I am celebrating this #MillenialFriday in airports because I’m headed to a bachelor party. I wrote all of these rules for a bachelor party. As a man of a certain age, I am at the time in my life where I have attended and will continue to attend many a bachelor party. Now, as all readers know, this is a gender neutral blog. While I have never been to a bachelorette party, the advice is largely similar for the lady readers with a few noted exceptions.
Please note: Everyone loves bachelorette parties, girls think they are special, guys think they’re sexy. Everyone who sees a bachelorette party is excited for that woman and all her friends. Everyone hates bachelor parties, girls think they are dangerous, guys think they’re awesome but no one cares what guys think. Everyone who sees a bachelor party thinks, “These guys are going to destroy my bar and offend every family in here.” Both parties are nearly identical expect everything done at a bachelorette party is viewed through the filter of carefree and fun. If a bachelorette gets a lap dance everyone rejoices with “Get It Girl” and “Slay Queen!” While everything done at a bachelor party is looked at with desperation and disgust. If a bachelor gets a lap dance he looks like the very sad monster that he and his friends are.
The first rule of bachelor parties is that you don’t talk about bachelor parties.
Now, this rule in its infamousy has grown a little out of proportion. Some of your best stories come from bachelor parties and people expect you never to repeat them? Some men on these trips have wives. I’m not asking anyone to lie to a spouse. Of course, you are allowed to talk about the memories from your bachelor party. Just remember, many weekends have that one story that never resurfaces and the men who experienced that together fondly and frighteningly remember only when they are together. Going through something like that will change men. It bonds them. Don’t talk about those stories. That’s what I’m saying.
2. Do What the Bachelor Wants
This is obvious. It is his weekend, we do what he wants. (Hopefully) the best man has put together a weekend agenda in the bachelor’s best interest without any input from the bachelor himself. There will be secrets and there will be surprises. That said, the bachelor still holds trump rights and can decide to change the plan if it does suit his liking. This man’s wedding day will be all about his bride. Let today be all about him.
3. Bachelor Pays for (Nearly) Nothing
There is often a large group of guys who go on this trip. If you all take turns picking up the bachelor’s drinks/food/etc. And divide the housing without including him, no one will notice that big of a difference in cost. If you are going to be a dick, and not be mindful of chipping in to help out the bachelor the other guys are going to talk about you behind your back and everyone is going to have less fun. Just use context clues. It’s Saturday night and you haven’t called an Uber for the group yet? Guess what, request that car! Your dear friend is shelling out thousands to give you an open bar a few months from now. I promise you’ll make up the difference.
4. You Don’t Have to Like Strip Clubs, But You Do Have to Go
This is very similar to doing what the bachelor wants. If he agrees to a strip club then it is a group consensus. I don’t care how averse you are to them. It’s what your buddy wants. You will go. You will smile. You will be polite to the dancers. And you will tip well.
5. Bachelor Does Nothing Alone
Don’t buy the bachelor a shot unless you get yourself a shot. Same for beers. The bachelor doesn’t do drugs unless someone on the trip does drugs with him. Think back to Boy Scouts, the buddy system sticks with you.
6. You Break It, You Buy It
A bachelor party week will inevitably incur some, well let’s call them, incidental costs. Listen, that’s okay. No one is going to get mad at you if you cause something to go awry. Accidents happen. EVERYONE will be made at you if you don’t take responsibility and fix it. If you break something in your AirBnB, you replace it. If you pee the bed, you clean the sheets. If you puke in an Uber, you pay back whoever ordered the car for the cleaning fee and you help him get his rating back up. Friends are allowed to chip in for bail money, but OH HELL YES you pay them back.
7. Only the Posed Pic Makes it to Instagram
We do not post pictures of our friends doing stupid things online. We take one group photo that all 15 guys post when they are hungover and waiting for their flight. As far as Snapchat and Instagram stories go, as long as the content isn’t illegal, immoral, or in poor taste it’s fair game. The first cheers when you kick off the weekend? Totally fine. The fancy steakhouse dinner? By all means post boomerang after boomerang of cutting the porterhouse. Taking shots is fine. Do not post a picture of your passed out buddy on the floor of your lodging. Just thank God he made it home. Please note: Morning after photos of participants struggling through a hangover are fair game.
8. We Are Laughing With You, Not Laughing At You
All things, when reminisced about, are viewed upon as funny and happy. You think back to a time when you were younger and dumber. It’s thought of while laughing and saying things like “I can’t believe you did that!” You do not retell stories to try and embarrass another person on BP. You’ve got to look back on a bachelor party with the same mindset as people smoking on airplanes in the 70’s, “I don’t know, it was a different time! Everyone was doing crazy shit!”
9. Group Texts Suck
You are not obligated to keep up with the bachelor group text, but you are obligated to reconvene at the wedding. The group texts are hard enough to keep up with when they are filled with people you see several times a week. Now, during a bachelor party there's nothing funnier or more magical than that weekend’s group text. But love, like if often does, fades. The few weeks after your miraculous weekend you will turn to that group text to relieve memories and crack inside jokes. This is the honeymoon phase. As time passes, the notifications will transform from a beacon of humor to a source of anxiety. It is important to note, you are not responsible for keeping up with or providing conversation in the group chat post a bachelor party, but when you see those fellas again at the wedding it is important you share a drink and reminisce. Some of you need it more than others.
10. Don’t Lose Sight of Why You Are There
You are there to celebrate your friend. His union with his wife is the reason you are together, and that is important. Don’t lose sight of that. But also, his wedding is the day you celebrate his union. On a bachelor party celebrate your friendship. He is about to take the biggest step of his life, and he chose you to celebrate. Take time to remember all the good memories you have had, will have, and especially the ones you make this weekend.
Celebrate friendship. Because, if I’m being honest, you are only with your dear, dear friend because he found his best friend. In marriage, he will bring a love you will never know. His betrothed will feel a way about him that you don’t feel about him. But she also becomes his best friend, a side of him you know very well.
The love you feel for him, the reason you flew halfway across the country for this guy you know, well now there is a woman who would do the same. Laugh and joke about the goofy times you’ve had together because he is welcoming another friend who gets that same sense of humor. It is not that you aren’t enough to be his best friend forever. You are. You also prepared him for the best friend he’ll ever have.