A brotastic bacchanal in the Bahamas? Lap dances and lost weekends? Quel vulgaire. The modern stag keeps it low-key and local.
Created by Alyson Bowman | The Connecticut Bride
Written by Robert DiGioia | The Connecticut Bride
Stylist: Cindy Sanchez Lark | Detaille Weddings & Events, Clinton
Hosts: Graduate New Haven + Blue Ox Axe Throwing, Wallingford
Photographer: Keith Claytor, TimeFrozen Photography, Hartford
Graduate New Haven, 1151 Chapel St., New Haven
Blue Ox Axe Throwing, 21B N. Plains Industrial Road, Wallingford
There’s an old SNL skit that divulges the mysterious, time-consuming luxuries behind the door of a public ladies’ room. The traditional bachelor party has never elicited such wonderment. The popular mind conjures lurid scenarios, excessive booze, and adolescent-bordering-on-felonious antics.
Confuting convention, The Connecticut Bride thought you’d like a glimpse inside a recent gathering of genteel young(ish) gentlemen, exercising their right to celebrate in that ephemeral window between “fiancé” and “husband.” So to the curious … fly, meet wall.
Mid-morning, a mobile glam squad helps put best faces forward. Doorbell Barbers will — you guessed it — come right to your doorstep, armed with lotions to lather and clippers to coif. Hot-towel treatments, beard trims, manicures and enticing aftershave are just some of the delightful options on the menu. The newly renovated Graduate Hotel in New Haven is the first stop on our natty lads’ fraternal adventure, where, after pampering, they enjoyed costume changes courtesy of Ferrucci Ltd., Pressed and Dressed and Tenth Street Hats.
Fueled with pretzels and bratwurst from the Graduate’s basement bar and lounge, Old Heidelberg, the groomsmen head to Wallingford for some razor-sharp banter.
Why toss darts when ax throwing provides true catharsis? To which owners of Blue Ox Axe Throwing will attest, as they encourage patrons to “throw away the weekend” at their ranges in Wallingford and Bridgeport. Two of the principals, Jerry Ferraro and Graham Kelley, actually conceived of the business while attending Kelley’s bachelor party in Minneapolis. The four-page liability waiver shouldn’t be a deterrent; ax masters are on hand to train and monitor, ensuring the safety of all participants.
The boys meet a new friend at Blue Ox, who proves as distracting as she was adept at woodchopper-wielding.
It’s back to the Graduate for a chill early evening of smooth smokes (outdoors, of course) from Miami Cigar & Company, and caramels courtesy of Sweet Lab Confections in Woodbury. And like most adult festivities, well-wishes and good memories are sealed with a raised glass or two. Luckily, Litchfield Distillery is on hand to share tumblers of straight and cask-strength bourbon. But not enough to impair a few spirited rounds of foosball.
And this is where we leave our civilized, affordable fête. No testosterone-fed fisticuffs, no embarrassing iPhone evidence. Of course, the night was yet to come…
Our Vendors & models:
Stylist Cindy Sanchez Lark, Detaille Weddings & Events, Clinton, detailleweddingsandevents.com
Host: Graduate New Haven, New Haven, graduatehotels.com/new-haven
Host: Blue Ox Axe Throwing, Wallingford, blueoxaxethrowing.com
Photographer: Keith Claytor, TimeFrozen Photography, Hartford, timefrozen.com
Groom: Frank Colón
Best man: Al Santangelo
Sweet Lab Confections (cinnamon cajitas and espresso caramels), Woodbury, sweetlabconfections.com
Doorbell Barbers (men’s hair and shave) Fairfield, doorbellbarbers.com
Miami Cigar & Company (cigars) Norwalk, miamicigar.com
Ferrucci Ltd. (suspenders), New Haven, ferrucciltd.com
John Casablancas Modeling & Acting Agency (Michaela Zemantic, Joshua Suriel-Montero, Wellington Bajana), Rocky Hill, @jcmodelsct, jcmodelsct.com
Litchfield Distillery (straight bourbon and cask-strength bourbon, featured drink: The Litchfielder), Litchfield, litchfielddistillery.com
Pressed and Dressed (suits), Guilford, pressedanddressed.com
Hair and makeup (female entertainer) Luscious and Co., Shelton; Liz Arrindell, lead makeup artist, and Ashley Mauro, hair stylist; lusciousandco.com
Riedel (Nachtmann Punk whiskey tumblers in gun metal), riedel.com/en-us
Groovy Groomsmen Gifts (axe party favors), Monroe groovygroomsmengifts.com
Tenth Street Hats (styles: Cashel, Windygates, Peyton and Timber), tenthstreethats.com