What is the History of Bachelor Parties?

Bachelor parties have an interesting history. We tend to believe that bachelor parties are very modern because we rarely see portrayals of them in history. However, bachelor parties as a concept and in popular culture have changed many times over the millennia. 

How Did Bachelor Parties Originate?

To better understand the history of the bachelor party, we can first take a look at the word “bachelor.” Bachelor originally referred to a “young knight-in-training.” The word as we know it today was first used to refer to an unmarried man in The Canterbury Tales in the 14th century. Many centuries later in 1922, the term “bachelor party” was used in a journal of literature to describe a party.

Bachelor parties may seem modern, but they date back ages. In fact, we have record of bachelor parties taking place as far back as the fifth century B.C. During this time, Spartans would celebrate the groom on his last night as a single man by holding a dinner and making toasts about him.

Bachelor Party History in the United States

If we fast forward through time to the nineteenth century, Herbert Barnum Seeley, who was a grandson of P.T. Barnum, threw a party for his brother at a restaurant in New York City. Allegedly, the brothers hired a dancer who performed naked in the desserts. The party was so wild that it was dissolved by the police in the early morning. 

During the 1940s and 50s, there was a revival of the original Spartan bachelor party through a tradition called “gentlemen’s dinner.” This was often hosted by the father of the groom and it featured the same dining and toasting that the Spartans had done. These dinners were made for men to bond and celebrate the groom’s transition from single to married life.

It was only in the last few decades that the bachelor party truly became a party. As years passed, the standards for what a bachelor party could be and who could attend have become more flexible. This allows the groom to make their bachelor party the night that they have always dreamed of, regardless of what that might entail. While some grooms may still prefer the calm, formal dinners of years past, grooms with unique tastes or more exciting plans now have the opportunity for the spotlight as well.

Modern History of Bachelor Parties

Bachelor parties are not just parties or dinners anymore. There are so many activities that a groom can choose from to celebrate the end of his single life. More adventurous grooms may choose to do a sport of thrill activity with their wedding party. They could go snowboarding, skiing, jet skiing, golfing, deep-sea fishing, paintballing, or even playing a game of football in their own backyard. The beauty of these types of events is that they can get the attendees moving and provide ample entertainment without the need for extensive equipment or intensive planning.

Other grooms may prefer something more structured. They may want to attend a boxing match, a professional sporting event, a show, or even a play. These types of bachelor parties are great options for grooms who want a set schedule for their bachelor parties. This may because they want to fit a lot of activities into one day or because they simply want to have a definitive time to go home.

Of course, there are grooms that may want to make their bachelor party into a bachelor weekend. Parties like these have looser structures and give the attendees more time to breathe between activities. For example, the groom may want to do a getaway to a casino resort or they may want to go camping. At these types of parties, attendees can choose what they want to do. Some attendees may want to go shopping while others gamble at the casino or some may want to go bird-spotting while others go hiking. 

These are just a few examples of the types of bachelor parties that exist today. However, that isn’t to say that the standard night of partying isn’t still popular. In fact, many venues now offer exclusive packages to bachelors to make the night more special than simply going out to a bar. These venues are great for a groom that may want the traditional party but doesn’t want to settle for something commonplace.

Planning a Bachelor Party in Orlando and Miami?

Are you looking to plan a spectacular bachelor party but don’t know where to start? SHOTS Bar is the perfect place to plan a bachelor party in Orlando, Miami, & New Orleans. We offer VIP packages to our grooms to keep the party unique and tailored to their wants. Whether you are looking for great drinks and a good time or a party planned especially for you, you’ll find what you are looking for at SHOTS. To learn more about our bachelor party offerings, check out our brochure on our website.