Email from a reader.
We thought about cleaning it up, but what’s the fun in that?
Here it is, in its glorious, untouched form:
“I am the best man of my brothers wedding and that means im doing the bachlor party,all of are friends that we invited like to drink and have fun and pretty much anything goes.
But the problem is that my dad and the brides dad and a couple older guys are going with all us younger guys that like strippers and all the good stuff that goes along with bachlor party’s .I know the two dad’s and older guys don’t want to do that,what do i do to let evryone have a good time? I need help!”
Where to begin.
I’m tempted to say that, from your email, you should be drinking milk instead of beer. The drinking age isn’t 8-years-old, is it?
But that would make me a dick, so I won’t say that.
Instead, here is one crucial question. Someone invited the bride’s father?!?! Really? Inviting the bride’s brother is bad enough. But the bride’s father?
In the list of life’s awkward social moments, that’s right up there with inviting your girlfriend into the bathroom with you while you unburden your bowels, or having your priest/minister/rabbi watching you get drunk for the first time, or maybe inviting your grandpa to watch you lose your virginity.
See also: She Forbids Strippers. What Do You Do?
It’s weird and wrong and unholy. So here’s your first move. Have the groom delicately, tactfully, carefully ask his fiancée if the Old Man can keep his ass at home. (We recommend a different phrasing.)
But that might not work. Hell. It probably won’t work.
So if you’re still stuck with the bastard?
Have two parties. A fake one for the parents, and a real one for the gentlemen your age, the discriminating souls who “like strippers and all the good stuff that goes along with bachlor party’s.”
Here’s how you play it.
Officially you only have one bachelor party, and that is a very low-key, sedate affair that involves the bride’s father, lemonade, and a spirited game of checkers. (Actually, suggest a steak dinner. This is bachelor-party-appropriate and won’t leave the fathers feeling completely in the dark.)
See also: Coolest Bachelor Party Email. Ever.
Then, you have a second, smaller, unofficial bachelor party, the one that involves jail time and nipples. Key: do not refer to this as the bachelor party. It’s just a friendly get together. A chance for you to blow off some steam. If the bride’s father catches wind of this, you must be prepared to take the bullet yourself–that’s your job. The groom needs to have plausible deniability.
One word of caution.
We have no idea why the bride’s father is invited. Maybe he’s genuinely Best Buds with the groom. (Not unprecedented.) Maybe he’s just paranoid, a la Robert DeNiro in Meet the Parents. Maybe, however, the bride wants the father to tag along to serve as her spy, of sorts. (She could be doing this consciously or subconsciously.)
Since this is a credible possibility, be very, very certain that the groom doesn’t cross any lines. As Best Man, your second most important responsibility is to show the groom a good tome. Your most important? To ensure he doesn’t screw up his marriage. Think like an airline: safety first. Better to ground a flight than risk blowing a fuel tank.
Sorry for the bitchy comments about your syntax, but, hey, we are who we are.
Update: Longtime reader Dan writes in with this comment: “It’s customary to invite both the bride’s and the groom’s fathers. They typically decline, but I’ve have parties where they’ve been there. That’s why you do things in two phases.”
It’s a fair point. And yes, I’ve heard of this custom and this “bluff invite.” Two thoughts. 1) It’s not standard custom. Yes, it’s super-polite and it has been done before, but this is not the expected, mainstream course of action. To any groom who’s wondering if you’re obligated to extend this courtesy invite: you’re not. 2) If the groom’s father is present, that does increase the need to also invite the bride’s father. It looks sorta weird and unbalanced if you have one dad and not the other. (Solution: have zero dads.)