Planning an Epic Bachelorette Party
Over the last few years I’ve been inundated by news of friends and family and Facebook acquaintances tying the knot. Pictures of engagement rings, bachelorette weekends and tearful exchanges of vows flood my Newsfeed. I find myself alternating between scrolling through the images longingly and wanting to vomit at the amount of pure cheese behind “Jane’s Last Fling Before the Ring”... yick. “Does this ring make me look engaged?” - yes, yes it does, because you are. I don’t get it.
It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of sticking with social norms and traditions just because “everyone” does it. I think that times are changing and so it’s okay if you’re not into having a bridal shower or having a traditional sit down reception following your wedding ceremony. And you know what else? It’s okay if you’re still into those things; old habits die hard.
But with all of these friends and acquaintances walking down the aisle, I figured I’d be stupid not to tell you exactly how to plan an epic Bachelorette Party because obviously my words are gospel and there is no better way to do it than what I’m about to tell you (she said dripping with sarcasm).
Talk to the bride
If you’re reading this, chances are pretty good that you’re a maid of honour, a bridesmaid or someone who finds my self deprecating humour oddly fascinating. And, you may actually be looking for pointers. So before you continue reading about all of my brilliant ideas, you need to know this very important step.
Talk to the bride.
I think a lot of people have this idea in their heads of what a bachelorette party should be - phallic straws and balloons, lacy underwear, tiaras and tequila and while that might work for some people, it’s not every bride’s cup of tea. Some brides like Jagermeister, some like 30 day detoxes. We all have a uniqueness that will dictate what an epic bachelorette party looks like. It’s your duty as the party planner to understand this and to make a plan that reflects the bride.
Create a kickass theme
I may lose a few friends over this but unless your theme is Toddlers and Tiaras, I think the sashes and petite crowns need to go. We are all adults here, we’re intellectual, we can come up with better themes to celebrate our dwindling days of singledom. I’m talking margaritas and tacos at a Bachelorette Fiesta, Jack Daniels and cowboy hats at a Pre-Wedding Western Throwdown, a Get Leid Hawaiian Luau or my personal favourite, a cheese party because every occassion calls for cheese. Get the Bride Tribe together and plan a night that hasn’t been done a thousand times before. It will make all the difference.
If you’re stuck on the direction you want to take the bachelorette bash, think “What would the Barefoot Contessa do?” (Confused? See Gilmore Girls Season 7, Episode 2). For those that don’t know - celebrity chef Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, caters to her guest of honour’s every want and need every time she entertains. You need to channel your inner Barefoot Contessa and make this party all about the bride. If she likes wine, check out a wine tour at a local vineyard. Maybe she’s into the great game of baseball - take a trip to see your city’s MLB team in action. If she’s a tea junkie - throw a tea party the Mad Hatter would be jealous of.
Create your game plan
It’s fine to have an idea but if you can’t execute worth a damn, this party doesn’t have a hope in hell in being successful.
What’s the budget? Sure, heading to Vegas for a weekend will be memorable (and also equally hazy) but what happens if one of the bridesmaids can’t make it or if an important guest of the bride can’t swing the expense? As the planner, you need to know what and who you’re working with and be sensitive to any situations that could arise and put a kink in your plan.
Book in advanced. Flights and accommodations are always cheaper (and more widely available) when booked well in advanced. This also gives the attendees an opportunity to book time off work if necessary or even save up if you opt for an out of town trip.
Create a detailed itinerary. If you’re spearheading the party, do your research and get a plan together. Knowing what restaurants and bars are nearby will be helpful, especially if the plan goes awry and the attendees will appreciate your organization!
But don’t overplan. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve witnessed when people throw parties is having a timeline that they try to strictly adhere to. Let the event go with the flow. You don’t need to start playing party games promptly at 10:00pm if everyone is enjoying mingling and catching up with one another. Leave a bit of wiggle room so the attendees don’t feel stressed.
Enlist help - if you know you're not the most organized person or the best person to execute a plan under pressure, it's time to phone a friend. You cannot let the bride down just because you could never figure out how to use a day planner.
Make it a night to remember
Somewhere between the back to back shots of tequila and popping champagne bottles, it might be a nice idea to figure out how the bride can actually remember some of the night. Create a keepsake that she’ll have for years to come. I’ve seen some nifty ideas like taking mug shots of the attendees or having everyone grab their fave shade of lipstick and kiss a canvas to be framed for the guest of honour.
Create a tradition
If you’ve got a core squad of friends who are seemingly having back-to-back bachelorette parties, start a tradition that makes the celebration special! Try having the last bachelorette pass the torch to the current bachelorette in some makeshift ceremony with a toast or start your night off with cupcake decorating or a specific signature drink.
Don't forget the most important part… the objective is to celebrate the bride and have a good time so don’t lose sight of that in your grand party plan.