Top 5 Stag Planning Mistakes

Avoid These Common Errors and You’re On Your Way To An Unforgettable Stag!

Your Mission is clear. Your best friend has announced that he is tying the knot and after all these years of being his wingman, now you must really live up to the title. One of your main responsibilities as a best man is to plan a memorable night of festivities that not only the groom to be, but also all of his mates will talk about for years to come.

Make no mistake, you will have many responsibilities in the coming months, but none of these will compare to the pressure of accomplishing this particular task, flawlessly and with class. There will be distractions from your mission; however, a good wingman lets nothing interfere with his duty. You were chosen because of a deep seeded loyalty accumulated over years of comradeship. Your charge is counting on you to cover his six, to keep him out of harm’s way and most important, that everyone has a good time and a safe evening.

Air Combat Zone has been hosting unforgettable Stag Parties featuring live action dogfights is combat flight simulators for more than 5 years. In that time we’ve seen firsthand how poor stag planning can go horribly wrong. So we’ve compiled this list of the Top 5 Stag Planning Mistakes to ensure your stag is memorable for all the RIGHT reasons. So let’s look at the details of the mission in front of you. There are five main reasons why a stag party can quickly become a FUBAR. Beware of the following pitfalls:

– Catching the common – “I’ve-got-time-itis”
– Not having a plan of operation
– Poor communication
– No alcohol control plan
– No transportation plan

Let’s look at each of these potential SNAFU’s individually.

#1 Mistake – Catching “I’ve-got-time-itis”

When you become overconfident, you’re vulnerable to “I’ve-got-time-itis” and the mission of planning the stag immediately becomes jeopardized. Believing you have more time than you actually do can be disastrous. Planning a stag is planning an event and planning an event means booking facilities. Facilities that may be popular. Take the time you need to do a proper recon of the area of operations. Here are a few key questions you need to answer:

– Where will you be holding your stag party?
– Will it be in a hall or an entertainment facility?
– Will the whole stag be in one location or several?
– What is the capacity of the venues your considering?
– Will there be any “Pre-Stag” activities to occupy the groom before the big event?
– Where will you be eating?
– How will you get around (more on this topic in mistake #5)?
– Will your night of revelry require reservations and deposits in advance?

This all becomes especially important when you understand there will very likely be other stags interested in the same venue for the same night. Avoid disappointment by reserving your party well in advance. Accept any offer of assistance from these facilities to make your planning easier. They’re interested in your stag being a success and will likely have some suggestions worth listening to if you ask. Micro managing the entire stag evening on your own could cost you valuable time you could apply to other important planning tasks. Once you have a guest list, get the word out and follow up with critical Intel later. You want to be sure everyone has his calendar marked! We’ll talk more about communications in mistake #3.

In short, prepare your plan of attack, focus on the mission at hand, do proper intelligence gathering and remember Murphy’s law. If something can go wrong, it likely will. So plan well and prepare for contingencies.

#2 Mistake- Lack Of A Forward Thinking Battle Plan

Precision planning will produce a stag event for the ages. You want to avoid “down time” where there does not seem to be any direction to the activities. Preparation will mean no surprises or at the least, very few glitches. Snafus should be expected but well organized event planners tend to minimize problems. Having an itinerary will make your life easier. Teamwork is helpful during a stag so recruit your own squad giving each a responsibility and be sure to oversee their progress.

As the coordinator of the event you must be sure to track each task i.e. food and beverage, entertainment, transportation, ticket sales, [RSVPs], facility availability etc. Everything needs to be checked and rechecked to assure the plan you have is actually working for you. You’re likely to be placing deposits to secure availability of key assets. Keep in mind that it’s always easier to collect payments from your happy stag goers before they bail on the night of the stag any your left coving the shortage. If you’re not likely to see all the guests before the stag, Interac Email transfers make a great way to collect funds in advance.

Often stags are a method of raising money for the groom to help cover the costs they will incur or have incurred leading up to the wedding day and even beyond. If the objective is to raise some cash, plan for this in advance when pricing tickets and organizing activities as a way to make some coin for the guest of honour. Be creative when planning to raise some dollars. Guests will not mind spending money for a good cause if they get some value in return.

#3 Mistake- Weak Communications

The element of surprise is always tactically advantageous but when it comes to stags, not always prudent. The groom will assume he is having some sort of stag so while he doesn’t need to know when it’s happing, ask him what he prefers in terms of size, special guests included or excluded depending on the “activities”. You are not required to give all vital information up but you should get some input from the groom. While it may seem like stepping on a land mine at first, speaking to the future bride about the stag is actually a very good idea. She may have relatives that the groom doesn’t yet know it would be a bad idea to leave out of the festivities, so her input can be vital to a long and happy married life for the groom.

A good wingman understands the rules of engagement in advance. Know who your guests will be, their styles and personalities, religious leanings, cultural behaviour all useful for planning a party that will not offend anyone. This type of Intel information may appear difficult to gather but it’s time to put your team in full recon mode. Communicate with friends and family; ask about various likes and dislikes. In the end, you cannot please everyone so sell tickets to everyone and expect only the adventurous to attend.

Speaking with close family of the bride and groom will help you make prudent decisions; like whether there will be a frat house atmosphere or a laid back affair watching early home movies of the groom learning to ride a two wheeler. You will also need to communicate with your team about their appointed tasks and step in when necessary. Confirm commitments made by providers by phone or in person to verify dates, menus, entertainment etc. If your communication is down you become vulnerable so watch your six.

#4 Mistake- Not Defining The Rules Of Engagement For Alcohol

If your squad leader gets plastered your entire operation could be in jeopardy. Alcohol use with abandon has ruined many stags for countless grooms and caused hard feelings for years after. Everyone wants the groom to have a good time and the obligation he feels to accept a drink or two from whoever is offering will be overwhelming. That is why a good wingman puts pre-emptive plans in place to keep the groom safe, in control and able to enjoy himself.

You could try something like doubling up the price to buy the groom a drink. Each consecutive drink given to the groom doubles the cost – $5, $10, $20, $40, $80, $160.00 – you get the point. Announce the rules of engagement at the beginning of the festivities and this is a great way to raise some money for the groom without the poor guy needing his stomach pumped.

You could sell drink tickets for the groom for $20.00 each and give a stub to the buyer making them eligible for a prize at the end of the night such as a glass turkey [good bottle of Spirits], 50/50 draw or even tickets to a sporting event. The point here is to make sure the groom is able to complete his mission and not return home as a casualty.

As a good wingman remember, you are tasked with protecting your leader’s six o’clock. Therefore, this means if or when the alcohol intake breeds any wild ideas from the invited ranks, you and your trusted unit must remain observant for any misguided subterfuge by rouge squadron members. Keep your eyes and ears open. Quickly put an end to these foolish and sometimes dangerous acts that seem to get fuelled by alcohol. The groom will never forget your loyalty.

#5 Mistake- Poor Transportation Planning

Times have changed and along with it the tolerance level for drinking and driving has not only become a social stigma but a legal issue. You and your unit mates need to keep an eye on the amount of booze that is consumed and be sure EVERYONE has a way to get to and from their home safely.

You must plan in advance to mitigate your liability as much as possible by providing your guests with some form of transportation if it is required. You may want to hire a shuttle driver, have cabs on standby throughout the evening, and assign a designated driver or two who will be responsible for watching the door to the parking lot. They take the keys and drive both the car and the guest home.

Be sure if it is a private affair that the bartender and or servers are aware of the signs of inebriation and control the drinking. If everything is under one roof for the evening this will be important to monitor. If you are going to be hopping from one locale to another throughout the evening consider a small bus or you’ll find that booking a few limos for the evening is surprisingly affordable and ups the ante on the night’s prestige. Some venues will offer a free shuttle to bring you to them and onto your next activity. Just remember that although the idea behind a stag party is to have a great time, as the groom’s wingman you are responsible for the entire evening. This being the case you should stick to drinking non-alcoholic beverages all night.

In Summary…

Well there you have it, the Top 5 Stag Planning Mistakes we’ve seen made over the years. With any plan of action, there will always be one more thing to remember since even the best-laid plans can go awry. Some miscellaneous items to remember include:

– Check references of any service provider you hire.
– Leave the minimum amount of money possible for a deposit.
– If you wait until the last minute to book providers you risk getting into a bidding war with other buyers – book everything in advance.
– Be sure you read all the contracts and understand them. The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.
– Even if some invitations remain unacknowledged, pursue these people for a paid ticket even if it is unlikely they will attend. Hey, he is your buddy!
– Leave a couple weeks minimum between the stag party and the wedding day in case the groom needs a tattoo removed.
– Be sure that someone financially savvy is responsible for the money.
– Try keeping a central access email account for unit members and for stag party Intel only.
– It may be a good idea to plan for a special dinner out before the stag night with the fathers of the bride, groom, and close family who may not enjoy your primary activities. Even though they will not be attending the stag, be sure to hit them up for tickets to the main event sometime during this evening.
– It is a good idea to check with the groom regarding an “exotic dancer” at his stag party. Don’t rely on his past behaviour to make your judgments.
– The night would not be complete without a little embarrassment to the groom. Pranks are fine if they are harmless fun and approved by the wingman.
– Do not show up early with the groom in a public facility that serves alcohol. If you must, wait with your guests to enter your particular venue. Your groom will risk getting smashed before he eats his first pretzel.
– For that matter, keep the groom alcohol free for as long as possible so he can at least greet his guests and perhaps converse a bit with them. He IS the guest of honour after all.
– Be sure to have at least one primary food event during the course of the evening with coffee and tea on hand. A popular idea and inexpensive idea is to have sandwich buns and all the fixings so they can build their own masterpieces or everyone likes Pizza. Food should be served 2 or 3 hours into the event. Also, have a steady supply of party snacks available.
– Food needs to be budgeted into the cost of tickets. Venues may provide this for you so ask in advance.

Hosting a great stag does not happen by accident. It comes from committed friends doing their best to put together a well organized event while exhibiting responsibility and common sense. Always keep in mind that a successful operation is when the mission objective is achieved and everyone returns home safely.

About Air Combat Zone

Air Combat Zone puts YOU behind the controls of a high performance F/A-18 flight simulator. If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to be a real F/A-18 pilot, now’s your chance to find out. The Air Combat Zone experience redefines entertainment to bring you the thrill of a lifetime. It’s JUST like the real thing.