Most laypeople think that planning a bachelor party is a simple task, on par with organising a foursome for a round of golf or pulling off a bank robbery in a sleepy New Hampshire town. But that is why most laypeople aren’t invited to come up with bachelor party ideas.
Don’t get it twisted: planning a bachelor party is one of the most nuanced, complicated, and danger-fraught things a man-person will ever do, which is why I’ve created this fail-proof guide to the entire process. Follow the advice below, and you can be reasonably sure your friend will have the time of his life, and finally not regret picking you as best man over Chad.
First, you’re going to need to sit down with the bachelor and establish four things:
Table of Contents
- 1 Figure out where you’re going and when
- 2 Figure out where you’re staying
- 3 A word about the size, aka the guest list
- 4 Decipher the social dynamic of the list
- 5 Create the plan
- 6 Put together your email.
- 7 Bachelor Party Ideas: Planning An Unforgettable Party
- 8 Stripper-Free Bachelor Party Ideas
Figure out where you’re going and when
Some bachelors leave it up to their planners, but those people are stupid. Going into this conversation, you should have a good idea of three spots or destinations* based on the Bachelor’s interests and present them to him. Giving him those options (and the reasoning for each) creates the illusion that you’re ceding him control while also keeping him contained within the parameters you’ve chosen. This is important because some bachelors can’t see more potentially fantastic forests because all the trees have advertisements for Las Vegas on them. I’m reading straight from The Art of War. We have an exclusive range of hens party services to spice up your girls’ night out at Magic Men.
After that, you pick a date that works for the bachelor, is at least six weeks in the future, and doesn’t fall during a typical holiday or a famous vacation weekend people might have already planned a trip around.
*A quick note on bachelor party destinations: if he wants to go somewhere international, that’s fine, but you need to let him know that this will cut the group by at least half or more and rule out broke people and most people with kids. Unless he just wants to go to a cabin and get weird, you should be offering up places where you can do many activities nearby, the cost isn’t prohibitive, and girls exist—college towns, cities with warm climates and good bar scenes, etc. We’re not here to give you a list of cities because we want you to be creative and work off your friend’s interests. But just in case that doesn’t work, here’s a list of cities and our guides to each of them.
Figure out where you’re staying
Depending on the place, it’s a house/hotel argument here (unless everyone on the trip is from Maine, please don’t go camping). With the house, you have everyone together, and group hangs happen more organically; it’s usually cheaper, and you often have access to things like grills, private pools, and mysteriously locked closets likely filled with dozens of fake Holy Grails and one proper chalice of eternal youth. Or towels or whatever.
Hotels mean in-building access to bars and restaurants, pools that aren’t private and thus might have girls hanging out at them, and the ability to escape from the people you dislike on the trip. Hotels usually also mean central location Downtown, so the better potential to walk to other sites.
Often, this is a simple city-versus-country argument, and the decision will be made for you. Still, it’s suitable for the person planning to have explored both options in the chosen city and be ready to have an opinion.
A word about the size, aka the guest list
Inevitably, the bachelor will over-confidently assume everyone he invites will want to cast aside whatever life, family, and work obligations they have to spend six days with him in Thailand. As the Bachelor King’s Hand, it is up to you to revise and reset his expectations. And also to urge him to keep the group as small as possible: the ideal size is 10. More than that, you usually have to split up tables at meals and bars, thus splintering the group and fracturing the social dynamic.
An excellent option to ensure a small group and satisfy the need to invite the bride’s brothers or dad or any other awkward future family member is to set up a supplementary one-night event in the city you live in with a giant invite list. So basically, like a nice dinner and a trip to a cigar bar, or something that will make them feel included while preventing them from seeing the bachelor potentially fall in love with a stripper. This frees up the actual invitees to just be true believers or people who have tenuous personal relationships with their spouses and will find any excuse to leave their homes.
Before you get off the phone with the bachelor, make him break down for you the balance of allegiances of the said guest list: who knows who, what kind of people they are, what their hair looks like when wet, etc. This information is essential because you’ll want the bachelor to helpt you choose your lieutenants to create a Bachelor Party Steering Committee (BPSC) with someone who has the trust of each constituency (high school, college, work friends, etc.) represented. Tired of looking for hens party ideas? Look no further, Magic Men has you covered.
In many ways, planning a bachelor party is the truest parallel to our presidential election process. The members of the BPSC essentially act as super delegates in the presidential nominating contests — they can listen to the wills of their people, or they can just ditch their people and vote their conscience.
Create the plan
Now that you’ve established the BPSC, you should get everyone together, order Burmese food, and make a plan for the weekend. Before these people get to your place (or a bar, if you don’t trust them), you should map out a loose schedule to use as a starting point. If you don’t have a plan going in, you guys will spend too much time spinning your wheels and “brainstorming”, and that delicious Burmese tea leaf salad will start to wilt, ruining your week.
Put together your email.
Once you have the plan, you’re ready to send out the email to the entire group. The key to the email is to be quick, funny, and informative. You need to accomplish five things:
- Figure out who is in and out.
- Get their contact info (cell, etc.) and eventual flight information.
- Break down the core details and expected costs, so there are no surprises.
- Most bachelor parties tend to pay for everything the bachelor does (within reason), minus his airfare. Of course, if the bachelor wants to get himself a mango mojito at the bar, no one has to dive in front of the bartender as he hands him his credit card.
- Force everyone to download Venmo (or at least PayPal) so that expenses can be taken care of in as smooth a fashion as possible.
- And Splitwise, to divvy up the bills at the end of the trip (it links to Venmo and is very easy). And possibly WhatsApp, if there are some incredibly sketchy individuals amongst you.
- Get in a few savage burns, and at least one embarrassing (but not NSFW) photo of the bachelor passed out wearing most of a Lion-O from ThunderCats costume.
Bachelor Party Ideas: Planning An Unforgettable Party
Bachelor parties are rooted in ancient history. Many believe that the Spartans were the first to hold bachelor parties to celebrate the groom’s last night as a single man. This celebration included dinner and drinks with many, and a toast was given in the groom’s honour. The term ‘bachelor’ itself, used as we do today, first appeared courtesy of Geoffrey Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales in the 14th century.
Bachelor parties have come a long way since then, and more importantly, they’ve become much more creative. With the rise of these parties’ hype, it has become easier to get overwhelmed when organising the guys, picking a place and time, and making sure it’s a party to remember for the groom.
WHERE IS THE BACHELOR PARTY?
When deciding on a place, it is crucial to keep in mind what kind of scene you and the rest of the party envision for the bash. Are you looking for a relaxed environment to celebrate the groom’s last night of freedom, or is the group ready to shut down the bars downtown?
Choose a city/state that fits that preference and what activities everyone wants to do. Don’t make the mistake of choosing an area with a lively downtown if you’re going to utilise the outdoors.
You’ll spend half of your weekend travelling because the location does not match everyone wants to do.
WHEN TO HAVE THE BACHELOR PARTY?
Typically, the bachelor party takes place between 1 and 4 months before the wedding. The “when” will significantly impact how much planning needs to be done for activities during the weekend or all-day event. Making reservations and looking into the schedules of everyone invited is also essential to keep in mind.
Remember that some groomsmen might still be in college and have a tighter schedule. Take into account times when these guys would be able to get away from their programs to join ahead of time.
You also should stray away from planning on a holiday weekend. Doing this might set you up for conflicts with plans that other groomsmen might have previously lined up. This is also undoubtedly a time where hotels and airlines spike their prices for the busier travel seasons.
WHERE TO STAY FOR THE BACHELOR PARTY?
Once you decide on an area and a time, you need to find where you will be able to crash at the end of the day. Airbnb’s, hotels, family lake houses/cottages, condos, and the list go on with options. Again, be sure to pick a place that makes sense. If you know that you will focus the party in a downtown bar/club setting, a hotel would be a good fit since most hotels are central to those areas, and transportation will be a breeze.
If you decide to make it a weekend-long party, talk with the groom and groomsmen about their favourite weekend destinations to get suggestions on where to stay. Reserve a hotel, condo, or campground.
Just remember that bashes like these can sometimes exclude those with busy schedules or who are a bit strapped for cash.
WHO SHOULD BE INVITED TO THE BACHELOR PARTY?
Once you’ve figured out the destination for the day/weekend, you should discuss the guests to invite with the groom. This is probably one of the most important but sometimes overlooked areas. Want to have the best Melbourne hens party? Magic Men has you covered.
First, you need to solidify if you want to go the traditional route with guests or branch off into a newer territory of bachelor parties — co-ed parties or joint parties of the bride and groom.
Joint parties are gaining popularity due to the rise of people getting married at an older age and is new to the scene of bachelor/bachelorette parties. The reviews are mixed on this topic, but make sure that you make the decision that you think will allow the groom to bond the most with those who have been by his side through it all, for one last night of “freedom.”
Some guests to consider including are the fathers — both the groom’s and his future father-in-law. They’ll appreciate the invite. Just make it clear if they’re being invited only to dinner or to dinner and a couple of drinks, etc. You may or may not want them around later in the night, depending on plans and if any bachelor party games will be played.
If the plan is to have a small wedding or a destination wedding and the bachelor party will be in the groom’s hometown, you should feel free to invite guests who may not be invited to the wedding once approved by the groom. Remember, the bachelor party is the chance to celebrate the groom’s life leading up to marriage, so you don’t necessarily have only to include only those invited to the actual wedding.
The last thing to think about is friends from different groups that may not be friends with each other, such as the groom’s fiancée’s brother and his fraternity brother, for example. You may want to think about talking to one or both of them as to what would be considered acceptable conduct and discussion during the party.
Do yourself a favour and consider possible problems ahead of time and either warn people or tell them to keep things mellow to avoid offending anyone — especially the groom’s future relatives.
Stripper-Free Bachelor Party Ideas
If you’re over the age of 12, you know that the traditional bachelor party involves strippers, booze, and then more strippers. That’s all fine. We would never discourage lapdances and liquor.
But you can do better. You can get more creative. In addition to the ho-hum routine of pole-dancing and beer, consider mixing it up with the following:
- Play poker. Perfect for a lean budget. Grill steaks, get beer from a cheap grocery store and play.
- Camp. Swigging beers around the campfire—stars in the sky, clear air, no smartphones—is just the right contrast to the madness of wedding planning.
- Golf. But only if the groom actually—you know—likes to golf. Otherwise, it feels forced, rote, and awkward. If someone influential eagerly suggests, “Hey guys—let’s do golf!” others might feel obligated just out of peer pressure. Feel out the groom’s honest interest-level.
- Taste whiskey. Not cheap. But arranging your own private “tasting” at a posh whiskey bar—like any of these in New York—lets you class-up an ordinary bar experience.
- Take a road trip. Ideally, to someplace fun and quirky, like Graceland, Atlantic City, or the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Herd cattle. Think City Slickers. Yep, you can book this kind of “working vacation” where you live like cowboys.
- Kill each other. Virtually. If your group is into video games, a weekend of Halo, Grand Theft Auto, or Madden could be the perfect (if nerdy) way to relieve stress. If you feel this messes with your he-man image, just lie to everyone and tell them you hit a strip-club along the way.
- Rent a beach house. When enough guys chip in, renting a home is cheaper than a hotel, gives you an Old School-type vibe, and increases the odds that the groom, at some point, will pass out, which is the goal of every good bachelor party. (Unless, of course, the bachelor party is the night before the wedding. Which you would never schedule, right?)
- Play paintball. Only two rules: 1) You have to let the groom’s team win. 2) You can’t let the groom know that you’re letting him win.
- Go white water rafting. Plenty of organisations now offer multi-day, pre-planned, guided rafting trips that require no knowledge, experience, or sobriety.
- Fish. Maybe. This depends on the personality of the groom. Some guys will find it boring—profoundly so—to stare, for hours and hours, at a tranquil sea of water. He’ll get enough of this redundancy in marriage.
- Taste cigars. Splurge on a swanky cigar lounge and smoke cigars that you would never, ever ordinarily justify buying. If not, now, when?
- Skydive. Most guys want to go skydiving but never do because of the eye-popping cost. (Hundreds of dollars for only a few minutes of fun—it’s a worse $/minute ratio than a high-class hooker.) Like cigar tasting, you might as well live it up now.
- Take in a game. If you can swing it, get box seats. If you can’t, just get drunk. Either way, pay the cash to get seats you would never usually afford.
- Rent dirt bikes. Or dune buggies, ATVs, or anything else that provides at least a 13% chance of death.
- Feast on steak. Maybe your group has tons of dough but can’t find a weekend to all getaway. No problem: rent a limo and go for a steak dinner. Especially if this is not the kind of lifestyle your groom is used to, this will make him feel like royalty.
- Anything but this. Learn from this real-life example. In your attempts to get more creative, don’t let the pendulum swing too far. Unless the groom is a recovering alcoholic or doesn’t drink for religious/personal reasons, you still want to incorporate booze and debauchery.