So, you’ve fought off the competition to win that coveted spot as best man, and now it’s time to prove your worth by organising a stag do your friend will never forget. It’s a momentous occasion for any groom, since it marks the end of one whole chapter of his life. Done well, a stag do can be treasured just as much as the wedding day itself. Done wrong, and, well… it’s best not to dwell on that possibility! The success of a stag do is all up to you, and however boring it may seem, organisation is key. We’ve teamed up with StagWeb and LNOF to bring you our top stag do planning tips. Follow our steps to ensure that you’ll go down in history as a legendary best man.
See more: How To Organise A Hen Do: 6 Tips
- Who’s coming?
- Money, money, money
- Get creative
- Been there, done that, got the t-shirt!
- The week before
- The big night
This is the first important thing to determine. How many people will you want to be in charge of on the night? Although it might eliminate the element of surprise, it’s probably best to work with the groom himself on the guest list, so you don’t forget to invite his best friend from school (or end up inviting his worst enemy!). It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Once you’ve sorted who’s coming, make a group chat and put a date on the table so that people can clear their diaries. This date should be at least a fortnight before the wedding (it goes without saying that a Saturday night stag followed by a Sunday morning wedding is a recipe for disaster). Use the group chat as a tool when organising. Update the lads on what you’ve booked when you’ve booked it, to make sure everyone’s in-the-know.
If you’re planning on a stag weekend abroad (see below) and you’re inviting friends from all chapters of the stag’s life, it might be a good idea to get all the lads together for a pint so they can get to know each other before the occasion. This doesn’t have to be a big event, but might help to break the ice!
Money, money, money
Not a fun subject to discuss, but an important one nonetheless. Before you start planning extravagant getaways for you and the lads, ask them how much they’d each be willing/able to spend on the event. This’ll avoid any last-minute dropouts after you’ve booked everything and announced the grand total.
Further down the line, when you’re booking, make sure you keep a clear and concise record of how much everything costs, so you can show all the lads where their money has gone. On top of initial booking costs, bear in mind that you’ll need a spending budget for the evening/weekend. Agree on this amount well in advance, so the party has enough time to sort out their finances and not be caught short.
And a final financial word of advice: if jetting off to Europe, book through an ABTA or ATOL protected company. You’re responsible for the lads’ money, so make sure you’re handing it over to a reputable company.
This is where you can get creative and start planning an unforgettable party that your best mate truly deserves. Two quick words of warning, though:
1) this isn’t your stag do. If you know the groom’s not big on full-on clubbing, booking a weekend in Ibiza because you’re dying to visit its newest super-club isn’t going to land you in anybody’s good books.
2) Be respectful of your best mate’s future wife. You might have known her for a long time or are looking forward to getting to know her better after the wedding. Either way, you don’t want to make her your enemy before she’s even tied the knot! If she’s specified a no-stripper rule, it’s not your place to ignore that. Listen to the couple’s wishes to make sure you plan an enjoyable, drama-free do.
With the above in mind, it’s really up to you to plan an exciting and fun-filled event. The possibilities are endless: Prague and Amsterdam are staple weekend destinations while paint-balling or go-karting are good activities to start off with if you’re planning a day-to-night affair on home turf.
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt
Matching costumes or T-shirts can be a great souvenir of the stag do (as well as a handy way to identify each other in a crowded club)! Organising this can be a bit of a faff, but if you’re up to it and your budget will allow, collect everyone’s measurements and settle on a hilarious theme.
The week before
So everything’s booked and you’re ready to go. Before you can relax and start enjoying the hard-earned fruits of your labour, there are a couple more small things you can do to make sure the event runs as smoothly as possible.
Making a simple but clear itinerary of the day’s/weekend’s events, including key information such as flight times and numbers, hotel addresses, and your phone number. Send this out and avoid being inundated with last-minute messages from the lads.
Although it might sound a bit reminiscent of a school trip, everyone loves a checklist when packing for a weekend away. This can be especially useful if you’re keeping the groom in the dark about where you’re going (presuming he and his fiancée are happy with the element of surprise!). Remember to include the basics: passport, Euros, EHIC, and those all important paracetamol…
It’s also worthwhile getting in touch with any clubs or bars you’re planning to hit, to check their stance on stags. You really don’t want to get to the front of a queue only to be refused entry because you’ve failed to check the venue’s policy on stag parties or fancy dress.
The big night
Everything’s booked, everyone’s here, and the night you’ve planned is going swimmingly. There are only two things for you left to do! Enjoy yourself and make sure the groom gets home in one piece. You’ve earned this opportunity to blow off some steam and admire the product of your hard work and dazzling organisational skills, but remember: you’re best man for a reason, so just remember to keep one eye out for the groom, and make sure he’s having a good time and not doing anything he might regret the next day!
There you have it, a comprehensive guide to all of the small things that can make a big difference when it comes to planning the perfect stag do. What’s the best stag you’ve ever attended? Have you got a good stag horror story? Let us know in the comments below!