The time has come, Mister Groom-to-Be. Your wedding day is just around the corner, and it’s high time you started thinking about your stag do. Sure, it will take a fair bit of planning, but it will also be a whole lot of fun – you’ll remember your stag night for the rest of your life, hopefully for all the right reasons!
Now, we know this can be a stressful occasion for even the most level-headed chap, so why not let Stag Stuff lend a hand? We’re the stag night experts, and this groom’s guide will tell you everything you need to know before you start organising your last hoorah.
Stag Night Guides
Best Man for the Job
Somewhere between getting down on one knee and arriving at the altar, you’ll have to choose your best man. For some of you, this will be an obvious choice; for others, picking just one best man will be an absolute ‘mare. We hate to get all soppy on you, but the best approach is simply to follow your heart and ask yourself who your best man (or woman; why let gender dictate the details of your big day?) really is. Of course, if you’re really struggling, it is not uncommon these days to have several best men!
When you’ve sorted out the best man situation, you have to decide whether or not you’re going to let them plan your stag do – traditionally, it’s the best man’s responsibility, but who says you have to abide by traditions? If you trust your chum to throw you a good shindig then by all means give him the go-ahead, but we know that many grooms would prefer to take the reins themselves. Here’s a diplomatic compromise: grab a notepad and sit down with all involved to bounce some ideas back and forth. You could even do this at the pub; tell the bride-to-be that you’re going out on ‘official stag planning business’ and she won’t say a thing.
The Guest List
The stag party guest list is another thing that will either be very easy or very difficult. Even if you are not organising the party itself, you’ll want to have the final say as to who comes and who doesn’t. Your best mate will probably have no trouble inviting your usual posse of pals, but he may not be so familiar with your fiancée’s family, and it’s only fair that the boys from her side should get to join in too. If there is anyone you really don’t want at your stag do – a friend you fell out with, perhaps, or just that one guy who’s a bit aggressive after a few drinks – it is important to make this known as early as possible. You don’t want your arch-nemesis coming along just because somebody ‘assumed’ he was invited.
Don’t Be Afraid to Drop Hints
Just because you’ve delegated the party planning duties to someone else doesn’t mean that you can’t give them some suggestions. We’re sure that your best man knows how to organise a good blowout, but if there’s something you’re really keen to do on the stag weekend, don’t hesitate to mention it. If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at go-karting, if you have your heart set on a messy weekend in Prague, or if you just want a quiet one down the local pub, say so!
Naughty Night or Wild Weekend?
By now, some level of organisation is beginning to take hold, and you can get into the nitty-gritty. The next thing you’ll want to think about is just how long and far-flung you want your stag extravaganza to be. Many people find that the traditional night out simply isn’t enough; it is now just as popular to have a whole weekend of carnage, often in one of Europe’s capital cities.
Budget is going to be the biggest factor here. Bear in mind that each of your pals will have his own budget, and it may well be much lower than your own, so make sure you’re not excluding anyone. If there is a bit of a division between your ranks, the best thing to do is to have a wild weekend away AND a night at the local pub where everyone can come and celebrate with you. That way, you get a double stag do!
Whose Round Is It Anyway?
Deciding who will pay for what can be something of a difficult subject. Luckily, we’re all reasonable adults and there’s no reason to tiptoe around the issue of payment. If you are planning on keeping it local and going to the pub, then it’s perfectly reasonable to expect that most of your drinks will be bought for you. After all, it’s your big night! If you are throwing in some activities on top of that, you may have to get your wallet out, although you might find that your friends are prepared to chip in a little extra on your behalf.
If you are going on an all-guns-blazing lads’ holiday, we’re sorry, but you’re almost certainly going to be paying for yourself (unless you have some extremely generous buddies!)
Packing and Preparing
This one shouldn’t be too difficult – just treat it like any other night out or weekend away. If everyone is keeping mum and this is to be some sort of surprise stag do, plead with the organiser for at least a small hint as to what you will need clothes-wise. You don’t want to turn up for a skiing holiday in your board shorts!
Clothing aside, we recommend electing a head nurse amongst your party and making that person bring a few first aid essentials along. We know it’s painfully square and sensible, but you’ll be grateful if one of you needs a plaster (or a few paracetemols for that hangover headache!) Oh, and if you are making this a country-hopping hoorah, make sure everyone has a passport and make double sure that they haven’t expired!
Aside from drinking, here are some typical stag do activities:
- Strip Clubs
- Comedy Clubs
Since you’re the groom, you obviously get to have the final say, but bear in mind that some of these ideas might not sit so well with your mates. Strip clubs, for example, can make some people very uncomfortable, while the less adventurous members of your group may not be up for a day of paintballing in the woods. Make sure you’re all on the same page before you book anything.
Bear in mind that some places don’t allow stag parties on the premises, so double-check that side of things too. Comedy clubs in particular can be quite strict!
Knowing Your Limits
Remember, there’s only so much abuse the human body can take. By all means have a few drinks, but try to stop drinking before you do something newsworthy. Too much alcohol can easily make things turn sour; you might end up passed out in some foreign city, or you might get into a drunken brawl with some random stranger. Even if you manage to stay out of trouble, you’ll still feel very ill the following morning, so remember to eat regularly, drink plenty of water, and stop when you’ve had enough.
Dealing with Pranks
Stag nights go hand-in-hand with mischievous pranks and, unfortunately for you, the groom-to-be is usually the prime pranking target. The practical jokes that you’ll be enduring will rather depend on what kind of friends you’ve made; it could be anything from a juvenile ‘Kick Me’ sign to the notorious ‘handcuffed to a dwarf’ ploy.
We just hope your friends aren’t too evil...
Whatever your friends throw at you, do try to retain your sense of humour – it’s better to laugh along with your friends than to get angry and risk spoiling the celebratory atmosphere. Just grit your teeth and remember that you’ll be able to take revenge when they all get married.
Making Sure Some Memories Exist
Waking up with absolutely no memory of what happened is a common occurence for grooms after their stag nights, but trust us, it’s far better if you can actually recall all the fun you had. Again, we recommend that you limit the drinking as best you can, but you may also consider taking a disposable camera along and making a stag party scrapbook that you and the boys can cherish for years to come.