The wedding season at Montaluce Vineyards where I manage the restaurant LeVigne is having its unofficial start this weekend. While I was mixing the bride's signature cocktail for the reception, a lovely purple hued pomegranate concoction, I was thinking of the men and their role in the wedding. Weddings are generally all about what the bride wants, and even though the man is certainly acutely aware of the repercussions of the day's events, he is not often involved in the bride's (and the other ladies involved) insane desire for the perfect day.
The big day for the groom is more often than not the bachelor party. Having never been a bachelor myself I will use the help of Thomas Mann, the eloquent author of Playboy's New Host & Bar Book from 1971 and of course, my own observations of men, booze and relationships. Mann says "Judgement day doesn't necessarily coincide with one's wedding day; it often occurs several nights before the nuptials are celebrated, during the trial by alcohol, the riotous rite identified as the bachelor dinner party." My idea of a the ideal bachelor party is one forged from some friends of mine who have a ritualistic male bonding session every year. Even though said ritual does not necessarily coincide with any upcoming nuptials it is nonetheless the ideal bachelor party. The event happens every year shortly before Christmas and has been fondly coined "Steaks and Strippers!"
The event started innocently enough as friends decided to go together to brave the holiday shopping expeditions for their ladies. Like a bachelor party; the celebration and good intentions of honoring the relationship, and the farer sex, went downhill after the second round of drinks. The Steaks and Strippers crew started with a plan to go shopping for the ladies. But of course, the gentlemen were hungry. As busy professionals they decided to meet at a restaurant. So; the Steaks and Strippers crew would meet at a steak house bar, to eat and fortify themselves for the shopping. Martinis happened. Wine and beer, then cigars, then shots... One can infer the progression. After the first year, and with the help of strategic planning and internet shopping the mall was completely eliminated from the day and the strippers were a permanent part of the equation. This kind of party seems like way more fun than the average wedding and definitely more fun than the average bachelorette party.
Having only been to bachelorette, not bachelor, parties. I can honestly say that I hate the bachelorette parties! Stuck with girls I don't know, drinking out of straws shaped like miniature penises, and aiding a drunk girl wearing slutty clothes and a veil covered in condoms is not my idea of a good time. I understand that facing a life with someone may be enough to induce bing drinking, in not only yourself but every friend and unfortunate relative you know. But really, does it have to be so awful for all involved?
I think the Steaks and Strippers gentlemen, who have their pseudo-bachelor party every year and Thomas Mann have it down. Bottom line; have a plan, hire a private room at a steak house, pre-arrange cocktails and wine (to help the budget), make sure everyone eats (ladies you know that none of you eat before your weddings and therefore are a wreck for your bachelorette party) starting with the second round of cocktails, and last but not least, be aware of the cost of your last night of freedom. The Steaks and Strippers crew, while honoring debauchery, did so with planning and forethought. Drivers are always used, a day off the next day is required and there is no “movie” like consequences.