Your friends and fiancée will rejoice
Stag...what could go wrong? A pile of lads, a pile of cans and a pile of banter – that’s all you need right? WRONG. There’s a little bit more planning required than that.
And your best man, no matter how insistent he is that everything is in hand, needs a steer. So, what does he need a steer on?
Firstly – the stag is a mix of people which you may not usually have together on a night out/in the same room. Are you going to invite your father and your bride’s father to a nightclub?
Reckon your Ultimate Frisbee teammate will have lots to say to Nigel from accounts? Is the bride’s teetotal brother going to bunk up with your perpetually sozzled friend from primary school?
You need to put a list together and try decide the best way to structure the weekend. Maybe the “oldies” only come for dinner and a few scoops on the first night?
Maybe the second day is optional with an activity, so those that don’t like to party too hard can still feel involved, but leave feeling virtuous that night?
In your excitement, you'll want to invite everybody and their mother and assume everyone will get on. But in reality, this is about people management, and if you put in a little strategic thinking beforehand, you’ll get so much more out of the weekend.
Heard the one about the groom who had to be put to bed by midnight on the first night and couldn’t get out of bed for two days? Don’t let this be you.
Even though the last time you had all of the same faces in one place was during your glorious raving years, you’re older now. Wiser too.
You know you have less energy, stamina and your metabolism has slowed down. So, take it easy breezy on the first night and know the shot of tequila that’s one too many. Second night? Have all the tequilas.
Lads don’t really like having a plan. We like to keep it easy-breezy, loosey-goosey, fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants. But you see, on a stag, without a plan, men fall down. Quite literally. They go AWOL, they go missing, they forget where they’re from, they forget their own names.
You need a plan for multiple things. Firstly, to plan the food. A gang of men without a regular eating schedule? Chaos. The food is for stamina, storage and soakage. Ignore it at your peril.
The second part of the plan is to prevent the candidates most likely to go M.I.A. to...well, not go M.I.A. Make sure everyone has an itinerary of sorts – even if it’s loose – so that the stragglers can eventually make their way back to camp.
Decide what level of smut you’re comfortable with and communicate that VERY CLEARLY to your best man. Remember, there are going to be people there of a certain vintage who just won't look at you in the same way if certain thresholds are crossed. And you can never go back, never unsee. So decide well in advance what’s in and what’s out.
Sometimes, there can be a lull in proceedings. A load of grown, middle-aged men going hard at it over a few nights – there’s going to be unavoidable hangovers. So we suggest stock-piling on a few games for distraction.
With games, the rule of thumb is, the less complicated the better – poker, tiddlywinks, fussball – table tennis if you’re up for it. Or even make sure to pack a Playstation.
A few hours of interacting without having to speak is enough to recharge the batteries.
Lastly, make sure someone is taking pictures. Very easy to forget in all the boisterous fun of the weekend, but it’s a crying shame not to capture the weekend.
Also have your 'weekend after First Aid Kit' ready, prepared and ingested before you head home. Lucozade Sport, Solpadeine
Plus, lots of coffee, a big greasy fry, a shower, multiple mouth-wash rinses, maybe another shower for good luck and a bracing walk in the fresh air before you return home to your loved one. She’ll thank you for it.
Oh, and don’t forget your mobile. Or Nigel from accounts. Think he was last seen roaming around the Main Street.