The bachelorette party is a long-held tradition with mixed views on what it should look like. Some women think of it as a night of debauchery, with copious amounts of adult beverages and giggles. Other women prefer a night that’s lower key and less risqué, with lots of girl bonding and sweet memories.
Overall, there are no rules in the game of bachelorette parties. But remember, this is about the bride and what she will enjoy, so try to put yourself in her shoes and throw the best bachelorette party you possibly can, catered to your bride’s unique personality. Here’s a helpful guide to get you started.
While there’s no wrong time to throw a bachelorette party, tradition says that it should be roughly 3-4 weeks before the big day. This will give your bride plenty of wedding planning space before she will be more than ready to decompress, which is what this party is all about. It will also allow enough leeway for her to fully recover, especially if things get a bit rowdy.
Though the party itself should be a few weeks before the wedding, you should start planning in advance. A good rule of thumb is to start planning about 4 months out.
This will give you plenty of time to figure out logistics, like dates, times, who to invite, activities, food and drink, etc. Remember that a party doesn’t have to be elaborate to be fun, so make sure you keep the bride in mind through all phases of planning and consult with her on anything you aren’t sure about.
Decide a Location
This will largely depend on the type of party you’re throwing for the bride. If it’s a night out on the town, you might start out at a local bar or someplace that serves both drinks and dinner, so everyone can eat.
Then you can pub crawl until you reach your ultimate destination. You can wing it or map out the whole night. Mapping it out will ensure you hit all the favorite hot spots and allow you to call ahead so that your bride-to-be gets the VIP treatment at each stop.
Some brides prefer a more low-key approach to partying and may want to do some kind of activity instead of going to a bar. The location will be determined by the activity. Some brides might want dinner with the girls and perhaps a live concert. Other gals like to be pampered at a spa or do something offbeat, like explore a city or hit up a comedy club.
There’s also no rule that says a bachelorette party has to be at night, either. You can plan a day of it and do something fun and outdoorsy or have a destination weekend with some great hikes somewhere. Your planning mantra should be, “Whatever the bride-to-be wishes, is my command!”
Set the Date
Once you figure out a location and any activities you want to go down, you can set the date. If the excursion requires reservations or tickets or any sort of advance booking, you’ll want to do that at least 2-3 months ahead of time.
This is especially important if you opt to throw the party somewhere swanky that books up fast, or if you plan something during busy times of the year, like summer.
Who to Invite?
A bachelorette party is different than say, a bridal shower. Most of your guests will be wedding guests too, but keep in mind that you can invite non-guests as well. Just make sure that you’re clear and upfront so there are no hurt feelings anywhere.
Done right, a bachelorette party can be a great opportunity to include important people in the festivities that may not be able to make the wedding.
Keep in mind that the more people you invite, the more hectic it can get. You want the bride-to-be’s experience to be stress-free, so generally, it’s a good rule of thumb to keep the circle fairly small, if you can get away with it.
Whatever the venue and activities you decide on to pamper your bride-to-be, come up with some games to play, to help keep things fun and lively. Scavenger hunts are popular and make for great memories if you’re doing a pub crawl.
You can do a groom quiz and test the bride-to-be on just how well she really knows her future spouse. This game does double-duty as an ice breaker, especially if you have a few people at the bachelorette that perhaps don’t know the bride well (like family of the groom).
Ultimately, the first rule of throwing the best bachelorette party is that there are no rules. Other than what your bride-to-be decides, of course. As long as you keep her wishes front and center, you really can’t go wrong. Happy bachelorette planning!