Preparation for the Stag Do. Part 2. ‘Fail to prepare. Prepare to fail hombre.’
Sounds boring, however the itinerary is the back bone to welding the whole Stag Do together. In the early years when I was a little wet behind the ears I would tell the group to meet at a certain place and at a certain time. Throw in Mr Sauce, the excitement of temporarily lobbing the shackles of ‘normal day-to-day’ life aside, the presence of a few effervescing Loose Cannons and carnage almost always reared its unwelcome head. It was like inviting a Fox to a Chicken Shed house warming party… Four Stag Do’s later I allocated a ‘Gum Ball Rally’ pack for each car leaving from home to Snowdonia which consisted of a turn-by-turn route planner and a contact number for the Hotel. Also I composed a ’Stag Do Guide Lanyard’ for each member of the group with a Stag Programme which had a passage taking the Mickey out of the Stag; the cast of the Stag Do with celebrity look-a-like pictures; rendezvous for the activities; route planner; contact number of the Zip Line Centre and the White Water Rafting. It was as stressful a Hawaiian Yoga Retreat. As the Best man I used the back of my lanyard as the drinks order for everyone. That way everyone put money into a ‘Kitty’ which I looked after and I could literally hand my lanyard over to the Bar Keep and you could stick a metaphorical fork in me as my job was done.
As the list of destinations is so long I’ve listed the Top 10 best Stag Do destinations I’ve experienced purely based on how good the craic was, what we did there, stress levels when on the move between watering holes, how friendly the ladies were and on how expensive it was generally. I have used a scale of 0 = Danny Dyer and 10 = Awesome. I am omitting two amazing Stag Dos from the Top 10. Las Vegas and Brisbane as they are rare once in a life time experiences that are not practical for a general Stag Do due to the price tag. None the less, Vegas is a little slice of heaven where an unattractive woman was as rare as Rocking Horse dung. It’s like watching a montage of sublime. Best put, an orgasm for all five of your senses.
Brisbane is an incredible part of the world where we surfed at Surfer’s Paradise, had a pub crawl, got our thongs out and generally had a ‘Rippa’ & ‘Bonza’ time. If you’re planning a Stag Do which requires a passport I highly recommend that every member takes out insurance. (See Loose Cannon) Also carry-on luggage is best in avoiding any stress with Checked-in luggage delays.
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The above judgements are purely based on my experiences and personal tastes obviously play a part. Horses for courses. I’m aware there are other impressive destinations and I hope I enjoy future Stag Dos elsewhere too. Out of the above list I have visited Edinburgh 3 times (Highlights were – www.biddymulligansbar.com , http://www.scottishrugby.org for Murrayfield 7s tournament), Benidorm twice (The only senoritas I saw there were behind bars and it was a total Shlong fest) and Newcastle twice (Big Market, big drinking)
There are no sinister undertones regarding this. It’s purely to prevent any partners at home getting the wrong idea if they see a picture of a Stag Do member in an uncompromising position which could be misconstrued as being naughty. It’s important that an ‘Omerta’ (honourable code of silence) is respected by every single member. The beauty of the Kangaroo Court provides a threatening stick to Kibosh anyone who fails to adhere to the media blackout. Never is the expression ‘Loose lips sink ships’ more apt in my opinion. Another reason why 15 is the magic number on a Stag Do. This way you can keep you’re core, trusted friends and family on your away trip. Phone and social media bans are a great idea. See ‘Loose Cannons’ above… If the revellers have responsibilities at home there’ no need for a total telephone ban. Designated times are a winner.
Back in my naïve days I asked for a small deposit, I covered the costs of activities, accommodation myself and everybody paid up on Day 1 of the Stag Do. Nowadays I organise a Stag Do by four main rules. 1) Ask people if they are interested when they are of sober mind and body. 2) Confirm places on the Do with a substantial deposit at least. If possible take the full amount (See above reference to Rocking Horse dung) 3) Use a reputable Stag Do company who take care of individual payments and activities (Check transport between hotel and activities are included within the price. We got stung once and missed Go-Karting as the hour long taxi ride cost more than a Kardashian wedding) or 4) Take care of the Wonga developments yourself with the use of a spreadsheet to show how much each member has paid so that all costs are covered and you don’t end up covering any costs out of your back pocket. A nice touch is if you add a small amount to each person’s cost. This way you will be able to pay for the Stag so that he goes for free.
Bride to-be’s input
A positive relationship with the Bride to-be will stand you in great stead as to having a less stressful experience on your journey of being a Best man. If the Bride is adamant that if you have a Stripper or go to a Lap Dancing establishment she will boil the nearest bunny, Bic her head and call off the wedding, it’s best to play the game and keep her sweet (See ‘Omerta’ and ‘Loose Cannon’) Trust me, you don’t want that kind of blood on your hands. A great way to involve the Bridal party and vice versa is to do a Mr & Mrs Quiz. The Best man can ask the Bride to-be in private and the Chief Bridesmaid can ask the Groom to-be. Questions can be as cheeky or as sensible as appropriate. Standard questions are Favourite positions; what possessions would you save in a fire; childhood pet’s names; favourite colour and embarrassing experiences. The best way to make this work in my experience is to gather the revellers at some point during the stag do and if the Stag answers correctly everyone drinks a few fingers of their bevy and if he Stag is wrong he drinks or has a fancy dress forfeit or physical/cringey challenge to complete.
In a nut-shell
Keep the Bride sweet, get deposits to guarantee places well in advance, tailor activities to the Stag’s tastes, random activities break up the drinking, keep tight lipped of any nonsense, gauge your Loose Cannons, 15 is the magic number of revellers to keep the group together and gain entry into pubs/bars, if you’re a majority single crew head to a University City (Edinburgh, Newcastle, Cardiff), go on a Bank Holiday (First Bank Holiday in May falls in University term time if there are singletons that want a cruise to the ‘Isle of Clitorati’ or August Bank Holiday if you’ve settled down as a group collective. You don’t have to take an extra day’s annual leave that way, it will be busier and use the impending ‘Home Stag Do’ leg’s Kangaroo Court as a tool for justice to keep any scoundrels in check.
Coming up.’ Stag Do – Journey to the centre of morality’. Away Stag Do. Home Stag Do. Etiquette. Drinking Games. Kangaroo Court. Pit falls, successes and “To Lap-dance or not to Lap-dance. That is the question” Keeping your head while everyone else around you don’t #Takeonefortheteam Hangover cures…