Article published: February 13th, 2024
Stag Do Planning: Everything You Need to Know
The concept of a stag do, or bachelor party, has evolved over the years from a simple night out with friends to an entire weekend of unforgettable fun. It’s the groom’s last hurrah before tying the knot, and planning that caters to his personality and preferences is key to ensuring a memorable and enjoyable event. The process has been over-complicated by ever-increasing choices and the rise of the number of best men organising it! The pressure is firmly on the best man (or men!) to deliver an epic stag party more than ever before. We hope this guide will help walk you through all the essential steps to plan the perfect stag and avoid all those unnecessary dramas.
Understanding the Groom
The first and most crucial step in planning a successful stag do is knowing the groom. As the best man this should be an easy step!
Consider his personality, interests, and hobbies.
What makes him laugh?
What are his likes and dislikes?
Would he prefer an adrenaline-packed adventure or a more relaxed affair?
Tailoring the stag do to suit the groom’s taste is essential to make it a meaningful and enjoyable experience for him. Don’t get carried away with your own ideas – after all, this is about him, not you. It’s not uncommon for there to be a couple of best men, so get together and have a chat about what you think would work. It doesn’t matter at this stage if you have different ideas. Planning the date, budget, and destination will naturally send you in the right direction.
Picking the Right Date
Selecting a date that works for everyone is essential and isn’t easy. Consider work schedules, proximity to the wedding date, and any prior commitments. Bank holiday weekends tend to get booked very quickly, so if you’re hoping to take advantage of a long weekend, be quick! The traditional stag party the night before the wedding is certainly a thing of the past. It’s not uncommon these days for the stag party weekend to happen months before the actual wedding. Taking advantage of cheap flights if you’re going abroad, seasonal discounts and the UK weather may all have a role to play. It’s a good idea to send out an email or WhatsApp with some suggested dates and get a feel for when most people are available. Remember that you are NOT going to be able to please everyone. That weekend simply doesn’t exist. It’s essential to ensure that those selected as essential attendees by the groom are available. Everyone else is a bonus. Stick with that, and you’re halfway there.
Setting a Realistic Budget
Discuss budget constraints with the group and agree on a reasonable spending limit. Remember that stag dos can spiral and get expensive, so managing costs and sharing expenses fairly among participants is crucial. Typically, a UK stag weekend costs in the region of £250-300pp. Going overseas often takes that closer to £500-700pp.
Abroad stag weekends sound great on paper, but in most cases, by going abroad, you’re instantly reducing the group size. Plus, it usually means more days off work, which not everyone can do.
Your budget may end up affecting your group numbers, so try to consider this when you’re planning. Consider group discounts, package deals, and early bookings to save money.
Choose a destination that suits the groom’s interests and the group’s budget. For the UK stag party, you have the options of UK cities, UK countryside or more of a local celebration close to home. Abroad options include everything from Las Vegas to European cities such as Prague, Barcelona and Benidorm. The attraction generally being a vibrant nightlife, warm weather and affordable prices once you’re there. A lot of groups go for a UK city – Newcastle, Edinburgh, Manchester and Bristol being popular options. They all tend to have easy-to-book group accommodation, great nightlife and access to some daytime activities. A UK countryside stag party is growing in popularity with plenty of daytime activities from country sports to adrenaline-pumping ones as well as alternative nights out – it ticks a lot of boxes! There are always going to be the local stag parties – whether that’s because of budget restrictions or it’s a second hurrah for those who didn’t make it to the first stag party. Do something out of the ordinary like a local activity, or why not take a Pub Tour? Being in a familiar destination doesn’t have to make it just another night out.
Tailoring Activities and Nightlife Fun
Based on the groom’s personality and preferences, think about activities he may enjoy. For example, if he’s an adventure enthusiast, consider activities like white water rafting, rock climbing and paintball. A sports fanatic may love watching a game with his friends or a scenic round of golf. If he’s competitive, then a go-kart grand prix race or clay pigeon shooting experience may hit the target. At this early planning stage, you just want to get an idea of what may work. You can narrow down the options as you get more of an idea of what your group wants to do. The father of the bride may not be too keen on the white-water rafting, but at this stage, he may not even have RSVP.
Plan exciting nighttime activities such as bar crawls, comedy shows, or casino nights to keep the party going after the sun sets. Make sure to have a designated driver or transportation arrangements to ensure safety and responsibility, but also so that you’re all involved.
There are lots of accommodation options for group bookings these days. Much more so than in years gone by. A lot is going to depend on your budget and destination. Consider if you’re just using the accommodation to sleep in or if you’re using it as a stag Party HQ and plan to spend time there. Hostels and campsites can be really budget-friendly. Hotels can be an easy option, especially if you have a mixed group. Holiday villas and cottages are becoming a more popular option as they add more flexibility. Consider location, amenities and price when making your decision. Look for group discounts and remember group bookings can get booked up in advance, so where possible, book early.
Planning a stag party requires more consideration and organisation than ever. The pressure is on the best man to plan a stag party like no other. However, by tailoring the event to the groom-to-be’s taste, selecting the right destination, activities and accommodation, and being mindful of budgets and schedules, you can achieve it!
Download our helpful checklist guide on how to plan a stag party. Or take our quiz to find out what your ideal stag party looks like.