The MANual: Bachelor Party

The Argument Against Inviting The Dads To The Bachelor Party

Some people will tell you that it’s traditional to invite the bride’s father to the bachelor party—and that failing to so will be a big insult to the bride. We say no. It is not tradition. You don’t have to invite the bride’s father. In fact, we don’t think you should.

We don’t think you should invite the bride’s father, your father, the bride’s brother, your brother, any of your uncles or her uncles, your business associates, your lawyer, your accountant, or the guy who cleans your gutters. Unless you want to—in which case you absolutely should (especially the gutter guy, who really doesn’t get out enough).

You should only extend an invite to those people you actually want to be there. Because the whole point of a bachelor party is for you to relax and have fun with your friends. Later on, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to stress over what your father-in-law is thinking, or get embarrassed by something your own dad does.


The most obvious reason you don’t want either of your dads there is that sex will be involved. Not actual intercourse or anything (we assume), but the idea of sex. Whether you drop a bundle at a traditional strip club, hire some dancers for a private show, throw a Brazzers video marathon, or even just go to a bar and talk about girls, sex will be in the air.  

This sets up several unedifying scenarios:

  • You get to see your future father-in-law motorboating a 22-year old stripper’s breasts;
  • You get to see your own father staring, watery-eyed, at a closeup of a porn star’s o-face;
  • Both of them get to hear about that time you had sex with two girls, on molly, in an empty lecture room of your college’s science building;
  • You get to hear one (or both) of them brag about all the disco chicks they screwed back in the 1970s.

There are some things that can’t be unseen, some stories that can’t be unheard.

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Or alcohol. Or both.

While we don’t recommend over-drinking during your bachelor party, you’re probably going to want to drink something: beer at least, or single malt scotch, or fancy cocktails with names like Roasted Cherry Bourbon Smash or Death in the Afternoon. You might also want to light up a joint, take a few bong hits or pop various chemicals.

Even if your father and/or father-in-law is cool with that, do you really want to have them around? Part of the initial thrill of smoking pot, for instance, was the danger of your dad catching you. As for your father-in-law, you probably should assume that anything he sees will get back to his daughter, one way or another.

Worse, the elder folks may see this as an opportunity to relive the excesses of their own youth, which will put you in the position of having to take care of them. Do you really want to watch your father-in-law vomiting Negronis in the men’s room stall, or have to deal with your dad stripping to his undershirt and doing the Tootsie Roll in the middle of the dance floor?


Photo by Doug Koontz

This last one may seem minor, but it could slow your bachelor party roll. When the sound system is blasting, you want everyone to be in sync and enjoying themselves. That’s just never going to happen when you have people from an older generation there. It’s not their fault, they just grew up with a different set of tunes. So, even if they pretend to like the Spotify mix your best man put together—which is heavy on, say, Jay-Z, Kendrick and The Weeknd—you know they’re just tolerating it.

Our advice is to take them out for a guy’s dinner, where you can engage in manly banter without getting too far into dangerous topics.

If you feel you absolutely have to invite them, here’s hoping they have the good sense to politely decline. They’re mature, reasonable people after all. Maybe they’ll take one look at the invite and say “I’m too old for this shit.”

Bottom Line

You love your dad, and maybe even your father-in-law. But that doesn’t mean you should have them at your bachelor party, especially if it will prevent you from really cutting loose. 

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