Bridal Bird Mailbag: What’s the Deal With Mancations?


Yesterday was insane (yet in a stroke of good fortune, it was the day before I had to give up cursing for Lent) which means it’s time to get lazy with the blogging: that is, it’s time to hop into the mailbag. Today’s email comes from dear friend Alan, a reporter here in D.C. (who hails from Miami and who, for the purpose of this story it is important to understand, has a nice, comfy free bed in that city any time he returns home.)

He writes:
I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I have a wedding-related question for you, given that you’ve deemed yourself worthy enough to give to yourself the title of wedding expert.
So I’m a groomsman in a wedding in March in Miami. It’s at a lovely little church in Coral Gables, right across the street from the Biltmore Hotel. Some of the groomsmen have decided it would be a good idea to get a suite in the Biltmore for us to stay in the night before the wedding. The plan–from what I can gather–is to hang out at the hotel the night before, have some drinks at the bar, sleep there and then wake up in the morning and saunter over to the 1 p.m. wedding. My question is this: WHY!?!??!?! Are we going to get many-pedis [sic] or whatever the hell you call them? Are we going to giggle all night, wondering who is going to look the best in the tux (as if that’s up for debate)? Sigh. Tell me I’m not the only one subjected to this odd ritual.
My undying gratitude to the coolest chick I know,
[OK, technically that signature line might not have been in his email, but whatever.]

Dear #1 Bridal Bird Fan,
There, there. It’s ok. You’ve swallowed your pride and come to the right place. I believe that men are starting to “go bitch” about weddings, organizing little outings in the vein of bachelorette spa day parties and such, that far exceed what our fathers’ generation considered acceptable: getting plowed on whiskey while watching some go-go boot-wearing chick named Candy work a pole. While I’m tempted to snicker at the fact that men are now having to deal with the whole “Hey let’s dump a bunch of money pointlessly!” thing for pre-wedding events, as girls have had to do since time immemorial, I have to concede that it reeks.
The coolest chick you know,
Bridal Bird

It turns out that the Wall Street Journal took this issue up a while back, in a Mark Oppenheimer piece called “Boys Gone Not So Wild.” In it, men talk about bachelor parties at which they trade strip clubs for wine tasting trips to Napa, salmon fishing, and trying scrambled quail egg at pricey New York restaurants. The Boston Globe reported last summer that it’s becoming more commonplace for bachelor parties to entail jetting off to Las Vegas or Nantucket. We call these ‘mancations.’ In that they appear to emphasize lavish spending for lavish spending’s sake, they are ridiculous and they are probably not going anywhere. Let’s just hope you gents don’t have to start wearing rhinestone-bedazzled T-shirts that say “Groomsman” while you teeter around Napa sampling pinot.


11 Responses to “Bridal Bird Mailbag: What’s the Deal With Mancations?”

  1. I-66 Says:

    First of all, you should set up a swear jar in which you have to drop a quarter each time you slip up. Hang out with me a little bit and I guarantee you’re going to lose some money.

    Second of all, I’m glad I don’t have to be in any weddings anytime soon. I think I vomited in my mouth a little when I read the above.

  2. Bridal Bird Says:

    We have a swear jar (sort of)! Effective today I’ve got to fork over a buck to my fiancé for every slip-up. Based on the way the morning has gone at work I’ll be keeping him in bubblegum card money clear through ’til Easter.

  3. Mary Ellen Says:

    This is a hardship? A room at the Biltmore? Has he seen their pool? I say he should suck it up, order a couple of mojitos, look for liposuction scars on the ladies, and have a good time. Jesus.

  4. mb Says:

    My first question would’ve been: is this for the groom, or for a few of the groomsmen who decided this would be a great use of their cash? If it’s for the groom, he’s excited about it, and Alan can afford it – go for it. If it’s just the groomsmen coming up with this idea, then I think he should feel free to skip it.

  5. Arjewtino Says:

    This is abhorrent behavior. When I marry Natalie Portman someday, my bachelor party will consist of manventures like skydiving and eating at Red Lobster.

  6. andrea Says:

    Rhinestone-bedazzled T-shirts! I would die laughing. The indignity.

  7. 6 Black Tie Weddings in 1 Year!!! Says:

    Mancations are a freaking nightmare. One bride I know is making the groom-to-be sign a contract before going on his Chicago Bachelor Party. No Strippers of any sort and (duh, no cheating). If he breaks the contract she gets the house (though he will still pay 3/4 of the mortgage), the dog and the new BMW.

    My fiance will be signing a similar contract before he is “allowed” to go. “Allowed” meaning there will be no extra commentary from me about what sort of consequences might lay ahead if he choses to be a bastard.

  8. Shannon Says:

    You see, unless you do something really expensive, that means you hate the bride and/or groom. I’ve noticed that simple bachelor/hen parties have gotten ridiculously out of hand.

    Best bachelorette party I ever went to was a bunch of girls hanging out in a house, singing karaoke, telling dirty stories and getting roaring drunk. Cost us about $20 a head and was way more fun than shelling out for a pretentious spa weekend.

  9. Victim (Alan) Says:

    I thought I’d clear up a couple points regarding this “mancation”:

    – While this is the brainchild of one of the groomsmen, the groom has enthusiastically embraced it and will be there.

    – Part of the reason I’m so distraught by this idea is that it is not the bachelor party. We did that in Vegas a few weeks ago. Does that bit of information propel this into the realm of excessive male bonding? Sure, the Nationals play the Marlins that day in a Spring Training game, but that’s at 1 p.m., leaving us about 21 empty hours before the wedding.

  10. bachelor party Says:

    its common for guys nowadays to plan large destination bachelor parties such as Montreal, and why not? they deserve it. For many it becomes bigger than the wedding itself!

  11. Football, Brisket, and Strippers, Oh My! « Bridal Bird Says:

    […] we speak, my fiance is en route to Texas for his bachelor party weekend–his mancation as it were. I’m keeping myself deliberately fuzzy on the details, but it will apparently […]

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