The thinking man's guide to bachelor parties.

Notes on nuptials.
June 11 2007 2:03 PM

The Thinking Man's Guide to Bachelor Parties

Whom to invite, where to have it, and more.

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Scheduling
No way is this the night before the wedding. For one thing, there's that rehearsal dinner for 125 at your mother-in-law's country club, and someone might notice. Take pains to ensure that the host(s) schedule the BP for 8 to 10 weeks before the ceremony—this is the point at which the invitations are about to go out, and you, the standard bobo groom, will feel the most tense, frustrated, harried, bored, self-alienated, etc. Clicking on the gift registry only offers so much opportunity for release: You need a breather. Schedule the main party for Saturday. Schedule a pre-party for Friday. Get tragicomically wasted on Friday, to encourage a spirit of moderation during the focal event. Remember, a proper BP should be merely hazardous, not acutely dangerous. Think Fellini's Satyricon, not Vidal's Caligula.

Guest List
You've worked hard to get where you are—the weekends at the office, the merciless social-climbing. Your circle of friends reflects your station in the world. I should hope you count among them a practicing attorney, a hedge-fund manager with an infrared AmEx, and a physician. (In a jam, any quack with a prescription license will do, but proctology specialists can be a great comfort, and veterinarians also have their uses.) Avoid reporters: They've a horrid ratio of drinks consumed to rounds bought. Sadly, given my profession, I was obliged to invite a handful to the TPBP. On the brighter side, I'm calling in an FBI agent with a juris doctorate, significant medical-emergency experience, and a proficiency in Thai kickboxing, and also an architect who once made a bong from a Mickey Mouse fishbowl. 

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Dinner
You'll want to eat something. After Friday, you might not be able to, but you'll want to. Go for the glamour and grease of a classic steakhouse. It's quite convivial to share side orders—or at least to watch the other members of your party pass the creamed spinach—and your fellow patrons will delight in overhearing your friends' fond reminiscences about the time that girl in college did that thing with the cup. You should order the filet mignon, medium rare. While no sauce goes with a fine filet quite like a red-wine reduction with dried cherries, when you throw that back up, it will look like coagulated blood, so stick with the Bernaise.

Music
Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" always plays well at these affairs, as do Kelis' "Milkshake," Peaches' "Fuck the Pain Away," and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.

Location
Adventuresome sorts might consider a trip overseas, or at least to Montreal, home of Club Super Sexe and its DJ, who brings the most charming Quebecois lilt to such phrases as "Lesbian show, lesbian show!" Amsterdam, Ixtapa, Reykjavik, and Cartegena have also become popular, but who can keep up with extradition treaties? Why not see America first? There's always New Orleans, a jaunt with a humanitarian vibe: The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina may have slipped from the front pages, but the ladies of Larry Flynt's Barely Legal Club still need your support. Those of you planning a summertime event in the Hamptons should bear in mind high-season hassles—the notorious traffic, the scarcity of great oysters, the fact that Long Island strippers are hideously susceptible to sunburn in early July. Those of you going to Las Vegas manifestly lack imagination. No, New York City, more than ever, is the best place to have a bachelor party: In the fall of 2001, celebrating the pending nuptials of a college chum, I had occasion to admire the American flags management had installed on either side of the main stage at Scores and found myself so moved by New Yorkers' collective courage that I started misting up. That, or I had some body glitter in my eyes.

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