Honor the groom-to-be with a final night out with the bros. Whether you’ve got a bar crawl, poker game or both lined up for the night, our planning tips will help keep the party together.
Start by sending the boys an Evite invitation, like the bachelor-themed one below, or this premium, suit-and-tie invitation for a fancier outing. Check out more designs in our Bachelor Party invitation gallery.
The bachelor party planning traditionally falls on the best man, but it can also be handled by the groom’s brother or another good friend. All of the guys in the wedding party get an invite, but you can also include other close friends and family; just ask the groom to put together a guest list. Technically, etiquette even allows inviting guys who aren’t in the wedding party, but since herding a big bunch of bachelors can lead to headaches, don’t let the guest list get too long unless the groom specifically requests it. You can even invite the bachelor’s dad and future father-in-law to the dinner portion of the evening — just be sure to see them off after dessert, before the real late-night debauchery begins.
Whatever you do, don’t plan the bachelor party the night before the wedding. That’s usually reserved for the rehearsal dinner, and besides, staying out all night and getting hitched in the morning don’t mix. If you must (that is, if all the groom’s nearest and dearest live far away and can’t travel until the wedding), you could consider doing it the night before the rehearsal dinner, but it’s generally much better to hold it at least a week and up to three months prior to the big day.
If you have an all-weekend bachelor bash in mind, schedule it for well before the wedding. The closer you get to his walk down the aisle, the more likely the groom will be busy with last-minute details, not to mention two big wedding events in a row is a lot to ask of both the groom and the guests. Whatever you have in mind, send out your invitation at least a month in advance to ensure the best turnout. And since those who attend will split the cost of the party, specify roughly how much it’ll cost right on the invitation.
If you’re planning anything special, whether it’s whitewater rafting or renting a limo, ask for a contract so you know who, what, when, where and how much it’s going to cost you in writing.
Chances are that people will be drinking, so figure out safe transportation with that in mind. Renting a limo can be fun, but it could cost a few hundred bucks. For a cheaper option, rent a van and pack in a pile of people as long as you have someone to play designated driver. You might also consider taking taxis or other ride-sharing services, like Uber; if you pack in four or five fellas per car, it may be fairly affordable. (When you call for the cab, request a van for maximum savings.)
At the very least, make sure the groom’s transportation is covered by picking him up at home and dropping him off later. Not only are his reflexes likely to be impaired by evening’s end, but he’s also the guest of honor, so door-to-door service is only appropriate. Likewise, bring extra cash to get guys home in case of an emergency, and don’t hesitate to confiscate keys. Saving a life beats saving a few bucks every time.
Finally, let the groom savor the surprises you have in store by keeping your plans under wraps. You might even blindfold him between stops. Whisking him off to the night of wild (or mild) abandon you’ve planned just for him reminds him how lucky he is to not only have found a spouse, but also buddies like you.
Your best bet is to ask the groom beforehand if there’s anything he really does or does not want to do (you may want to add to the obvious, or do something different altogether). Just don’t do anything that may jeopardize the wedding!
Once you have some guidelines from the groom, ask the attendees for ideas. Everyone chips in on the price, so take guests’ budgets into account. Plus, work around the rest of the wedding plans. If it’s a destination wedding, skip the weekend in Vegas to avoid grumbling about travel expenses and needing to take time off work.
Here are some more activity possibilities:
- Drinking games
- Cigar smoking
- Shooting range
- Go-cart racing
- Whitewater rafting
- Bungee jumping
- Sports game
- Weekend in Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans or New York
A word about bachelor party pranks and tests: Tread carefully. Some guys may think going out in public in a police uniform or getting their chest hair shaved off is hilarious, but others may find it embarrassing or even humiliating. If it’s tradition for your group of guys and you truly think the bachelor would be disappointed without a prank or two, have at it, but if he cries uncle, respect his wishes — or better yet, keep it relatively harmless in the first place. One idea: Once the groom crashes at the end of the evening, give him a temporary tattoo; the next morning, ask him if he even remembers getting that tat the night before and watch his reaction when he sees your poker face.
If everyone’s low on dough, pizza fits the bill perfectly. But if you’ve got the funds, a ceremonial last supper of steak makes an A1 choice.
Other options include burgers, buffalo wings, nachos or barbecue-anything. Before the sun comes up, stop at an all-night diner for eggs, bacon, coffee and pie. Especially if you’re drinking, remember to eat: Your stomach (and the groom’s soon-to-be spouse) will thank you.
You can’t go wrong with beer, but if you’ve got the budget, splurge on a bottle of single-malt Scotch. Serve it neat, on the rocks, with soda, or in a rusty nail.
Rusty Nail (Serves one)
- 1 ounce Scotch
- 1/4 ounce Drambuie
Mix and serve over ice.
If the party’s a 24-hour affair, start the day off light and save the shenanigans for later. Make sure there’s plenty of water available throughout the festivities to keep hydrated. Offer Red Bull as a nonalcoholic alternative that may help weary revelers keep the party rocking on until dawn.