Stag weekends may be fun, but they can also be stressful to plan. Don’t add to the stress by forgetting the essentials. Read on to discover some of the worst things you can forget when planning your stag weekend.
So, you’ve been put in charge of organising the groom’s stag weekend celebrations. That means there’s plenty on your plate, as both the groom and his friends will be disappointed if things go awry. While all you might want to do is party, remembering the essentials ahead of time can avert disaster.
Entertainment and Location
First, you need to establish a theme or activity that will carry the weekend. For some stag dos, this will mean finding a party city such as Amsterdam or Prague, while for others it will involve identifying specific activities such as paintballing or kayaking. Key to picking a focus for the weekend is finding out what the groom likes and tailoring the events accordingly. If the groom isn’t a sporty guy, forget a weekend of clay pigeon shooting and fishing.
It also helps if you can find a suitable entertainment for when the sightseeing or activities are over. You might book a comedian or magician, for example, or take the party to a casino or club as part of one of the stag weekend packages you’ll find on offer.
Accommodation and Travel
You must find somewhere to stay. It might seem easy to pick a Travelodge or hostel and set up sticks there, especially if it keeps costs down, but while price is important, consider factors such as the distance of the accommodation from the major sights and establishments you’ll be visiting. No one wants to be stranded in the middle of nowhere on a stag weekend. Think too about any entertainment your potential accommodation provides and its policy on stag parties; some places won’t take all-male groups or have strict curfews.
Once you’ve decided on accommodation and activities, remember to book and, if necessary, to confirm any bookings. You might need to register or complete forms, depending on what you’re up to. This necessary but dull process includes checking everyone has valid passports if you’re heading abroad. It may be an irritation, but double checking everything ensures you’re not caught out anywhere along the line.
On a related note, get your travel arrangements sorted. You can save plenty of money by scouting for good deals on transport weeks in advance, whether you’re going by train or plane. Wherever you’re going, ensure you’ve considered how you’re getting back and everything in between, such as getting from an airport or train station to your accommodation.
Another consideration is cost. Obviously, you’re going to want to collect money ahead of time from guests to cover costs, but you’ll also need spending money and cards once you’re on the stag weekend in case of emergencies. You can prepare for the worst by putting a little aside in the weeks leading up to the stag do.
If all else fails, you’ll want a back-up plan. In other words, something to do if the original plans fall through. While you’ll be limited in what you can realistically achieve, it’s best to have a few options up your sleeve. For example, if you’re planning on going to a certain club night and it turns out to be full, have an idea of where else you can head so that the evening doesn’t fall apart.
On a lighter note, themes and costumes can really make a stag weekend and bring everyone together. A costume idea can be as simple as asking everyone to wear T-shirts with the groom’s name printed on them, or it can be as elaborate as everyone dressing as their favourite superhero or TV character. Many stag weekend revellers will expect this kind of silliness, so you need to take it into account.
The Guest List
Stag weekends can have quite an extensive guest list, but ensure you’ve invited all the necessary people. Besides the obvious (e.g., the groom), make sure you have asked the groom’s father and other members of family, such as brothers and cousins and even the bride’s family. Do your research here as you could cause offence if those expecting to get an invite don’t get one.
Finally, make sure those invites get sent in plenty of time. However you’re planning on telling everyone about the stag weekend plan, be it over the phone or via a social media website, do it as far in advance as you can so that people can plan for the big weekend.
Stag weekends are more complex than they first appear. However, with some research and early planning, you can avoid the minefield.
Rosette Summer writes regularly on stag weekend packages for a range of event planning and men’s magazines. Her favourite stag weekend was held in Barcelona.