Has your closest buddy announced he’s getting hitched and given you the all-important job of being best man? Forget about the countdown to the actual wedding day, we all know what the most important thing is – organise the stag weekend. Planning the groom’s last weekend of freedom is the biggest job you will have as best man and we know how much the pressure will be on. Organising that last weekend of freedom can be a tricky balancing act, keeping hordes of booze-thirsty men entertained, making it suitably memorable, ensuring everyone gets on with each other and that the choices of location and activities tick all the right boxes and come in under budget.
There is a lot to keep in mind, but the best man should be able to enjoy himself too, not crack under the strain of keeping everyone happy. Here is our beginner’s guide to organising an awesome stag weekend:
Think through the guest list
This can be the trickiest balancing act of all, as inviting the wrong people can put a dampener on the whole weekend yet leaving out certain guests can be akin to political suicide. For example, will the stag want his work colleagues there or will that put him too much on edge? Do you need to invite the bride and groom’s parents or will that risk the whole wedding when some inappropriate stories come out? As the organiser, a ‘less is more’ approach is sensible, the fewer people there are, the easier they are to coordinate so try and keep it to just close friends and family.
Run through the guestlist with the groom and when it’s finalised keep everyone informed by email.
Finalise the date early
This can be the source of plenty of disagreements, so get the date agreed and in the diary early so everyone can plan the time off, save up and generally get excited about it. Draw up a list of available weekends with the groom-to-be and then send out the potential dates to everybody on the invite list. Settle on the weekend that the most people can do, simple as that.
These days it’s virtually impossible to find a weekend when everybody is free, so go with the majority and then move on to the nitty gritty.
Find out what the stag wants
While this may be your weekend of glory as the organiser, you’ve got to remember that the stag is still the star of the show so sit down together and actually discuss what he wants out of the weekend. After all, if he’s not happy then it’s fair to say the weekend will not be a success. Stag do pranks are all well and good, but if you take them too far and do something that he will simply hate then it can ruin the whole weekend.
Draw up some ground rules, get an idea of what sort of activities he would like and find out if he has any preferred destinations. If he’s happy to give you free reign to organise what you want then that’s fine, but make sure he trusts you enough to do that first.
Establish the budget
While following in the footsteps of ‘the wolfpack’ and recreating The Hangover may well be your idea of a perfect stag weekend, but asking everyone to splurge the hundreds of pounds needed to get to Vegas might be going a tad far. Establish the budget early, be upfront and ask some of the guests how much they’re willing to spend and remember that not everyone will have the same budget. Staying closer to home and making sure all of the friends can go is better than flying somewhere glamorous and leaving good men behind.
Book some entertainment in advance
It’s easy to think putting a group of men in a pub from 11am is enough to keep everyone entertained. But looking after a group of intoxicated men all day and night is hard work and people will quickly get bored, start squabbling or getting thrown out of places for being too rowdy. Choose some activities which your stag will enjoy and will help bring all the group together, mixing up the teams so that people who don’t know each other can mix.
Fancy dress outfits are another great way to unite the group and add that extra element of fun. Try to pick costumes that are relevant to the stag or his bride-to-be, or choose a common theme that the whole stag party can get involved with.