The ultimate Best Mans Guide to organising a stag do

Best Man Guide
Best Man Guide

The Ultimate Best Man’s Guide to Organising a Stag Weekend

You knew it might be coming, you just didn’t know when.  So you your best mate has kindly asked you to be his Best Man for the wedding, and now expects you to arrange an all-guns-blazing stag do that will give him the time of his life on his last night of freedom.  No pressure then.

Fear not, our Ultimate Best Man’s Guide will help navigate your way through the mother of all to do lists and set you up for the greatest stag do known to man or beast.

Best Man Guide

1. Finding your feet

A good sit down session in the pub with the groom always makes a good start.  Try to glean as much information as possible.  What dates suit his availability and are a safe distance before the wedding (remember, eye brows need some time to grow back)? How long does he want to be away for?  What style of weekend is he expecting?  What sort of activities would he like to do?

You will also need to know who on the invite list are his best friends and must be accommodated to ensure attendance.  Therefore, it’s always best to find out two or three weekends you are both free to attend the stag.

Remember, you will always want to keep plenty up your sleeve for the weekend, so this is an information finding process only.  It’s always a lot more fun to keep the destination secret, but this may not suit him so find out his expectations during the chat.

You will also need a full invite list (with email addresses and phone numbers).

2. Who’s coming then?

It’s now time to fire off an email to find out who is available and willing to attend.  You need some firm commitment from the group to make things easier for the organisation that will come later, so you may want to consider your wording to ensure you do not receive too many “maybe” responses.  It may be worth offering two or three dates and going with the majority.

Best Man Guide

3. Time constraints, Budget & Destination

You will need to consider the group’s likely budget and time constraints.  There’s no point in organising a week-long trip to Vegas if only 4 from 20 people sign up.  So it may be worth proposing a first option and see who is keen to attend, before then re-evaluating if necessary.

But whatever you do, don’t give the group too many options or you’ll get just as many wide ranging opinions in reply.  Many people who have organised these things before will tell you: keep it simple!

When considering destination, always think of logistics for each attendee.  You won’t be a popular man if a large number of the stag’s mates cannot attend because they are too far from the proposed destination.

4. Accommodation

Once you’ve decided on your destination, it’s now time to organise some suitable accommodation.  You might want to consider hotels, cottages, glamping, camping.  Hotels are often the easiest option.

If people drop out over the coming months then it’s a lot easier to reduce the number of hotel rooms than to ask the whole group to contribute more towards a 14 bed cottage when only 10 can attend come final payment.

Best Man Guide

5. Activity

Once you’ve nailed the destination and accommodation, it now time to turn your attention to a Saturday activity.  The expectation on most stag weekends is to take part in some form of fun filled activity.

It’s important to consider an activity that is likely to appeal to most people, and to do something that people have not done before.  Paintballing is good fun, but may be a bit dull if 80% of your group have already done it on another stag do.  So be original and you’ll make it a weekend to remember.

6. Packages

To take the pressure off, you may want to organise the entire weekend as a package through another company.  West Country Weekends can help in this respect and you often get a lot more for your money than booking everything by yourself.  The benefits of booking a package are plentiful when you think of all these inclusions:

  • Allocation on hotels meaning instant confirmation upon booking
  • Individual payment system – this means that you don’t need to collect money from the group, they just pay their share directly saving you all that annoying chasing
  • VIP nightclub entry
  • Lap dance club entry
  • Additional activities – add on a second activity you may not have thought of yourself
  • Private dining
  • Restaurants suitable to groups
  • VIP Casino entry
  • Only a £50 deposit to pay initially
Best Man Guide

7. Final Thoughts

So just to recap, here is your Best Man’s Stag Weekend to do list.  Don’t be too overwhelmed by being the Best Man, after all it’s a real honour of the lasting friendship you’ve made!

To Do List

  • Speak to the Stag and find out who he wants to attend, what he expects from the stag weekend and potential dates.
  • Find out how many people will be on the stag do and their level of commitment
  • Decide on a destination based on time restraints, budget and logistics
  • Ensure everything is booked for the stag do from, accommodation to activities. Book as a package through an outside company if you’re short on time and want to take the pressure off yourself.  Try and do this as early on as possible to get the best deals and availability
  • Look after the stag over the course of the weekend – remember you’ll have the Bride to answer to if you really mess things up!
  • Enjoy your best mate’s last night of freedom!

 

The Ultimate Guide to Organising a Hen Weekend

Hen Guide
Hen Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Organising a Hen Weekend

When your best friend calls you, you already have a feeling what she’s going to tell you. After discussing details of romantic proposals, talk turns to the hen do. She doesn’t even need to ask you to be her chief bridesmaid, you’ve both always known the line-up.

Here’s the ultimate guide to making sure that you do your friend proud with an unforgettable weekend of fun and bonding.

The lady of the moment

The most important place to start is to arrange a time with the hen to go through details. Although it is great to have a surprise weekend, you want to make sure that it’s a surprise weekend that she’s going to love.

What is the most important part of the hen do for her? Is it to make sure she has as many of her family and friends there to celebrate or to go abroad for a week long holiday for some pre-wedding sunshine?

You won’t want to have an itinerary from her but you need to know the style of weekend that she will enjoy, there’s no point booking a spa and cheer leading class type weekend if she is more of an outdoor events kind of a girl. It’s also important to make sure that her friends have similar tastes to her before you book anything as it only takes a couple of unhappy people to bring down the mood of the weekend.

Getting the details of the other bridesmaids at the start gives you a good opportunity to get to know her other close friends and to pool ideas so you have the perfect weekend for your bestie.

Hen Party

Party goer list

The hen’s availability is obviously crucial but you want to have a range of dates so as many of her nearest and dearest can be there too. You’ll need to make sure that she gives you a full list of email addresses and phone numbers of the people she wants to invite.

If there are some key people it’s a good idea to contact them first to check that they will definitely be there and have a secondary list of people who are given less choice of the date as it might be difficult to find one that is perfect for everyone.

Hen Weekend

Getting in the numbers

Weddings can get expensive for everyone, not just the happy couple. As the chief organiser the responsibility of getting as many people as possible to turn up to the hen weekend lies with you, no pressure! It’s worth considering the stage of life of the hen do attendees before you start planning luxury escapes if it’s going to exclude half of the guest list. The same goes for the destination, if that’s going to be a deal breaker for people maybe a venue not too far from home would tick all the boxes.

The chances are the most important aspect for the hen will be having all of her friends together for a good ol’ knees up so the more the merrier.

If you can secure a list of definite people or who will be at each part of the weekend if dipping in and out is an option, it will make the planning far easier. Having a budget planned at the start helps keep things under control and allows people to decide their limitations before committing and they might be less likely to drop out.

If you plan activities or book accommodation for a certain number and people do drop out it might be left to the other people share out the extra cost.

Accommodation

As a base for your hen weekend this needs careful consideration, you need to think about the type of weekend that you have planned.

Are you going to book a city break or an activity packed weekend with the accommodation just being used as a place to stumble back to in the early hours and sleep off a hangover before dragging yourselves back out for more action? If this is the case, maybe a hotel would be the best option. If you are you going to be looking for a place which is a feature of the hen weekend or a pad to relax and spend time together, a big house, camping or glamping might be better suited to you.

Just keep thinking back to the hen and the other types of people who will be partying with you for the weekend. If most of party goers are going to be city birds who baulk at the idea of getting mud on their pristine white stilettos, a weekend of camping and quad biking might not be the right approach.

Hen Ideas

Activities

A good hen weekend needs a fun activity in the day time. It’s a great time for everyone to get to know each other and gives the weekend some structure. There are so many different options that its worth exploring alternative ideas before going straight for the obvious activities that everyone has done before, you don’t want 12 cocktail making experts by the end of the weekend. Likewise, horse riding across Dartmoor followed by camping might not be the right activity if Great Aunt Maud is a key player.

Try to keep within the guidelines given by the hen as it is her hen weekend and it is all about making it as fun as possible for her, not planning your own ultimate weekend. Chatting to the bridesmaids throughout is a great way to rein it in and keep on track with your best buddy in mind.

Packages

If life is busy or you just like the idea of someone sorting it all out for you, you could always look to the experts and get West Country Weekends on board. Not only do you have experienced help and keep it simple but often you end up getting more for your money than booking everything individually. Additional benefits include:

  • Allocation on hotels meaning instant confirmation upon booking
  • VIP nightclub entry
  • VIP Casino entry
  • Private dining
  • Restaurants suitable to groups
  • Local knowledge of an area you might not know
  • Additional activities – add on a second activity you may not have thought of yourself
  • Only a £50 deposit to pay initially
  • Individual payment system – this means that you don’t need to collect money from the group, they just pay their share directly saving you all that annoying chasing
Hen do

And lift off

You’ve done it, you’ve booked the ultimate hen weekend that will just serve to remind your friend of how close you are and that you possibly know her even better than she knows herself.

Sending an email to everyone before the weekend with the finer details such as timings, specific clothing for activities, fancy dress, how much cash people will need if its rural break for taxis etc will mean you have less questions to field and people will be more prepared. The hen will also need enough details to bring the right stuff and feel comfortable and you will need to bear in mind any spare clothes for her if it’s a messy activity and you don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Plan the finer details such as taxis and food arrangements so people aren’t hanging around and looking to you all weekend to make decisions, you want to be busy having fun and not having to arrange anything as you go.

Success List:

  • Always think back to the hen and other people going to the hen weekend
  • Know who are the most important people when arranging dates
  • Consider budgets and logistics when you decide on the destination
  • Get people to commit before securing bookings for accommodation and activities
  • Do as much booking as you can before the big weekend, people like to know that it’s all under control and when you’re away you’ll just have to worry about where the next tray of Jager bombs are coming from
  • Have her back – make yourself the responsible person for getting your friend home at the end of the night , put a pint of water by the bed and have hangover snacks ready for the morning after recovery.
  • Have fun