Ah, the notorious bachelor party. The one wedding activity centered completely around the groom. Historically, the bachelor party is an evening or weekend with a close group of the groom’s male friends that involves copious amounts of booze. And media will tell you this often includes copious amounts of debauchery, as well. Even though this is not always the case, bachelor parties have a reputation for trouble because it is the groom’s “last night of freedom,” despite being in a committed relationship long before the stag party. But we won’t editorialize too much. It does make for a great climax in films when the groom shows up at the last minute to the wedding with a black eye ready to say I do, but that’s not reality. And that’s not as cute of a look as one might think.
More and more, modern grooms have different needs and are desiring unique bachelor parties whether it is for themselves, or to include friends. As with most wedding planning we’ve explored here, modern weddings are moving away from this notion of the strip club bachelor party, and we are ready to share what we know. Whether you have a mixed gender wedding party, persons who need accommodations, or a sober crew, here we will explore some tips for a bachelor party that is both inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities. We will discuss general planning for a bachelor party, tips for inclusive and accessible venues, and activity suggestions that everyone can enjoy. Even if you do include booze in your bachelor party festivities, not everything has to be centered around alcohol. This is especially true if you are planning for a whole weekend, you’ll want some variety and sober time. And while the groom doesn’t usually pay for anything at the bachelor party, we’re pretty sure an ER bill for alcohol poisoning doesn’t fall under the responsibilities of the attendees to cover. So, let’s not give Hollywood any more ideas, eh? They have writers for that. First up, general bachelor party guidelines and etiquette, with tips for making it inclusive.
We have other posts about inclusive wedding parties that are worth reading for this purpose. You may have picked up some tips from there like having a Person of Honor instead of a Best Man. Typically, the “Best Man” whatever they are called, is in charge of planning the bachelor party, but if that doesn’t work out there are other candidates to help. Maybe the Person of Honor is not a planner, or is unable to take on this responsibility for some reason.
First, consider the most responsible person of the group to assist, at least, if not to be the point of contact. This person can also help send invites and track RSVP’s, and make a rough budget estimate for everyone to consider before they commit and avoid the dreaded sticker shock at the end of the evening or weekend. This also allows people on a stricter budget to make informed decisions about going. The only real duty the groom has in this part of planning is to approve or create the invite list. Typically, nobody should be invited to the bachelor party that is not also invited to the wedding, but this may seem obvious. That is also why it’s a good idea to get the groom’s approval just in case he decided not to invite his cousin, after all. The biggest take away that we have already touched on is that the groom should not have to pay for the bachelor festivities, and it should be divided among the attendees in a fair way that is agreed upon.
So also take this into consideration when planning the length of the party, the venue(s) and activities, and any potential big ticket items like a concert or sporting event, etc. This way the attendees can agree upfront to the budget estimate, and it will reduce any chance for conflict later on.
Lastly, the bachelor party can be held anytime leading up to the wedding if plans require certain timing, but it is typically between one to three months before the wedding for a ballpark. Next, we will look at inclusive venues.
If you have a mixed gender bachelor party or persons with disabilities, remember to check for amenities, rules, and accommodations when booking venues. Elevators or ramps, LGBTQ+ approved, and a comfortable place for everyone to sit if and when they wish. If you are planning one evening, the number of venues and activities are reduced. You may be going for a low key game night or rock band with friends, a night at the favorite local club, or a splurge on that one fancy restaurant you all have wanted to go to for ages. Whether you go big or small, make sure the venue(s) can accommodate the groom and attendees as well. It is worth calling ahead, at least, to make sure the website is updated, and they have what they advertise. If it’s possible to drop by one day that would be ideal. If it is a destination bachelor party, then at least do your research and confirm. While destination parties are going to increase the budget considerably, if that’s what everyone has agreed to, then do your due diligence upfront. Planning in the off season can also help reduce the price of where you stay as well as the activities you plan.
For a mixed gender party, maybe a limo ride with some champagne is the fancy feel you’re desiring. Even if the ride is just to and from dinner, you all may want to arrive in style and announce your presence to the venue. Just make sure you find one that is accessible for people who use mobility aids, if that is on your checklist. This also goes for planning activities. There are plenty of options that are both inclusive and accessible even within a budget. It is important to keep communication open with the group to a point when it comes to this part of planning. This is especially true for those who require accommodations to make sure they are comfortable for the duration of the festivities. Which brings us to the kinds of activities you may want to include for the party, which we will discuss next.
Learn a new skill: find a local class that teaches cooking, pottery, painting, etc.
Visit a Theme Park: The Happiest Place on Earth is also inclusive and accessible, if its nearby or easy enough to get to.
Beach Day: Pack everyone up and get some sun during the day. Wind down with an ocean front dinner.
Try a Local Tour: Whether your city has haunted offerings, or a pizza tour, you may be surprised what’s available in your own backyard.
Airbnb Weekend: Rent a place close, but far enough to feel like a getaway. Stock the fridge with snacks and drinks and explore what’s around.
Dinner Outings: Dinner is a classic activity that can be as casual or as fancy as you desire. If you’re marathoning, consider one nice dinner out as opposed to every meal.
Sports: Whether you all are fishing, hunting, or watching a professional baseball game, sports are fun when everyone has a horse in the race.
Scavenger Hunt: Create your own and divide into teams. First team that gets all the clues wins a prize! This way you have creative control over everything especially where accommodations and inclusivity are concerned.
Escape Room: Have professionals do the work for you of creating the games, and everyone can enjoy. This activity is becoming more popular because it uses your mental abilities to solve a series of puzzles to escape. Not recommended for Jimmy, your overly competitive but well meaning buddy.
Go to a Concert: Have a driver to make sure you all get there and home safely.
Interactive Dinner: Murder Mystery, anyone?
Karaoke: If you all are the type to show up and show out, get there early to maximize your song list. And bring cash to tip the KJ.
Game Night: Plan a game night at someone’s house. Make it a potluck or have food brought in. Your crew is guaranteed to be entertained all night without breaking the bank.
While fun is the name of the game when it comes to a bachelor party, the priorities are safety and comfort of everyone. Nobody can have fun if they don’t feel safe and comfy. Make sure everyone on the invite list (groom approved) can join in at the venue and during activities. We have provided tips to ensure this happens, but it’s worth checking with everyone to make sure the big picture and details includes everyone. It’s reasonable to have others help as it can be overwhelming for one person to coordinate a party for an entire group of people. Just make sure everyone coordinating with others is coordinating with each other, as well. Communication, safety, comfort, and fun. Just keep these principles in mind and we are sure you will plan an amazing, inclusive, and accessible bachelor party!