A good friend of mine called to ask if I had ideas or advice for a bachelor party he is organizing for a mutual friend of ours from high school. As we talked, several ideas emerged that seemed fit to share.
1. Sports theme
Does the groom like a particular sport? If so, you can center the bachelor party around a game/sport (baseball, football, basketball, hockey) or incorporate it into a day, weekend or evening event. Plan to buy the tickets at least a month ahead of time; you may be able to get group rates depending on the group size.
2. Outdoor enthusiast
Although it depends on the location of the party and season, an outdoor activity is an instant way for guys to bond while enjoying the elements. This is especially true if the groomsmen and other friends of his don't know each other well. Nothing brings people together like a ski day, kayaking adventure, golf outing or sailing.
Nothing screams bachelor party louder than a group of guys parading from bar to bar getting progressively drunker. It's a classic that can be folded into a medley of activities or the focus of the evening. Consider hiring a limo with designated driver. The benefits far outweigh the costs and everyone should be able to pitch in.
4. Activity + spa day
Don't laugh. Some of you aren't laughing, but for those who are or who don't know, an increasing number of spas are catering to male clientele. Why? Because men are going to spas more and more. Sports massages are a common form of massage and combining a day of golfing, fishing or white water rafting with sports massages for the crew could be a fun way to go.
Where else but in Las Vegas (a.k.a. Sin City) is adult entertainment so readily available. Shows, concerts, alcohol anytime, gambling 'til your heart's content, and yes, strippers. The city seems built for bachelor parties. Since this trip is likely to be a weekend getaway, you can also spend a day sightseeing, swimming, etc.
There are plenty of other gambling areas around the country: Atlantic City, Reno, etc. Or you could spend a day at the horse races betting on thoroughbreds.
6. Stripper quandary
A friend of mine quipped, "the only difference between a classy bachelor party and trashy one is the classy one has a stripper and other activities." I couldn't tell if he was joking.
Some men want a stripper involved in their bachelor party, no question. Others may be up for a stripper, but not going to a strip club for hours on end. And still others might find it a bit too crass or cliché. Or they might be engaged to a woman who forbids it. Ask the bachelor how he really feels about it before planning an event that could put him in an uncomfortable position. If he says, "My fiancé would kill me," he either means it (translation: don't mess with his marriage) or he's using it as an excuse to avoid a stripper altogether (translation: move on and plan another activity for his party).
7. Multiple events in one day
Often the groom's father, father-in-law, and others may want to join for part of the day. In this case, it makes sense to incorporate a dinner or other all-ages into the party. I've heard of a bachelor party that involved paint ball during the day with the groomsmen and dads, a fancy dinner in the evening, then groomsmen only hitting the town for the pre-nuptial bar-hopping ritual.
8. Budgets vary
Because there will be a range of salaries among the attendees, you might consider coming up with 3 good bachelor party options and putting it to a vote. Take into consideration what the groom wants, what the others vote for, then choose the option that best suits the greatest number of people. Likely the groom helped hand-select the invitation list and the more who can attend, the better for him and everyone else.
9. Season and location considerations
Above all, if you're planning a bachelor party, ideas of your own should flow from the season and location of where the groom lives and where the wedding events will be held. Then you'll know if the event is during snow season, in the green hills, along a lake, at a beach, in a city with easy access to nightlife activities, during opening day of baseball season, around basketball play-offs. I'd advise to pick the date and location first, then plan the bachelor party around that.
Other ideas? Feel free to post a comment.
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