Planning & Organising A Stag Do
Organising a stag do is a piece of cake, a walk in the park, there's nothing to it, surely anyone can do that... Maybe you're right but read on, as there's more to stag do planning than you might think. It's not just about locations, accommodation, activities and beer, although if you fail to provide these you really should get some help!
After the initial warm feeling of self pride, happiness and general delirium have passed, the reality of being best man for your lifetime friend, cousin or brother suddenly hits you like running blindfold into a brick wall. There are many things you will need to do to prepare for the role of best man including suit shopping, wedding speeches and ring holding during the wedding ceremony, but first you need to suddenly become an expert in event organising; there is a stag party to plan for!
At the end of this article is a list of 12 things you need consider in understanding how to plan a stag do but for now, here's a couple of nice quotes to put help your confidence and remember we are only a phone call away:
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."
– Leonard Bernstein –
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.."
– Benjamin Franklin –
Whatever you do for a job it probably took a good few years to train and become proficient; it's pretty similar for event organisers, and as a company that has been working with stag organisers and planning stag parties for many years, we would like to share as much as we can to help you through the process. At some point you might want to ask some questions or get some more information, so please go ahead and get in touch and we can point you in the right direction. Until then don't be scared or get stressed, read on enjoy and happy stag planning!
– Organising a stag do can be stressful but don't be scared we are here to help –
Get planning the stag do soon
Planning as many believe does not come as easy to men as it does for girls and the ladies are more likely to organise their lives a bit more in advance. We looked at all the events we organised over the last three years (January 2016 to December 2018) to see how long before the event stag organisers generally make an enquiry with us. For stag organisers, around 50% left it until less than three months before the stag party to make an enquiry vs hen party organisers where only 35% left it until that late.
– Start planning es early as possible, there is a lot to organise –
Guys, sorry to say it but you might have something to learn from the girls here; leaving the planning so late leaves little room for error. We suggest that you start the real planning as soon as possible, but you will need to know the rough basics of approximately who's coming and a couple of ideas of where you want to go first. From there you can choose to go it alone or hire a company to help you get it booked and confirmed. To make that choice continue reading and see if you can manage all of the tasks alone; remember there is a lot to do.
Check what the stag wants
There is no point in rushing off and making plans without first talking to the boss. You might know him well but he might already have some pretty fixed ideas about the number of attendees, likely venues, format and the timing of things. Of course you will want to keep a few things to yourself such as the little tricks and pranks that you hope to be able to play on him but initially be led by his ideas and you can take it from there.
Agree who will be attending
Whilst talking to the stag, find out who should be on the list of people to invite. It might be an idea to divide this list into two or three separate groups; the people who must come, the ones that really should come and everyone else. This might also help in making some of the other decisions that you will need to make, like the dates and activities for the event. Once you have the initial list, set up your social network contact lists in Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp or whichever one you think will be popular with the group. That way any and all group communications are easy to keep track of leaving less room for mistakes.
– Get in touch with everyone as soon as possible to see who want to come –
Fix when the stag do will be
The date of the stag do will depend on a number of factors. With an average of 12-14 guys attending, the first problem you face is coming up with a date when everyone is free. You should already have the date of the wedding so as minimum leave two weeks between this and the stag do. This will ensure everyone is fully recovered from the stag do and all bruises, paintball paint, head shaving and other physical evidence of stag do tricks and pranks has been removed or concealed.
Avoid suggesting or perhaps even rule out weekends when there is a public holiday, school half terms and any other times of the year where the is a high likelihood of people being on holidays or wanting to spend time with their families. The months between October and February are much quieter, you will avoid the crowds and possibly get cheaper rates on accommodation and activities. April to July are the busier more expensive months but the weather is better and the chances of cancelled activities is lower.
One other thing to consider is big sporting events. Whether it be the Football World Cup, The Ashes, Olympic Games, The FA Cup Final, The Grand National or anything else, these events are either going to be a help or a hindrance. Best advice would be to either avoid these dates altogether or build the sporting event into your weekend itinerary, but getting the consensus of the group is very important if you go this route.
Agree a total budget
A lot of the planning and organising will be decided by the per person budget. There is not point in making provisional bookings for activities and accommodation if no-one is going to be able to afford it. So early on, do an initial message to the group with a few options and see what the budget range is for everyone.
– Find out how much everyone can afford to spend in total for the stag do –
Decide on the location
Deciding the stag do location may or may not be your choice but it is an important milestone in your planning. Most groups will opt for a location that is either central to those who are attending or a place that is common to everyone, such as the city in which everyone met and went to university together. Once this key decision has been made then all of the other aspects of the stag do planning can start to fall into place.
With hundreds of activities to choose from there is quite a bit of research and consultation to go with the group but don't forget to ask the boss as it's his event. There are countless places to look on the Internet to identify likely activity candidates and several articles on how to go about choosing the best activities for you.
This provides two challenges: Finding accommodation that is affordable AND that will accept stag groups. Your lodgings is the biggest factor in the cost of a stag weekend and ironically your hotel is probably the place you will spend the least amount of time. There are a few factors that affect the cost; most stag parties opt for two or three guys to a room as this brings the cost down a lot. If you want the luxury of single room occupancy then be prepared to pay for it. Breakfast included is always a bonus: although choosing the no breakfast route is a good cost saving idea, the reality of getting up with a hangover and having to find breakfast is not so much fun. Finally location: you might save by taking a hotel outside the main city but this might be lost in both money and inconvenience terms by having to get taxis back in the middle of the night / morning.
If you are finding it difficult to find accommodation that will allow stag groups and that is within your budget, it might be time to give us a call; we have been finding groups places to stay for a while so there might be some options you didn't yet find.
If you are going to use a stag company to organise your event then packages are a great starting point. With our packages you can start with a pre-built package and add or change almost whatever you like. Simply talk to our destination experts, let them know what you like and what doesn't work so well for you about one of our packages and they will suggest alternatives that fit within your budget. If you already have some activities in mind but want to know where they can be done, our package builder does exactly that.
– Our Package Builder makes it easy to narrow down your location choices –
All the other little things
There are a host of other things you will need to arrange, here are a few:
Transport both to and from the stag do location and during the weekends activities. Find out who is happy to drive then organise car sharing, minibuses, coaches or taxis for the different parts of the weekend.
Meals can be a tricky one; everyone has different food preferences, so it might be easy to let everyone make their own choices. But then you do run the risk of having to run around and find where everyone is several times a day. And it is nice to have at least one meal with everyone together at some point during the weekend.
It is always nice to dress up for the occasion, so why not choose a theme. But be careful what you choose for your stag do theme or costume. It's not often that men of the clergy get mistaken for a stag group, more often it is blatantly obvious but things like that do happen!
Jokes, Pranks & Strippers
There are endless things you can do to set up one or all of the group. But it's worth remembering a couple of simple riles: First, not everybody find the tricks and pranks played at a stag do as funny as the rest of us and you don't want to annoy anyone too much. Applying to much pressure on the stag to do something he doesn't want to do could be disastrous, you wouldn't want him walking out on his own event. Second, don't do anything that would be either permanent or that you would regret later. By this we mean no tattoos across the forehead, doing something that would get you arrested and if you are going to have a stripper, lap dance or other female entertainment then well, you know the limits there.
– Have fun and keep some pranks up your sleeve but remember there are limits! –
Leaving the risky and contentious stuff aside, as the stag organiser everyone will be looking to you in those dull moments or lulls in the days activities to keep them entertained. So have a few games, ice breakers, and other fun things to do up your sleeve for just when you need them.
Money matters, deposits & balances
This one seems obvious but is often overlooked: Just because you are the organiser does not mean that you are responsible for all of the individual payments or need to put the money up for group members to pay you back later. One of the big advantages of choosing a stag company to look after the event planning is that they should be able to take this responsibility away from you. With our individual payment option, each member will have to pay their own deposits and balances and we will chase them all up at the right time for anything overdue and let you know when everyone has paid in full. This will save you heaps of time, stress and phone calls.
Get it booked & confirmed
OK great, you have all the components sorted, agreed and everyone has paid their deposits. Now is the time to get onto all the individual suppliers and provide provisional numbers and pay any deposits they require. Accommodation often needs to be paid in full so go for a flexible cancel-able or changeable rate in the likely event that you have extra attendees wanting to join or if someone pulls out.
Take a breather because it's not over yet! As the date for the stag do gets closer you need to keep track of any changes in group numbers for each part of the weekend. Some suppliers have minimum numbers so the cost per person might change if you have too many drop outs. Once this is all sorted you need to re-confirm all suppliers, pay any balances due and send the final itinerary to the group.
– There are a lot of calls and emails to do in the planning stages –
Talk to the experts
We have been organising stag parties for many years and have thousands of happy customers. We have extensive knowledge of all the popular UK stag do destinations, the activities you can do and the places you can stay. Feel free to get in touch at any time to discuss the planning and organisation of your stag weekend.
I'm sure you will agree that's a lot to think about and organise and we are here to help at every step. Here is a summary of the 12 things to consider in understanding how to plan a stag do and the order in which you could do your stag do planning:
- Start planning the event early
- Talk with the Stag about his plans
- Agree who will be attending
- Fix the date of the stag do
- Agree an overall budget
- Decide the party location
- Look into activities, accommodation & packages
- Think about transport, meals and other things
- Investigate using a stag company to organise
- Jokes, pranks, games & strippers
- Money: deposits & balances
- Book & confirm everything!
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