Planning 101 3rd December 2014

Quiet Seasonal Reflection and The Stag Penny Dropping!

So as we head enthusiastically into the festivities it's an ideal time to reflect on any matrimonially led experiences, particularly stag dos, you've enjoyed over 2014. Did you manage to get away somewhere decent? Was it well organised? How did the bestman fare? Did you enjoy it? Did you do something memorable? What would you change? Did you even consider popping the big question yourself? All great posers to ponder over a Yule pint or two. I hope you banked a few cracking weekends within the 52 we're given annually.

Think about that for a minute and if the melon's working, you might arrive at, "hang on 52 you say ... mmm ... I've got about 10-12 years in my prime, 15 if I'm lucky, 25+ if I go Clooney. (Word of warning - most of us aren't George). So with 52 to play with a year that's little over 500-600 weekends, 750 tops. Blimey!" Take out a few seasonal certainties like Christmas and new year, birthdays, holidays, those with the other half, family events, sporting commitments, a few weddings, the ones where you have to work and the penny soon drops. And grab that penny because you might need it if you're suddenly feeling short-changed.

"Hang on that means I've probably only got so many boys weekends before we get old / knackered / worn out / kid loaded / put in expression here." Alas 'tis true, Father Time will eventually slow you down and curb your wicked ways. The sad truth is that most players eventually become spectators, the trick I think is to keep playing even if you change the game or the pitch a little or even a lot. Certainly don't resent spectating or the spectators but keep the fire going and push on. Borrowing from Dylan Thomas, who I believed liked to party pretty hard himself, do not go gently ... rage hard against the dying of the ... stag days, gentlemen keep having fun.

So while you're contemplating that bombshell, think back ... were your boys weekends and stag experiences this year up to scratch? Could you do better? Should you have gone / stayed / done something else? The chances are, with a little professional organising, a better use of budget and an expert touch here and there, you probably could. That's not a pitch, rather a really experienced observation coming from not only professional but also personal experience.

One thing we're keen on at StagWeb and we're seeing a small trend develop is stag reunions and if you'll forgive the description, non-stag stags. Get a great group doing great things and it makes sense to make it an annual event, we only get so many weekends. Some of the brightest men among us shoe in details of their annual golf weekend as soon as they can in a relationship and thereafter they manage to get an annual free pass from the fun police to golf with the boys without too much consternation - simple genius! And it delivers year after year! Too late for me unfortunately, but a highly recommended tip - even if you're not a big golf fan.

And remember reunions or lads' get-togethers don't even have to be a stag do. I was talking to a couple of people recently - and there's a smart cookie in the office here, who all have an imaginary friend, let's call him Danny Smith. Well guess what ... "Danny's having a stag do next year!".  By the way Danny's name can change annually. If you're going to action it you'll need to be convincing, think through background, credibility and contingency like a paranoid actuary. No doubt you or Big Dave will blow cover at some point and if there's the smallest chink in the armour the mrs will be on it like a fatman at a buffet, hell hath no fury and all that. You've been warned.

Bottom line, grab at least one weekend a year to have a great time and a new experience with the lads. Get a top group together and even if you've toned the itinerary down because it's a more relaxed event you'll still have a fantastic time.  Get a great group together and push the envelope for another amazing shared experience, whether it's going international for example a weekend to Reykjavik - somewhere you're unlikely to go unless it's on a hooley with the boys, staying in a castle in Scotland, motor racing, scaling a mountain or even hiring a stadium, and you'll be making another life memorable weekend. There's such a wealth of things to do you should know about them at least, and they don't have to be too expensive. You can certainly see the best about at StagWeb.

So there it is musings on squeezing out all the juice you can out of at least a few weekends a year - but definitely 1. There's no excuse not to. When you look back why not look at a bunch of amazing weekends shared with new friends and your besties, rather than a handful that might have been better.

And Happy Christmas!