It’s a tradition as old as time that precedes a wedding. The Bucks Party is practically a thing within its own right, often attracting more excitement than the big day itself. Despite being an honoured rite-of-passage in countries across the globe, these celebratory events come in all shapes and sizes. Some people opt for a private and intimate affair, whereby the buck’s closest mates might just have a couple of beers at the local on a Friday night. Other people choose to go all out, throwing an outrageous event that involves extensive alcohol consumption, multiple paychecks and plenty of late-night debaucheries.
While it’s a custom upheld by dudes around the world, have you ever stopped to consider why? Of course, every guy loves hooking into the bevvies and spending quality time with his mates but which genius actually came up with the concept of a final hurrah?
In the beginning
You might be surprised to learn that the idea of a bucks party was born in the 5th century – It was even referenced in the Oxford Dictionary way back then! The tradition was introduced by Spartan soldiers, who hosted dinners and proposed a toast in honour of the man-of-the-hour. These events were generally held at the groom’s family home and involved an elaborate banquet dinner, complete with a black-tie dress code, speech from the father of the groom and a pledge of loyalty from the groom to his brothers-in-arms. Despite what many of today’s bucks parties would lead you to believe, these generous feasts were a very sophisticated, refined and elaborately grandeur occasion. Instead of being viewed as “a final night of freedom”, these celebrations were a buoyant affirmation of solidarity.
The night before the big day was generally reserved for a rehearsal dinner for the hundreds of wedding guests at the mother-in-law’s country club, which is why the bucks parties were held around 8 – 10 weeks before the ceremony. While the invitation list often included the soon-to-be-wed’s nearest and dearest, these lavish dinners were also a social-climbing effort. There was an unspoken understanding that the more notable people you had at your bucks party, the more fruitful and blessed your married life would be. The father-of-the-groom generally took control to invite every well-respected, highly-esteemed or recognisable figure in their circle of friends to attend the dinner – whether the groom knew them or not!
Oh, how the times change!
The Middle Ages
Thanks to plenty of movie blockbusters, pre-wedding celebrations reached their peak in the mid-1900s. This era is when the term “Bucks Party” was first coined, and from here, the events gradually grew more and more boisterous. A string of 70s and 80s Hollywood comedies painted a pretty ridiculous and raucous idea of what the perfect bucks party looked like, and the male-dominated ritual soon became synonymous with humiliating the buck, intimate lap dancing and excessive drinking and partying. As the events increased in size, rowdiness and length, the associated price tags began to skyrocket.
Men were no longer using the occasion to mark their devotion to their mates, instead using this as an opportunity to let loose, forget their adult responsibilities and throw any sense of reason out the window. The demographic of attendees also shifted, with appearances from older and respected members of the family a very rare occurrence. Some soon-to-be-grooms even held multiple bucks events, catering to all the different people in their lives.
This period is also when the notion of “what happens at a bucks party stays at a bucks party” was born – which is probably a wise idea considering the shenanigans that were going down.
Today, bucks parties come in just about every shape and size. While some bucks still uphold the tradition of lingerie-clad strippers and booze-fuelled antics, Wicked Bucks has seen somewhat of a shift away from the narrative of a night involving a tiger, a baby and Mike Tyson (The Hangover, we’re looking at you!).
A popular option for modern day bucks parties is a destination celebration. Instead of just sharing a few beers at the local pub on a Friday night, many soon-to-be-grooms are whisking their nearest and dearest away to far flung cities across the globe. The one-night affairs have grown to sprawl over multiple days, sometimes even lasting weeks at a time. These extended getaways are not just an opportunity for the buck to spend quality time with his mates, it’s also a great way to escape some of the last minute wedding stress!
More and more guys are also choosing to throw a celebration that reflects who they are. With Wicked Bucks it might be a week of action-packed snowboarding in New Zealand. It could be a sophisticated weekend of winery tours, museum visits and fine dining. Or maybe it’s an excuse to get their adrenaline fix through skydiving, jet boating, bungee jumping or go-karting. We customise bucks celebrations to suit dudes from all walks of life!
While these bucks celebrations are tied to cultures around the world, not everyone refers to the pre-wedding ritual as a “bucks party”. Residents of the UK, Commonwealth countries and Ireland generally know the tradition as a “stag do” or a “stag party”, while people in the US see the event as a “bachelor party”.
The rise of bucks parties has also seen an increase in the prevalence of bachelorette parties, a celebration held for the woman who is about to get married. Also referred to as hens parties or stagettes, these pre-wedding events shot to popularity with the rise of feminism in the 1980s. Just like the male version, these fun bashes are marked in a variety of different ways. There has even been an increase in the number of couples combining their bucks and bachelorette celebrations into one epic party.
Whether it’s a buck, stag or bachelor celebration, it’s the ultimate way to shower your mate in a whole lot of fun-loving before he enters the next stage of his life – and Wicked Bucks has all your party needs covered!