In my last post, I shared my opinion on the use of strippers at a bachelor party. Check it out here if you haven’t read it. Ok, so you’re the best man for your buddies wedding and you’ve confirmed that he doesn’t want strippers at his bachelor party. You want to throw him a party that he’ll remember for the rest of his life, in a good way. Where do you start?
Ask Him – This sounds obvious but it is so often overlooked. It’s all about what he wants, not about what you think would make an awesome party. Don’t just ask him what he wants to do and leave it at that. There are specific questions that you need to know the answers to.
- Who do you want to be there? Which friends have to be there, to the point where it would be worth changing the date to make sure they can make it. It’s going to be challenging to find a date that works for everyone but you need to know who needs to be there for the party to happen.
- Are fathers, future father-in-laws, uncles, future brother-in-laws etc. invited? If not, it is important to have another gathering that includes at least your father and future father-in-law. It could be just a night out to dinner, but make sure you do something. It is an important step in bringing everyone together before the wedding.
- When can you get away for a weekend? This can sometimes be a challenge depending on how possessive his fiance is or how taxing his schedule. It’s important to commit to more than just one night out. Fight for it, it’s worth it. Make sure you plan this far in advance. As the wedding approaches, it will be more and more difficult to find a weekend that works.
- What do you want to eat and drink? If he drinks alcohol, what is his drink of choice? What is his favorite food? Plan ahead and make sure to have these things ready to go. If you can’t bring anything, be sure to identify a restaurant that he would love.
- What else does he love? Does he love a good cigar? The occasional amateur fireworks display? ATV’s? Museums? A concert from a band he loves? A sporting event? A golf outing? If you don’t already know this, make sure you come up with a list of potential options and get his feedback. The trip should be planned around what he likes to do and who he is as a person.
Consider the Budgets of all Involved – You don’t want to exclude anyone bases on cost alone. Make sure that whatever you choose to do is affordable for those invited. Everyone should be expected to pay their own way as well as contribute to the grooms portion.
Assure His Future Wife – Bachelor party plans can be very unsettling for a future bride. Many marriages have suffered from poor decisions made at a bachelor party. It’s your job as best man to put her at ease. Tell her how you respect her and you won’t let any women go near him. Assure her that although you may have a few drinks, you want to remember this weekend so you’re going to keep things under control.
Make T-shirts – This may be too cheesy for you but it can be an awesome keepsake for all involved. This is the best place I’ve found for t-shirt printing. It’s a quick, easy process and reasonably priced as well. T-shirts
Rent a House – In order to make this weekend epic and somewhat safe, all involved should stay in the same place, removed from their everyday lives. If alcohol is involved, no one should be driving. As the best man, it is your job to make sure everyone involved survives the weekend. You need a home base to launch your activities from. When everyone wakes up in the same place, a proper debriefing of the previous days activities can be easily carried out. This is also an essential part of the bonding process. It will make the wedding that much more enjoyable if you spend the whole weekend together. This is a good site to find a deal: House Rentals
Pack the Essentials – Be creative, again, think about what your friend likes. A few suggestions: Fireworks, deck of cards, reciprocator saw, Aleve, football, gauze, lawn darts, gasoline, cigars, guns, swords, nunchucks, firewood, snacks, burn cream, water, cross bow, lighter, a tiger, first aid kit, human catapult, etc. I kid, but you get the idea.
Honor the Groom – This is the most commonly overlooked piece of the American bachelor party. Why? Because it takes guts. Let’s not forget why everyone is gathered. You are there to honor your friend who is stepping into one of the most significant endeavors of his entire life. DO NOT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY! This should be done the first night of your weekend. Talk to his other friends in advance. Have them prepare stories, acknowledgements of how he has affected their lives, how much he is appreciated as a friend and well wishes for the future. This can be done while toasting his favorite drink or smoking cigars in a circle. Remember, this is what it’s all about. Show some maturity and courage and lead the discussion. This was done at my bachelor party and it meant the world to me. I still remember the kind and embarrassing words that were shared to this day.
Adventure – This is one of the most crucial elements of an epic bachelor party. In his book, Wild at Heart, John Eldredge talks about 3 core desires in the heart of every man. A battle to fight, an adventure to live and a beauty to rescue. The battle will be waiting for him when he returns home as will his beauty. It’s time to set the stage for an epic adventure. After considering what your friend enjoys, it’s your job to raise the stakes. Maybe by adding a little creativity, a little challenge, perhaps even some danger? It’s what men were built for. Why do you think men love drinking so much? It immediately adds an element of danger and adventure. Don’t rely on drunkenness to provide the adventure. Again, we want to remember this occasion and we want everyone to survive. Be strategic. Plan a challenge in advance.
Competition always makes things more interesting, especially when there is a potential reward for the winner. On a boys weekend with some friends, we developed an obstacle course consisting of an ATV race, a bb-gun target, a piece of wood to split and the lighting of a firework. It was an absolute blast! Think about what you can add into the mix to make things more interesting. Feats of strength, a wrestling tournament with weight classes, a shooting competition, a poker match.
A few other ideas might be:
- Attend a boxing or UFC match
- Rent a boat/charter a fishing trip
- Rent a chalet at a ski resort
- Paint Ball
- Rent a beach house and take surfing lessons
- Rent dirt-bikes or 4-wheelers
- Go to a rock concert
- Hunting trip
- Brewery or Distillery Tour
- White water rafting
- Get a hotel in a big city like New York or Chicago
- Go to major sporting event
- Go to a music festival
- Rock climbing
The most important part of this celebration is to honor the groom with some good old fashioned male bonding time. Marriage is certainly a blessing, but opportunities to be with the guys will be less frequent, so make the most of it.
If you’re married, how was your bachelor party? What epic bachelor party ideas do you have? I would love to hear from you in the comments.