As maid of honor or just as a bridesmaid, it may fall on you to plan the bride’s bachelorette party. Not to worry – the bachelorette party is a fun tradition that can help the bride relax and enjoy herself after months of stressful wedding planning. Planning a bachelorette party doesn’t have to be stressful, and with the help of the other bridesmaids and some guidance from the bride, you’re sure to have a great time! Take these steps to successfully throw a bachelorette party.
Talk to The Bride
If you’ve been put in charge, or took charge, of planning the bachelorette party, your first step is to talk to the bride. Some brides may want a Hangover-style bachelorette party in Vegas, while others may be interested in a simple get together at a friend’s home. While you probably know your friend well enough to guess which end of the spectrum she’s interested in, check in and discuss expectations. You can also discuss how much the bride actually wants to know. Adventurous brides may be in for a total surprise weekend, while others may only want a minor surprise gift or activity.
Discuss dates with the bride; she needs to be available, and may have a preference about how far in advance of the wedding she wants her party. Once you’ve picked a date, figure out big details like if she wants a weekend bachelorette party or a one-night event, and if she’d like to travel or stay at home.
You don’t have to tell the bride every last activity of the night or weekend, but ask about bigger picture items. Gauge her comfort level with things like drinking, locations, strippers, or anything else that might make her uncomfortable. A Magic Mike-esque bachelorette party isn’t for everyone.
Finally, work together with the bride to set a guest list and collect contact information. The bachelorette party is about her, so she should choose who she invites.
Set a Budget
Figure out a budget for the bachelorette party, taking into account all expenses. For a tame night in, this probably won’t be too expensive. For a weekend in a different city, however, it can get pricey between travel costs, hotel rooms, activities, and more.
The bride should not pay for anything for her bachelorette party. Typically, the party is paid for by the bridesmaids, but there isn’t a set rule about who pays. Make sure before you buy anything that you know who’s paying; you shouldn’t assume that all the bridesmaids will chip in and then get stuck in an awkward and expensive situation. Regardless of how you split the bill, the bride’s costs should be absorbed and split amongst everyone.
Budget for all your costs, including food, drinks, travel plans, hotels (when applicable), decorations, and any activities. It’s often easier to contact the other bridesmaids or attendees with the cost up front, so there’s no awkward shuffle for money later. Be clear about pricing so that everyone involved is on board.
Once you’ve set a date and planned the big picture activities, send out the invitations. You don’t necessarily have to print invites for a bachelorette party, especially if it doesn’t fit your budget. An email or evite invitation is perfectly acceptable. Set an RSVP date if necessary – if you’re travelling, you’ll need to know the headcount further in advance for booking purposes. Keep track of who’s attending in case the food, drink, or another budget shrinks with the number.
Plan and Book Activities
The fun part is planning and booking activities for the bachelorette party! The activities should match the interests of the bride – always keep in mind that this party is about her. If you’re planning a weekend away, research activities, bars, and restaurants in that area in advance. Anything that might sell out or fill up should be booked well in advance.
Activities can range from simple at-home bachelorette party games to entertainment to bar crawls. For a more low-key bride, a spa day may be the perfect bachelorette party. Other brides may prefer a night out on the town, checking out clubs and bars. You should have discussed what the bride is looking for, so choose your activities based on what she described.
Just because you’re in charge of the planning doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include the other bridesmaids. They may have a great idea or know of something that the bride mentioned being interested in. If you’re worried about too many ideas clashing, present the bridesmaids with a few options that you came up with, along with prices if possible, and let the group decide from there.
Add Decorations and Fun Details
Don’t forget to decorate! If you’re having a get together at a house, decorate there, or deck out a hotel room with bridal decor. Bachelorette party decor can get raunchy, so make sure the bride is comfortable with that before buying any phallic-shaped balloons or other items.
Often, bachelorette parties include matching t-shirts. Many even come up with bachelorette party hashtags that may also go on t-shirts, hats, sashes, or some other apparel. If the bride is interested in any matching apparel, it can be a fun way to differentiate yourselves and makes for a fun photoshoot. If you don’t want to match, there are plenty of fun props or other bachelorette photoshoot ideas. Be sure to take plenty of pictures!
You may also want to add party favors to the budget. While not necessary, parting gifts can be a fun way to memorialize the party or weekend. Something small will do the trick; don’t break the budget over a party favor.
Enjoy the Bachelorette Party
Once the day or weekend of the party arrives, enjoy yourself! You’ve worked hard planning the bachelorette party, so it’s okay to let loose a little while keeping in mind that it’s the bride’s day. It may be your job to keep things running smoothly, but with proper planning you should be able to unwind and enjoy the bachelorette party.