The bachelor party—one of the most anticipated pre-wedding activities—is traditionally a weekend-long bash for the groom and his guys to commemorate his final days as a single man. And because it’s the prime opportunity for the groom to spend quality time with his favorite people before the big day, it’s important to be thoughtful about the invite list. The event is bound to be a good time no matter what, but the company can make it even better.
So, who do you invite to a bachelor party? You’ve already chosen your best pals to stand up on the actual wedding day, so their invites are given, but the guest list doesn’t have to stop there. As the groom, you have the ultimate say, but your decision will affect everyone. These are the guys you should consider sending a bachelor party invite to—and what to know before you do.
You may be tempted to launch a group text or chain email right off the bat, but here’s what you need to ask yourself before you invite anyone to your bachelor party:
The location can dictate how big your party can get, so you should consider where you’re headed from the start. Are you traveling to another state or taking your party international? It’s a lot of work to organize a big group of guys, no matter where you go. With that in mind, the farther you’re traveling, the smaller your group should be.
Will you be jumping up and down at your favorite show, waterskiing on the lake, gathering for a fancy dinner, or hitting up a nightclub venue? Activities not only help determine headcount, but also impact who will have a good time. Make sure everyone on your list will be comfortable with any activities you have planned. If they won’t, it’s probably best to leave them off the list or reconsider the itinerary.
Both the location and activities will determine whether or not you can invite everyone you want to. How many will the house, hotel, or property you’re staying at hold comfortably? Make sure there are enough beds for your guests, or that your guys are willing to sleep on a couch, air mattress, or floor.
Likewise, are you planning any activities that only allow a certain number of people, ie. boat rides, party buses, food tours, or fancy dinners? Unfortunately, some activities do have a max capacity; others just aren’t fun with too many people in tow. Consider what these are before you start adding people outside of your closest circle.
Generally, the best man hosts and plans the bachelor party, so when it comes to going over the guest list, he’s your guy. But whoever is organizing the party should be part of the conversation. Be sure to run through how many people you want to invite and who (he may not have thought of everyone), so he can handle planning and sending out the invite when the time comes.
We said it at the beginning, and we’ll reiterate it now: The bachelor party is your chance to spend quality time with your best guys. Picture your favorite people all in one place, celebrating your final single days. Who do you see? Include the guys you want to celebrate with, and you’ll be happy you did.
The last thing you want at your bachelor party is a fight to break out. Make sure you’re not inviting anyone who will stir the pot and cause an unnecessary problem.
Once you’ve mulled all of that over, you can move on to creating your guest list. These are the guys you should definitely send an invite to, plus a handful of additional people you might consider if space allows:
Your groomsmen should be invited to your bachelor party, without question. It comes with the honor of being in your wedding party. Plus, if they’re standing up for you on the day of, you should want them there anyway.
Brothers and future brothers-in-law should also always receive an invite. But you can extend the invitation to other family members as well, such as cousins, uncles, and potential future family members like your sister’s boyfriend or your fiancés relatives. Depending on the location and activities you have chosen, you may want to include your dad and even your future father-in-law, too.
If you’re having a small wedding party, or have a lot of close friends, you should extend the bachelor party invite to people outside of your groomsmen. The number of groomsmen you have maybe fewer than you wanted for a number of reasons, from the size of your SO’s party to the size of the altar, or simply due to how many people can fit in one photo. Now’s your chance to include the guys you struggled to cut from your lineup, your ushers, or friends you never get to see.
You should also consider inviting roommates and coworkers to your bachelor party. You spend a lot of time with these people and will likely be talking about the bachelor party for weeks on end both before and after the fact. You can avoid any awkwardness by inviting them along, especially if they fall into the category of close friends already.
Since a bachelor’s party may not be suited for all the people you know, we’ve also included a list of people you may not want to include on the bachelor party guest list.
This should go without saying, but don’t invite anyone to your bachelor party who isn’t already invited to your wedding. If you’re having trouble with this, you may need to reevaluate your wedding guest list. (Of course, the exceptions is if you’re eloping or having a family-only wedding.)
With that being said, your bachelor party isn’t your wedding, so don’t invite every guy who’s coming to the wedding. You’ll have time to celebrate with your friends’ spouses and distant relatives on the big day, but the bachelor party is not the time for that.
Let’s face it, bachelor parties almost always involve drinking. Even if you’re having a more low key event, it’s probably best not to invite anyone under 21. You don’t want to be responsible for leaving someone home from the bar or encouraging underage drinking.
Of course, because every groom is different, every bachelor party will be a bit different. When deciding who to invite to the event, it comes down to who you want to celebrate with and how. Any or all of the people on this list are fair game. Take location, activities, and size into consideration, but don’t let them make or break relationships. This is, after all, supposed to be fun.
For more bachelor party resources, see our guides below: