If you're in a bridal party, pre wedding events may also include an engagement party, rehearsal dinner, or any number of appointments.
So while the "Big Day" is proceeded by lots of "little days" to get everyone in the mood for canapés and champagne toasts, I will say that above all else the Bachelorette party is my favourite!
I love everything about bachelorette parties. I love planning them, I love the idea of a bunch of women celebrating a friend, I love the raunchy games, the occasional happy tears, and the seemingly endless potential for fun.
Above all though, I love the look on the bride's face mid-way through the night when all the wedding planning stress has melted away and she's just focused on enjoying HER night (without all the decorum of a shower).
having planned a few (ahem: five.. and climbing) bachelorette parties in my day, I want to give you the tools for success to make sure your friend has an INCREDIBLE time!
Here are my 5 tips for planning a great bachelorette party!
1) Get feedback from the bride
Congratulations! You've been selected to plan the bachelorette party!
You may be a bridal party member or just a close personal friend; either way you have been charged with planning the "last night out" for one special lady who JUST wants to forget what her future-mother-in-law said about the invitation card stock last Tuesday.
Before you call a 1-800 line for sexy men who bare it all, check in with the bride and see what their vision is for their party.
We all like to unwind and celebrate in our own way. Your bride may want to dance on a bar somewhere, or may just want to relax at a cottage. She may want to grab a fancy lunch somewhere and get mani-pedi's with a few close friends! Don't start planning until you've checked in on her desired level of fun.
Don't go this alone! Once you've got the guest list, enlist help from a couple of guests to arrange the festivities.
This could be anything from delegating someone to book the restaurant, to having someone bring decorating supplies. The last bachelorette I helped plan, one of the guests took it upon themselves to have a snapchat filter set up for the evening!
A word of caution though: keep your party planning committee small! It's better to coordinate with just a few than have too many cooks in the kitchen.
And speaking of coordinating...
3) Coordinate with the groomsmen
If at all possible, reach out to the groomsmen (or whoever is throwing the bachelor party) and figure out what their plans are.
You can do this for two reasons:
- It's nice for the two parties to be on the same day so no one is stuck at home wondering what the other is out doing
- You can make sure your parties won't overlap on locations!
It's especially nice for the parties to take place on the same evening if your friend group happens to have a lot of couples in it. That way everyone is giving up the same night/weekend/week for pre-wedding festivities, rather than multiple weekends.
4) Consider costs
Before you finalize your plans, make sure that you aren't blowing the budget. Most bachelorette parties work because all the guests share costs. If you're planning a $800 dollar weekend and half the attendees are in school and not working, that's not very fair!
Try and find ways to make it as economical as possible, or split up the day into multiple activities so people can attend just a few of the events to drive down their costs.
Just remember: The bride shouldn't be covering anything, it's her party!
5) Have a skeleton plan
Since this is a big event that usually has a lot of people, the last thing you want is to have a rigid schedule.
It's good to have a few things (dinner reservations, limo pick up time, activity start time, etc) that are firm, but if you don't get to the second or third game that you had planned it's really not the end of the world.
Read the room, appreciate the vibe and don't schedule down to the minute! Leave room for spontaneity, after all it IS a party!
If you follow these tips (especially tip #1!) you're sure to organize a fabulous night for your beloved bride!
Before I wrap up here are a few things I've done at bachelorettes that were a great success!
- "Mad Hatter Tea Party" Theme - everyone MUST wear a hat, but the rest of the outfit is up to you! (no horrible one sized fits all t-shirts covering up your dress!)
- Raunchy gifts - go all in on something a little risque, or have everyone buy cheap and hilarious underwear for the bride
- Timeline of photos - have everyone supply you with photos of the bride before the event, print them out and then have fun trying to put them in chronological order! (bonus points if all guests are also featured)
- Toasts to the bride - grab the bubbly (and maybe some kleenex) and have each guest share a memory or say something nice about the bride. Try and do this before you start putting makeup on because it can be a cry fest (albeit a lovely one)
- Fancy dinner in a casual location - having a cottage bachelorette party? Tell everyone to bring a formal outfit with them and do a fancy sit down dinner on the deck. Take pictures all dressed up in your remote location, it's fun and charming!
- Wine tours - I mean, can you go wrong?
Your turn!!! What is your ideal bachelorette party, or what did you do for yours? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.
I for one, hope to be dancing the night away somewhere with a bunch of friends, after spending the day with my closest few doing something relaxing.
PS: If you liked this post, check out these posts!