Bachelorette parties, sometimes called hen parties, are a fun tradition to celebrate the bride-to-be's transition into married life. These celebrations aren't the same as bridal showers, where family members - including the bride's mother - are usually in attendance. A bachelorette party can sometimes be just as wild and crazy as the traditional one for the groom-to-be.
Planning Tips for Bachelorette Parties
There are as many different types of bachelorette parties as there are brides-to-be. Whether your party is a small and informal gathering or a more elaborate occasion, the following rules will help ensure a successful event:
- A bachelorette party is usually organized by the maid of honor and bridesmaids.
- The bride-to-be shouldn't be expected to pay for any of the party activities.
- Be considerate of guests who may be on a tight budget as you're planning the party. Avoid surprising anyone with unexpected expenses.
- If the party isn't a surprise, ask the bride-to-be for her input as you're putting together the guest list.
- Don't plan a bachelorette party for the night before the wedding. Even if there is no drinking involved, the bride-to-be will have other things on her mind that night. If there are several guests who must travel from out of town, consider having the party on the evening of her bridal shower instead.
Wild and Crazy Parties
Getting drunk and embarrassing the bride-to-be continues to be a popular activity at most bachelorette parties. If you're planning a wild and crazy bachelorette party, remember the following tips:
- Give the bride-to-be a special costume to wear. Popular choices include a sparkly tiara, a T-shirt with the word "Taken" on the front, or a bright red top that signifies "Stop" because she's not available. All single, unattached ladies in the party can wear green tops signifying "Go."
- Although many bachelorette parties include a male stripper, don't plan on this if you think it will offend the bride-to-be.
- If you're going to a bar, plan a game or activity to help keep things interesting. Consider a scavenger hunt that involves the bride collecting items from other bar patrons in exchange for her drinks or a T-shirt decorating contest that involves the men at the bar drawing naughty designs on the bride-to-be's outfit with assorted magic markers.
- It's wise to hire a paid driver or rent a block of hotel rooms if your party guests will be drinking heavily.
Although many people do associate bachelorette parties with a night of drunken debauchery, you don't need booze to have a good time. In fact, it's not a good idea to plan a party that centers around alcohol if you know the bride isn't a regular drinker. Instead, ask yourself if one of the following ideas might appeal to the interests of the bride-to-be:
- A day at the spa
- Dinner and tickets to a Broadway show or dinner theater performance
- Dancing at a club
- An old-fashioned slumber party, complete with a racy game of "Truth or Dare"
- A trip to a local amusement park
Put the Bride-to-Be First
Remember that the bride is getting ready to celebrate "her day" and she should be the focus of a bachelorette party. Make sure you consider her personality and individual taste. Whether the party is a weekend-long bash in Las Vegas or a more sedate afternoon in her maid of honor's backyard, be sure to make her sendoff to marriage a memorable one.