Calling all best men: keep your mate’s stag do from going off the rails by following this simple checklist. Have you thought about accommodation? What about the activities? What outfits should you wear? Drinking games? Strippers? There’s a lot to think about Get sorted now with this expert checklist.
Getting on the guest list: the carnage crew
- Who’s made the cut: Find out from the groom who he expects on his stag, and whether there is anyone he just can’t do without. He will probably include people from work, his childhood, his family and various other mates. Get their names down.
- Get in touch: Get their contact details (maybe try the wife-to-be) and start making inroads with them early on. Send out a friendly email or maybe a group Facebook message? Getting in touch early on means you can set the tone and deal with any potential troublemakers.
- Save the date: If you need to sort out dates with a few of the guys, then Doodle is a great tool to help you manage scheduling. Doodle allows people to easily tell you when they are free. Pick a date that suits, and make people lock it down early on to avoid any disappointments.
- Respect the fam: Be respectful of the older generations if they are getting involved with the stag. They’ll probably be happy to take a back seat (or join in), but your groom probably won’t thank you if you anger his future father-in-law on day one.
No money left in the kitty: avoid finance fails
- Pay up, or else: Make sure you ask people to contribute in advance for things like hotels and activity deposits if needed. Give people a rough idea of budgets so there’s no nasty surprises. It’s no fun being a debt collector, but just be firm and diplomatic with it.
- Do a kitty: Instead of rounds (and the inevitable dodger who goes to the loo when it’s his turn) just have a drinks kitty. Much simpler and means that everyone will order what they want.
- Stag goes free: Often the stag will go for free, so factor that into your budgeting. Just ask everyone to chip in and spread the cost that way.
- Rich man’s world: Some people will have more money than others. Try to go for a happy medium and don’t alienate the ones with less. If someone wants to do something a bit more expensive that others can’t afford, they may have to contribute more.
- Get in the experts: It’s not always true that you will save money by doing things yourself, as stag companies sometimes have endorsement deals with local businesses.
Keep it secret, keep it safe: surprise me
- Facebook blunders: Keep any social media activity before the event to a minimum, or make it private, as you don’t want to ruin any surprises. In the ideal world the stag would have no idea where he’s going or what he’s doing! Make sure the other guys understand this.
- Make it special: This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to organize something special for your mate, so along with the inevitable pranks and gags, try to include something he’d really enjoy. Is there anything he’s always talked about wanting to do?
Logistical mare: accommodation and transport
- Hotel or hostel: Think carefully about the hotel, as it can have a big impact on you weekend. Whether you go luxury or budget, think carefully about the distances to/from the pubs and clubs. You don’t want to save money on the hotel only to shell out on taxis.
- Taxi money: If you will be shelling out on taxis, pool money together so you don’t have to mess around with coins at the end of a heavy night.
- Stags on tour: Sometimes places will want to know if you are stags. Just give them a heads friendly heads up if they do, or ask them if they have any house rules that might get in the way of your fun.
Breaking the ice: stag activities
- Getting the party lubricated: How are you going to get Nigel from accounts to chat to Dan from squash? Try some classic drinking games to get you started. Drinking alcohol will probably be a big feature of the weekend, but drinking games make it more fun.
- Stag stunts: Stag stunts can sometimes be epic, or go horribly wrong. Just make sure you are not breaking any laws and you’ll be fine.
- Try something different: There are loads of great stag weekend activities for you to try, from clay pigeon shooting to parkour and paintballing. Think outside the box and mix up traditional stag activities with something a bit different.
- Nightlife nightmares: Get on the guest-list, as many places won’t let you walk in off the street if you’re a stag do. It also means you won’t be wandering aimlessly from place to place. If you want to go to a gentlemen’s club, book a table in advance so you’re guaranteed entrance.
Borat to bow-ties: attire
- T-shirts: Novelty t-shirts have become pretty standard, and though they might seem old-hat, it’s a great way for people to get to know each other and will make a nice memento years down the line. (Just wash the beer stains out first.)
- Fancy dress: There are so many brilliant options for stag fancy dress, so use your imagination. You can go down the inevitable stag humiliation route by putting the stag in a Borat mankini (now banned in Newquay) or dressing him up as a woman. Another recent trend has been for morph suits which actually started out as a student joke between friends!
- Go classy: What about nice, sharp suits or even black tie? You don’t have to dress up in fancy dress if you don’t want to. A sharp 007 look with gadgets and props is a classy alternative.
Man down: safety
- Don’t leave the stag behind: The most important rule for the stag weekend is: don’t let the stag down by leaving him stranded. Sure, you can scare him a bit, but it’s your responsibility to make sure he gets back in one piece. If you’re shaving off eyebrows, make sure there’s time for them to grow back in time- don’t ruin the wedding photos.
This is our biggest tip for planning the stag: manage expectations! What does the groom expect? What about others? Get a feel for people’s expectations, but make sure that the focus always stays on the groom (and you!). You can’t always keep everyone onside, but you can avoid rifts by giving everyone a realistic idea of what to expect. Disappointment breeds discontent, so don’t promise stuff you can’t deliver.