When it comes time to plan a successful bachelor party, chances are that you have a lot of questions. From coordinating lodging to booking events, there are quite a few details that go into pulling off the perfect event. That’s why we’re outlining all the details, so that you can learn how to plan a bachelor party—whether it’s for yourself or a pal—that will be talked about for years to come.
The first step when it comes to bachelor party planning is figuring out who, exactly, is doing the planning. Some grooms like to be more involved and want to select everything from the location to the lodging to the activities, whereas other grooms want to be surprised. Ask the guest of honor what he prefers, and ask him if there’s anything he does (or doesn’t) want to do at his celebration. While you might have a specific vision in mind, make sure that it aligns with what he wants, because, ultimately, he’s the one that the day needs to be centered around.
Some grooms dream of a rowdy Las Vegas bachelor party whereas others would prefer a cabin in Lake Tahoe for a low-key, nature-filled weekend. Before booking a hotel room suite in a party town, consider the groom’s personality and interests. Is he the kind of guy who loves to do shots and close down the bar? Or, does he lean more toward long hikes followed by some casual beers with his buds? There’s no set template for bachelor parties now, so don’t feel like you need to plan a Hollywood-inspired weekend if that’s not what the guest of honor likes. Additionally, check to see if there’s anything he does or does not want to do so that you don’t ruffle any feathers or leave him disappointed.
Before starting your search for the best bachelor party destinations, ask the groom if he has a spot in mind. Some people always envision a specific spot or theme for their event, whereas others want to be surprised. If he knows where he wants to go, do your best to make it happen (assuming budget permits), otherwise, pull inspiration from it so that you can have an on-themed event. If he wants to be surprised, consider places that he’s been, places he loves, and what sort of bachelor party weekend he’s after to help you narrow down the location.
One of the trickiest aspects to coordinate when it comes to planning a bachelor party is the budget. Before making any plans, be sure to have a candid conversation with the guests to figure out what everyone’s comfortable paying for the weekend. Additionally, some parties choose to pick up the groom’s portion of the tab, so be sure to factor that in before moving forward. Once you have a budget, make sure to account for details such as lodging, food and drink, activities, supplies, and transportation (such as Uber, cabs, and/or a party bus) to get around. It’s helpful to get a lump sum from each guest well before the event so that you don’t get stuck paying for someone’s part after the celebration is over.
Before extending an invitation to everyone on the groom’s phone, ask him if there's anyone specifically that he does/does not want to invite. There’s a chance that he already has a guest list planned out, so ask him before inviting anyone who wasn’t on his original list. Some grooms have the mindset of “the more the merrier,” whereas others prefer to keep things smaller with just his inner circle. Additionally, before inviting his future brother-in-law or father-in-law, ask. Some guys love the idea of handing out a bachelor party invitation to a soon-to-be relative, whereas others prefer to celebrate sans in-laws.
When it comes time to pick a day, the most important thing is that it works for the groom and any guests he really can’t picture celebrating without. Coordinate privately with him to see if he has a date in mind and if there’s anyone he needs to ensure will make it. Once you have a date (or a few workable options from the groom), open it up to the rest of the group. If they’re voting, select the date that works for the most people. If instead you just select a date, be prepared for some of the guests to have other obligations. That’s okay, as long as it works for the groom.
While you don’t need to have every detail of the bachelor party planned from start to finish (but it might help from a time management standpoint), there are a few things that you’ll want to coordinate ahead of time. Make sure that you plan for any big-ticket items that you might need to block out time for or book in advance. Events such as tables at popular restaurants or clubs, tours at breweries or parks, boats, limos, and live music concerts all need to be booked well in advance, especially with a big group.
Getting everyone to the bachelor party destination location is another task item that the coordinator-in-charge will want to have figured out. Ensure that the guests know what time the events begin so that no one is flying in after a nice dinner or town tour begins, and check with your hotel or rental house to see what time check-in begins so that you’re not lugging your bags around for hours (you can always ask for an early check-in if your timeline starts a little earlier). If you’re trying to keep costs low, consider renting a home instead of hotel rooms, utilizing air mattresses, and trying to coordinate flights so that guests can ride together to the rental property.
One of the final components you’ll want to coordinate before the party starts is stocking up on supplies. Purchasing items such as snacks, meals, and drinks will not only cut down on costs (so you don’t have to eat out for every meal) but will give you the chance to have some downtime where you can all relax at your lodging without having to get ready and grab a cab. Plan out your grocery and meal list before heading to the store and assign a few people to get the supplies ASAP so that the fun can begin right away.
Whether you’re doing a grand weekend abroad or a night out in your hometown, the most important thing is that you have fun while being safe. Even though this is the time to cut loose, it’s also important to remember that whatever goes down at a bachelor party will eventually get back to the bride and the guests’ SOs. Don't do anything that’ll jeopardize those relationships or your safety and you can guarantee it’ll be one for the ages. As you plan a bachelor bash, remember: It ultimately doesn’t matter where the weekend takes place or what, exactly, you do. As long as you have fun and make memories with your VIPs, it will be the perfect pre-wedding celebration.