So, if you’re feeling unsure about whether or not to invite someone to a stag party without inviting them to the wedding, keep reading!

Can You Invite Someone to a Stag Do and Not the Wedding? 

You may be wondering who should I invite to my stag do? It’s a tough situation when there is someone that you want to invite to the stag do but not necessarily come to the wedding. A lot of people think that a rule is if you are invited to a stag or hen do, you should be automatically invited to a wedding.

Many Reddit posts focus on this issue where people have been invited to the stag and then not the wedding. The answer is it depends on the relationship you have, with the person, the type of wedding you are having, and the budget. 

Understanding the Stag Do and Wedding Etiquette

Unraveling the intricate world of stag dos and wedding invitations might seem daunting at first, but don’t worry, we’re here to help! We’ll be your guide through these vital social events, making sure you’re clued up on the traditions and etiquette involved. So, get ready for a friendly journey into understanding these important rituals. Let’s kick off with one of the most legendary pre-wedding events – the stag do.

Defining the stag do and its purpose

A stag do a pre-wedding celebration that is often seen as the last night of freedom for the groom. It’s a chance for the groom to be and his closest friends and family to get together and have some fun before he gets hitched.

FUN FACT:The most popular stag do destinations include Las Vegas, Amsterdam, Prague, and Ibiza.

Explaining the significance of the wedding invitation

A wedding invitation is a chance for the couple who wish to get married to invite those closest to them. It serves as an invitation to the big day and is sent out to the wedding guest list with an RSVP expected.

Traditional expectations regarding stag do and wedding invitations

The stag do is traditionally organised by the groom or his best man. It’s normally kept as a surprise to the groom. The wedding invitation is normally organised by the couple as they work with a stationery company or order invites online for their wedding guest list.

Factors to Consider

Navigating the waters of relationship dynamics can be quite tricky when it comes to deciding who gets an invite to the stag do and the wedding. This is where understanding your relationship with every individual on your list becomes absolutely crucial. Let’s start by talking about the spectrum of friendships, which often range from those deeply-rooted bonds that began in the schoolyard to more recent pals you’ve just connected with in recent years. Not everyone might make the cut for the wedding, but the stag do could be a great fit for some.

Relationship dynamics

Different levels of friendship

One thing to consider when you decide whether to invite to the wedding, as well as the stag, is to consider the level of friendship with the person. For instance, some of your school friends are going to be at a different level from friends you have only known for a couple of years. Some of those types of friends are not necessarily essential to come to the wedding.

Close family members vs. friends

It’s also likely that some of your friends are going to be a different dynamic to close family members. The family are a must for the wedding invitation list and will be attending the actual wedding ceremony compared to some of your friends who you may want at the stag do.

Relationship dynamics.Different levels of friendship. Inviting family members to the wedding.

Co-workers and acquaintances

You may invite some of your co-workers and acquaintances to the stag do. But while you get on with these people, the relationship may need to be stronger for them to be part of the wedding invitation list. It all depends on the type of friendship you have with these people. After all, a co-worker may be one of your closest friends so they need to be invited to the wedding.

Co-workers and acquaintances: You may invite some of your co-workers and acquaintances to the stag do.

Size and budget constraints

Venue capacity limitations

Another factor to consider is the wedding venues. While some of the venues have a larger capacity, others do have a specific number you can go to. For instance, they may allow 40 just for the ceremony and a maximum of 70 for the reception. In that case, you may need to consider the guest list more carefully. Ensure you discuss these limits with wedding venues before you do arrange the event. 

Size and budget constraints.

Financial Considerations

You need to also think about what you can afford to spend when it comes to the wedding. After all, wedding venues, wedding accommodations and the evening celebration don’t come cheap. And if you need to pay out for another additional person, it will soon add up. Therefore, you need to consider how much is a person for the wedding and whether your budget could stretch to the intended number before you do invite any extras to the wedding as well as the stag.

Personal preferences and circumstances

Intimate vs. larger wedding celebration

You need to think about whether you would prefer personally a smaller or larger wedding celebration. There are benefits to both intimate does and larger weddings. For instance, an intimate affair is more personal to the couple and allows only the closest friends and family to come. It’s often cheaper and a lot less stressful to organise.

Personal preferences and circumstances. Intimate vs. larger wedding celebration.

Meanwhile, larger weddings are a lot of fun for everyone and a great reunion for some of those older school friends you haven’t seen in a while. They can be more costly though and a lot harder to organise.

Time constraints and logistical challenges

You may have a specific time constraint that you need to stick to when it comes to the wedding. For instance, you may want to get married in the next 6 months so might not have as big a budget. Also, the logistics of the wedding such as where it is going to be held can impact who you invite too. For instance, if you were going abroad, only your closest friends may come rather than acquaintances or co-workers.

PRO TIP:Delegate tasks to trusted friends to help with planning and logistics.

Communication is Key

Maintaining clear and candid communication is often the magic key to navigating sensitive decisions such as these. When you find yourself in a spot where you might invite someone to the stag do but not the wedding, it’s critical to approach the conversation with honesty and understanding. By sharing your thoughts and reasons, you’re giving them a chance to understand your perspective. Furthermore, gauging their expectations can be a constructive way to ensure both parties are on the same page.

But remember, while making these tricky decisions, always spare a moment to ponder upon their feelings too, because preserving your relationship beyond the wedding bells is equally significant.

Open and honest conversations

If there is a possibility that you are only going to be able to invite the friend to just the stag do, it’s important to be open and honest from the beginning. Tell them your reasons and explain why you want them to come to the stag but not the wedding.

Discussing expectations and feelings

It’s always worth asking the person what their expectations are regarding their wedding. You can then talk about what you and your wife-to-be are feeling and it gets everything out in the open.

Discussing expectations and feelings: It's always worth asking the person what their expectations are regarding their wedding.

Considering the individual’s feelings when making decisions

You also should consider how the individual may feel when making your decision. You don’t want to upset them and want to continue with the relationship even once you are married.

Inviting to the Stag Do Only

Navigating the delicate dance of wedding and stag do invitations can be tricky. Sometimes, due to various constraints like the size of the wedding, budget, or the nature of the event, you may find yourself in a position where you’d like to invite someone to the stag do but not to the wedding. This might be a tricky path to tread, but worry not! The upcoming sections will provide some guidance on how to handle such situations with sensitivity and tact. Whether it’s articulating the reasons behind the invitation, setting clear expectations, or exploring alternatives for those who can’t attend the wedding, we’ve got you covered!

Exploring the reasons behind such invitations

If you are going to invite to just the stag do, make sure you explain why this is the case. For instance, you might only be having a family wedding or a smaller intimate do. Or you might only have a set budget which won’t cover them for the wedding too.

Setting clear expectations from the beginning

You need to explain to the person from the beginning that while they can come to the pre-wedding party, they won’t be able to come to the wedding. Explain the cost of the wedding party and evening reception and ensure they understand and have clear expectations.

Setting clear expectations from the beginning. You need to explain to the person from the beginning that while they can come to the pre-wedding party.

Considering alternatives for non-wedding attendees

You could organise a pre-wedding event which still lets you celebrate with those who can’t come to the actual day. You can all still have an enjoyable time, whether you go to the pub, have a party at yours, have a meal out or a luxury stag do.

Considering alternatives for non-wedding attendees: You can all still have an enjoyable time, whether you go to the pub, have a party at yours, have a meal out or a luxury stag do.

Potential Challenges and Concerns

Even with the best intentions and clear communication, inviting someone to the stag do but not the wedding may present a few hurdles. It’s an approach that, although practical, could ruffle a few feathers and lead to potential misunderstandings. From addressing hurt feelings, dealing with misunderstandings, to managing the social dynamics during the stag do and wedding, the following sections will delve into these potential challenges.

Hurt feelings and misunderstandings

You may have to deal with some hurt feelings or misunderstandings regarding the invite to the stag do and not the wedding. The best thing you can do is explain clearly from the beginning and your reasons. 

Handling social dynamics during the stag do and wedding

It’s important to ensure everyone feels included regarding these events. Ensure everyone doesn’t go over excessive with alcohol at the stag do which potentially could cause arguments. And manage people’s expectations from the beginning.

TRAVEL TIP:Pack a small first aid kit with essential medications and supplies.


You need to have open communication with the person and be honest with them from the beginning if they can only come to the stag do and not the wedding. The decision depends on several circumstances. For instance, they may have a strained relationship with the bride-to-be or they may not have a strong enough relationship with the couple. Be honest and ensure they have a great time during the stag do. You can organise activities through stag do companies like Stagmadness to make it an epic event you will never forget.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some alternatives for non-wedding attendees?

If they can’t attend the wedding, why not plan a special meal for you all to enjoy? You could also go out to the pub for a few drinks to celebrate or even arrange a BBQ.

Should I expect the invitee to decline the stag do invitation?

They may get offended and decline the invitation. But the best thing you can do is be honest and explain your reasoning and hopefully, they will still come.

What if the invitee insists on attending the wedding?

While the decision is up to you and the bride-to-be, you could always invite them just to the wedding reception to appease them. 

Veronika Tomasikova

Stag expert since 2019 Veronika has dedicated herself to exploring and sampling all the adrenaline-filled activities, bars and clubs to ensure only the best make the cut! With over 3100 Bachelor Parties organised her know-how guarantees an Epic trip!