If bachelor parties were designated a professional sports team, they’d be the New York Yankees. Year after year, tons of money is spent, the expectations are unreasonable, there’s a lot of disagreement on the direction things should go, and anything less than a champagne celebration at the end of it all is a failure.
You can blame The Hangover movies for all of the hype, but fiancés still visualized their husbands-to-be drunk, getting lap dances in seedy locations and mothers assumed their sons would end up drugged in an alley, missing kidneys long before that film.
As someone who has been to more than his fair share of bachelor parties – most recently weekends in Montreal, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Nashville, and a cabin in Vermont – I’m here to set the record straight about what actually goes on at bachelor parties.
1. The Bachelor Party IS NOT For The Bachelor.
As much as everyone vows to make the bachelor party all about the bachelor and do whatever he wants, it just doesn’t happen. It’s an excuse for a bunch of guys to spend time together and party the way they wish they could’ve back in high school and attempted to in college.
2. You Find Out If The Best Man Is Truly Worthy.
As the point person organizing the getaway on behalf of the bachelor, the best man has the hardest job of all. Most of the time, he won’t know all of the guys invited on the trip, but still has to figure out the costs, lodging, and activities for the group. Some will crack under pressure, but a real best man will shine.
3. It’s An Honor To Be Invited.
If you’re invited to a bachelor party it means you’re a valued friend or at least fun enough to hang out with during the duration of a weekend. Don’t take that for granted. It’s your duty to show up and have a good time.
4. There’s Always A Lone Ranger.
Part of the bachelor party experience is hanging out with a bunch of dudes. However, there’s always one guy who doesn’t want to be around the group, needs privacy for whatever sordid shit he has in mind, and will get a room in a different hotel or location than everyone else.
5. No One Is On The Same Page.
The bachelor wants all of his friends to have a good time and they all want him to have fun, but it’s impossible. The married guys with kids usually try their best to add to the party, but just want a night of uninterrupted sleep. The single guys want to keep the night going until the sun rises and will be useless until the following evening. And the guys in relationships want to visit strip clubs so they can add some new visual material to their arsenal for when they’re back in their daily routine.
6. Your Group Is Going To Get Taken Advantage Of.
The club promoters who are “hooking you up” really don’t care about you or the bachelor at all. They see easy targets and a way to make money. That’s the only reason they’re giving you “VIP” treatment, which you’ll come to find out is just the normal treatment, but you paid extra for it.
7. Trust The Expert.
If there’s a guy in your group who says that he knows a good restaurant or club, trust him. There’s a lot on the line if this person fails, so if he’s speaking up and is that confident, it’s in your best judgment to follow the leader in this instance. He won’t let you down. And if he does, you won’t let him forget it.
8. Low Expectations Are Best For The First Night.
Everyone is arriving, checking into their rooms, and getting settled during the first night. Most likely, the travel has tired the bunch out. It’s best to just catch up, have some food, and enjoy a few drinks. Don’t lose all of your money and dignity before everyone officially arrives. There’s more to come.
9. Not Everyone Will Get Along.
The bachelor will have a ragtag group of friends from high school, college, work, and intramural sports, as well as family and soon-to-be family in attendance. They will all try to be friendly for the weekend, but with a group of drunken guys together for long stretches of time, it’s difficult to hide animosity.
10. There’s Usually One Really Good Dinner.
One of the best parts is usually the steakhouse or family style dinner in which everyone is relaxed, well-dressed, and enjoying a great meal in good company. After this, debauchery will surely ensue.
11. Most Guys Don’t Know How To Act Around Strippers.
Not all bachelor party groups will go to a strip club, but if they do, you’ll learn that you and your friends probably don’t know how to act around strippers or for that matter, women in general. Also, the idea of having a stripper on top of you is much better than the actuality of paying $20 for a three-minute lap dance set to the sounds of “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa.
12. The Night Isn’t Over Until Greasy Food Is Had.
After all of the drinking, dancing, and sweating, you will crave food. Don’t start counting calories at 4 AM. Grab those chicken fingers, devour that pepperoni pizza, eat the overstuffed pastrami sandwich, and make sure you take the bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and bottle of Orange Gatorade back to your room for later.
13. There’s A Bro Code.
It’s more of an unwritten rule, but the rule is: don’t talk about what happens at the bachelor party, don’t take pictures, and definitely don’t post anything on social media. This rule usually needs to be re-visited when someone takes out his phone to take an inappropriate picture of a friend passed out in his own vomit or of the guy who has penises drawn on his face because his friends still think that’s funny and fair game since he got blackout drunk before the sun went down.
14. The Bro Code Will Be Broken.
There’s always a weak link in the group. It’s usually the guy who feels the need to share every detail with his wife or girlfriend. Not only does he then implicate everyone in the shenanigans that went on, he makes the ones who didn’t tell their wives or girlfriends look bad when the women talk. Try to discover who this person is early on and keep him to the outside.
15. It Is What It Is.
Be prepared to travel, spend money, and not have your experience be as crazy as The Hangover. Your job is to be supportive and have one more fun weekend out with the bachelor before he’s a married man. If it’s a memorable weekend, that’s even better. It’ll keep you going until the next bachelor party you have to attend.