Gone are the days of bachelor parties being a wild throwdown of drinking, debauchery, and scantily clad women. Although there may be pretty ladies to be seen and tasty adult beverages to be had, today's bachelor parties are more about a groom enjoying a mini-vacation with friends and relatives and less of a potential deal-breaker at the altar. Planning a bachelor party can be a fun time, and with a little creativity, can be a memorable occasion for the groom and his attendants.
Golfing seems to be the quintessential guys trip, and a bachelor party is no exception. Form the extravagant, such as an entire weekend at a resort and golf course, to a simple 18 holes and beers on the 19th hole; a golf bachelor party is a relaxing way for the groom and his buddies to talk and have fun. If you're booking a resort stay and you're on a budget, consider a mid-week trip instead of the weekend. You can take advantage of the full-service accommodations, from room service to on-site spa services, too, to unwind after a day on the links.
Those that are fortunate enough to live close to the beach may have a great time with a bachelor party combined with a day at the beach. Consider adding some interactive elements to the groom's fun, such as booking surf lessons or windsurfing. Follow up with boys time at the hotel or make a weekend out of it. For those who like deep ocean fishing, chartering a boat for a day trawling for marlin or other deep sea fish combines an exciting activity with downtime for the groomsmen and other invited family and friends to get to know each other.
For the superfan groom, tickets to a home game or a playoff event can make his bachelor party even more special. No matter where you are, there may be a certain event that the groom is dying to attend. Today's bachelor parties don't necessarily have to be the day or two before the wedding - if, say, the groom wants to go to the Kentucky Derby or playoffs for his favorite sport, consider scheduling the bachelor party a couple of weeks or months in advance of the big day.
For the epicurean groom, consider a wine tasting outing. Many states have small collections of wineries, enough to fill a day - or in some cases an entire weekend. To make sure that everyone has fun in a safe manner, elect a committee-designated driver, or hire an Uber XL or party bus. Many wineries also have small tasting menus onsite, so you may plan to sample a bunch of different quaffs and cuisines. An added bonus is that many wineries will ship cases home, so if the groom is looking for wine for the reception dinner or to gift his bride, then he might find something special!
Not every bachelor party has to be a planned vacation. Grooms who are interested in video or tabletop gameplay may appreciate a full day or even an entire weekend to devote to their hobby. Consider scheduling an epic raid, a new game for your favorite role-playing or LARP characters, or even a remote video game session, letting those that can't travel to celebrate with the groom be there in spirit. Make sure to schedule plenty of delivery or catered eats!
A bachelor party doesn't just have to be a huge party. If there's a special competition, like a Tough Mudder or spartan race in town, grab a team and have fun competing over obstacles. The teamwork element is perfect for groomsmen to support their friend, while the exciting challenges add a unique element to the group. Make sure that everyone who wants to participate is physically capable of competing, but bear in mind that there are many degrees of difficulty. Afterward, relax with a massage and a fun dinner with the boys.
Take the weekend to enjoy a ski trip or just a day on the slopes. Many ski resorts offer lessons, so if some in the party aren't veteran skiers, they can still have fun in the powder. There may be ice skating and other different things to try and then relaxing with craft brew or bourbon by the fire. Many ski resorts also have restaurants and even entertainment in-sire, so you can make things all-inclusive if you like.
Sometimes coordinating the bachelor party with the bachelorette party can give both the bride and groom some much-needed friend time without taking away from the wedding planning. Choosing to let the bride take a weekend away with her bridesmaids and friends and instead of having a relaxed grilling dinner and games with the groomsmen can be a cheaper option than planning weekend trips for both of the couple. Selecting some grade A steaks or other grilling favorites and just relaxing with friends and family can be all the fun a bachelor needs.
No bachelor party planning list would be complete without a mention of taking a trip to fabulous Las Vegas. Playing in the casinos, taking in a show, or dining in a world-class restaurant, there's much more to Las Vegas than the Strip. Flights to the city, especially during the week, are pretty reasonable, and there's nothing more iconic than a bachelor's party in Las Vegas. Make sure to party responsibly, however - use public transportation or elect a designated driver. Drinking laws are different in Vegas as compared to most other places, so brush up on the do's and don'ts before you go.
The best man and the groomsmen typically do the planning for a bachelor party. While it can sometimes be a surprise for the groom, in this day and age, it's important that he's able to secure time off work if need be, and arrange for the trip. Generally, the groom is treated to the party, with the costs split between those in attendance. Others that are on the invite list are other friends of the groom, sometimes the father of the bride and the father of the groom.