Staging a Stag Do

Staging a Stag Do

Staging a Stag DoGone are the days of the groom’s mates getting him well and truly plastered at some sleazy strip joint for the stag party. The trend now is to head off for a day of boy only fun, taking in a raft of activities that the ladies often don’t like to partake of.

Some groups turn the traditional stag night completely on it’s head, and head off for a weekend or longer – we’ve known the odd group to jet off to the Islands or Australia for a week of unashamedly “man time”.

When you start to investigate options other than the local pub or someone’s backyard, there are heaps of options to choose from. The more sedate can hire a mini van complete with driver and head off for a day of wine tasting amongst some of New Zealand’s best vineyards, or perhaps hire some cycles and pedal your way along some of the finest cycle tracks, taking in the amazing scenery our country has on offer.

Sporty types will love Break One Clay Target Sports in Arrowtown where professional instructors and one-on-one tuition could see you as NZ’s Next Top Gun! They offer laser clay and clay target shooting, or a combination of both, and groups are their speciality, no matter how large your party is.

Petrol heads and adventure lovers will go nuts over Tongariro Quads who offer half day, full day or even two day adventures … not to mention paintball, Heli Biking, trout fishing and camping trips. They’ll also add in Canyon Golf or tailor make a package to suit, ensuring you have a truly action-packed time.

If it’s adrenalin you’re after, look no further than NZONE Skydive. It takes a certain kind of person to want to jump
out of a plane at 15,000 feet, plummeting to earth at around 200kph, but the buzz is incredible! Operating out of Rotorua and Queenstown, NZONE Skydive are celebrating 21 years of skydiving and boast over 180,000 tandem jumps to date.

A freefall photographer allows you to take home the most comprehensive photo pack of high resolution images, DVD video, various prints and postcards as well as a jump certificate for the brag book. Their new plane holds up to 18 people making it the largest skydiving plane in Australasia, and allowing nine mates to jump at once (most others allow 3!). For those who do chicken out and prefer to stay on the ground, there’s lots to keep you occupied while you wait for the others to land – two life size chess boards, giant Jenga and Connect 4, a café, and more.

Water lovers will have a blast with Amada Cruises in Auckland. Enjoy a fun-packed three-hour cruise onboard Olympic Spirit, a 72ft catamaran. You’ll cruise to a sheltered bay where jet skis and sea biscuit will be at your disposal. You can fish with the onboard rods, or relax on the sunny decks or in one of the lounges. Music is piped throughout the vessel, the licensed bar is open for the duration of the cruise, and bikini girls can serve you drinks!

If you have no fear of heights, why not prove your manlihood with an afternoon at Rocket Ropes, Auckland’s newest adrenalin pumping attraction. There are two separate courses comprising four levels of intense and demanding high rope activity. They also boast New Zealand’s only powerfan long drop – a freefall drop
of some five stories that will really test your metal. Ripper Zippers provides 120m of whizzing fun as you launch from a 12m platform to an elevated stage at Treasure Island Golf. If that’s not enough, perhaps the Giant Swing will get you going, either solo or with a friend. Once strapped in, you’re winched slowly to around 12m before being dropped and allowed to swing. The acceleration rush is incredible! The High Ropes themselves are a series of challenging and creative aerial activities that tests both physical and mental reserves. There are two courses and two towers, four height levels and over 50 aerial activities including two giant flying foxes. This really is a day to bring out the man in you!

Ryan Greenspan, a professional paintballer from San Diego, reckons: “The field is awesome, it’s one of the better ones I’ve seen”. He’s talking about Lock and Load Paintball in Auckland, designed and run by professional paintballers. Themed scenario fields include a western town, graveyard, urban scene, UFO
crash site and WW2 site, amongst others. These fields cater to recreational, speedball and milsim paintballers, and there are more coming in 2012! Airsoft, for those who don’t know, allows participants to shoot round non-metallic pellets launched via replica firearms. Gameplays vary, but often include short-term skirmishes, organised scenarios, military simulations and historical reenactments – it’s like being at war or in the police force!

Wild on Waiheke is a multi-activity venue situated in beautiful vineyards on Waihke Island. They offer activities such as archery and laser claybird shooting. We love that they have their own brewery on site so you can mix some fun time with a sampling of boutique beers and their own wines. An on-site team building company offer a range of packages for groups.

There are days I wish I was a bloke … mind you, there’s nothing stopping us girls partaking in these activities! ♥

Calling all Spartans – Stag Night Etiquette

Calling all Spartans – Stag Night Etiquette

SpartansBy Mike Quartley

Images: Brad Johnston

The bachelor party goes back much further than you’d expect. It’s rooted in ancient history, as early as the 5th century BC. It’s believed that the ancient Spartans were the first to make a celebration out of the groom’s last night as a single man with Spartan soldiers holding a dinner in their friend’s honour and making toasts on his behalf.

So, you’ve been given the honour of throwing the groom a bachelor party. You might think this is going to be as easy as 1, 2, 3 …

1. Get a group of guys together
2. Drink alcohol
3. Head to a strip club.

But to plan a truly amazing bachelor party that the Spartans would be proud of, and still have the groom talk to you afterwards, you’ll need to take some time to carefully plan and execute the landmark event.

The Invite List – The first thing you need to do is to build the invite list, to guarantee you include everyone. This should be done with the groom’s input (this will be his first and only input). Keep in mind the bride’s family too – brothers, cousins and father, although the father may only wish to join in for the less accountable parts of the party. This is why you need the grooms input – he’ll direct you on whether the guests are appropriate to attend or not … he knows what you’re like and what type of shindig you’re likely to put on!

There’s no limit to the number of people to invite, but the average is normally around 15-25 guys. This also makes it easier for events to be planned (we’ll get into those soon) and, if you decide to head out to bars at some point, you’ll have more success of being let in if you’re a manageable sized group, rather than a dominating/intimidating posse.

The Budget – This will be based on what you decide to do and where you decide to do it! More and more guys are having their stag parties abroad, with Las Vegas as the number one destination of choice – if you’ve seen the movie “The Hangover” you’ll know what I‘m talking about! Australia is also a growing destination for stag parties. It’s fairly common to have guys on the guest list who live overseas these days and Aussie can be a good middle ground for everyone to meet up at …for a night to remember … or possibly never speak of again!

In the past you could throw together a Bachelor Party for around $100.00 each. Sadly those days have long gone! To truly have a great Stag event your budget is more realistically $150.00 – $200.00 PLUS each.

What To do – The choices here are endless … there’s paintball, go-carting, skeet shooting, fishing, water-skiing, golf, off-roading (4X4 or quad bikes), lawn bowls, ten pin bowling etc … You are only limited by your imagination! If you do get really stuck for ideas check out where you’ll find up to 5,000 ideas!

What do you do to the groom? As this is his last official night as a single man, it’s only fair that he’s put through a few activities and embarrassed, just so he remembers just how great his mates are to him. Notice I said “embarrassment” … not absolute humiliation/stupidity that could cost him either his wife-to-be or his job! The angle we’re after here is good clean fun! Dares, pranks and a cracker costume are all that’s required. Just try and be original … we’ve all seen the Borat swimwear and, although it still gets a cringe laugh, it’s been done. You could theme the bachelor party so everyone has to dress up!

The one question I think everyone asks when they hear there’s a stag party is: “Is there going to be a stripper?” You’ll know whether the groom is cool with the idea or not, there’s no written rule that you have to have one … but clear it with the groom before booking. Remember the bride’s father may be attending, so caution is advised.

Do It Right – There’ are a couple of house rules for every bachelor party:

Aim to take care of the money side of things in advance – once you know the budget get the guys to transfer the money into your account so you’re not left chasing guys up weeks after the event. If you’ve lined up events, see if you can pay a few days beforehand, so once you get there it’s all smooth running and not an Eftpos marathon.

Remember to sort out your transport, too. Pre-book taxis or make sure you have a sober driver on hand for your travels. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will also keep things moving along so you’re not all standing on the side of the road waiting.

And, lastly, make sure everyone knows where they’re spending the night, especially if you’re in another city!

Tidy these things up, plan ahead and you’ll have a successful party. Everyone will have a whole lot of fun, including the stag … if he manages to get off the pole you handcuffed him to! ?

The most famous Bachelor proposes

The most famous Bachelor proposes

bachelorJason Mesnick, from America’s hit show The Bachelor, successfully proposed to girlfriend Molly Malaney at the stunning Kohara Lodge in Queenstown. Jason had initially picked Melissa Rycroft in favour of Molly, but  true love has obviously won out.

Kohara Lodge, one of 30 exclusive villas managed by NZ’s Touch of Spice as part of their Private Villa Collection, was where Jason and Molly had their overnight date during the last series of The Bachelor, and holds a unique  place in their hearts.

Jason had decided he wanted to propose in New Zealand and ideally at Kohara Lodge. “I love that house. It’s our place,” he said. Molly’s father Mike commented: “Molly was very surprised; she hadn’t expected it to happen right then even though we all knew it was a matter of time. She was real excited.” Apparently Jason sent Molly out to get her nails done and then called Molly’s parents to get their blessing.

Jacqui Spice, founder and director of Touch of Spice, said: “We are thrilled Kohara Lodge is so special to Jason and Molly. We offer our congratulations on their engagement and would be delighted to assist them with their  special day via our wedding planning company Dream Designers. We also hope we will see them back at Kohara Lodge for their honeymoon!”

Molly and Jason both loved NZ and especially Queenstown. “Seriously, one day we’re going to buy a place. I love it. New Zealand is awesome and Queenstown is the best of the awesome,” said Jason, while Molly said: “It’s so  beautiful and quaint, and the people are so friendly.”

If you fancy following in Jason and Molly’s footsteps, it’s worth bearing in mind that Touch of Spice manages a collection of exclusive private villas, retreats and luxury homes in some of New Zealand’s most sought after  destinations. The company also offers bespoke concierge services and has an acclaimed wedding and events division, Dream Designers. ♥

Images: Michael Thomas