So your best buddy’s finally getting hitched and, for better or worse, you’re in charge of the bachelor party.
It’s as terrifying a task as it is an honor and there’s nothing you want more than to make it a success.
But, as always, your mind’s already buzzing with all the ways things could go wrong.
It’s normal to have apprehensions about hosting a bachelor party.
In that way, it’s not too different from marriage.
And just like a wedding, so long as you keep your cool, know what you’re doing, and take the wishes of the other person into consideration, you’re sure to have an unforgettable night on your hands.
To help you get your bearings:
Here’s everything you need to know on How to Plan the Ultimate Bachelor Party.
No, none of it involves a strip club.
The bachelor is the most important part of any bachelor party. This much should be obvious.
As such, anything you do for the party needs to be able to mesh with the likes, interests, dislikes, and preferences of the bachelor.
While subterfuge might make for a good surprise, the easiest and most effective way to ensure you make your friend happy would be to simply ask him what kind of party he’d like to have.
Big or intimate, loud or quiet, all night or just a few hours – these are all important things to nail down before you get into the meat of party planning.
When your party starts is a good consideration for any bachelor party.
How long is it going to last is another.
You’re potentially getting a bunch of busy people together from all over and they’re not going to be happy if they wind up stuck somewhere for an extra day or two because of poor time management.
In general, you could think of the bachelor party as an all day affair or as just the evening and night of the day it’s set.
There are even certain activities that could take multiple days to complete, like hunting trips or a vacation at a resort or lodge, making it even more necessary to check with and get the go ahead from everyone else first.
Which you pick can greatly shift the tone or feeling of the party, most simply by the length of the party itself. If things run longer, it would likely be a good idea to plan a few places to be to try and keep the energy up.
This also helps people from getting bored of the party by moving them around and forcing them to be engaged.
More than just the time things start, though, is when a party is set to happen.
If you’re planning the party shortly before the wedding is set to happen, for example, you should likely build your plans around things that won’t leave you all destroyed by the time the groom has to hobble down the aisle hungover and aching from all the extreme sports you just did together.
If the wedding date is still a ways out from the party, though, you’re more free to do as you please, though still with consideration for people’s ability and any responsibilities you might have in the next few days, wedding-related or otherwise.
Regardless of who’s paying for the bachelor party (though one good strategy to help you personally save would be to split costs between all the other groomsmen), it’s always a smart idea to budget things in advance.
While you don’t necessarily have to plan every penny you intend to spend, it can be a good guide for what you can and can’t afford to do while you’re out there in the heat of the moment.
While it might lead to some disappointment in the short term, it’ll be a far better option than waking up the next morning to realize you dropped a few grand on a boat you don’t want and can’t use. (rent, don't buy)
This budget should include areas for all different kinds of expenses, from food and drink to location booking to travel if needed.
There’s plenty of simple tips you can follow to have a great party without breaking the bank
Guests literally make the party so it’s integral you make a good guest list.
This is one of the areas of party planning more than almost any other that you’ll need to discuss with the bachelor. While the obvious options include yourself, the bachelor, and all the groomsmen, what about the less obvious options?
One thing many people are hesitant to do is invite people to the bachelor party who aren’t directly related to the wedding.
While this isn’t entirely unfounded, thinking someone might feel a bit jilted if they’re just there for the party but not the wedding itself, it’s usually not as big of an issue as you’d think.
Sometimes people aren’t able to attend the wedding in proper due to other commitments, distance, or any host of other features, but those people would likely be more than happy to join you for the party if available.
There’s also the issue of deciding whether or not someone is close enough to invite.
Though it’s understandable to be a bit apprehensive to invite someone you haven’t spoken to since high school to your bachelor party, sometimes it’s the right call to make.
Long Lost Friends?
If there was a particular time in your life where you had a very tight-knit group of friends who eventually went their separate ways, what better way to get the band back together for one last run than before a wedding?
Maybe you’ll even rekindle some of those old relationships and stick together this time.
Be cautious about ending up with too many guests, though. The larger the party, the more of a chance there is for something to go wrong.
It’s much easier as the host to get a hold of a small group of rowdy friends than a whole room of drunks who might not even know each other that well and want to start picking fights.
Additionally, be careful of any potential problems inviting (or not inviting) certain people could cause. Consider any grudges or broken friendships between people you could suddenly be forcing together into the same room.
Unless your end goal is to cause a scene, it would probably be best to keep any of this from happening early on by being a bit more selective with your guests.
Be Considerate of Others
Finally, be sure to think about what you’ll actually be doing at the party and whether or not it’ll mesh with the planned guest list.
If one person is a recovering alcoholic, maybe you shouldn’t have them out with you at a bar. Alternatively, simply don’t go to a bar if you want this person to come.
One can affect the other, so it’s necessary to consider things from all angles before sending out the invites.
You’ve probably noticed that the actual location for the party is pretty far down on this list.
That’s no coincidence, as one of the things not many people can really grasp is that where you are matters a whole lot less compared to who is there.
Hopefully it takes some of the pressure off knowing that, if you and your friends are someplace together and having fun, there’s really no need to stress over finding the perfect place to party.
That having been said, a great party spot can obviously enhance your night. But before the great spots, we should once again highlight one of the worst you could pick.
Don't Go to a Strip Club
As mentioned before, it’s really not advised to go to a club for a bachelor party. Not only is it played out and tacky, it shows a distinct lack of care for the bachelor.
It’s almost like saying, “I don’t actually know or care about any of your interests, so just look at naked women for the next few hours with all your friends sitting next to you.”
Plus, unless you’ve discussed it beforehand with anyone’s partner, especially the bride-to-be, you could quickly land yourselves in hot water.
With that covered, though, there’s plenty of alternatives for where to host the party that might actually make for a meaningful and fun experience.
Go Somewhere Meaningful
The obvious choice would be somewhere meaningful to your group of friends.
Maybe a spot around town you all use to hang out, like a movie theater, sports venue or pub.
While it’s not glamorous, the memories can make just about anything feel special.
Chilling in the Man Cave
Even just someone’s old basement can do the trick, especially if it’s where you all used to play as kids or something along those lines.
On the other hand, it could simply be fun to explore the city. Hop around from restaurants and bars and other local attractions each of you knows well.
Bachelor Party Ideas
Here is a list of possible bachelor party ideas, just to help get your creative juices going. Again, make sure what you decide on, is tailored towards the bachelor's likes.
- Sports Venue
- House Boating
- Video Games
- Golf with Carts
- Pub Crawl
- Chartered Boat
- Outdoor Concert
- Skydiving (early)
- Go Karts
- Cigar Tasting
- Dirt Bikes
- Rafting (early)
- Gun Range (early)
- Beer Pong
- Whiskey Tasting
- Vegas Pool Party
- Vegas Clubs
- Anything Vegas
Bachelor Party Destinations
- Stay Local
- Las Vegas
- New Orleans
- Go to the Woods
- Road Trip
- Ski Hill
- Go to the Beach
- Go to Mexico
- Bangkok Baby
Have a Backup Plan
Keep things a bit more free form and just go with the flow. If you’re doing this, though, it would still be a good idea to have at least one or two places in your back pocket just for insurance, since the last thing you want to happen is have everyone burn out on ideas right away with no idea how to fix it as the host.
Destination Parties Rule!
If you’re looking for something totally different, however, you could do a destination party.
While not right or available for everyone, traveling to a place like Las Vegas or New Orleans to get your party on, can make for an unforgettable night if simply doing things around town isn’t what you’re looking for.
Just make sure to have a plan for the trip once you get there and to confirm it with everyone before you try to herd them all onto a plane at the last minute.
A Little Caution is Warranted
As with something like spring break, though, remember to use caution and good judgment and to try not to get yourself into too much trouble.
There can’t be a wedding if the bachelor’s in jail, you know. It’s also helpful to actually do some research into the locations you intend to travel, as their glamorous reputations can hide a lot of negatives you might otherwise have to face while you’re right in the thick of it.
What kind of party is complete without gifts?
A bad one, that’s what. So to avoid throwing a terrible bachelor party, you’ll have to start thinking about gifts.
One aspect of gift giving many don’t think about until it’s too late is pricing.
Not in the sense of budgeting, but in how much each person in attendance should be willing to spend on a present.
If you don’t set a limit early on, you’ll inevitably end up with that one person who shows up in a brand new sports car and hands the groom his keys, effectively making the rest of you look like chumps.
Set a good price range and stick within it.
Useful items like leather goods always go over well, especially if they’re handmade or otherwise unique.
A bottle of something good like Grey Goose or Hennessy will never disappoint, either.
There’s also the option of going the more personal route.
Was there ever some kind of toy or movie your friend mentioned once upon a time that he always wanted as a child but never got?
Maybe it’s something special he lost and never recovered. Now’s your chance to be a true ride-or-die best buddy and show up to the party with it.
You could also look forward to the honeymoon and buy something accordingly.
Maybe some plane tickets to a fun location or a redeemable nights at a hotel.
The viability of this plan would obvious rest on both your stated price ceiling as well as the plans of the bride and groom, but if there’s no problems, go for it.
Every wedding is different just like every person.
While there’s never going to be the end-all be-all of bachelor party how-to’s, this guide should get you well on your way to making an unforgettable experience for your best friend before he walks down the aisle.