With grooms around the world stumbling into strip clubs, being attached to street-lamps starkers or ending up in police custody during their supposed 'last night of freedom', it's fair to question whether the stag in question is having quite as much fun as his friends are. Despite being someone who is regularly up for a messy night out, I still definitely know what I do and don't want for my stag do - and I'd like to think my friends do too.
So why do so many stags end up the butt of the joke, desperately trying to pretend they're having a great time? Whilst you may not always have control over the bash itself, there are definitely some things you can do to sway proceedings in the direction you want them to go.
Here's some things I've learned on how to get the stag night you actually want.
Choose your Best Man wisely
Typically it often comes down to your best man to plan your stag do, or at least be the ring leader of it. So with them having to host both a stag do and a speech that could potentially humiliate you and offend your future wife to be - I'd recommend you pick your sidekick wisely. If you have faith they've got your best interests at heart, everything should fall into place. Plus if your best man is a sibling, the possibility of things being relayed back to mum and dad is usually enough to prevent anything truly incriminating from happening.
Set your boundaries early
Now I can't promise these will always get taken on board, but it's usually a wise idea to pull your best man aside and let them know essentially, what would be your very worst nightmare. As soon as they know the wrong choice could result in a stag-less stag do, hopefully they'll avoid entering into that territory. (Of course you run the risk that this information will abused too).
Keep it to one night
The only thing worse than pretending to be a wild and reckless stag for the night, is having to do it for two - so try and keep it to one night only. Nonetheless, if you're game for things to get a bit crazy but know for sure you couldn't hack a whole weekend, then curb the stag do to one - highly eventful - night. Plus it's cheaper for everyone all round.
Choose the guest list yourself
When it comes to who gets invited - make sure you're in charge. From experience, I'd keep it to a handful of guests rather than inviting everyone under the sun. Not only will this mean less chaos, but it will ultimately mean less people to be publicly embarrassed in front of. Plus if Dad's invited, this might help to set the tone a bit on what you do and don't want from the evening. Parents can provide some protection from the worst horrors.
Low budget = low key
If you want to keep proceedings more low key and laid-back, then think about keeping the budget low too. Sometimes when the budget is more substantial, things can get a bit carried away - look no further than some of the tragic episodes of 'Don't Tell the Bride' when they blow all the money on a stag, or an alien themed wedding. Enough said. So if you have a certain type of evening in mind, set your budget to reflect that.
Need I say more?
Finally, try to embrace the madness
At the end of the day, stag dos are going to be little a bit more full on than your regular night out - so sometimes it's best to just try and embrace it. As long as you can trust in most of your friends that they'll give you a night you'll actually enjoy, then let them get a bit creative with it. Yes, there probably will be a couple of slightly humiliating moments as you're prodded into the spotlight, but it's likely your stags will gather a fair few embarrassing moments themselves too.
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