I’ve written about how to deal with booze in stag do planning previously, where we talked tactics to ensure you get through the stag weekend without having to write off the all-important Saturday night because you’ve over done it on the Friday.
Of course the other downside of an overly indulgence Friday night, for any best man who is playing organiser, is that the energy levels of the wider group is spent too early and you then have to play the role of motivator to get them going again. For a group of 14 or 15 lads, some of whom you may not know, this can be a bit of a challenge to see the least.
So with that in mind, I spoke to some folk in the industry for ideas on how to deal with this perennial problem and arrived at a potentially cracking strategy. Book some kind of activity not for the Saturday, which is the traditional time to do stag activities, but rather on the Friday….
The rationale? It removes the option of booze altogether without making you as the organiser look like a killjoy. The result? The team wake up on the Saturday morning feeling bright, sparky and ready to go. Genius! Read on for further insights from those in the know.
Getting the booze balance right in stag do planning
We reached out to some true veterans of the Stag Do circuit to get their take on the best approach to the classic Friday to Sunday Stag Weekend.
“We see hundreds of Stag Weekenders gone wrong every year. More often than not, the reason is having too many drinks on the first night”
As owner and operator of Cornish Wave Surf School, Jey and his team of surf guides have been based in the heart of Stag central Newquay for over ten years and seen more stag do parties than he cares to remember giving him a good insight in to stag do planning.
“Newquay has everything you need for a Stag Weekend – amazing nightlife, fantastic beaches and plenty of activity options for groups. But if you’re feeling rubbish from a heavy night, you’re just not as up for it”
It’s not hard to see why so many Best Men fall into the same trap – with the boys back together you’re all keen to let loose, prove you can still hold your liquor and see your stag off in style.
“All of the guys we talk to share the same story – there’s a promise of ‘just a few’ on the Friday night with Saturday being the main event… then Saturday morning comes and things didn’t quite go to plan…”
Most Stag Weekenders will plan for the activities to take place on the Saturday daytime. But when Saturday morning comes and you and the gang are hung over, the last thing you want is the hassle of dragging everyone out of bed for some high-energy activities.
It could be worse than a hangover…
Running round a paintball arena or tackling a Coasteering route was meant to be fun, with a bad hangover it can be a real chore. As Jey explains, it’s not just your body and the morale of your group that will suffer:
“We’ve seen plenty of Stag groups book an early morning Surf Session and then have only a couple of guys show up with tales of how the others have fallen by the wayside from the night before…”
So if you weren’t feeling rough already, there’s a risk you will be losing out on a wad of cash if your booking was pre-paid or had a non-refundable deposit and your group is a no-show.
At the risk of sounding like a health and safety party pooper there’s also an element of risk, as anything involving motorized vehicles will require you to be sober!
“We’ve heard stories of activity providers that have had to turn away guys that show up to an early session still obviously intoxicated from the night before. They can be a real hazard to themselves and others.”
Even if you somehow make it though the day’s activities, there’s still the ‘big night out’ ahead and more boozing is the last thing on everyone’s mind. Some put on a brave face, but are they really having fun? Having been on several where this has been the case, and speaking for myself, the answer is a flat no.
Getting a big group of lads from A to B in this state is HARD work and once tiredness creeps in then you’re also at risk of dealing with one or two grumpy folk, which adds further fuel to the fire.
The simple solution
Fridays left to chance can get out of hand and throw off your plan for the full weekend. By all means have a few drinks, but make sure the focus isn’t on boozing on your first night.
“We’ve found the best way to avoid an out-of-control Friday night in stag do planning is when the Best Man plans something that limits access to the booze”
What are the options then? If you stop and think about it, it’s tricky as most stuff can easily involve booze! Comedy? Booze. A music gig. Booze. A show of some kind. Booze! It’s not that easy!
One option is more activity based stuff, and by activity, I mean physical activity.
“We normally pair up a Wild Camping and Bushcraft session on the Friday night with Surfing or Coasteering on a Saturday – we call it The Wilderness & Adventure Weekend. Friday is a great chance for the group to catch up over a few beers and a barbecue meal. Everyone’s fresh on Saturday morning for a day of activities and then a big night out.”
If Wild Camping isn’t your thing, then think of a way to keep things civilized and moderate the drinks on a Friday night. Maybe the accommodation is a little more remote to keep away from the bright lights. Maybe you ask people to arrive late. Maybe you simply give a reasoned argument in your communication to the group and convince them to be reasoned.
Whatever you go for, experience tell me, and do many others, that keeping Friday night low key is the best tactic you can have for ensuring you actually enjoy whatever adrenaline filled antics take your fancy on the Saturday, and a night out that you can actually enjoy.