Who to Invite? Deciding on the guest list for your stag party
Typically, guys tend to have fewer ‘group politics’ issues to worry about than the ladies do, but even so, arranging the guest list for your stag can still end up being an awkward task. Inviting a few work colleagues may cause trouble among those who were left out and there may be guys in your social group you see a lot, but don’t really consider good friends.
The best solution is to invite the close mates to the main event and then have a more casual night in the pub for everyone else. If anyone complains, don’t worry the best man should take the rap for you…
Before you tackle the guest list, make a rough plan
Before deciding on your guest list, it’s a good idea to decide what kind of event you want. Should it be an all-day affair spent with your best buds playing golf or paintball or maybe you’d prefer a day spent playing computer games with your mates, and then moving on to dinner and drinks? Do you want to haunt your local or go somewhere more exotic?
Mapping out the kind of day you want will give you an idea of how many people you should invite and the type of mates you know would enjoy it. If you have a loner friend who rarely strays from the pub, he’s probably not going to be up for a day of go-karting, so you can scratch him off the list of potentials.
Ireland or beyond?
It’s a pricey option, so it’s something you probably shouldn’t choose if you know your best mates or groomsmen won’t be able to afford to go. However, if the VIPs are up for it, this makes the guest list a lot easier as most people will expect it to be confined to the groom’s party and maybe the groom’s brothers or close cousins.
Who is eligible for your stag’s guest list?
If your stag party is at home and you’ve tailored it to the people you really want to be there, it’s time to decide who else to invite.
The groomsmen, best man and any grown-up ushers you may have drafted. These are the core of the party.
Main social group
Guys you hang around with normally, but who aren’t necessarily your best mates.
The guys from school or college who used to be your best mates, but who you only see at Christmas. Still important in a nostalgic way, but not necessarily present.
Guys you hang out with in work and maybe go for after-work drinks with. You see them more than most other people in your life, but they’re not people you would call in an emergency (ie: you managed to get tickets to the Premiership final).
Brothers, cousins, uncles, fathers – either you’re really close or someone has guilted you into considering these people.
Guest List for your Stag: Things to consider before inviting people
- Do they know other people there?
- Do they or will they get on with other members of the party?
- Are they into the activities you have planned?
- Are they up for a laugh or can you see them sitting awkwardly in the corner,
wrecking the buzz?
- Are they likely to drink too much and cause drama?
- Do you actually want them there?
Should dads be invited to your stag?
It’s not something that’s expected, but you could be considering the option for a number of reasons:
- Their fathers attended their stag party back in the day, so they think it’s normal and have invited themselves along;
- They’re just really excited and want to be involved. The mums have been dress and flower shopping and this is the only wedding activity that is truly exciting to men;
- Their lives are dull and they want a boozy night out and have been telling you this pointedly for months;
- You invited a significant number of brothers and cousins from their side of the family and it’s gotten awkward;
- The bride asked her dad and brother to tag along and keep an eye on things.
The reality is no matter how well you get on with your dad or your fiancée’s father, you’re not going to fully relax at your stag do if they’re there. Most stag parties aren’t as scandalous as they used to be, but you’re still not going to feel comfortable letting loose with them around – and at the end of the day, this is your party.
However, if they’ve invited themselves along or someone has told you to invite them while they stand in front of you looking forlorn, you don’t really have a choice. Maybe you’re in the minority of grooms-to-be who are totally fine with doing shots with your dad or future-father-in-law, but if not, there’s a solution: have two stag dos – the ‘official’ one and the ‘unofficial’ one.
The official one can be a regular night out that starts with dinner and a few cigars, while the unofficial one is you and your best mates heading somewhere for a weekend you’ll never remember.