Evan McMaster Photography & Illustration

The bachelor party is the groom’s last night to go wild before tying the knot. After months of tasting wedding cakes, attending fittings and checking out reception venues, he’s probably more than ready to let off some steam. If you’ve been tasked with bachelor party planning his last hurrah, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. Remember, this is no ordinary party, so you should be doing a little more than stocking up on plastic cups and PBR.

Here’s everything you need to know about planning a bachelor party.

Consult the groom

There’s no need to keep every aspect of the bachelor party planning a secret from its guest of honour. In fact, consulting the groom is key if you want to throw him the perfect party. Ask him what type of bash he wants - there’s a big difference between recreating The Hangover and spending a weekend in the woods. Once you know what he’s in the market for, you can start being a little more secretive and sneaking in some surprises (note that these don’t have to be x-rated surprises).

Make the guest list

Every bachelor party guest list looks a little different. Sometimes it’s only the groomsmen, sometimes all family members are excluded. When you’re meeting with the groom to discuss bachelor party plans have him help you pick the invitees. This is one area where surprises really aren’t necessary. He may not want his uber-conservative future brother-in-law seeing his drunken debauchery, and that is A-OK.

Keep your mind on the money

None of the guests should be maxing out their credit cards at this event (unless they really want to). Start an email or text thread and ask everyone to give you the 411 on what they can afford before you start scouting locations and considering faraway destinations. Remember that not every guy will have a flexible budget and try to work within everyone's means.

Set the date

The next thing you’ll need to do is set the date. In your discussion thread throw out a few ideas and see what works for the rest of your squad. Don’t forget to ask the guest of honour, too (what’s a bachelor party without the bachelor!?). It’s best to do this around four months before the party, that way people have time to book off work or shuffle around their schedules.

Pick your location

Once you’ve figured out a budget and date that works, you can start scouting locations. While destination bachelor parties are all the rage, you don’t actually need to leave your hometown to have a good time. Pick a couple of fun bars, an amazing new restaurant and a fun activity or two (maybe paintballing or axe throwing) and you’ll be good to go. Bonus: we've rounded up the best bachelor party ideas in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver to help you out.

Plan travel

Now it’s time to take care of travel. If you’re staying in your city and planning to hop from bar to bar, consider renting a fun new ride like a limo or party bus. Going somewhere a bit more involved? Try to keep your crew together and make sure everyone books tickets on the same plane or train. You don’t want anyone to arrive late and miss the festivities.

Make an itinerary

Going with the flow is all fine and good, but you’ll want to have at least a bit of structure to your trip to maximize the fun. Figure out all the spots you want to hit and roughly when you want to hit them. Things that involve reservations are pretty much set in stone, so work around those.

Stock up on supplies

The groom’s red solo cup should never be found empty, so remember to stock up on drinks before the big event. Don’t forget about the snacks, either. If you’ve rented a cottage, you’ll want to have enough grilling supplies, pancake mix and chips to feed everyone. You can divvy this task up amongst the groomsmen, giving everyone a short shopping list in advance. Pro tip: set the mood with our Ultimate Bachelor Party Playlist.

Involve social media

This should be a night to remember! Create a special hashtag for the event and ask all the attendees to use it when posting photos of the event. Yes, there may be some moments you want to forget but hey, even those can be fun to look back on.

Create a bachelor party hashtag with our Bach Party Hashtag Generator »