Planning the Ultimate Bachelor Party

Being selected as best man at a wedding is a huge honor. Of course, after the groom leaves and you’re on your own, you realize that you’ve just been put in charge of several high-stress activities, including writing a speech and planning a bachelor party. Planning a bachelor party is an especially high-stakes activity because you have to get multiple guys on board while sticking to the tastes of the groom. If you’re stuck, here’s some tips to planning the ultimate bachelor party.

Decide on the Type of Party

Traditionally, bachelor parties included trips to Vegas for gambling, drinking, and a last visit to the strip joint before tying the knot. While some bachelors still look forward to this kind of all-out final bash, people are becoming more and more creative with bachelor parties these days as they begin to tailor them to different types of grooms.

The key to planning the perfect bachelor party is to ensure it’s perfect for the groom first, and then worry about the guests. Just because the groom’s brother recommends a trip to Vegas doesn’t mean it’s the right party for the groom. You were chosen as best man for a reason, so if something doesn’t seem right for the groom, don’t let the other groomsmen bully you into it. Stick to your guns and be sure to pick a party he’ll enjoy.

Some of the best bachelor parties we’ve seen lately had limited, or no, drinking involved. For example, one awesome best man booked a weekend at comic con for his nerdy groom and the groomsmen. To make it more enticing to the guys who weren’t so into comic books, they also went to a pub the night before, but he knew that the groom he was planning for wouldn’t be comfortable with strippers or tons of drinking, so he didn’t plan that. Another option we’ve seen is a weekend trip white-water rafting for an outdoorsy groom or a paint-and-sip for an artsy groom. These options showcase that “bachelor party” doesn’t have to fit into a neat box.

Decide on a Guest List

You don’t need to be coy when picking out a guest list, and it’s perfectly okay to ask the groom who he’d like invited. Chances are, he already knows you’re planning something, and this will help you be sure to surround him with the people closest to him. If you are trying to surprise him—like if he told you not to plan anything—check in with his bride-to-be, who should know both who he’d like there and how many guys would be a comfortable group for him.

When deciding on a guest list, consider what type of party it is. If it’s an expensive trip somewhere, you realistically can’t expect as many people to be willing to shell out the money to get there. Traditionally, the groom doesn’t pay his portion of the party, so unless he’s the one insisting he wants to head somewhere expensive (in which case it’s okay to expect him to pay his portion), you’re either funding yourself and the groom as his best man or you’re asking the guests for a portion of the fees. If it’s the latter, that should also be included when deciding whom to invite (and should be made clear to them before they accept or decline in case it’s not in the cards).

Plan Some Surprises

The bachelor party itself is one big thing, but to really make it over-the-top for your groom, you’ll want to throw in some extra surprises for him and for the other guests. For example, you could give each groomsman a wallet packed with arcade tokens for the arcade you’re going to and engraved with the date of the groom’s wedding, or you could all go in together on a gift for the groom to present at some point in the party.

Know the Rules

Check in with the bride-to-be before you sweep her groom off the feet. While it can be a good idea to include her in the party planning in general—she might have some great ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise—it’s especially important to check in with her about her expectations about what you guys will—and won’t—get up to at the bachelor party. Some brides are totally okay with their groom heading to a strip club during his bachelor party. For others, that would cause a fight in their household. Since you don’t want to make things uncomfortable for your groom when he gets home, plan around her comfort level to begin with. There are ways to have a great time without sending him home for World War Three.