When Patrick Carone, 35, clicked on the e-mail announcing plans for his friend’s bachelor party, he was expecting a blueprint for a sordid Vegas jaunt, or perhaps a steakhouse bash in NYC, with a bevy of beauties on the side. Instead, he was invited to “join us in a relaxing weekend of fishing, light hiking, even barbecuing!”
Carone, who is admittedly “more of the traditional-bachelor-party kind of guy,” was crestfallen.
He frantically scanned the e-mail again for the words “strippers,” “steakhouse” or “Vegas,” but only found “hike,” “upstate NY” and “bug spray.” To be fair, the guys did manage to take shots, sort of: Their outing at the Catskill Pheasantry this past weekend involved skeet shooting, where the group fired off shotguns at clay discs for two hours, leaving some of the guys with bruised shoulders — and egos.
“A bachelor party is a rite of passage for guys,” protests Carone, the entertainment director at Maxim. “When else can a group of guy friends cut loose like this, in what is the last free pass society hands us?”
But Carone is fast becoming part of the minority — and he risks being left behind at the strip club, thanks to a shifting mindset among men who cite a “been there, done that” mentality, financial fatigue and a new distaste for raunchier activities that don’t fit into their lives. In a June poll by wedding Web site the Knot, more than half of the female respondents reported that their fiancés are planning low-key affairs for their bachelor parties — activity-oriented celebrations or a simple dinner and drinks.
“The cliché that all bachelor parties need booze and women is quickly becoming extinct,” says Chris Easter, founder of the go-to site for grooms, the Man Registry.
As men get married older — the average age for a groom in the US has risen from 24 to almost 29 in the past 30 years — Easter says, “They’ve got the college lifestyle and partying out of their system.
Their interests have changed, and they don’t require a night of binge drinking to say goodbye to their single life. It means that a dinner with friends is an ideal alternative to doing 15 shots of whiskey and not remembering the night.”