Gay guys don’t have the benefit of a gender playbook to guide their relationships, so we rely on collective experience to build a set of rules. When it comes to dating, we know who picks up the tab (split it or take turns paying) and who opens the door (whoever gets there first).
But there isn’t nearly as much crowdsourced expertise around same-sex weddings. And, arguably, nowhere does gender come more into play than that last hurrah of manhood and masculinity: the bachelor party.
So how does being gay change the game and what are you going to do about it?
Keep the Bachelor Parties Separate
Same-sex marriage is about equality for all citizens, so it might be tempting to embrace that spirit of egalitarianism—liberté, égalité, fraternité!—with a shared bachelor party.
Don’t do that.
Personally, we’re of the opinion that a mutual gay bachelor party already exists and has a name—it’s called a wedding shower. Break out your jaunty pocket squares, register for those fancy Waterworks towels, and host an elegant tea with a cheeky assortment of high/low hors d’oeuvres.
Then, do your bachelor parties separately so that your friends can celebrate their relationship with you and tailor the bacchanalia to your particular vices—whether that means Suntory whisky and Cohiba cigars or craft cocktails and artisanal doughnuts.
Invite Your Girlfriends—or Don’t. It’s Up to You.
There’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation here. Many gay guys have a squad of close female friends that even Taylor Swift would envy, and for them, it goes without saying that a gay bachelor party is gender neutral.
But not every gay guy is in a hermetically sealed Will & Grace–style friendship with his closest gal pals. There is something to be said for homosocial bonding—the language of male affection that includes back slaps, blackjack, and prime porterhouse steaks. For some guys, gay or straight, that’s really important.
It’s your bachelor party, so if you want to bro down in Sin City with your best mates, then go for it. Just be prepared for your sisters and your female friends to call you out for gender discrimination (ahem, we told you about egalitarianism)—or better yet, plan a different and equally festive night out with them, as well.
Be Sensitive About Other People’s Money—and Vacation Days
You and your five best friends and your fiancé and his five best friends have become a down-and-dirty dozen of good-time guys. Great. But does that mean everyone needs to go to everyone else’s bachelor party? No.
Remember, you are already asking your closest friends to fly across the country for your bachelor party in sunny Palm Springs, where you will spend four semi-ironic days and three margarita-fueled nights in Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis’s mid-century-modern-home-turned-gaycation-destination. And, of course, they are also taking a day off from work for your black-tie wedding weekend in the Finger Lakes at a chi-chi resort. A couple thousand dollars and a few PTO days later, and your besties are in deep for your nuptials.
As a result, some friends will need to pass on your fiancé’s bachelor party in the Berkshires, so that they—and their wallets—can recover. And that is totally fine.
If you want to open up both bachelor parties to everyone, do it. Just let your friends know that you are already so jazzed about all the ways they are showing up for you and your beau, and that there is no pressure to do both.
In the end, everyone still loves everyone else, and the whole gang will come together for an epic finale at your wedding.
— Oussama Zahr