Are bachelor parties a dying tradition?
I asked my wife to marry me on Thursday and we had finished our nuptials by 10 a.m. on Friday, so a bachelor party was something I never really got to have, (an oversight some of my single friends still haven't let me live down.) Although secretly, I think they're glad they didn't have to spend the money or the time planning me one.
I am often asked, "Do you wish you would have had a last hurrah?" My answer is always no, as my wife is usually standing beside me when the sadistic question is asked.
However, writing this piece has made me think, did I miss something?
I have found that when a man thinks of his bachelor party, delusions of grandeur are often part of the equation. Fountains of endlessly flowing booze coupled with hundreds of laughing friends reliving your best and funniest moments in an exotic locale such as Las Vegas or the Caribbean usually starts the hallucination off.
The time of your life continues for hours and then culminates with a beautiful woman popping out of a 30 foot cake and demonstrating your irresistibility to everyone you know. Then you wake up.
In reality the situation tends to consist of a weekday get-together where half the people you invited show up, you play cards, drink cheap beer and play X-Box until someone pukes on your new carpet and finished the evening by telling you how much they love you as you drive them home, continuing to slur and vomit on the way. You finish the evening playing designated driver at you own party.
For the most part, the large portion of bachelor parties I have attended fall somewhere between two scenarios.
As most of my friends are near 30, they will either use your party as a time to get away from their families and get wasted and relive a highschool party.
Or they are past the "kegger years" of their life and will show up out of shear obligation, stare at their shoes until 10 p.m. and then bolt in order to watch whatever show they TiVOed begrudgingly before leaving the house.
And there in lies the falsehood of the whole situation. A man is not single at his bachelor party and those who act as if they were often find that they are indeed single the day after. On the night of his bachelor party a man is in the midst of a very committed relationship. After all, it is just as scary to get on an airplane and strap on the gear, as it is to jump out of the plane. Especially with nearly 50 percent of parachutes not opening these days.
While it is believed that the bachelor party has been around since the ancient times, according to bachelorparty.com. The actual term originated here in states, other countries have other names for the exercise in futility. In the United Kingdom, stag night or stag parties and hen parties, the last bash is also called buck parties, bulls parties and buck nights by our friends on the other side of the pond.
Some believe that the festivities originated in the ancient Greek city state of Sparta. There, Spartan males or warriors would hold a dinner for the soon to be married man and toast him repeatedly.
Since then, the event has become a time for males to enjoy commendatory and kinship before settling down to become a family man. Although mostly overstated, the notorious custom of these get-togethers, in some parts of the U.S. anyway, can get quite wild with men doing things their new brides may not approve of. Depending on the individual's culture, bachelor parties can include drinking, trips to strip clubs, gambling, escort or stripper services and evil spirited pranks.
It is often a tradition that the best man and the groom's line organize the event, which at times can seem like the blind leading the blind. In my experience men don't plan well. Surprise also often plays a big part in the party with the groom being whisked away from work or elsewhere for a night of shenanigans.
So if you have been saddled with the chore or honor, (depending upon how you look at it) of planning a bachelor party, here are a few suggestions for making the evening a relative success.
â¢ Plan for transportation, that way if everyone decides to drink, everyone can get around safely. Because nothing can ruin a wedding like an incarcerated or worse, badly injured groom.
â¢ Give yourself at least a month to plan the event as this allows time to book reservations and let everyone clear the date. This simple tip will improve attendance at the bash.
â¢ Make sure dinner is part of the night. If the group does not plan to drink it will get everyone out of the house for a few hours making sure the party doesn't just turn into a TV session.
And if your group is drinking it is better to do it with a full stomach.
â¢ Photos can be a bad idea as they tend to create incriminating and embarrassing evidence that can be misconstrued ruining the grooms big day.
â¢ Try to keep the party simple, overly elaborate schemes have a way of falling through, keep it to one or two locations. Remember keeping more than three of your friends on the same page while hopping from place to place is not a task worth undertaking.
Remember that a bachelor party can be like a going away party. As the groom's marriage begins and kids get on the way he will have less and less time to just hang. Try to make the evening a celebration about the good times you have had together as friends without re-living them. And remember, he's not going to be killed, just married.
With the exception of the fountain of youth, nothing is going to make you 19 again and a 30 year-old's morning after experience is a lot different than a 19 year-olds.