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The purpose of a bachelor party is to celebrate the transition from being single to being married. It’s a time to plan something epic that you and your friends enjoy, but won’t be doing as much until your potential future offspring have graduated college.
For many bachelors, this can mean an evening of massive alcohol consumption and strippers. While drunken debauchery is a fine and noble tradition, it is trite and you deserve better. This is your party; own it. Use all the leverage your life-changing coupling will provide to inspire and, if necessary, shame your friends to step away from the tried and true and make this an event that you will all talk about for decades to come.
If you have the right friends, they may be more eager to plan a bachelor party than you are about attending. It’s not just an excuse for your friends to ensure you have a good time; it gives them a license to party as well. But while several of your friends may have input, you need to appoint one person to call the shots.
\The person you traditionally tap is the best man, but if you selected him more out of obligation than shared appetites, it’s completely acceptable to pick a groomsman or even a friend who isn’t part of the wedding party to oversee the event.
When selecting the planner, keep in mind that everyone has their own agenda. Some of your friends primarily want to embarrass you; others to use your party as an excuse to do something they couldn’t normally get away with. This is why you need to tell the planner any of the following, if true:
All other things being equal, it’s best to have your bachelor party a minimum of a week before the wedding and, if possible, months before. This gives you plenty of time to enjoy the event, repair any relationship damage, and deal with any legal, medical, or other bills. However, if the guys attending both your bachelor party and wedding need to travel long distances to be there, the bachelor party will likely take place shortly before the wedding, meaning your party should probably be briefer and tamer than otherwise. Have your planner plug in some dates using Google Calendar or doodle, and find a time that works for everyone.
The traditional “stag night” of booze and strippers has several elements of a good bachelor party: it’s out of most guys’ comfort zone, there’s the option to humiliate you and since you can blame the idea on your friends and they can blame it on you, your fiancé and your buddies’ wives and girlfriends generally tolerate the evening. Especially if the strippers are in a club and not your living room.But before you default to this obvious option, consider some alternatives. First off, why just one night? Don’t you deserve at least a long weekend? With everybody chipping in, you can make this a bigger event than you may realize. Here are some alternatives to the liquor and stripper route:
Road trips: Rent an RV and head out on the great American highway: destination optional. But if arriving somewhere is important, check out Roadside America for ideas.
Craft Brewery or Wine Country tour: This can be done as a day trip as a tour group or just break out a map and plot a multi-day odyssey.
Rent a house: Scan the listings on VBRO or Airbnb for a rocking place with plenty of space, a big kitchen, and views. Being on the water is always a good option, whether the ocean, a river, or a lake. If you live in a city, you might want a place in the sticks where you can see the stars at night. Conversely, if you live in the burbs, you might prefer an urban setting where you can walk to bars and restaurants.
Houseboat trip: Motor one of these self-contained, multi-bedroom, floating party machines around a lake or delta, stake down at an empty beach and you’re good for the duration.
Golf destination: Eighteen (or nineteen) holes during the day, followed by a feast at night.
Rafting trip: These run the gamut from a leisure float down the river to multi-day, guided ripper of class five white water.
Ski trip: Travel somewhere you haven’t yet been. Shred the slopes during the day and kick back in the lodge at night.
Mexico: Depending on the time of year you go, you can score some great deals at all-inclusive resorts. Check out Costco Vacations for a few options.
Las Vegas, New Orleans or some other city noted for encouraging aberrant behavior: Pick a place where it’s considered normal to walk down the street with a drink in your hand before noon.
Colorado: If you like getting high, it’s 420 all the time. There’s an entire tourism industry being built around cannabis.
Cosplay Convention, County Fair, Horror Film Festival, Wild Food Festival or Fourth of July Parade: You truly are limited only by your collective imagination, plus what your fiancé and bank account will tolerate. Own it!
No matter what you go with for your night of fun, just keep one thing in mind: This is for you! This is your excuse to go crazy and have fun. Just maybe not too much fun. If you survive the night, you still have your bride to face the next morning.
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