Fathers of both the bride and groom can attend bachelor parties, but caution should be paid to the events planned, the relationship between the groom and the two fathers, and their sensibilities. If it is likely to be inappropriate for the fathers, then an additional event can be organised that includes them.
The two important factors that will determine whether the two fathers should be invited to the bachelor party are:
a) The nature of the relationship between Father and son and between the groom and his prospective Father-in-law
b) The nature of the activities that will be planned for the Bachelor party.
From the moment that the wedding date is announced, the prospective bride and groom, their close family, and friends will be preoccupied with arrangements for the big day. Not only the wedding itself but also what happens before and after the wedding will need special attention. One of the main events prior to the wedding is the bachelor party.
Usually organised by the best man or a close friend of the groom one of the most important factors is who, and who not to invite. This includes the question of whether it is appropriate to invite the fathers of the bride and groom.
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Definition of a Bachelor’s Party
Also referred to as stag parties, bachelor parties can be defined as the groom’s final celebration (as a single person) with male friends, family, and colleagues. Bachelor parties form part of the bigger wedding celebration and are traditionally arranged by the groom’s best friend or brother.
Who Is on the Guest List?
It is generally accepted close friends and family of the groom would be invited to the Bachelor party. That obviously includes the fathers of the bride and of the groom.
It is also mandatory for the organiser of the bachelor party to clear the guest list with the groom-to-be. The groom would be able to indicate what and who will be appropriate or not and which guests he would feel comfortable with.
Inviting the Father of the Groom
A few valid reasons for inviting the father of the groom to the bachelor’s party include the following:
- The groom’s father will want to celebrate his son’s upcoming wedding with him.
- His father will want to celebrate the end of his son’s single years.
- The groom’s father probably knows all his friends and some of his colleagues and would appreciate the opportunity to informally get together with them.
- The Bachelor party is the ideal opportunity to become better acquainted with the new in-laws.
- It could also provide a chance to discuss some of the wedding plans with his son’s friends and family.
- It’s also a great night out!!
Inviting the Father of the Bride
Reasons the father of the bride should be invited to the bachelor’s party can include:
- It provides an opportunity for the groom’s father-in-law to meet his son-in-law’s friends and family in an informal situation.
- It will give the father of the bride a good idea of the type of company his future son-in-law keeps.
- The bride’s father would be able to see how his son-in-law behaves and interacts with other men in general.
- The bride’s father can form an idea of what to expect from the upcoming marriage.
- The bride’s father will observe and form an idea of how the prospective husband will fit into his own family and circle of friends.
- The bride’s father can observe the groom’s father and the nature of their relationship.
- It also allows the groom and the father-in-law to bond in an informal setting.
- As mentioned above it is a great night out!
If the relationship between both parents and their children are good and solid there should be no reason to exclude them from the celebrations of a bachelor’s party. Just make sure they are aware of what to expect (and remind them they were young once as well)
However, if the event’s planner (usually the groom’s best friend) plans on having activities at the bachelor’s party that are not suitable or appropriate for the fathers or that might be an embarrassment for all parties involved, certain limits or conditions can be set for the invitation.
It is also possible to have a bachelor party suitable for older friends, work colleagues or the in-laws and then carry on later or on another date with perhaps more raucous activities.
Setting Limits to the Invitation if Necessary
If activities such as strippers, pole dancers, and lap dancers are on the cards for the bachelor’s party, it is best to come clean with the two fathers in question. They should politely and respectfully be informed that things might get a bit wild, and it should be arranged with them either not to attend the function or to attend up to a certain point.
They will understand – they were young once and have been through similar situations themselves. It is however very important that they are informed and that they know that they were considered and respected.
If Fathers Are NOT Invited to the Bachelor’s Party
Fathers should not be ignored altogether when it comes to organising the bachelor’s party. They must be aware of the bachelor party, and they must be aware of the reasons they were not invited.
If fathers are not invited at all it might be a good idea to have some sort of a get together for the groom, both fathers, the closest family, and best friends. An informal barbeque or dinner will suffice to let everybody feel that they were included and considered.
Other (Less Important) Reasons for Having a Bachelor Party
In addition to celebrating the groom’s final days of freedom, there are also other reasons to throw a bachelor party.
- Making jokes about marriage so that it becomes less threatening for the prospective groom.
- Jokingly punishing the groom for forsaking his friends.
- The groom saying goodbye to his friends.
- Getting the groom’s friends to meet each other.
- Having a reason to celebrate and be happy.
- Strengthening the groom’s social ties and support.
Origin of Bachelor Parties
The earliest records of Bachelor parties can be traced back as far as 500 BC when the Spartans would treat the groom-to-be with lavish wine and dinner to celebrate (or mourn) his last night of being single.
It is important to note that these celebrations originally took on the form of a formal dinner or banquet. For the less well off in society, it was celebrated with having a few drinks among friends.
The meaning of the word bachelor is that of a young, unmarried man. What started out as a celebration in the form of a civil party or dinner has since developed into functions that are characterized by excessive drinking, strippers, sexual innuendoes, lap dancing, pole dancing, and bad behaviour by the prospective groom to the entertainment of those in attendance.
In the last few years, there has been a tendency for bachelor parties to be more restrained.
The reason for this might be the now recognised dangers associated with getting drunk out of your skull, the proliferation of mobile phones (so what happens on the stag night may or may not say on the stag night!) and the fact that couples nowadays get married at an older age when their wild party days are over.
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There is no standard answer to whether the father of the groom and the father of the bride should be invited to the bachelor’s party. Each couple’s own unique circumstances and the nature of their relationship with their parent should be considered.
It will be best to consult the groom about the guest list to ensure that whoever attends the bachelors’ party will enjoy the festivities and feel relatively comfortable in each other’s company.
If the fathers are invited, the organiser will have to mind the activities he is planning. If the fathers are not invited, they should be acknowledged and the reasons for them not being invited should respectfully be explained and alternative arrangements made to accommodate them.
After earning his Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto, Stuart gained experience working with families in community mental health settings and in the child protection sector. Since becoming a father himself, Stuart now works in private practice offering psychotherapy services. FatherResource is an opportunity for Stuart to share what he learns on his journey as a father with a larger audience.