Bachelor parties are an amazing opportunity for grooms to spend some quality time with their closest friends before making a trip down the aisle. Whether they are planning a night out on the town where they live or a full destination vacation, it can be an absolutely memorable experience for your group.
However, you don't want it to be memorable in a bad way. If reservations don't come together the right way or there is a lack of communication between the group, a bachelor party can quickly descend from fun to chaotic. With a bit of foresight and arrangements, you can avoid some of the common pitfalls of this pre-wedding event. Ahead, we have experts share the biggest mistakes that happen around bachelor party planning and how to have a successful celebration instead.
Meet the Expert
- Allison Odhner is the CEO and founder of Bach to Basic, a luxury all-inclusive bachelor and bachelorette party planning company.
- Elaine Swann is a nationally recognized etiquette and lifestyle expert. She is an author and the founder of The Swann School of Protocol.
Forgetting to Create an Itinerary
"Most often, the mistakes we see with bachelor parties is that they do not craft an itinerary ahead of time," explains Allison Odhner, founder of Bach to Basic. "I think there is a misconception that arriving in an awesome city with a group, there will be 'so much to do.' But in reality, the large quantity of activities, restaurants, etc. quickly becomes overwhelming. Without a plan, the guests can find themselves just wandering around or doing very little. Of course, there are moments where no plan can be a plan, but overall, having an itinerary and at least a few reservations will make or break the weekend."
Not Factoring in Downtime
While you definitely should have reservations for a weekend, remember that every second should not be scheduled—especially if there will be a good amount of drinking involved. "Just as not planning out the weekend can be a faux pas, bachelors that are on their game can sometimes be a bit ambitious about what they think is possible with a big group of gentlemen after a long night out," says Odhner. "Make sure to schedule some downtime before and after events, or coordinate some of the meals catered in so that the guys have room to recover and you're not having to wrangle everyone out of bed to get to the next activity."
Lack of Communication
"Another mistake we see with bachelor parties is a lack of communication," shares Odhner. "The one to two people in charge may have everything worked out, but if the group is not informed of what is happening, and more importantly, what is needed from them, it can create a lot of confusion or frustration on both ends." Make sure to have an informative email, group text, or Excel sheet to break down the itinerary and financial contributions needed to make the celebrations go smoothly.
Bachelor party invitees also need to really commit to attending so plans can be made with appropriate reservation numbers and budgets. Bowing out of a certain event due to conflicts is fine, but make sure to be prompt. "If it's the truth and you have a schedule conflict, tell the truth," advises etiquette expert Elaine Swann. "My recommendation is to embrace that awkward moment. Let that individual know that you have a conflict, that you won't be able to attend, and still allow your presence to be felt by some sort of contribution and doing your part financially."
Not Reading the Details
While those planning a bachelor party definitely need to be on top of keeping other attendees in the loop, guests also need to stay on top of details in order to have festivities run smoothly. "Organization and updates are key," says Odhner. "To all of those not planning: reading such details and participating on time is so helpful in order to make the process a successful one!"