On Saturday, the bachelor party that I was responsible for organizing was held somewhere in downtown Vancouver. Despite the title of the post, no one died during the party. As some of you know, the responsibility of such a party weighed on my heavily and was causing me some very real stress. In general, the evening went fairly well and I think most of the gentlemen enjoyed what I had planned for them. Most importantly, the groom-to-be had a good time and I think that was always the end goal.
Now that I’ve been through that trial through fire, I feel like I’d be even better at planning the next bachelor party, should I need to. If anyone is facing the same problems with planning, I’d like to impart some wisdom earned through my own experiences. Obviously I will not get into the specific details of what happened on Saturday evening. Actually, I consider that a sign the evening was a success. My friend, the groom, said that absolutely there were some things that happened that wives and girlfriends would not be happy about. I personally thought it was pretty tame stuff but hearing that made me feel relieved.
Ok, so first off, you will need a fair amount of time to plan the party properly. The more complicated or involved the event will be, the longer you will need to plan it. Also, if the group is large, it will also take more time to plan. I’ve heard some people say you should start planning two months in advance. I say you don’t want to leave it any less than a month in advance.
Second, do seriously consider using a professional (bachelor) party/event planner to help with the planning. Leveraging other people’s experience is something that applies to a lot of situations in life, not just bachelor parties. I went this route and it really helped me focus on what was available to me both in terms of budget and group size. By having a planner, I avoided the clichéd dinner at a pub followed by a visit to several strip clubs type of bachelor party. The event planning company I dealt with has done this hundreds of times, so they know exactly what to do and how to make your party fun for everyone.
Third, while very unfortunate, the reality is that money will increase the odds your party will be better, smoother, and more memorable than if you didn’t spend more on it. I have heard of a few great bachelor parties where not a lot of money was spent to organize it and not a lot of money was spent during it as well. Those are definitely exceptions though. Whether it’s food, alcohol, or strippers, all these cost money and for those particular things, the general rule of thumb is that the more you spend on it, the better it is. In hindsight, I should have put in more of my own money to make the party even crazier and grander.
Lastly, don’t be conservative about your planning. This applies to everything. If you think you’ll need 10 large pizzas, get 12 or 15. If you think 20 strippers is enough, get 25 just in case. No one remembers a bachelor party by saying, “Man, remember that party where there were just enough strippers for us?” Indeed, you want the party to be the most memorable thing these gentlemen have ever been part of. No bachelor party ever got better and more crazier because the organizer held back. If you think you’ve got it just right, go ahead and get more of everything.
At beginning I was dreading this great responsibility but now I feel like I’d like to do it again (well obviously not with the same groom).