I’ve recently been asked for tips on how to plan a great bachelorette bash. Interestingly enough, there is very little useful information on the internet, in wedding magazines or in bridesmaid handbooks. Most bachelorette party planning suggestions prepare you for the typically wild, tacky events that come to mind when one thinks of a bachelorette party. The event supplies available for this sort of party further reinforces the stereotype, with “wild girls” caution tape, shot glasses, buttons, tiaras, etc., all in the classic hot pink and black colour combination.
Sure, all of this can be fun, if that’s the sort of night you desire. But what if you dare to do something different?
If you search event sites or wedding magazines and books, you’ll find endless planning tips for – and gorgeous photos of – bridal showers. Why is this not the case for the bachelorette party?
I suppose the primary reason for the stark contrast between the fancy, pretty bridal shower and the tawdry, brash bachelorette party is that the mothers, grandmothers and aunts are invited to the former, but not to the latter. The bachelorette party is a chance to let loose and get “wild” one last time before the wedding. As quite a bit of the party paraphernalia indicates, the bachelorette party is “one last fling before the ring.”
For those of you who dare to be different, my top tips for planning a unique bachelorette bash are:
1 ) Listen to the bride. Find out what sort of party she would like (the feel of the party, the guest list, the timing, etc.). You can easily ask her about these items without making her feel as though she has yet another event to plan. Make it clear that you appreciate her input and would like the event to be a fun and memorable one for her.
2 ) Once you have a clear plan for the bash, enlist the rest of the bridal party to help you. If you are flying solo and ARE the bridal party, then kindly ask the bride’s close friends and family members for help. If you ask these people for help too early on in the process, you could end up with too many opinions and not enough of what the bride actually desires. Planning by committee is never a good option. Make sure you have talked the party over with the bride and have come to some conclusions before you ask for assistance from other people.
3 ) Take cues from the wedding planning. For instance, if the bride is having a casual wedding, then a casual bachelorette party will do. If the bride prefers a more formal or fancy affair, then a fancy bachelorette bash would be appropriate. If the wedding colours are peach and ivory, then a peach and ivory bachelorette party would be a lovely foray into the big day. The bride will appreciate the fact that you incorporated her preferences into the party.
4 ) Plan one signature cocktail for the night. This will keep your costs down considerably, as you’ll only have to purchase alcohol, mix and garnishes for one cocktail. The presence of a signature cocktail or punch also offers you the opportunity to incorporate the wedding theme and colours into the drink. It is also smart to have at least one non-alcoholic drink available as well. And water is a necessity. Add some fresh fruit to the water and you’ve created a tasty, refreshing offering.
5 ) Plan a menu that all guests can enjoy. At most events, there are guests with food allergies or sensitivities. Ensure you are aware of these restrictions ahead of time and offer a variety of food options. It would also be wise (and thoughtful) to include at least one of the bride’s favourite snacks on the menu. Peach cupcakes, anyone?
6 ) Plan games/activities you know the bride will enjoy and remember. For my bachelorette party earlier this summer, my bridesmaids planned a trivia game that was based on answers they had gathered from my fiance. The game was fun and personal, and I really appreciated the thought and preparation that went into it.
7 ) Don’t plan too many games/activities. The bride is likely stressed out from the wedding planning and would rather spend quality time with her friends and family at the bash than run around playing multiple games and drinking multiple shots. Don’t fill up the time with too much activity. Chatting and relaxing are often the best avenues to a good time.
8 ) Take lots of pictures! Encourage others to take lots of pictures. And share these photos with the bride and the guests afterward. There will be a tonne of photos of the wedding day, but you aren’t likely going to hire a professional photographer for the bachelorette party (if you are, then good for you!). Make sure you document the fab job you’ve done creating this bash for your friend, and capture the fun moments that unfold because of your great planning. The bride will treasure these photos.
9 ) Plan a clean-up crew. Wherever the party takes place, make sure you and several friends help with the clean-up the next morning. This is especially important if the party takes place at the bride’s home or in a hotel room you all share. The bachelorette party should not add to the bride’s burgeoning to-do list.
10) Have fun! While planning the bachelorette bash is a lot of work and a lot of responsibility, you truly should be honoured that the bride trusts you to take care of this special event for her. Don’t fuss too much during the event. Worry about the clean-up later. Take pride in your planning choices and enjoy the party!