Bachelor Party Dos and Don'ts Everyone Should Know

Here's how to make sure your (or your partner's) big bash is a success.
by The Knot

Bachelor parties have a reputation for being raunchy and raucous (which we can probably thank Hollywood for). 

But when it comes down to it, bachelor parties are really about a groom-to-be celebrating a momentous occasion with his closest friends and family, which is actually pretty sweet. Here's how to make sure your (or your partner's) bachelor bash goes off without a hitch. 

Don't invite too many people. 

The bachelor party began as a gentlemen's party: a civilized evening of drawing-room drinking, smoking and toasting to the bride's health. Uhh, yeah—things have definitely changed. 

While most of today's bachelor parties have ditched the civilized bit in favor of a "crazy" night on the town, the list of attendees has stayed the same. The best man throws the shindig and invites the closest friends and relatives of the groom (usually male only, but we're all about breaking tradition if you want). 

The list shouldn't include 100 of the groom's closest friends, and definitely don't plan it without finalizing the guest list first. (You don't want to book an Airbnb before realizing it doesn't have enough room for everyone—and a "first come, first serve" invitation process isn't acceptable.)

Do pick a location that's conducive to the activities you want. 

Bachelor parties can take place almost anywhere. While the stereotypical bachelor party usually involves some combination of booze, X-rated activities and gambling, nowadays, lots of to-be-weds are opting for other, more wholesome activities—like a weekend spent bonding in the woods, for example. 

Others might plan high-adrenaline adventures such as white-water rafting, skydiving or rock climbing. Tamer bachelor parties might involve a weekend in Atlantic City gambling, a round of golf and a nice steak dinner, or a fancy night at a cigar bar. Of course, weekend trips involve travel and related expenses. If time is of the essence or all parties involved are on a budget, then a local bar, a hotel room or the best man's apartment are fine bachelor party locales too. 

Don't have it the night before the wedding (like in the movies). 

We all know how it usually goes in the movies (hello, The Hangover), but if you think the night before the wedding is the perfect time for a bachelor bash, think again. The last thing the groom needs on the big day is a hangover (or a reason to stress out his partner). 

You should schedule the main event up to a month before the wedding and, at the very least, schedule it a week in advance, preferably on the weekend. Some people from out of town won't be able to attend, but if they do want to show up they can use the advance notice to make plans. Notify the bachelor party guests at least three weeks before the party to avoid scheduling conflicts.

Do make sure the best man knows his responsibilities.

The best man is typically responsible for making sure the bachelor party avoids any mishaps. Here are some tips for him (or her, if you're having a best woman): Make sure people don't drive home drunk (double-check car service is available in the area), figure out the cost and split it evenly between everyone attending the party, be creative and fun with the activity ideas and always remember to take pictures so the groom has keepsakes (he probably won't be thinking of whipping out his phone when he's busy celebrating). 

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