When a groom-to-be asked for some “in-room entertainment” for the bachelor party he was planning in Las Vegas, Cynthia Adkins, president of Concierge At Large reached for her phone directory—and proceeded to look up chefs in Sin City.
After all, her client did request that the suites he was reserving had ample kitchen space, so meals could be prepared specially for the groom’s party.
“They wanted to go out together as a group before they got married,” Adkins said. “But, they weren’t into the whole strip club thing—they wanted a weekend without the women. It was more about camaraderie.”
Turns out, her client’s preference to skip the traditional exotic dancers and cheap booze-style bachelor party is not out of the ordinary.
Today’s bachelor party is about being refined and elegant, not cheap and tawdry.
In fact, after the release of “Sideways,” Lindsey Wendt-Sheik, president of Weddings On the Go began to see an increase in demand for wine-tasting bachelor parties in Napa Valley. Similarly, Adkins planned a wine-tasting limo stag party in Santa Barbara, where she rented a house for her clients and carved out some golfing time.
“They don’t want to go to the strip club and get rip-roaring drunk,” Wendt-Sheikh said. “I think they are trying to get away from tradition. It’s all about personalization to what the clients want.”
Increasingly, future grooms and their best men are opting for specialized destination bachelor parties that they can remember the following morning. Although Las Vegas is still a popular location, men are branching out and choosing European and Caribbean destinations for their stag nights. “One client had their bachelor party at the destination for their wedding,” Wendt-Sheikh said. “The girls went to a Mayan spa; the boys chose to go sports fishing.”
On average, Wendt-Sheik states that their bachelor party packages run about $1,200 and upwards per person. Although her company specializes in destination weddings, destination bachelor and bachelorette parties have been created, due to an increase in clientele demand.
The groom in Adkins’ case created his ultimate bachelor party package, including renting a Dodge Viper for a road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas (and with good reason: the groom admitted that he had to choose between buying that exact car or marrying his girlfriend. Sounds like he made a good choice).
On a similar note, Wendt-Sheik has optimized planned packages all around the world for her clients. Recently, she planned a five-day, four-night hiking expedition through the volcanoes of Costa Rica to meet the criteria of a celebrity client.
Hotels are cashing in on these trends, as well. The Esperanza Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico offers the “Knot Just Yet” package. The bachelor and three of his closest friends are treated to two-bedroom villa accommodations, with complimentary yoga classes, 60-minute massages, a private tequila-tasting class, and round-trip airport transfers, and it costs $7,118 for three nights and four days. www.esperanzaresort.com
Likewise, the “Five Diamond Package” offered by Sky Lofts at Las Vegas MGM Grand includes a Ban & Olufsen-outfitted three-bedroom loft, as well as a 16-course meal at Joel Robuchon and a steak dinner at Craftsteak. On top of that, the boys get table service at Tabu Ultra Lounge and VIP tickets to see Cirque de Soleil’s “Ka.” The two-day package costs a whopping $33,000. www.skyloftsmgmgrand.com
Before you become twisted in a knot thinking about how your bachelor party could cost more than your wedding, don’t fret. There are affordable options that allow for a fun bonding time. If you are in the Minneapolis area, you can participate in the “The Perfect Drive Package” at ProKart Indoor. Get one hour of go-cart racing and 18 holes of golf for only $100 per person, or $80 per person for more than 15 people. www.prokartindoor.com
If you want to travel to a far-off destination, Bachelor BlowOut offers packages to Iceland, starting at $895. And, get this: The cost actually includes airfare, accommodations, transportation and some activities once you get there. Finally, if you are sure you want to make it out to Vegas, Bachelor Vegas offers the Last Supper package: For $159 per person, you can get a four-course meal at Gordon Biersch and VIP entry and a table at Sapphire, with limo rides that will take you everywhere. www.bachelorblowout.com
By Michelle Castillo for PeterGreenberg.com.
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Previously by Michelle Castillo: