Your best friend has spent months planning their special day and now it's time to celebrate their upcoming nuptials with a bachelor/bachelorette party! This "last hurrah" with friends before getting married is a time-honored tradition that provides the perfect outlet for the groom- or bride-to-be to bond with their wedding party and have fun. Is your task to prepare for a bachelor/ette party? Here is a detailed guide to ensuring every detail is perfect for the upcoming gathering!
What Is a Bachelor/ette Party?
Bachelor and bachelorette parties are gatherings for the groom or bride. These events honor that person, celebrating their single life and sending them off into marriage. The party can last only one afternoon or spread to an entire weekend or more days.
Bachelor parties typically gather males, while females attend bachelorette events - but there is no hard-fast rule about who should attend, but we'll get to that a bit later on. The usual guest list includes ten to 15 people and focuses on family members and close friends.
It's a special event, so it's natural you have questions regarding the party organization. So here are some etiquette dilemmas that come up during the planning phase!
How Involved Should the Bride/Groom Be in Planning?
The bride and groom shouldn't be a part of the actual planning process. They have enough on their plate with the list of tasks related to the wedding day. Therefore, the organization of the parties falls on the maid of honor or best man.
Although the bride and groom shouldn't organize the parties, it's imperative to get their feedback. It's an event in their honor, so it should meet their expectations. Your responsibility is to convert their wishes into reality.
Who Gets Invited to a Bachelor/ette Party?
That's the part where you need to consult the guest of honor. The usual guest list includes family members and close friends. In addition, the bride or groom might want to call some childhood friends, other important people, or people close to their partner. While it's common for only females to attend the bachelorette party and vice versa, there's no specific rule. If it's the bride's wish to invite her best male friends, don't hesitate to call the guys!
Who Pays for the Party?
The general rule is that each attendee pays their share, which includes travel expenses, food, drinks, and other costs. Another customary thing is to pay the bride's share. It's common to divide it across all participants, so each attendee pays a small extra cost. Depending on the party plan, you could only pay a portion of the bride or groom's share.
Steps to Planning a Bachelor/ette Party
Preparation is crucial, so you want to set aside enough time for planning. Here are the steps to follow to ensure the organization process goes smoothly!
1. Figure Out What the Bride and Groom Want
Your first task is to consult the guest of honor regarding the party. They're probably expecting you to throw one, so there's no point hiding it. But you could hide the exact location or some surprises you prepared for the event.
The guest of honor is in focus, so try to figure out how they envision the party. Yoga retreats and spa days are great if the bride doesn't like to party hard. Would they like to stay in town or head to a destination they haven't visited before? Finally, should you plan the party the week before the wedding or earlier to give them more time to recover?
2. Pick a Location
Once you have the bride or groom's feedback, it's time to choose a destination. The chosen location will depend on the theme, but here are some ideas:
Schedule a weekend away. You could go to Vegas and party in casinos and on dance floors. Perhaps some beaches are close, or do you feel like heading to the countryside for hiking and horse riding is the right choice for the party? If you are going far, consider travel insurance if anything unpredictable happens.
Make it entertaining. The definition varies since "entertaining" could mean attending a show and partying in clubs. But it could also mean putting on funny T-shirts and heading to a comedy club or inviting a comedian to make a special appearance at the party.
Focus on activities. If you want to keep it elegant, pick a wine-tasting destination nearby. You could buy a bottle of wine with special notes on it, take a culinary lesson together, or head out for a photo shoot in nature.
A house party never goes out of style. How about having an old-fashioned sleepover? You'd gather at someone's house and eat pizza and drink wine. You can reminisce, play games, or do whatever you like!
3. Hand Out Party Accessories
You want to decorate the venue so that it's clear that it's the place to be for a bachelor or bachelorette party. The decorations could include banners reading "Bride to Be" or another message, balloons, special party cups, etc.
Another great idea is custom T-shirt printing. The t-shirt for the bride should be unique, such as "I am getting married" and for the groom "Buy this man a beer!" Other attendees could wear "The Bride's Crew" on their t-shirts or anything else they see fit for the occasion. You could even consider doing temporary tattoos or adding fun bachelorette party decorations that would make everyone laugh.
4. Plan Your Activities
The activities will depend on the location. Getting a house with a rental pool for the weekend means you only need to secure a lot of drinks and loudspeakers. But you could also consider yoga classes, hiking, special dining experiences, and other joint activities.
It's crucial not to overload the schedule. You don't need more than 2-3 activities for a two-day party. It ensures enough time to relax and enjoy instead of always checking the clock.
5. Create a Shopping List for Food
While you create a shopping list for food, consider that attendees might be sticking to different diets. You'll need multiple options to ensure everyone has snacks and drinks they'll like. That can be a hassle, so experts suggest catering or staying in accommodation offering group meals.
Another activity that'll bond you during the party could be a group meal. You could make it elegant or pick an outdoor restaurant with a casual theme. And if it's an indoor party, there's always the option to order pizzas for everyone.
Finally, don't forget to create a guest list and invite everyone on time. It's smart to ask attendees to RSVP at least a week in advance. It ensures you know how many people will attend and helps organize everything better. It's not easy to organize a bachelorette party, but you'll be pleased to provide the bride with a memorable experience!