How to arrange a Stag Do
You may love organising events, bringing everyone together and facilitating a great time for everyone. But, if you’re one of the 9 out 10 people that do not, being responsible for the event of the century likely fills you with mild discomfort at best, blind panic at worst!
This event needs to be talked about for years to come, be the main topic of secret glances and chuckles at the end wedding itself, where the version of events that gets told to the guests doesn’t quite tally with the experience you all had on the stag do.
Questions over where to go, what to do, who can make it, what elements each person will be there for….the list goes on!
Well worry not, we’ve got you covered. In this blog we’ll break down all of the elements that you need to think about and provide you with the simplest of solutions for sorting the money. Download the Collctiv app here and we’ll talk more about this as we delve in to the detail of how to arrange the ultimate Stag Do.
Stag Do ideas
Attendees and availability
So firstly, you need to start with who is invited and how best to contact them. Undoubtedly the easiest way to communicate with the majority of people will be a Whatsapp or Facebook group. BUT, remember that if there are older family members or friends of the groom, they may not have Whatsapp or Facebook, or indeed there’s an ever increasing population of people boycotting these platforms. For them, perhaps email, text or carrier pigeon is best!
Whatever the solution, get this foundation in first. Make sure you know who is invited and make it as easy as possible to contact them.
Next up, use a simple but effective life hack that we love. A doodle poll. Establish a range of viable dates for the do, add them to a doodle poll that you can set up for free here, send it to your stag party to be and let them do the work. This way, you know what date is the most popular. IT IS NOT YOUR JOB to make sure everyone can attend. If you’re giving enough time and the event is important enough, people will find a way. Obviously you’ll need to prioritise dates that key people can make (e.g. the father of the groom) but you’re unlikely to be able to please everyone so sadly if the stag’s childhood babysitter family friend can’t be there then so be it!
Now here’s the test. The world’s a big old place. A big old accessible place, so nowhere is technically off the cards.
However, there are things to be considered that may help inform your decision on ‘the where’.
Primary to this is cost. Invariably, stag dos abroad will be more expensive because of the flights and accommodation. That’s not to say a UK stag do is cheap, or needs to feel that way, but at least if the do is on the same island as most people, it is easier (and thus cheaper) to get to than on a boat or a plane!
Logistics is a key factor to think about too - consider your party size when trying to decide where to go. Getting 25 people on to the same flight, next to each other, to the Czech Republic is going to be trickier than getting them to a farmhouse in Derbyshire. If the party is relatively small however, say 10 or less, this is less daunting.
My advice would be to reflect on what the groom would like. Is there a place that holds meaning or you know that they’ve always wanted to go to? Is this important to them or are they just looking for a good old knees up in party central? As best man, you have been chosen for this task because of your close ties with the stag. You know him better than most, so maybe write down some key attributes a location needs to have to suit him best. For example scenery or a city vibe, buzzing nightlife or loads of daytime activities? This should help narrow down your global choices!
This may seem daunting, but really it can be simplified down to whether the groom is going to want the group together at most times and whether you plan to eat a number of meals on site.
Get a hotel and you’ll be rooming separately and eating out.
Get a shared apartment or an ‘entire house’ type arrangement and whilst you may be sleeping in separate rooms, everything else is communal. You could also get creative here and look at a huge yurt or safari tent!
Whatever you choose, this is likely to be the biggest cost and as best man, it’s you who will be ‘responsible’ for it. What does this mean? Ultimately, you’ll find yourself putting deposits and balances on your card and then spending most of your time chasing everyone for the money back. Alternatively, you’ll try and raise the money first through bank transfers and the like, only to find that the solution you spent hours trawling google for has gone. Back to the drawing board.
We get it, it’s awkward. Very awkward. There’s only so many times you can hound the father of the bride for the £150 he owes you. The Whatsapp group is full of fun and banter, and then here comes you; the fun sponge. The fun prevention officer. The debt collector. Often to no avail.
On one hand you want the stag do to be really well attended, but on the other hand you can ill-afford your debit or credit card taking a hammering and sapping all of the joy and fun out of what should be a momentous occasion for the right reasons and not for being the cause of you defaulting on your mortgage!
A solution I hear you scream! Easy. Collctiv. You download the app, create a pot for whatever you are collecting for (e.g Johnno’s stag accommodation) and then send the link that it generates to everyone who wants to come. You can set a deadline, add comments and you can have as many pots as you like, so as and when you establish a cost, simply paste the link in to the Whatsapp group and watch the money roll in.
You can see who has paid what and when, and the money all sits in the one pot, so you know exactly who is paying and for what. No perusing your bank statement with a highlighter and a fine-tooth comb identifying stag payments from people with names you don’t know whilst inputting it all on to a spreadsheet. It’s all there!
Best still? It is the simplest thing for people to pay in, so you can get more payments, faster. Those paying in don’t need to download an app, create an account or verify an email. Great news for Grandad Joe, and great news for you. Start collecting money now.
The biggie - the make or break of the whole thing…..what will you be doing?
There are so many ways to go with this, but I think the most critical element to highlight is that the stag do is for…..THE STAG! This may sound obvious, but I think so many people are swayed by social pressure, pressure from within the group and even by their own preferences and biases.
Ask yourself what the stag would like to do, and then do lots of that! We’ll get on to specifics shortly but before that I think we need to talk about general itineraries.
A lot of stag dos have become a whole weekend and a bit before thing, rather than the traditional night out and a hungover fry up in the morning. So let me outline our recommended structure for a full weekend, and then you can remove and alter bits as appropriate:
Arrival at the accommodation. Perfect time for some easy-going drinks and communal food like pizza or buffet. Great for the group to get to know each other and bond ahead of the weekend's activities. Could be a good time for a group activity like beer pong, cocktail making, a quiz or karaoke.
The core do! This is where the activities should take place that create memories that last a lifetime…..or at least until the wedding! We’ll cover this in more detail shortly.
This all depends on you stag. Would they love a traditional night out in [add town or city name here] where they drink things not intended for human consumption, crack out their dad dancing and then proceed to smear their best shirt with chilli sauce from their kebab OR would they much prefer a night in which can still be heavily beer fuelled but full of fun like ping pong, pool. Karaoke (later in the night/the morning). You could get a singer or a band in, a virtual reality games machine, pinball, alcoholic ice cream van (yep, that’s a thing!). This way you have a great night without the fist fights (hopefully) and the mile-long queue for a taxi!
The recovery day. A great chance to roll out of bed, try a number of different solutions to curing a hangover, whilst enjoying a final meal with the group whilst reflecting on the antics of the previous 36 hours. You could be brave and arrange one final activity, something a bit more gentle like a drawing class or massages and face masks all round!
Whatever you choose, across however many days, we’re talking lots of money. On booze, on food, on entertainment, on lost deposits for the AirBnB you are in….the last thing you want is to be playing accountant whilst in the club, at the bar or enjoying the entertainment. No thank you!
So, collect the money ahead of time. If you are booking things in advance you know the cost, share it amongst the group. For those costs not yet incurred make a shopping list and tot up the estimate. Share it amongst the group. In this way, you are not left picking up any bills, people have time to prepare and pay and the actual weekend, which invariably isn’t too far away from the wedding and it’s associated big costs, will be largely paid for in advance so people can just come and have a great time!
This goal is easy to achieve through Collctiv. Simply create pots for the various elements ‘food’, ‘booze’, ‘entertainment’ and then share the link. People tap to pay and voila, you’re sorted. You can get a full run down of who paid in to what pot and regularly share with the group the totals and the costs paid out so that they can see specifically where their money is going.
We get that it’s a huge responsibility handling people’s money and we also know that you want that task to feel auditable. With Collctiv, it is!
Now to the promised section on the Saturday activities of the stag do. There’s so much to choose from and you can use your knowledge of the groom to narrow this down.
Water assault course
Dryland assault course
White Water Rafting
Race car experience
Beer, wine and cheese tasting
The Crystal Maze experience
Outdoor treasure hunt
Hopefully you can find something for your stag from these lists - though remember they are not exhaustive!
This is where our good friend the Doodle poll makes a reappearance. Once you have decided on the details, you can send one out with all of the options so that individuals can choose the elements they want to partake in. Nights they are staying, meals they will be present for, activities they want to partake in. This will make planning so much easier!
One thing is for certain - all the activities will cost, and every provider will want at least a deposit to hold the experience for you.
Don’t get stuck in the vicious circle of having the idea, calling the place, finding out the deposit amount, then trying to get it from the stag group, then by the time you’ve raised it the availability you wanted has gone.
Nope - simply ping a link over to your group, they tap to pay and you have your deposit and experience sorted. No faffing with bank details, no ‘I’ll get you some pints’....just the money up front, allowing you to sort all of the other things that the best man has to deal with!
Download Collctiv and start collecting money now!
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