The History of Bachelor Parties

When thinking about weddings, the bachelor/bachelorette party is one of the things everyone is eagerly awaiting. Let's face it... we all love it.

The idea that you have this one last night of crazy partying before marriage with just your crew, where you can go wild and release the stress that builds up while planning a wedding is just perfect!

It's a long-standing tradition, and we believe that it should always be honored in style. After all, it's more than just a party, it's a symbol that marks the 'end of an era'! But do you know just how far back it goes? Hint: it's almost as old as marriage itself!

How It All Started

While the exact origin of the bachelor party concept is a bit of a mystery, the first records of its existence date back to the 5th century B.C. Of course, it wasn't anything like the bachelor parties we have today. The ancient Spartans celebrated the groom's last night as an unmarried man, with a feast and toasts on his behalf. As for the tradition itself, the explanation as to why it actually started it quite simple. In the olden times, arranged marriages were pretty common. This means that the bride and groom were technically single until the wedding, so celebrating the groom's last night as a single man represented the end of an era and it was also a good opportunity for elders to advise and prepare him for married life.

If you're wondering why we mentioned just the groom, it's because bachelorette parties established themselves as a thing a lot later, around the 60s, when the sexual revolution came around. Before the 19th century, women had versions of pre-marriage parties, but they weren't focused on celebrating the last nights of the unmarried life but more on preparing for it. For example, in Ancient Greece, women joined their relatives and friends in paying tribute to Artemis - the goddess of childbirth and protector of young girls. Later, the festivities were limited to a bridal shower that had the purpose of acquiring gifts for the new home.

The term bachelor initially referred to a young knight in training, and it was only attributed to describe an unmarried man, in the 14th century in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. As for the bachelor party, it was first used in the Scottish publication Chambers's Journal of Literature in 1922, to describe a jolly old party. For a long period of time, these parties involved a formal dinner, usually hosted by the groom's father or his best man, with toasts to the groom and bride.

The Legendary Bachelor Party

In 1922, Emily Post (yes, the famous etiquette expert) described bachelor parties in a hilarious commentary as: "Popularly supposed to have been a frightful orgy, and now arid as the Sahara desert and quite as flat and dreary, the bachelor dinner was in truth more often than not, a sheep in wolf's clothing. [...] The groom's farewell dinner is exactly like any other 'man's dinner' [...] Usually there is a music of some sort, or 'Neapolitans' or 'coons' who sing, or two or three instrumental pieces, and the dinner party itself does the singing. Often the dinner is short and all go to the theater."

But that wasn't the case with all bachelor parties of that era. The now infamously famous Herbert Barnum Seeley bachelor party in 1896 featured the first known version of the whole strippers at your bachelor party tradition. The party supposedly featured a 17-course dinner, dancers handing off gifts to the guests and the famous belly dancer Little Egypt was supposed to do a spectacular number topped with a nude pose. The rumors of potential nudity started to circulate and after a few hours, the party was shut down by the police. Herbert Barnum Seeley was charged with indecency but just how lewd the party got was never fully exposed. However, that must have been quite the epic party, right?

Bachelor parties have grown over time into the version we all know and love, of fun activities, drinking, lap dances, and all-together memories of an awesome bro-night. The event takes different names depending on the country it's held in, but the principle stays pretty much the same. In the UK, Ireland, and Canada, they're called stag parties, while in Australia, it's called the buck's party.

This long-honored tradition is one thing all men are looking forward to, and we can help you plan the best one! No matter what type of party you'd like to have, we're here to offer you the best packages on activities, hotel bookings, and much more!

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