Most laymen think that planning a bucks party is a simple task, on par with organizing a foursome for a round of golf, or pulling off a bank robbery in a sleepy Melbourne town. But that is why most laymen aren’t invited to come up with bucks party ideas.
At least it’s not your responsibility to book the wedding & reception venue, makeup or try on any gowns.
Don’t get it twisted: planning a bux is one of the most nuanced, complicated, and danger-fraught things a man-person will ever do. Which is why I’ve created this fail-proof guide to the entire process. Follow the advice below, and you can be reasonably certain your friend will have the time of his life, and finally not regret picking you as best man over Chad.
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1. Figure out where you’re going and when
Some bucks leave it up to their planners, most likely the best man, but those people are stupid. Going into this conversation, you should have a good idea of three spots or destinations* based on the buck’s interests and present them to him. Giving him those options (and the reasoning for each) creates the illusion that you’re ceding him control while also keeping him contained within the parameters you’ve chosen.
After that, you pick a date that works for the buck, is at least six weeks in the future, and doesn’t fall during a normal holiday or a popular vacation weekend people might have already planned a trip around. Remember, at least you don’t have to choose a Melbourne wedding venue!
*A quick note on buck party destinations: if he wants to go somewhere international, that’s fine, but you need to let him know that this will cut the group by at least half or more, and rule out broke people and most people with kids. Unless he just wants to go to a cabin and get weird, you should be offering up places where you can do a lot of activities in a close proximity, cost isn’t prohibitive, and girls exist. College towns, cities with warm climates and good bar scenes, etc. We’re not here to give you a list of cities, because we want you to be creative and work off your friend’s interests. But just in case that doesn’t work, here’s a list of cities and our guides to each of them.
2. Figure out where you’re staying
Depending on the place, it’s really a house/hotel argument here (unless everyone on the trip is from Maine, please don’t go camping). With the house you have everyone together and group hangs happen more organically, it’s usually cheaper, and you often have access to things like grills, private pools, and mysteriously locked closets likely filled with dozens of fake Holy Grails and one true chalice of eternal youth. Or towels or whatever.
Hotels mean in-building access to bars and restaurants, pools that aren’t private and thus might have girls hanging out at them, and the ability to escape from the people you dislike on the trip. Hotels usually also mean central location Downtown, so the better potential to walk to other sites.
Often, this is a simple city-versus-country argument, and the decision will be made for you, but it’s good for the person planning to have explored both options in the chosen city and be ready to have an opinion.
3. A word about size, aka the guest list
Inevitably, the buck will over-confidently assume everyone he invites will want to cast aside whatever life, family, and work obligations they have to spend six days with him in Thailand. It is up to you, as the Buck King’s Hand, to revise and reset his expectations. And also to urge him to keep the group as small as possible: the ideal size is 10. More than that and you usually have to split up tables at meals and bars, thus splintering the group and fracturing the social dynamic.
mysteriously option to ensure a small group but also satisfy the need to invite the bride's brothers or dad or any other awkward future family member is to also set up a supplementary one-night event in the city you live in with a bigger invite list. So basically like a nice dinner and a trip to a cigar bar, or something that will make them feel included while preventing them from seeing the buck potentially fall in love with a stripper. This frees up the actual invitees to just be true believers and/or people who have tenuous personal relationships with their spouses and will literally find any excuse to leave their homes.
Didn’t read any of this? Well, damn you to hell, but also: invite 14-16, expect 8-10.
5. Create the plan
Now that you’ve established the BPSC, you should get everyone together, order Burmese food, and make a plan for the weekend. Before these people get to your place (or a bar, if you don’t trust them), you should map out a loose agenda to use as a starting point. If you don’t have a plan going in, you guys will spend too much time spinning your wheels and “brainstorming” and that delicious Burmese tea leaf salad will start to wilt, ruining your week.
There are two crucial rules to remember when planning the actual activities:
A) Make sure almost everything (except a few key events) is opt-in.
Meaning you can do it if you’d like to, but you don’t have to. And make sure people roughly know the costs of opting in beforehand.
B) Do not over-book events.
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT I AM TYPING IN CAPS LOCK. People, especially hungover people, are not naturally inclined to do a ton of things, and most will consider merely getting out of the house to eat brisket as some sort of moral victory during the day. So keep things low impact and easy whenever you can.
6. Put together your email
Once you have the agenda (see our sample version below for details), you’re ready to send out the email to the entire group. The key to the email is to be quick, funny, and informative. You need to accomplish five things:
A) Figure out who is in and out.
B) Get their contact info (cell, etc.) and eventual flight information.
C) Break down the core details and expected costs so there are no surprises.
Most buck parties tend to pay for everything the buck does (within reason), minus his airfare. Of course, if the buck wants to get himself a mango mojito at the bar, no one has to dive in front of the bartender as he hands him his credit card.
D) Force everyone to download Venmo (or at least PayPal) so that expenses can be taken care of in as smooth a fashion as possible.
And Splitwise as well, to divvy up the bills at the end of the trip (it links to Venmo and is very easy). And possibly WhatsApp, if there are some particularly sketchy individuals amongst you.
E) Get in a few savage burns and at least one embarrassing (but not NSFW) photo of the buck passed out wearing most of a Lion-O from ThunderCats