Image by Matheus Ferrero 

While Vegas might be good in theory (and usually in practice!), there’s a lot of legwork that goes into planning a destination pre-wedding party. Holiday planning can be tenuous at the best of times, but throw in a group of mates with different priorities, budgets and egos and the job just got a lot harder! Still, there’s nothing like a holiday for a friend’s ‘last hurrah’, so here’s what you need to know before booking those cheap flights or embarking on a road trip.

1. Plan ahead
Whether you’re going to Bangkok or Byron Bay, the principle remains the same. You can’t be too prepared. It might seem like a miracle getting all attendees available at the same time, but that’s just the beginning. The whole thing requires a leader (usually the best man) to book transport, accommodation and activities and this often means putting down their credit card. Smaller planning duties (such as night time activities/booking restaurants) can be split so everyone chips in.

Use a travel agent if the trip requires multiple stops, flights or there’s a big group to cater for. Then, remember the small stuff. Bungee jumping at 8am after a big night out won’t go down too well, neither will not planning for meals.

I have a friend who went deep sea fishing for a pre-wedding weekend, only to realise on the day of the boat adventure, no-one had planned food for the eight hours they were about to have at sea. Needless to say, 12 blokes (including the bride’s father) feeling seasick, hungover and hungry does not a good combination make!

Image by Hannah Photography via Laura & Luke’s Pretty Outdoor Farm Wedding

2. Respect local laws
There’s nothing worse than a bunch of sunburnt, drunk, loud and obnoxious guys on their pre-wedding party. Unless of course, you’re in the group in which case it’s the #bestholidayever. Try and be wary of cultural sensitivities. If you’re going to a temple in Bali, try to go before you hit the tins.

Image by Kats Weil 

3. Budget
Setting a realistic expectation of costs from the beginning is the key to managing everyone’s different levels of cash. Just because Gary earns a good salary and wants to stay in the luxury resort doesn’t mean everybody else can, or wants to. Again, this requires a savvy planner to help compromise and make decisions. When it comes to actually booking the trip, paying for as much upfront will help relieve shelling out for big costs on arrival.

It’s a good idea to split bills while you’re there (John having 15 cocktails and Pat having three beers is totally fine and will be easy to manage if everyone pays for themselves). That said, a group kitty for joint items (groceries, taxis, activities) is also a good idea and will also help avoid one person fronting the costs then trying to chase money.

Image by James Walsh 

4. Split into sub-groups
It’s a good idea to allocate some free-time for everyone too. How each person wants to spend their holiday differs, so with a large group (think over six) it’s easy for sub-groups to do different activities. I went on a joint pre-wedding party with the groomsmen and bridesmaids in Phuket (that’s for another story) and it was surprisingly easy to break off and do separate activities during the day then meet at a specified location later on.

From shopping to surfing, sightseeing to relaxing by the pool, letting everyone actually enjoy their holiday without the group pressure is always a good idea.

Image by Wil Stewart 

Ms Chinoiserie Says: Whilst it may seem to be “a bit sensible”, planning ahead and budgeting are the keys to the best pre-wedding party ever!