A bachelor party is a tradition that some might be surprised to learn extends far beyond North America. Though bachelor parties go by many different names, these get-togethers held for a man shortly before he gets married are enjoyed in Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and South Africa.
The responsibility of planning a bachelor party traditionally falls on the shoulders of the groom-to-be’s best man, who can choose to plan the party on his own or enlist the help of his fellow groomsmen. Immortalized in films such as 1984’s “Bachelor Party” and the 2009 comedy “The Hangover,” bachelor parties range from the tame to the relatively raucous to the outrageous. While best-men-to-be might be nervous about planning a bachelor party, the following are a handful of tips for men who want to make a friend or family member’s bachelor weekend as memorable as possible.
* Don’t go it alone. Just because you are the best man does not mean you need to plan the entire bachelor party on your own. While you might want to add a few special and personal touches to the festivities, that does not mean you can’t enlist the help of your fellow groomsmen or the groom’s friends who are not included in the bridal party.
Enlisting the help of others can be especially helpful when planning a party for a large group, which can be difficult to organize. If the group is large and spread out, ask someone to represent each particular group of friends, such as childhood friends, college buddies and any professional associates who will be joining in the festivities. If the groom is your family member, you can take on the responsibility of coordinating with family members. Breaking things down can make it easier to organize and help the groom’s other close friends and family members feel like they are more involved in the festivities.
* Ask the groom for a list of invitees. While it’s tradition to prevent the guest of honor from participating in the planning, it is a good idea to ask the groom for a list of people he wants to invite. This can help a best man who is not familiar with all of a groom’s friend’s or associates to organize the party, and it also ensures that friends who were not invited to the wedding are not mistakenly invited to the bachelor party. In addition, the groom may want certain people excluded from the festivities for personal reasons, so asking him for a list of invitees can help avoid any confusion or conflicts down the road.
* Choose a different locale for the bachelor and bachelorette parties. Many couples have their bachelor and bachelorette parties on the same weekend, and such parties are meant to be a chance for the groom to spend time with his male friends while the bride spends time with her female friends. So when planning the bachelor party, the best man should ensure he does not choose the same locale as the maid of honor chooses for the bachelorette party.
While many couples have abandoned traditional bachelor and bachelorette parties in favor of one big party for everyone a couple of nights before the wedding, those who are sticking to tradition likely want to keep the festivities separate. A best man can work with his female counterpart, the maid of honor, to ensure the parties don’t cross paths.
* Plan at least one special event for the weekend. While many men would be content to enjoy one last weekend hanging out with their male friends before tying the knot, one way to make the weekend even more memorable for the groom-to-be is to plan at least one special event, which can act as the centerpiece of the weekend. This special event may include a group trip to attend a sporting event or an evening seeing the groom’s favorite band perform live. The event should cater to one of the groom’s interests, and if possible, keep things a surprise to make it even more memorable.
* Limit the groom’s financial responsibility. Chances are the groom has enough on his plate with regard to paying for his wedding, so it’s best to limit the groom’s financial responsibility as much as possible. Don’t let him buy any drinks or food all weekend, and if you can afford to do so, foot the bill for his transportation and lodging as well. While such gestures are certainly not obligatory, they are thoughtful and will mean a lot to the groom-to-be.