Your best buddy's wedding is just around the corner, and you - as the best man - are in charge of planning and organizing a kick-ass bachelor party. One final debaucherous fling that the groom-to-be won't soon forget (no matter how much he tries).

Well, if you're the kind of guy who doesn't like a big hassle, then a small gathering of friends, some beer and a stripper may be all you need. For others, a more elaborate scheme may be in order. But whether you plan to sit on someone's couch and down a few or rent a yacht replete with a live band and full fireworks display, you should never rush into throwing a bachelor party without a careful plan. Without a plan, you risk spending more money than necessary, potentially offending some partygoers, and putting the groom in such hot water that the marriage will be over before it began.

Fear not, man. Lest you think the fate of the entire marriage rests on your shoulders, we've created a guide that outlines everything you need to know in order to plan an unforgettable - but not too unforgettable - final hurrah.


The code of silence

While at many parties the general rule may be "the more the merrier," at a bachelor party, the last thing you want is give out an open invitation to everyone and their mothers. There isn't a set number of people that you should invite, but whether you decide on an intimate 5-person gathering or a 30-person bash, you'll want to ensure that all of the guests are trusted friends and relatives (read: people who won't spill all the gory details to the bride-to-be).

This doesn't necessarily mean that friends and relatives on the bride's side of the family are automatically out, nor that women should be excluded. At most bachelor parties, there is an unwritten code of silence among the attendees. If the groom has close female friends you feel can be trusted, go ahead and invite them. Or perhaps the bride's brother is a nice guy and you don't want him to feel left out. If you're confident he'll appreciate a good time and not let it get back to his sister, then let him come along.

But there are certain pitfalls to avoid:

  • Don't invite any of the groom's workmates unless you're prepared to invite all of them. If rumors get out that someone wasn't invited to the bachelor party, your friend could be in a messy situation.

  • Make it clear that you don't want friends bringing other friends, thereby defeating the purpose of the affair.

  • What about that one friend in the group who might not be trustworthy? Well, to avoid insulting him, you might want to emphasize how much the party costs, in the hopes of discouraging him.


Yeah, it would be great to surprise the groom. Imagine it: he screams, you take a funny picture of his embarrassment and put it over your mantle, people tell stories about it for years to come, and you're the hero! The problem is, surprise parties can sometimes bring more harm than good. Just think what would have happened if you surprised your buddy with a roomful of strippers in his house on the night his bride's mother was coming over to finalize the wedding plans. The moral of this story: do what the groom wants.

Decades ago, bachelor parties were typically formal, all-male, black-tie dinners in which all guests behaved like gentlemen and drank a toast to the groom-to-be. Sounds like a barrel of laughs. Thankfully, times have changed and modern bachelor parties tend to cater to the specific interests of the groom in a much more informal setting. Other than that, the only limit is your creativity.

Consider the interests of the groom-to-be

As the best man, you undoubtedly know the groom best, so think about what he'd probably like to do. While most people are familiar with the strip club/stripper bachelor party, people are now leaning toward more creative and personalized activities:

  • If your friend is a sports nut, it might be a nice idea to rent out a private box at a stadium event. Have beer.

  • If he likes to gamble, organize a field trip to a casino (depending on how much you want to spend, Las Vegas is a popular bachelor party spot). Have beer.

  • Participate in a physical activity such as white-water rafting or paintball. After the activity, have beer.

  • If your pal is a low-key type, consider getting a private room in a restaurant or even someone's own house. If you want to make it at your house, power to you. But if the thought of vomit stains on your carpet is too much to handle, ask another guest to use his place. Nothing like passing the buck. Have plenty of beer on hand.

  • Some other popular places to host the party are a ski chalet, a cottage, a hotel banquet room, or a strip club/bar. Have crêpes suzette. Just kidding! Beer yourselves silly!

If you're still not sure where to hold the festivities, check out By entering the date, city, interests and desired size of your party, you'll receive a list of suggested activities to choose from. The site will even e-mail people you're inviting with potential plans. Call it the lazy best man's dream.

Set the date

The next step is to set the date. In the past (you know, the '80s?), bachelor parties were often held the weekend of (or even the night before) the wedding. But nowadays, the general trend is to hold it at least a weekend prior to the big day. Why? Four out of five best men and grooms agree that the stress of having two parties so close together is too much to handle. So if you can set a date that allows the groom to have a great time and still have time to prepare for the wedding, he'll be all the more grateful.


Once you've decided on the venue for your party and the types of entertainment you'd like to provide, it's time to make the arrangements.

Setting a budget
Booking strippers

Setting a budget

First determine how much you are willing to pay. Genius, isn't it? Almost universally, all attendees will split the costs evenly and the groom will not pay a dime. While costs will vary greatly depending on the activities planned and the amount of people, expect that when transportation, drinks, rental/reservation fees and entertainment are tallied, each person could typically be out $100-$300. To make sure that everyone's clear on this, when you call people to invite them or send out the invites, give them a rough idea of how much they'll be expected to front.

As for booking a location, get a reservation for at least a month in advance, and get your deal in writing (including the date, times, prices, and what you get for it). Watch out for hidden credit card charges. Though agencies are not allowed to charge any more than 5% in service charges, some will try to add on as much as 30% to whatever you plan to tip.

Finally, don't be fooled by the bait-and-switch. This is applicable to food, beverages, hotels and other venues. For example, if you're ordering catered food, you may want to sample it first, if possible, to ensure you are getting the quality you expected. Less reputable companies will often promise you one thing (knowing they don't have it), and when the big day comes, you have no choice but to take what they give you.

Booking strippers

While it sounds like fun to round up a bunch of strippers and have them take their clothes off, you actually have to be extremely careful about how you go about it. Many of these "adult entertainment" companies are not as reputable as, say, your bank. So follow these important tips:

  • Make sure to call around and compare prices. While you don't necessarily want the cheapest, you do want the one that acts the most professionally.

  • Many companies may tell you they can't guarantee an "entertainer" unless you book her over the phone during your initial call. Do not be persuaded by these types of threats. If they don't want your business, someone else surely will. This is a sure sign of a rip-off artist.

  • Get any deals you make in writing. Most reputable companies will fax you a copy of any contract agreed upon. Also, ask for a written description of the "show" for any entertainment you book.

  • To put it delicately, agencies may send entertainers to your party that aren't exactly of the "quality" you expected when you booked them (e.g., they smell bad, they have no teeth, they're hairier than you are . . .). If this happens, you'll have no choice but to take another swig, squint your eyes, and let them in. This is why it's vital to prepare in advance - ask friends what agencies they have used successfully in the past before committing to one. However, you should complain to the agency later if you are unsatisfied.

  • Ask whether photographing or videotaping is allowed. Usually, it's taboo. You don't want an angry stripper - or far worse, her 300-lb. security guard - confiscating your camera later on.


Okay, so after carefully planning and taking all the proper precautions, you're exhausted, right? Well, relax. While your main duty is to show your best buddy a good time, you'll hopefully have a great time yourself.

First, you might want to start off the evening right, by embarrassing your victim . . . er, groom. While the guest of honor should be abreast of all your major plans, you should still have a few surprises up your sleeve. What bachelor party would be complete, for instance, without the ol'-ball-and-chain? No, not the bride-to-be, we mean an actual toy ball-and-chain for him to drag around all night by his ankle. You can easily construct one for about $8. Another mainstay, of course, is the blow-up doll. Make it a rule for the night that he carries it wherever he goes.

While what you do for the night is entirely up to you, you'll probably want to focus on "guy stuff." Some activities that are practically mandatory include drinking heavily - cheap beer, good whiskey or scotch and tequilla are recommended. Even if the groom's not a big drinker, do a shot or two with your best pals, tell dirty jokes, or play drinking games.

Other optional activities that may be fun and appropriate include:

  • Watching porno movies (a very "guy" behavior).
  • Playing poker.
  • Mooning someone on the highway.
  • Getting a random woman to massage the groom.
  • Getting the groom to buy a gorgeous woman a drink-just to prove he still has "the touch."
  • Generally doing embarrassing (but harmless) things.

Finally, sometimes you and guests can provide your own entertainment. At many bachelor parties, the best man and other close friends will give the groom a good ol' fashioned roast. Be sure to dig up all the dirt you can from his past. Think of it this way: your friend will learn from his mistakes before he ties the knot.


Yes, you're going to have an alcohol-drinking stripper-watching, projectile-burping good time. But keep in mind that while the goal of the party is for the groom and his friends to have fun, you still have to act responsibly.

One of the main responsibilities you have is to make sure everyone has a safe ride home. Depending on how many places you're going to, some pre-arranged transportation might be in order. Since the groom isn't the only one likely to forget his name by the end of the night, you might want to arrange for a taxi or limo to take you and the guests to and from your destinations. Another option is to rent a 15-person van (at about $70 for the night), provided you designate a sober driver. For the limos, make sure you get an hourly rate up front.

Also, remember that when a lot of people are drinking, things could potentially slip out of control. While we don't expect you to be a babysitter, it's a good idea to look out for the groom and to enlist the guests to look out for each other.

Finally, don't forget to remind the groom that he's getting married. Yes, this is his last chance at freedom, but don't get the poor bastard drunk and then pressure him into sleeping with his ex-girlfriend one last time "for posterity." You're not out to doom the wedding.

Once you've followed these steps, carefully planned the party and respected the groom's wishes, there's only one thing left to do: pop open a cold one, and save one for us.