Get all your questions about bachelor parties—from who is responsible for planning to what to do—in this comprehensive guide.
While traditionally the groom’s wedding party—the man of honor and groomsmen—throw the bachelor party, really anyone who is close to the groom can plan it. If the groom has chosen to not have a wedding party, or if it’s not ideal or possible for the best man to handle this responsibility, the following people would be good candidates:
Organizing a large group of guys to make travel plans, book hotel rooms, and maneuver in and out of public spaces for a weekend takes special skills. Not every friend or relation will be the ideal person to plan a bachelor party. Here are some questions you should ask when deciding if your best man, groomsman, or other buddy or relative should throw the bachelor party:
The invite list for a bachelor party is pretty much up to the groom. He should make a list of names and contact information for everyone he’d like to include in his special day or weekend, and hand it off to the bachelor party organizer(s) to send out an invitation. If the party organizers feel like being fancy, an online invitation is generally formal enough for a casual event like a bachelor party. A group email also works in lieu of formal invitations.
While most bachelor parties are all-male gatherings, there’s no hard-and-fast rule that says women can’t be invited to a groom’s weekend of honor. It’s his weekend, after all, so if he is especially close to his sister or a few female friends and wants them present, go with it. It might change the group dynamic and/or itinerary slightly, but follow the groom’s wishes.
In general, the list of bachelor party invitees will include some or all of the following people:
There are only two major rules of thumb when determining who should not be put on the invitation list for a bachelor party:
The guys who plan and attend the bachelor party—that is, everyone except the groom—typically share the costs of the night or weekend. The groom is generally treated to this revelry (or debauchery?) as a gift from his closest buds, who should cover his portion of the expenses and split them among the group.
The only exception to this practice of “groom goes free” is if the bachelor party is held at a far-off and/or expensive destination. If the decision is made to take the bachelor party to Europe or the Caribbean, for example, the groom might want to pay for his own travel or chip in for the hotel or Airbnb rental. If it’s important to him to have a luxe or exotic experience for his bachelor party, it’s a nice gesture to offer to defray the costs of that wish for his friends who want to participate but don’t have unlimited budgets.
The money portion of bachelor parties can get sticky, to say the least. When spirits are flying high (in more ways than one), it’s easy to throw budgetary caution to the wind: another round of shots! Let’s order the prime rib! The entrance fee to that club is totally worth it! Then, when the final tallies have been added up in the harsh light of day and everyone is told what they owe, shock and dismay may set in.
To prevent sticker shock at the end of the weekend, and to make sure everyone who attends is comfortable with the anticipated costs, follow these best practices when it comes to talking $$$ about bachelor parties.
Every bachelor party will be a little bit different, just like every groom himself. In general, the bachelor party should reflect the groom’s interests and personality. If music is his passion, try to organize the bachelor party around seeing live musical acts or, if there are musicians among his crew, devoting time to jamming late into the night. If he’s an outdoorsy guy, a bachelor party at a cabin in the woods, complete with hiking, fishing, and bonfire bonding, would be an ideal scenario.
Here are a few basic pointers on what most bachelor parties involve, to give you a general sense of what to expect:
If you’re the brains behind your buddy’s bachelor party, you can’t go wrong with a classic evening of good food, strong drinks, and great friends just hanging out and celebrating the groom. But if you’re looking to take things up a notch—or if your groom isn’t into the standard bachelor party protocol—check out some of our creative bachelor party ideas below:
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