Plan a bachelor party
You’ve been selected to be the best man at your friend’s wedding. Congratulations, that’s an enviable position! You’ll be the one helping to make sure all the arrangements are perfect. But what about planning the bachelor party?
Planning a bachelor party is a lot of work, but it’s also supposed to be fun. After all, you only get one chance to do it right before your best friend is married—so here are some tips and guidelines for throwing a great bachelor party for your best mate.
Plan the bachelor party details.
The most common theme is Las Vegas or Miami, but the options are limited only to your imagination. Themes can make party planning much easier. A Las Vegas-themed bachelor party might include limo rides, casino excursions, or trips to gentlemen’s clubs. However, you should always talk to the groom about what he wants. The groom might want to avoid a strip club or gentlemen’s club altogether.
Date & time.
Try to find a date for the party that works well for the groom, groomsmen, and yourself. If you need help choosing the date, start with the nearest date and work backward. The bachelor party should be scheduled at least two weeks before the wedding - ideally on a Friday or Saturday. Keep in mind locations for the party and how busy they’ll be at the time of year you’re going to visit.
Renting an indoor space for your party is more expensive than hosting it in somebody’s backyard, but it does come with certain advantages. Venues offer amenities like DJ services, bar staff, rooms for after-party activities like poker and karaoke, and often they have liquor licenses so guests can drink on-site without worrying about running out to buy beer between rounds of shots.
Set an amount of money in mind to spend, and then stick to it—otherwise, you could run up a hefty bar tab. Costs vary widely depending on the date, location, number of guests, and activities. For example, a party at a brewery costs less than one at an upscale club, but both might be out of budget for you. A good rule-of-thumb is to plan for the party to cost about $50 per person if you’re splitting the costs among guests.
Make a list of possible activities and narrow them down to options that the groom may like. If he is a sports fan, plan an activity that involves a game or watching his favorite team. If he loves to play poker, invite the guys over for a poker night. If he likes beer, do a bike tour of local breweries with some tastings.
Once you have narrowed down your list to two or three main activities, you will want to do some research on those options and other similar ones in order to make sure they are accurate and safe, as well as appropriate for the group size.
Staying in? Let the groom choose where they will be partying. If you decide where to go, let them choose how to get there—both give him the freedom to do what he wants (within your budget restrictions, of course). Or if you are planning a virtual bachelor party (like a video game marathon), let your friends know about it and ask them to come.
Include all the groomsmen as well as the groom’s good school buddies, friendly coworkers, and relatives. Think about inviting his closest friends from childhood, high school, college, and beyond. If you’re unsure whether to invite a specific person, make sure to run it by the groom to get some feedback. You’ll also want to run the final guest list by the groom to make sure everything looks good.
Invites & RSVPs. Send out a few months' worths of RSVPs at least two weeks before the date. You can send it via email, but some people prefer to send out a paper invitation if possible. In either case, make sure you have everything in order and that the invitation is in good shape before mailing or emailing—as well as sending out your invites so that you have them beforehand. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Plan the bachelor party food & accommodations.
Before finalizing your party location, make sure the participants will be able to get there safely. Let the hosts know in advance where the rest of the group will be staying and how they plan on getting to and from the party. There’s nothing worse than showing up at a party with almost no one present besides a few friends—so give people as much notice as you can.
Accomodations & transportation.
You can book the hotel for the night before and the night after, or if you want to make it a weekend trip, you can extend it further from there. Hotels usually have great deals on rooms for groups, so you could even try to negotiate a better rate for yourself. Some even offer discounts for bachelor parties! Plus, unless your party involves activities that involve leaving the location, you’ll probably want to get rooms that are close together.
Reservations for activities.
If you’re going to a bar or restaurant for dinner, call ahead and make reservations if possible. If not, try to get there as early as possible to get a table. If you’re going to activities like karaoke or paddleball, make reservations in advance. You might also want to make your hotel reservations in advance. Ask your hosts for an invoice and email a copy to the groom for reimbursement. Keep a copy for your records, as well.
Don’t skimp on food. You want everyone to be well-fed and satisfied so they can party hard! There are a lot of choices when it comes to food, and you can easily get as much or as little of it as you want. You might even consider hiring a caterer, especially if you need extra help. Consider the type of food you want and the type of event you’re hosting. If it is a dinner event, choose something easy and quick to serve. If it’s a bar crawl, maybe there will be food available there.
If you’re providing any of the alcohol for the party, get it in advance so that you can make sure everything is accounted for and stored properly. If you’re hiring a bartender or paying for drinks yourself, discuss this with the person in charge of hosting your party so that everything is ready to go when everyone starts drinking. Make sure to bring enough cash if you plan on paying for drinks at the bar—and let your guests know in advance that this will be how they are expected to pay.
Prepare to have a fun bachelor party!
Leave room for spontaneity and impromptu adventures! Don’t plan every second of the trip, but do make a rough outline so you can keep everyone safe and on track if needed.
To plan a great bachelor party, all it takes is a little confidence, some organization, and a few friends to make the event an unforgettable one!