Planning for a bachelor party takes more thought than you might think. Without careful coordination with other party members, in fact, in can turn out to be an utter disaster.
Bachelor parties can run into all kinds of pitfalls, from embarrassing to dangerous, to downright inconsiderate to all involved.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. The key to optimal planning for a bachelor party involves keeping everyone informed and in consideration. Without consistent and open communication, even the best laid plans may end up becoming a bachelor party to remember for all of the wrong reasons.
Here are our essential steps to planning the ultimate bachelor party:
1. Get everyone on the same page from day one
Whether you’re the best man or one of the groomsmen, everyone needs to be involved. While tradition says that the best man is the one ‘in charge’, every situation is different.
Many bachelor parties will involve friends from different eras of the groom’s life – high school friends, college friends, coworkers, family, and even the bride’s brothers. Keeping everyone in the loop ensures smooth bachelor party planning from the beginning, and prevents someone feeling left out.
Pro-tip: You can create an event on Guestboard and use the message board to keep your conversations completely organized. Along with the itemized schedule feature, everyone knows what’s happening ahead of time, and you can avoid those crazy email chains.
2. Take a vote
Along the same lines, it’s important to have everyone in agreement. Maybe you won’t have an absolute consensus, but asking others for feedback and advice can help narrow down your options. Plus, it’s a great way to get ideas you may not have thought of, to add a little variety to your bachelor party.
A few questions to ask everyone that might help make key decisions:
- “How much are you willing to spend?”
- “Would you rather spend more on going somewhere farther away (i.e. a flight), or staying local and spending more on activities?”
- “Are you able to devote more than just 2 days?”
- “Any other hesitations/preferences?”
3. Think about the groom
This planning step may seem obvious, but it’s also one of the most important for throwing a bachelor party. Too often, well-intentioned best mans and groomsmen decide to plan a wild night out–and the groom would rather do something quieter. If the groom isn’t into the bar scene, there are plenty of other awesome bachelor party ideas.
Even if you are including a night at a local bar, make sure it’s personalized in some way. Is there some food, music, or extra activity that the groom would especially enjoy? Maybe rename a common cocktail after your best buddy, and order those by name all night.
4. Keep it secret(?)
This is a delicate step, and goes hand-in-hand with the above. Think about your friend (the groom)– does he enjoy planning big events like this? Would he get any sort of anxiety from not knowing what’s going to happen? Then maybe it’s best to be fully transparent. Or, maybe he’d love to be surprised!
If you don’t keep the entire thing a surprise, you can certainly sneak in one small surprise event or gesture that shows you all put in the extra thought.
5. Plan for the bill
In general, everyone but the groom pitches in for the cost of the bachelor party, which can include transportation, food, beverages, etc. And they can get pricey, often times totaling over $700/person, all said and done. On top of that, the act of organizing payment can be it’s own headache. There are, however, a couple ways to divvy it up to make things easier:
1. Oh captain, my captain: Having one kind soul put everything on their credit card throughout the weekend can help keep things simple and organized. It also makes it easy to divide by X at the end of the weekend without a lot of headache. (Plus, he can get some solid credit card points out of it!). Be sure to buy this fella a beer out of your own pocket, as a thank you.
2. Paying up front: Similar to the above, but with a twist. We’ve been to a couple great bachelor parties where all the activities were planned ahead of time by one or two key organizers. A 50% “deposit” was requested from every person weeks in advance, and then the other 50% a few days before arriving.
This worked out great because A) you don’t need to worry about how much the bachelor party weekend might cost you (because you know ahead of time), and B) because it’s spread into two equal payments over a few months, the financial burden feels lighter. The caveat is that this method may require some more tedious planning ahead of time, and choosing activities and restaurants with certain qualities (think: prix fixe menus, events with a set ticket price, etc.)
6. Consider Timing
While you might think of a bachelor party as the last night of freedom before the wedding, having it literally the night before the wedding isn’t a great idea… for obvious reasons. This traditional has largely gone away, due to horror stories like black eyes, broken bones, and the unavoidable hangover.
If you want to make sure everyone’s at their very best for the wedding, plan to hold the bachelor party at least a week (but preferably more) before the big day.
7. Recover and Reflect
It’s easy to stumble out of the hotel bed, throw what’s left of your clothes in your luggage and get yourself home. But a bachelor party is more than a celebration of a single person– it’s a bonding experience. You might be taking some new secrets to the grave together (and forever!). Which is why it’s important to follow-through afterward.
Because everyone was using it to plan, Guestboard is a great place to post the photos and share funny stories from the weekend, far away from Facebook. Tell everyone you’re excited to see them all for another round of drinks at the main event (..the wedding).