a killer bachelor party (and kudos to you for planning ahead).
Step 1: Choose a Time & Location
Before you get in touch with the groom’s party, you’ll need to figure out the location and timeline of events. Decide whether you want a local party or one where guests will need to travel. Organizing a destination bachelor party is much like planning a destination wedding — you will need to factor in things like costs, availability, and more.
It’s on you to coordinate with everybody and make sure that they can make it for the event. Weekends are usually a safe bet, but figure out everyone’s schedules far in advance so you can give the party-goers some options.
Narrow it down to three choices and present them to the groom. If he insists on having a destination stag party, remind him that it will likely cut the guest list in half.
Step 2: Build a List of Attendees
Contrary to traditional wedding invitation etiquette, you want to keep the bachelor party guest list as short as possible. A bachelor party is typically a celebration of the groom with his very close friends and sometimes, family – you don’t need to invite every male the groom knows.
When drafting the guest list, remind the groom to keep the party small. It’s always easier to manage smaller parties — this way, the groom will get to spend time with everyone. Make sure you account for key family members who need to be invited, such as the future brother-in-law or a close cousin.
Social dynamics are important, even in small parties. When planning activities, ask the groom about the general vibe of his entourage (are they wild party animals or are they pretty subdued?) and organize your groups with that information. Your goal is to make sure everyone is comfortable and has a good time.
Step 3: Decide on a Budget
Groomsmen are big spenders, even more than bridesmaids, according to a HuffPost article. The guys spend an average of $681.13 at a bachelor party, while bridesmaids spend an average of $437.31 on a bachelorette party.
Despite these stats, the groomsmen may not be comfortable with spending a lot of money. When planning your epic bachelor party, be conservative with the costs. The groomsmen may end up spending more, but at least, it will be of their own volition.
Step 4: Send out Emails & Get Confirmations
Now that you’ve got a budget and a list of people the groom wants to attend, you need to spread the word. Email may be the easiest way, but Facebook/text messages are fine too. Your goal is to sort out the tentative agenda and costs, as well as address any concerns the guests may have.
Your email needs to accomplish these tasks:
- RSVPs, so you can get a head count of who will be there.
- Contact information and travel information (if you are planning to fly somewhere).
- Detailed itinerary and costs associated with the bachelor party.
- Requirement to download a mobile payment service, such as PayPal or Venmo, to easily split costs.
At the end of your email, try adding a funny picture of the groom (you have something embarrassing hiding around somewhere, don’t you?)
At some point during the bachelor party, get the group together and brainstorm ways to make sure his guests have a fantastic time at the wedding. The groom will not only appreciate the effort, but it will ease off some of his stress to know that his best man cares beyond the partying.
Step 5: Sort out Lodging
Accommodation is very important if you’re planning a destination bachelor party. Depending on where you are going, you’ll get to choose between all-inclusive resorts, hotels, or houses (I prefer AirBnB personally). Houses are a popular option because they facilitate hangouts with the entire group, and give everybody a shared space to relax (or party). All-inclusive resorts are great if you don’t want to worry about arranging the meals, activities, or beverages.
Celebrating a bachelor party in town is easier because you probably won’t have to house every guest. However, you should account for those out-of-town friends and have an idea of whose couch they can crash at.
Step 6: Arrange (Suitable) Activities
Whether you’re taking the party out for a night or for a quick getaway, make sure the groom approves of the activities. Save for a few mandatory events, such as dinner and speeches, make sure that all the other events planned are “opt-in”. You don’t want to force anyone into unwanted activities. Given that they are here for the groom, they’ll most likely join anyway.
Often, the groom’s friends are from all over the country, and the focus of the bachelor party is simply catching up (instead of getting drunk on high-end alcohol in Las Vegas, as portrayed in the movies). At the end of the day, the groom just wants to have a good time with his closest friends. So, it shouldn’t matter what you do, as long as you arrange time to hang out and catch up.
Food for thought: it is possible to plan a (mostly) hangover-free bachelor party.
Planning a bachelor party is a feat, and the memories you’ll all share together will live on for the rest of your lives. You, the best man, are the unsung hero of the wedding – thanks for doing your thing.
Any suggestions for other guys out there planning bachelor parties? Leave a comment below, your input would be appreciated. And if you’re looking for some other interesting wedding content (for you or your partner), we have frequently updated Facebook and Pinterest pages to help anyone get ready for the big day. Cheers!