The most important aspect of any killer stag party is figuring out the hell organizes the damn thing. Fortunately, the answer is pretty freakin' simple — 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 organizing a stag do, you need to be absolutely the best man and organize 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 organize 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 put, 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 organized 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 fly again, but everyone’s allowed one slip up, right?
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.
Who to invite to a stag party and who to leave behind
Unless the stag is 16 and you’ve had all the same mates since grade school, deciding who to invite on a stag do is a veritable minefield of awkwardness and offense-causing. Like the Jacko inquiry, there are many questions to be answered: Should you invite the stag's coworkers, 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 to spend on a stag party and how to get the money on time
How much to spend on the stag do obviously depends how well off you are as a group. If you’re organizing 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 organized for little more than $150.00 a head. 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 amount of dollars by this date or sort your own shit” policy. It might sound harsh, but a fear of having to organize something for themselves will spur your pals into action like having a ravenous weasel up their pants.
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 installments. Pretty handy.
Whether to travel or stay put for a stag party
Part of this will come down to budget – a two-week smash in Vegas will obvs cost more than a one-night jaunt to downtown – 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 idiots. Make sure everyone in your party knows the rules. Sure, one of your boys getting locked up seems like a laugh… until he rings you from the prison, sobbing uncontrollably and asking you to bring condoms.
Staying local will save you money on flights, 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 airplane booze might work out better than staying local and stumping up on 12 dollar a pop brews.
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 boy 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 local-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
What activities should a stag weekend include?
Some stag groups say “activities are for cub scouts; stag dos are for going out and getting f*cked”. 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.
What games do you play at a stag party?
Games and forfeits (penalties) 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.
How do you dress for a stag party?
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.
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.
Should there be strippers at a stag party?
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.
Follow these guidelines to the best stag party any stag has ever seen and you can't go wrong! Remember, when all else fails, booze fixes everything (don't tell your sponsor we said that).