Captain's Log

Planning A Bachelorette Or Bachelor Party in Victoria

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A bachelorette party comfortably seated on the Fantasea's upper deck raises their glasses to the camera.If you have a wedding on the horizon, you know how important it is to get started early if you want to hold your special day in the warmer seasons of spring or summer — especially if you're getting married in Victoria, where a summer wedding can mean competing with tourists for event venues.

At Fantasea Charters, we start taking reservations as early as January and February for spring and summer wedding events on our 41-foot party yacht: everything from family get-togethers and wedding showers to the main event — a small wedding ceremony on the water is just the thing for some couples!

But the type of event we get the most requests for are bachelor and bachelorette parties. Groups love taking advantage of the unique setting of a boat party, with room to dance and a hosted bar. Quite a few organizers also ask for help planning the event. Enough, in fact, that we decided to collect a list of tips here, to help you put together a great celebration for your wedding group in Victoria BC:

Know Your Groom/Bride-To-Be

When putting together a stag or stagette, the most important thing to keep in mind is the star of the party. What the bride- or groom-to-be enjoys should determine how you celebrate. This event is for them, and they should have a good time!

The point of a bachelor or bachelorette party is to toast the official end of the couple's single life and to celebrate the upcoming marriage. Underlying that, a party is a good chance for them to take a break from all the demands of planning a wedding, and blow off some steam while spending time with their best friends.

Ask yourself: How does the groom- or bride-to-be like to relax and have fun? Do they like to be wild and active? Classy and fancy? Quiet and simple? Do they enjoy drinking as a way to unwind, or do they prefer dry activities? Are they comfortable with raunchy fun, or would they rather keep things chaste?

You'll also need to take into account the other people participating in the party. Factor in the age range of everyone taking part, and whether everyone knows each other or are strangers.

Lay Out Your Plans

Photo of a hand writing a checklist in a gridded notebook. Photo credit Max Pixel.Planning your party can be simple or complex depending on your budget, the number of people attending, and how many activities you want to take part in. No matter how big the party is going to be, setting up a planning document in a spreadsheet or a task application like Trello can save you some major headaches. Image boards like Pinterest can also be helpful for collecting ideas and links to potential venues.

The first thing to keep track of is who is coming, followed by what you'll be paying for, and (if you're sharing costs) who has paid their share so far. Buy in bulk or ask for group rates whenever possible to save money, and try to keep prices fair. When you're hashing out the budget, plan for a no-show rate of about 10-20% (example: if 10 people are expected to attend, plan for 1-2 of them not showing up. Everyone might want to be there, but last-minute surprises come up all the time). Keep track of your total spend and list it right next to your budget so you won't miss it if you go over.

Communicate with everyone attending the party and make a note of their preferred contact method (email, phone, or text?), any allergies or dietary restrictions, suggestions, or other bits of special info. Try to come up with games or activities that will get people talking to each other if you know that some of them are strangers.

Next, lay out your schedule. Try not to overthink things or overbook your group: leave room for people to relax, and time to travel between different venues. If you're planning a party that spans several days, sometimes one activity a day is all you need.

Finally, make sure to leave any heavy drinking until the end of the day — being sloshed by mid-afternoon can ruin anything you still have planned. Plan to moderate your drinks throughout the day or stay dry until the last events of the evening.

Once your schedule is finalized, consider emailing or printing out itineraries for everyone taking part. This will help keep the group together, and prevent people from constantly asking you when and where the next venue is.

Select Some Souvenirs

Everybody loves a good goodie bag! A gift bag of themed souvenirs gives your guests something to take home as a reminder of the day. Look for deals, but don't go too cheap: goodies should be either useful, memorable, or fun. Some ideas for what you can pack in your bags:

  • Mini speakers

  • Novelty sunglasses

  • Customized drinking glasses

  • Coffee or tea

  • Noisemakers

  • Slippers

  • Silly socks

  • Alcohol

  • Snacks or treats

  • Naughty adult favours

  • Scents (perfume or cologne)

  • Gift cards

  • Accessories / jewellery

  • Makeup

  • Flowers (live or wood)

  • Books

  • ...and much more!

Victoria has a number of party supply and wedding gift companies that are likely to supply stag and stagette parties with just these kinds of goodies. Try Side Street Studio, Beau-Coup, Gi Gi's Gift Creations, Party Crashers, or Gala-Van Party Shop. You might also find what you need at Lee Valley, Island Business Print Group, Michaels, or at a local market or retailer.

Document The Day

Another way to collect memories of the day is to hire a professional photographer or videographer. Many of them have group rates or discounts for party photos, and if everyone chips in, it can be an affordable way to record memories that will last you a lifetime.

Some great photographers you can find in Victoria are Jesse Holland, Devin Card, Art Studio 21 David Lowes, Arbutus Photography, Bella Boudoir, Courtney Clarke Photography, E/A Photography, Four Frames Photo Booth, and Luna Photolounge.

If you'd prefer the dynamism of a video (no better way to capture that first bungee jump!), check out Paper Heart Films or Best Color Video.

Arrive In Style (& Get Home Safe)

If you're going to be immortalized in film, you might as well look your best! Bachelor(ette) squad uniforms are a fun and snazzy way to make your group stand out (and make it easier to find anyone who's wandered off on their own). Matching shirts are the most common option, with or without special designs for the bride or groom. Some groups prefer to go out in formal wear — laser tag in suits, anyone?

For custom-ordered outfits, make sure to get everyone's sizes ahead of time, and choose a matching colour scheme if you can: it will make for better photos. And do your best to pick something that can be worn again after the party! Clothing that can be added to the usual wardrobe rotation will be appreciated by everyone.

When it comes to transportation, group booking a limo, taxi, or party bus can be both easier and safer than having everyone drive themselves. It looks good, keeps the party together, and lets everyone focus on the festivities rather than the road.

If you want to pull up in style, get a group booking quote from Alpine Limousine, 5 Star Limousine Services, L.A. Limousines, Ascot Limousine Services, Regent Limousine, or Royal Limousine & Van Service.

Now it's time for the main events:

Have An Adventure

Man gives a thumbs up while ziplining down AdrenaLINE Zipline in Victoria.Have a group who likes to stay active, fit, and have fun doing it? Does the groom-to-be love the outdoors, or is the bride-to-be competitive in sports? Then take a look at these local adventures:

Kick Back And Relax

If the star of your party is stressed out from wedding planning, or you have a group that's in favour of smooth sipping over a leisurely activity, something more laid-back may be for you. Luckily, Victoria is happy to serve:

Hit The Water

Bride-to-be and friends posing for the camera at their bachelorette party on the Fantasea.Once you've whiled away the afternoon, how about a party on the waves? Fantasea Charters features a 41-foot luxury yacht that can hold up to 20 people, more than enough for most bachelorette or bachelor party gatherings.

Worried about comfort? The yacht boasts plenty of plush seating, a heated and covered deck and cabin, and 2 on-board washrooms so you don't have to wait your turn.

You can host a party as good as any on land by arranging for dinner catering (or bringing your own food), taking advantage of the boat's licensed liquor bar and host services, and blasting your favourite music over the dance floor via an awesome sound system.

If you'd rather spend most of the day on the water, you can also add on a harbour cruise or whale watching excursion to take in the beautiful sights of the island and its wildlife.

Stags and stagettes are an especially popular event with us in the summer, so remember to book early and save your spot!

Fun & Games

Having games ready to run while you're dining and partying can be a great way to socialize and break the ice between group members who don't know each other. These games are fun whether you're on sea or on land:

The Fiancé Game

This one requires some prep prior to the party. Draft up a quiz around knowledge of the bride- and groom-to-be: their hobbies, favourite flavours, number of siblings, best sport, anything like that. Give a copy to the future Mr and have him fill in his answers, and give a copy to the future Mrs and have her do the same. At the party, give the future Mr or Mrs a blank copy of the quiz and have them try to guess their partner's answers to the quiz. You can compare the answers out loud, or even take bets on how many will be right!

Beer Pong

Always a classic! Just make sure you bring all the materials needed to set up.

Pucker Up

Pin up a full length poster of a favourite celebrity, put on some brightly coloured lipstick, get blindfolded and spun around, then do your best to plant a kiss on the naughty bit!

Romantic Jeopardy

Bring a mini whiteboard and flash cards (or use bristol board and post-its) to put together a Jeopardy board for the group to play with. Answers can be about the groom- or bride-to-be, weird sex facts, romance in the animal kingdom, or anything else you can think of!

Panty Piñata

Ask each guest to contribute a (new) piece of lingerie or adult toy that represents the guest's personality, habits, or quirks, to be given to the bride- or groom-to-be. Put them all in a piñata, then have the groom- or bride-to-be break it open and try to guess who gave each gift.

Best Friend Quiz

Similar to the Fiancé Game, but for everyone in the wedding party! Have a list of questions about the groom- or bride-to-be and see who knows them best by answering the most questions! Encourage participation by bringing a little prize to give to the winner.

Do You Dare?

Come up with a list of wedding-related dares for members of the party to complete. Be careful not to get too crazy (a visit from the police will put a damper on any party), but try things like wearing the tackiest white dress you can find, modelling a toilet paper veil, or asking strangers on the street if they'll marry you. Don't forget to include penalties for those who default!

Butlers In The Buff or Ruby Entertainers

A cheeky host or hostess can be a great way to break the ice between party attendees while adding some extra fun. Your entertainer will be happy to serve food and drinks and help organize games.

Make It An All-Nighter

Lastly, just because the sun goes down or the clock strikes midnight doesn't mean the fun has to end. If you have the budget and the time, festivities can stretch over several days.

Victoria has some great accommodations that can cater to all kinds of groups. One tip: If you can, staying in a large suite together may be a good idea. The group gets to stay together and have more fun, and it's often no more expensive (and sometimes cheaper) than having everyone reserve individual hotel rooms. Make an enquiry with customer service and see if they can help you with this!

Travelling out to a resort or cabin can be a good choice, but don't forget our fantastic local options. There's the elegant Fairmont Empress, the funky retro Hotel Zed, the trendy Four Points by Sheraton, and even group-friendly bed & breakfast inns like Marketa's B&B.

Whatever your choices are, we hope you have a fun and memorable time partying it up in our lovely city, and that your bachelor or bachelorette party is a huge success!