Your best mate is getting married, and you’ve been tasked with planning an unforgettable stag party he’ll be talking about for years. A stag do is a rite of passage and a chance for the groom to bid farewell to single life in style. But with so many options for stag weekend activities, destinations, and ideas, where do you start? Follow this comprehensive guide to curating a legendary stag your groom and his mates will love.
Step 1: Set the Date
First things first, you’ll need to pick a date that works for the groom and the majority of the guests. The stag party is usually held a few weeks or months before the wedding – far enough in advance that everyone recovers in time but close enough that it still feels connected to the wedding.
Weekends work best, as people are likelier to get time off work. If the groom has groomsmen, coordinate with them as well, as you may need their help planning and spreading the word. Once you’ve settled on a date, send out save-the-dates so guests can request time off work and book travel if needed.
Step 2: Make a Guest List
The guest list is a huge part of what sets the tone for the stag weekend. Keep it intimate with just the inner circle, or go big and invite extended family and friends – it’s up to the groom. Make sure he’s involved in finalizing the guest list.
You’ll also need to decide if it will be a lads-only affair or if you’ll invite female friends too. Some ideas, like raucous pub crawls, maybe better as guy’s nights, while activities like wine tours can include women.
Step 3: Pick a Destination
Now comes the fun part – choosing a destination for the Stag do! You can keep it classic and local in your hometown or take the party on the road. Popular stag destinations include party cities like Prague, Amsterdam, Budapest, Barcelona, Dublin, and Berlin. You can also head to beach spots like Spain’s Costa del Sol, camping/glamping retreats, or cabins in the woods.
Think about the groom’s personality and interests. Does he love the outdoors? Head to a scenic spot to enjoy hiking, fishing, or water sports. Is he a city slicker who loves nightlife? Paint the town red in Prague or Berlin. Building the weekend around his interests ensures a good time for all.
Step 4: Book Accommodation
The next step is booking accommodation once you’ve settled on a destination. This will likely be one of your biggest expenses for the stag weekend. Look for a property or rental house to fit your entire group under one roof to maximize bonding time.
Other popular lodging options for stag dos include rental homes, Airbnb, holiday cottages, glamping retreats, or cabins. Hotels can work, too, but may need more of a community vibe. Make sure wherever you book is within a reasonable distance of the bars, restaurants, and activities you plan to enjoy.
Step 5: Plan Your Activities
Your planned activities will set the tone for the stag weekend and create lasting memories. Try to include a mix of ideas that appeal to the groom’s interests, some classic stag activities, and team bonding experiences. Popular options include:
- Booze Cruises: Float along the river or coast while enjoying food, drinks, and scenery.
- Adrenaline Activities: Get the heart pumping with race car driving, white water rafting, parasailing, paintball, and more.
- Escape Rooms: Work together to solve puzzles and “escape” the room within the time limit.
- Sports Events: Attend a match or game of the groom’s favorite sport for ultimate fan bonding.
- Casino Trips: Hit the tables in Las Vegas, Monaco, or your local casino.
Be sure to build some downtime to recover from late nights and hangovers. Low-key activities like brunch, BBQs, lawn games, and movies can allow the group to unwind between adventures.
Step 6: Organize Food and Drink
An epic stag party needs great food and drink to keep the energy up all weekend. Research the bars, breweries, and restaurants in your destination and make reservations where you can to ensure you can get in. A home base like a rental house or Airbnb lets you stock up on booze, mixers, and snacks.
You can also look into booking a private event space at a bar or restaurant and order food platters, reserved tables, or bottles ahead of time so you’re treated like VIPs all night. And remember, hangover food – greasy breakfast sandwiches and diner fare can work wonders after a big night out.
Step 7: Plan Your Custom Swag
From t-shirts to drinking games, having matching swag adds a fun and memorable touch to the stag party. Custom t-shirts are a classic stag do staple – get shirts printed with the groom’s name, wedding date, funny inside jokes, or even photos of the groom.
Other ideas include custom beer koozies, sunglasses, hats, water bottles, temporary tattoos, glow sticks, banners, drinking games, and awards or “superlatives” for each guest, like “Most Likely to Get Arrested” and “Least Likely to Survive the Weekend.” Have fun with it!
Step 8: Handle the Finances
Who’s paying and how much? Get clear on the finances before booking anything. The guests typically chip in for the Stag do, often covering their flights, hotel, and share of the activities/food.
You can collect cash upfront or use an app like Paypal or Venmo to collect from everyone easily. Make clear what expenses are and are not covered so there are no awkward surprises or conflicts. Transparency and regular communication are key.
Some guests may have more budget constraints – see if you can find free or affordable activities like certain happy hours, parks, hikes, picnic lunches, potlucks, lawn games, etc., that allow everyone to participate.
Step 9: Get Organized with Spreadsheets
All good stag weekends require organization, planning, and communication. Set up a WhatsApp group or Google Drive folder to share all the trip details.
Use spreadsheets to organize the guest list, itinerary, activities, lodging details, etc. Distribute daily schedules beforehand so everyone is on the same page and knows the meet-up times, locations, and schedules.
Make sure everyone has each others’ cell numbers, and designate meet-up spots and times in case anyone gets separated from the group. Having every detail mapped out beforehand lets everyone relax and enjoy the party stress-free.
Step 10: Prepare the Perfect Stag Party Survival Kit
A well-stocked survival kit can be a lifesaver on rowdy stag weekends. Must-have items include:
- Advil & electrolyte powders for hangovers
- Motion sickness meds for party buses or boats
- Bandages for any injuries
- Protein bars & nuts for energy crashes
- Snacks like jerky, trail mix, and gum
- Phone battery pack & charging cords
- Waterproof phone case
- Collapsible water bottle to stay hydrated
- Portable speakers, camera, and backup phone charger
- Cash and backup credit card
- Extra clothes like socks and layers in case of spills or weather changes
- Sunscreen & sunglasses
Having these items on hand means you’re ready for every twist and turn of your epic stag adventure.
Step 11: Assign Roles and Responsibilities
Part of being the best man or stag organizer means delegating tasks and roles, not doing everything solo. Identify people who can help with planning, research, guest communications, purchases, transportation, etc.
The groom can also pick a couple of “groomsmen” from his inner circle to get extra help. When everyone pitches in, planning is fun and prevents one from getting burned out.
Step 12: Prepare for Recovery Days
After a raucous stag party with late nights and drinking, you’ll want to account for some recovery time in the itinerary. Leave an open day or two after the big events so everyone can rest and recuperate.
Plan low-key activities like brunch, movies, BBQs, spa time, or lawn games. The groom may need some quiet time to fight off wedding jitters or call his bride after being separated all weekend.
Recovery days mean everyone rallies and is ready for the main event – showing up present and energetic for the wedding ceremony and festivities.
Step 13: Keep the Groom Involved
While stag parties are meant to be a surprise, it’s important to check in with the groom throughout planning to make sure you’re on the right track. He may have specific hopes, ideas, or preferences not visible to outsiders.
Provide occasional updates and request input on the guest list, destination, and activities. Share some details while keeping the big surprises under wraps to build anticipation. This ensures the weekend fits his style and interests vs. a disconnect between what he envisions and reality.
Keeping the groom actively involved results in a weekend that’s truly tailored to him. And he’s touched that you wanted to create something uniquely meaningful vs. just a wild party.
Step 14: Document the Action
From the many mishaps to inside jokes, epic memories are made on stag weekends. Document all the action with photos, videos, social media, and more. Ask different guests to be the designated “photographer” during different events.
Consider having a shared photo album on Google Drive or social media that everyone can upload to and access. Then, compile the best shots into a photo book or slideshow gift as a keepsake for the groom and guests.
Everyone can reminisce about the hilarious memories and bonding moments long after the stag party ends.
Step 15: Get Ready for the Big Day
After an epic stag party, rest, hydrate, decompress, and switch gears for the main event. The wedding day awaits! Help guests book transport back home and extend the trip for anyone who wants to stay longer.
Once the stag chaos subsides, it’s time to celebrate the groom and bride beginning their new life chapter together. Your unforgettable stag weekend has them entering marriage with joyful memories, deepened friendships, and a lifetime of hilarious stories.
Planning the Ultimate Stag Do
Planning a stellar stag party is about starting early, getting organized, involving the groom, nailing the guest list, picking a fun location suited to his interests, and crafting an itinerary packed with activities, food, and drinks that create lasting memories. Build in surprises while keeping the groom involved, and you’ll surely deliver a stag weekend he’ll never forget!