It’s July. Which means if you’re reading this, you’re likely doing at least one of the following things:
1. Planning a wedding
2. Planning to attend a wedding
3. Regretting plans to plan and/or attend a wedding
Thing is, despite all the preparation, angst, and stress associated with wedding planning, 99.9999% of them turn out just fine. Sure, Aunt Brenda might get a bit too drunk and the potato salad might not turn out quite right, but everyone will have a great time.
This difference between the worry and the reality makes sense. Once you actually make it to the big day, you basically just have two rules:
1. Have fun
2. Keep everyone alive
Also, there are hundreds of thousands of guides — from internet listicles and grandfathers, to shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” and that wedding scene in “New Jack City” — that tell you want to do and not to do during that day.
But what about the bachelor party? An entire movie franchise (The Hangover) is built around the concept of a bachelor party gone wrong, but what about a bachelor party gone right? Are there any rules to follow if planning and/or attending one? Best practices to heed? Things to avoid?
1. Do not lose the bachelor: This is easily the most important rule. There might be dozens of things happening — shots being taken, clubs being hopped, elephants being herded, more shots being taken, etc — but you can not lose sight of the bachelor. You must be aware of where he is at all times. Mainly because you do not want his fiancee to maim you after finding out you “lost” her soon-to-be-husband somewhere between Benihanas and the King of Diamonds.
2. Do not get more “turnt up” than the bachelor: This is the first step in making sure #1 is followed. You’re definitely supposed to have fun. The bachelor wouldn’t have invited you if he didn’t want you to have a good time. But, you can’t have such a good time that your actions end up influencing the party plans. Basically, don’t get so drunk that the party needs to be postponed so you can get your stomach pumped. The bachelor should be the only one getting his stomach pumped.
3. Do what the bachelor wants to do…not what you want him to do: If he says “no strippers” — then no strippers. If he says “no alcohol” — then no alcohol. If he wants to keep things lowkey — then keep things lowkey. This is not the time to force him to do something he doesn’t really want to do. That’s what the wedding is for.
4. Do not allow him to cheat on his fiancee: I know, I know, I know, I know. You can’t make a grown man do anything, it’s his decision, who are you to tell him “no?” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Let me just say this. You’re right. You can’t make a grown man do anything. What you can do, though, is be his friend. And being a friend means that if you see him about to make an alcohol-fueled decision that could end his marriage before it even starts, do what you can to stop it, not encourage it. Basically, you’re no longer his wingman. You’re his hall monitor.
5. Do make sure to eat. Preferably two or three times. (Working out isn’t a bad idea either.): If you’re a veteran drinker, you likely know you need to coat your stomach with a lining of burgers, bacon fat, and pizza crust before a night of heavy drinking. Because drinking on an empty stomach is how unexpected blackouts happen. But, sometimes you’re so hyper-focused on having fun that you forget to do some of the things you need to do to extend the fun. It also isn’t a bad idea to schedule some type of activity the morning of the party — a basketball game, perhaps — where you’ll be moving around and breaking a sweat. Trust me when I tell you it’ll make a big difference the next morning.
6. Do not be a social media dry snitch: I know you usually can’t go 15 minutes without instagramming or tweeting, but try to be a bit more discerning today. No need to document every. single. step. of the party — especially the steps that’ll prompt a “conversation” between the bachelor and his fiancee when he gets home.
7. Do make sure the bachelor — and everyone else — gets home safely: Ok, I lied. This is actually the most important part. The bachelor party is not officially successful (and officially over) until everyone — the bachelor, most notably — gets home safely. This means ending the party early and everyone heading to the hotel if the bachelor’s too drunk to continue. Remember, this is supposed to be a night of safe fun with two objectives:
1. Showing him a good time.
2. Making sure he gets married.