The Wedding PARTY
For some brides, the big party comes well before the wedding: her bachelorette night. In the past, only the groom got a last hurrah before tying the knot – the one to the noose around his neck, men often joke! Who says the guys get all the fun? For many women now, it’s a rite of passage to say sayonara to singlehood with a bachelorette party. It could be a G-rated, relaxing spa weekend in the mountains or a G-string, no holds barred visit to Vegas.
Let’s take on the bachelorette party planning using the same tactic as the shower with these essentials: who, what, when, where, why and how… as in how much
will you be paying.
As you read on, though, you’ll probably notice the why is not on the list below. Why you’re organizing the sendoff to si nglehood is to show the bride a good time. It’s also a great opportunity for her to enjoy a night or weekend with her closest gal pals. So keep the bride in mind through the entire planning process. Make sure the fes tivities stay in line with her interests and her comfort level.
Other ESSENTIAL sites:
WHO – Guest list
As you work on the guest list, you’ll want to consider each name carefully and decide whether they would be happy – or horrified – by the night’s itinerary. For example, if the bride has a particularly “sensitive” Aunt Hilda, you may want to leave her off the list to avoid future family controversy. The same is true if the bride’s under-21 sister is a bridesmaid. You could invite her to the more tame dinner part of the evening and continue to the rowdier locales without her.
WHAT – Theme/Style
Bachelorette parties can be a bit embarrassing… or they can be empowering, putting the confident bride in the spotlight with the guys’ attention squarely on her for the night. The idea is to have fun not to humiliate… so you need to use good judgment when deciding the theme.
If the bride is not up for a night at the bars and strip clubs, you could have a destination party at the beach with fruity drinks or an in-town sleepover with comfy pajamas. The gathering can also be event-based like catching a matrimony-themed Broadway touring show like Mamma Mia! or The Wedding Singer (go a bit naughtier with a local production of The Full Monty). If the bride is a sports nut, the bachelorette party would be a home run if it’s centered around a baseball game (draft beer, giant pretzels and guys in baseball uniforms – hello?!) or other sporting event.
WHEN – Date
Some bridesmaids try to save the additional travel expenses of a separate bachelorette weekend so they schedule her big night out to coincide with the wedding festivities. There’s a crucial piece of advice if this is your plan: do not
have the bachelorette party the night before the wedding. For one thing, you’ll probably all be attending the rehearsal dinner anyway and might have an early wake-up call on the wedding day for salon appointments. Either way, you cannot afford to subject the bride to a massive hangover on her wedding day if the bachelorette party will involve an evening of serious alcohol consumption. It’s just not wise, so at least plan to hold the festivities a few days before the ceremony. Or, back it up and throw the bachelorette party a month or so before the wedding to give her some “breathing” room between big events.
WHERE – Location
The options for a bachelorette party locale are as endless as your imagination. From the serene mountains to the laid-back beach, from the bustling city to the quiet country, your location can be an integral part of the theme, too.
Location is the single biggest factor to affect your costs, though, so be mindful of that. If you’re planning an out-of-town, weekend-long bash, you must factor in travel and lodging with the other party expenses. Many bachelorette parties are held in-town and can be a unique opportunity to “explore” the bride’s city from the back of a limo (or by another designated driver, if you’ll be drinking).
HOW MUCH - Budget
Other bridesmaids should help plan and pay for the soiree. Sometimes, each guest is also asked to chip in some money to cover the bride’s expenses – she shouldn’t pay a penny.
Unlike showers, no presents – just your presence – are needed for the bachelorette party unless you want to give the bride a gag gift or something related to the party’s theme.
The bachelorette party can offer the rare chance for the bride to really cut loose – if that’s her style. If not, be a true friend and honor her wishes to keep the event stripper-free. Give her a night to remember… for all the right reasons.
SIDEBAR: DID YOU KNOW?
In other countries, the hoopla is called a “hen party” (the guys’ version is the “stag party.”)