Bachelorette Party 101
There’s a lot of pressure on the maid of honor to plan the perfect bachelorette party, let this guide help you!
Your best friend has asked you to stand beside her on her big day, but being the maid or matron of honor comes with a lot of responsibilities. One of those is planning the bachelorette party, which can be a lot of fun — or a big hassle. Let us help you make planning it go as smooth as possible, so you can relax and enjoy the party!
Ask the Bride
A couple months before the date, brainstorm with the bride. Identify what she wants and what she wants to avoid. Decide on an activity that is relaxing and fun, and figure out an exact date. Create a guest list of everyone invited, which traditionally includes the bridesmaids and a few close female friends and family members. Don’t invite anyone who isn’t invited to the wedding! But do feel free to branch out if the bride is okay with it. You might even consider co-hosting a party with the groomsmen, or at least part of it. This way, the bridal party on both sides can meet and reduce awkwardness on the actual wedding day. When crafting the guest list, make sure all invitees will be comfortable with the chosen activity, or consider adjusting the itinerary.
Creative bachelorette party ideas include wine tasting, spa day, yoga, sailing, beach day, rock climbing, bar hopping, escape rooms, or even paintball! Tradition dictates that the bride doesn't pay for her share of whatever festivities are planned, so keep this in mind when planning. You don't want to alienate anyone on her guest list by choosing an expensive outing and then ask them to pay extra on top of it. The day is about the bride having a fun day with her closest female friends and family, not spending the most money. If the bride’s idea of a perfect bachelorette party is a relaxing movie night in, then roll with it!
Consider the Logistics
No matter if you're having a local bar crawl or a weekend getaway, there are some things you should think about. The bachelorette party should be fun and exciting, not a source of drama or hurt feelings. To keep everyone having fun, you'll need to do a lot of prep work. Here's a quick list of tasks you need to do:
- Make hotel or vacation rental reservations.
- Book activities such as yoga classes or manicures.
- Call ahead to restaurants and make reservations if possible.
- Reserve transportation if needed, or setup rideshare aps (Uber, Lyft, etc).
- If you're going out of town, how will people get there? If guests have to fly, how will you coordinate flight times to and from the destination?
- Is there a dress code required for any of the events you're planning?
Make sure you stay in close contact with the bride on her expectations and dreams. If she wants a Las Vegas bash, is she okay with a smaller party? If she wants a huge party, you might have to rethink the activities you choose based on who is coming and what they're comfortable with — both financially and personally. If the bride wants anyone under the age of 21 to attend, consider doing fun activities early in the day followed by dinner and drinks on the town later on.
If activities aren’t structured, plan fun bachelorette party games. Pinterest has a ton of great ideas! Write out any rules and instructions for how to play, and gather the necessary supplies. Keep in mind that it's better to underplan for a bachelorette party and go with the flow rather than have a full itinerary that makes everyone feel rushed. This is especially true with activities that cost money in advance, as you don't want to waste people's money if you don't make it.
Get the Word Out
Unlike the wedding, you can do all of your invitations and RSVPs online, but check in with the bride first. She may want you to send out invitations depending on the formality of her wedding. It should be up to you to design them though, so have some fun! Make sure to ask the bride what her colors are, as this is a great time to use them.
At least two months before the bachelorette party, send a save-the-date email or card to everyone on the guest list. Include details like the date, time, activity, activity, and estimated duration. If applicable, make reservations at venues, attractions, or restaurants that are planned. If alcohol is going to be involved, ensure there will be reliable transportation available. If you need money for hotel reservations or activities, make sure you let everyone know and set firm deadlines for people to pay you.
A month before the date, send out formal invitations either by mail or email. Be sure to include RSVP information and how much monetary contribution is expected.
The week before the date, buy any needed decorations and confirm RSVPs and transportation arrangements. A day or two before, send out a reminder to guests of the meeting place and time. For added fun, tell the bride some essential details about the bachelorette party, but keep the details a secret!
After checking off your month-long to-do list, let out a sigh of relief, get a full night of sleep, and pat yourself on the back. You’ve given your close friend a perfect day of activities and wonderful memories before her big day!