Who organises a stag do? The BEST MAN.
Not the 'yeah he's kind of alright and I've known him for years' man. Not the 'actually he can be a bit of a dick sometimes but I can't trust anyone else not to get me arrested' man. The best man.
So, if you're organising a stag do, you need to be absolutely the best man and organise the stag do to end all stag dos.
But, if you’ve never done it before, how can you be expected to know what it takes to organise a good stag do? There’s loads to think about: who to invite, who to ditch (and how to ditch them), how much to spend, whether to go abroad or stay in blighty, what activities (if any) to do, what fancy dress you can force the stag to wear and, crucially, all the vagaries involved in deciding whether or not to book a stripper.
Luckily, your trusty pal FHM is on hand to help. Between the team, we’ve organised countless stag dos, only one of which culminated in flagellation by a Bavarian dominatrix, permanent scarring and arrest. Admittedly, it was a male Bavarian dominatrix, the permanent scar looks like a nose-Swastika and the arrest means one ex team member can never visit the States, but everyone’s allowed one slip up, right? Besides, who really wants to go the States anyway? We reckon, with our (near) faultless track record, you’d be mad not to listen to us.
We’ve also enlisted the help of Redseven, the world’s leading stag do company. If, after reading this indispensable guide, you still don’t feel capable of organising a killer stag, one quick call to them and it’ll all be done for you, leaving you to sit back and lap up the plaudits.
Unless the stag is 16 and you’ve had all the same mates since playschool, deciding who to invite on a stag do is a veritable minefield of awkwardness and offence-causing.
Like the Jacko inquiry, there are many questions to be answered:
Should you invite the stag's workmates, or will that mean he can’t let his hair down as much as he might like for fear of career-ending repercussions involving a fire extinguisher and a horse tattoo?
What about the guys that he isn’t really that fond of but feels obliged to include, like the socially inept cousin?
What’s the right number of people to have? 41?
Should you invite the father of the bride and/or groom to keep them sweet, or will they suck the life out of it with their weak grasp of popular culture and old, old memories?
It's simple, just stick to this one golden rule:
If they will make the stag do better, or if them not being there will make the stag feel bad, they’re in. Otherwise, send 'em a postcard.
You can always have an extra simple night at the stag's local which can include all his B-list mates. There, simple.
How much to spend on the stag do obviously depends how well off you are as a group. If you’re organising Prince Harry’s stag party, you can probably afford to be a bit more outlandish than if you’re celebrating the forthcoming union of Homeless Steve and that one-eyed girl who sits outside the chicken shop.
Don’t forget to think about everyone you’re inviting - if even one person your stag wants to be there can’t afford it, you’ve probably gone too expensive. Decent stag weekends can be organised for little more than £100 per head, particularly if you’re happy to stay in the UK.
You’ll also need to think about expenses. Expenses = BOOZE.
Getting the money on time will be one of, if not the hardest aspect of organising the stag weekend. You might well be thinking “nah, my mates are all sound, they’ll pay on time no problem”. Well more fool you, because that’s what they want you to think, the tightfisted money-grabbing bastards you call your best mates. But seriously, lethargy and forgetfulness will ensure that AT LEAST one person hasn’t paid on time. Like Stingy Phil, who probably has the money but likes to pretend he has two illegitemate children he has to pay maintenance for. YOU'RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE PHIL.
Also, considering you’ll probably be booking at least one part of the weekend several months in advance, you’re going to face dropouts. If you can’t get a refund on flights/accommodation/whatever – who’s going to foot that bill?
Your best bet is a strict “pay £x by this date or sort your own shit” policy. It might sound harsh, but a fear of having to organise something for themselves will spur your pals into action like having a ravenous weasel up their keks.
If you’re too soft, Redseven will collect the money from your mates for you. Plus with them, you can pay all pay individually by instalments. Pretty handy.
Part of this will come down to budget – a two-week smash in Vegas will obvs cost more than a one-night jaunt to Southend – but that’s not the only consideration.
Some stags prefer to venture overseas for the enhanced "what goes on tour stays on tour" feeling and to benefit from some of the more liberal laws on offer in places like Amsterdam and Tallinn.
But be careful, some popular European stag destinations have draconian laws on things like drinking outside or taking your top off and pretending to impregnate that statue of a war hero, and will have no sympathy for a bunch of boozed-up Brits. Make sure everyone in your party knows the rules. Sure, one of your mates getting locked up seems like a laugh… until he rings you from the prison, sobbing uncontrollably and asking you to bring condoms.
Staying in the UK will save you money on flights and ting, but don’t forget that petrol and trains cost more than a decent black market kidney these days. Also, if you’re a group of BIG BOOZERS, paying for a cheap flight and benefiting from 10p pints might work out better than staying in the UK and stumping up £4-a-pop in All Bar One.
If you do decide on going abroad, there's a good way to ease peope's worries about getting ripped off, not knowing the best places to go, or not getting into venues. And that is knowing that Redseven offers personal guides for foreign countries who can look after your group, ensure they get into places and smooth things over with angry locals if your mate pulls someone's sister.
Have a lovely chat to see what everyone fancies and then make a decision. Bear in mind that trips abroad are likely to be less well-attended than UK-based smash-ups. Whether you think that’s a shame or a perfect opportunity to cut the chaff depends entirely on you.
Check out some...
Stag weekends abroad
Stag weekends in the UK
Some stag groups say “activities are for cub scouts; stag dos are for going out and getting fucked”. Others see activities as a rich font of top bants and fun fun fun.
It's up to you, but if there are people in the stag who don’t know each other, activities such as shooting exploding pellets of paint into their face can really break the ice.
If you do fancy some activity, what to do depends on the length of your stag do and how many people you’ve got in the group. If it’s a whole stag weekend, you’ve got plenty of time for a bit of whatever you fancy, but if it’s a one-nighter you might as well just accept that the closest you’re going to get to activity is pretending you’re General Maximus Decimus Meridius while riding on the back of a tuk-tuk at 4am.
Be sure to consider your numbers – if 40 of you are going go-karting at a place with six karts, you’re going to spend a lot of time standing around in a crotch-destroying jumpsuit watching your mates plough into a wall of tyres. Similarly, if it’s just you and the stag, fruitlessly chasing each other around a vast paintballing field for three hours will only serve to highlight your tragic loneliness.
Redseven have a top range of activities on offer to decide if that's for you or not.
Games and forfeits are another good way to encourage (read: force) guys who don’t know each other to make the effort and have a laugh.
It can be simple classics like pub golf - with pairs drawn randomly to avoid everyone just staying with who they know like it’s the first day of ‘big school’. Or it could be a selection of punishing challenges and forfeits for the stag to draw from periodically throughout the night.
You can stick to basics like “down a pint” or “spend ten minutes blindfolded”, or let your imagination run riot, a la “spend at least five minutes talking to that girl over there, yes the one who looks like Teenwolf, yes the one with the massive boyfriend with ‘HATE’ shaved into his hair, oh do man up and get on with it, we don’t make the rules, do we?”
Dares can be stuck to each card in a pack of 52, and drawn at random – so if you get a horrendous one, well, you kind of picked your own fate and nobody can call anyone a sociopath. Forfeits can range from penalty shots to waxing and are limited only by your own cruelty.
A load of stag do ideas can be found at Redseven's website.
Fancy dress might sound expensive, ridiculous and slightly humiliating, but THAT’S THE BLOODY BEAUTY OF IT, eh? It's an essential part of making sure your night is memorable, since garish costumes will stick in your memory even when you've had 16 drinks and tearfully chucked up on a sympathetic nurse.
Good – easy to find your mates if you get separated. The outfit is cheap and easy to get hold of, and it’s unlikely someone will squint at you and wonder what the hell you’re dressed as.
Bad – Blue paint will dribble from your body under even the mildest heat, and it’s a bitch to scrub off the next day. Plus, unless you want to go blonde and look like Smurfette, you’ll all look the same.
_ TOWIE _
Good – Fake tan! Tight T-shirts! Pearly white teeth! This one’s pretty easy to do. Besides, you’ve been looking a bit pale lately.
Bad – Apart from that fact you’ll be spouting ridiculous catchphrases and looking like one of the least aspirational cretins in the country, people might not ‘get’ the costume and think you’re just a bit of a nutter. Or a prick.
Good – If your hair is starting to get a bit grey or thinning at the back, then good news! That’s kind of the theme. Flour in your hair, trousers pulled up over your belly and lengthy conversations about the price of sugar in the 50s are all on the agenda. Plus, failing to hear someone in a loud nightclub is a great way to play the whole "I’m deaf, WHAT DID YOU SAY?" thing and get away with it.
Bad – Trying to chat someone up when she’s under the impression that even the mildest excitement will give you a heart attack is unlikely to end well.
If you want to eat delicious ham, you go to the butchers. You don’t take a pig out with you for the night and sporadically slice off a little porky slither to enjoy.
By the same token, if you want to see strippers, go to a strip club.
Don’t book one to turn up at some point during the night. Think about it: you’re going to be a in a bar you’ve never been to before and, even if they do agree to the strip show, it’s going to be a thunderously awkward affair, marking you out as a bunch of sad bastards to any women the single men amongst you may be hoping to impress.
But what do you do if some members of the stag trip are harping on about going to a strip club? Just do the sensible thing and undertake a bit of research beforehand, checking the dress code, whether you need to be members and whether you're likely to be held captive by a small army of heavily armed goons, forcing you to buy the girls "Champagne" at 1,000 Euros a pop. In fact, the thought of that happening may just put even the most lechy ones off a bit.
Know you want to stay in the UK but still don't think you've got what it takes to organise a stag do to end all stag dos? Then just book one of these Blighty-based beauts and get ready for action.
Bournemouth Fully Loaded
Get ready for a weekend of fun in Bournemouth with priority entrance into a top pre-club bar Friday night, with a discount drinks card you'll make sure everyone has money left for the rest of the weekend. On the Saturday enjoy an action packed day proving your skills at Blind 4x4 driving, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Rage Buggies & Human Table Football. That night its VIP Entry to one of Bournemouths Top Nightclubs. With all this you've got the ingredients for a top weekend.
• 2 nights accommodation
• Pre Club Bar, Reserved Area, Discount and Free Shot
• Blind Driving, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Rage Buggy Racing & Human Table Football
• Exclusive Pre-Club & Late Bar
• Queue Jump & Priority Club Entry
Brighton Thunderball Weekend
A full on weekend in Brighton! Start the weekend by with entry into the Casino where you can try your luck at Blackjack, Roulette and many more Games. Then after stopping at a top pre club bar for a free shot and 2 for 1 cocktails, its priority entry to a great Night club playing the best music for all tastes. Saturday morning is time to enter into paintball combat, splat the enemy in various competitive games and take revenge upon your mates using them as a human target. Hit the town again on Saturday and enjoy entry into another top club. Cure your hangover on Sunday morning by beating everyone on the karting track before you whizz off home.
• Casino Entry
• Pre-Club & Late Bar with Free Shot and 2 For 1 Cocktails
• Guest List Night Club Entry
• Paintballing: full Day with lunch plus 100 paintballs each
• Guest List Club Entry
• Indoor Endurance Go Karting
Newcastle Stag Weekend Special
Grab the boys and start your weekend in Newcastle the way any stag should start with a visit to a top lapdancing venue. You and the guys can enjoy entry, reserved tables and we will even get you a fiver towards a drink each meaning no one is going to go thirsty. If that gets you ready to party until dawn head off to a top nightclub and enjoy priority entry to get you straight through the door and straight to the bar. On Saturday morning grab a strong coffee or two over breakfast to get yourself awake to hit the paintball fields at full force. Get in your teams and shoot your way through the various themed scenarios as you splat mates with as much paint as is humanly possible. After get the paint washed off and head out into town for a typical lad's night out. Start off enjoying a curry to fill your stomachs before heading off to yet another top lapdancing club to enjoy the girls before finally hitting the dance floor with priority entry into a nightclub.
• Lap Dancing Club Entry, Table Reservation & £5 drinks voucher
• Priority Nightclub Entry
• Indian meal with welcome drink
• Lap Dance Entry, Table Reservation & £5 Drinks voucher
Unless your pal is a budding Henry VIII, he probably won't be doing this very often. If you fancy giving him a real send-off by heading overseas, check out these three ideas from Redseven:
Krakow Shoot Em Up Weekend
Start your weekend in this amazing city with a guided pub crawl and let our guide show you all the best bars and clubs in the city. On the second day its extreme shooting, an exhilarating and highly satisfying sport where you can shoot the mighty Kalashnikov, plus the Pump Action Shot Gun, Uzi and the Glock. That night feel free to explore some more of Krakows night life or add another nightclub or lapdance club to the weekend of fun. This is a superb lads weekend in the party capital of Krakow.
• Krakow Airport to Hotel Shuttle and Guide
• Guided 5 Hour Bar Crawl: your guide will take you to 3-8 of the best bars
• Kalashnikov, Pump Action, Uzi and Glock Shooting (55 Bullets)
• Hotel to Krakow Airport Shuttle
Prague Go Kart Weekend Special
2 Nights accommodation in top apartments in Prague; Friday night free to explore the amazing city and on day 2 we will take you to Prague's leading Go Kart track for a competitive driving battle with your mates, and then that evening our lovely female guide takes you to the best bars in the City (first round of drinks free). We will also take you to a top Lapdance and Nightclub where you can continue partying before staggering back to your apartment and recovering before leaving this superb party city.
• Airport to Hotel Transfer
• 5 hour bar crawl, with 2 local female guides, 1st drinks free
• Grand Prix Go Karting
• Lap Dance Club Special
• Hotel to Airport Transfer
Magaluf Set Sail and Party Weekend
When you think of Magaluf, you think of a top clubbing destination, full of like minded party people, beautiful beaches and sun sun sun! Where better to spend a hen weekend with your friends that will certainly be one to remember!? Get into the sun as soon as you can with transfers waiting at the airport to get you off the plane and straight to your accommodation. That night why not head into the town and start the weekend off in style over a few sangrias in the local bars, perfect for getting you in the mood for the fun to come. The next day, its off out to sea on an elegant catamaran. Feel the sun on your back as you sail around this beautiful island, sangria in hand and with a taste of local food home will feel like a million miles away. When you are back on dry land get ready to dance the night away in the hottest club in town. Don't worry about big queue’s as you will have VIP entry letting you go straight to the bar and get you enjoying the unlimited drinks even sooner. After a heavy a night you can spend your final day relaxing knowing you have your return airport transfers already organised to get you back to the airport in plenty of time to catch your plane home.
• Hotel to Airport Transfer
• Catamaran Cruise: 5 hours sunbathing, snorkelling, paella, live music, sangria
• BCM Guest List Club Entry & Drinks