8 bachelorette party tips for saying sayonara to singlehood

August 29 | Guest post by Ann Davidson
Bachelorette party tips for saying buh-bye to singlehood
Cheers to all ya'll party animals — Bachelorette Party Balloons

I LOVE a good bachelorette party. Celebrating self is important, especially when entering an institution that can send a person into a full-on identity crisis. It's also an opportunity to celebrate your friend, exclusively, as the wonderful person they are. Here are some bachelorette party tips on how to make sure the party you're throwing is a fabulous send-off from singlehood.

Invite the right people

Nothing can kill a bachelorette party faster than a buzzkill, who complains, refuses to do anything that might make them look silly, or makes everything about them. A good bachelorette party will be filled with people who are game for anything and supportive of the bride. Remind your bride that just because a person is invited to the wedding, doesn't give them an automatic invite to bachelorette party. Likewise, just because a person isn't invited to the wedding, doesn't mean they can't be invited to the bachelorette party! It will make them feel included, and give them an excuse to connect. Finally, consider to whom the bride is really close. If mom is her bestie, let her tag along, or make things co-ed if that makes more sense. You want people surrounding the bride with whom she feels comfortable.

Bachelorette party tips for saying sayonara to singlehood
One of many photos of me completing my scavenger hunt list at my bachelorette party, complete with all the trophies I had collected that night.

Consider a theme

It's always nice to have a unifying theme tying the party together, and it can be great for inspiration. For the die-hard punk, think about tickets to her favorite band, and get the whole crew to dress up in full punk regalia. Go completely nautical for the ocean-lover. Time to get everyone to strap on those cowboy boots and get ready to ride a mechanical bull, if she's a country girl. A theme, while certainly not mandatory, will help focus ideas and get creative juices flowing.

Give useful party favors

You don't have to go the standard route of lollipops in the shape of the anatomy. Give partygoers something they will actually need during their night of debauchery. Personalized Mason jar tumblers prevent drinks from spilling on a party bus. Matching shirts or sashes draw attention to your squad during a night out at the bar. Coozies will keep your beers cold throughout the night. Mini bottles of sunscreen or bug spray protect your skin during an outdoor adventure. Don't forget to tie it all together in a fun bag.

Bachelorette party tips for saying sayonara to singlehood
The crew for my friend Crystal's pole dancing class bachelorette party

Push the bride outside of her comfort zone… a little

A good bachelorette party will take the bride to a place of exhilaration when she steps outside of what she'd do on a normal night out. But, push her too far and she might start feeling overly uncomfortable. Don't force shots on the bride who doesn't normally drink, or the night might end early. But, if the bride is totally uninhibited, she may need a bevy of strippers to get her push her over the edge. Try to consider what she'd enjoy but might be too shy to do normally, and encourage her to let her freak flag fly on her big night out.

Use games to break the ice and involve everyone

If you're going with games, they can help the crowd get to know each other and focus attention on the bride-to-be. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Cads About MatrimonyThey ♥ OBB; we ♥ them: This marriage-themed spin on Cards Against Humanity can be a great way to break the ice and help the girls feeling uninhibited.
  • How Well Does the Bride Know Her Partner: Put together a list of questions, and have her partner answer all of them. Ask the bride the same questions — if she can guess her partner's answer, the rest of the party has to drink, but if she's wrong, she has to drink. It's a fun way for the bride to share some stories about her sweetie.
  • The Panty Drop: Ask all the guests to buy the bride a pair of underwear. Put them into a gift bag anonymously, and have the bride try to guess who bought what. It's a fun way to give gifts and introduce everyone.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Put together a fun scavenger hunt list for the group to complete throughout the night. It will give everyone an excuse to socialize with people outside of your party and draw attention to the bride. Customize it to maximize the bride's fun (e.g. if she's got a thing for motorcycles, add "Take a picture on a motorcycle" to the list).
Bachelorette party tips for saying sayonara to singlehood
The crew for my friend Kelli's nautically-themed bachelorette party, which we held at a cabin on Lake Huron.

Think Outside the Box for Fun Activities

Don't limit yourself to the glitter-filled, pink explosion template. Friend loves baseball? Take everyone to a game! Is she an outdoor nut? Plan a camping trip! Loves cooking? Attend a cooking class or cocktail-making lesson! Spice the night up beyond simple bar-going. Vavoom Pinups offers vintage-style photo shoots and will let the rest of the party hang out as the bride gets her hair and makeup done. You can find pole dancing classes at many gyms, or, try a burlesque class like the one offered at Studio L'amour. The options are endless, so plan something fun and memorable.

Budget Appropriately

Be sure to consider how much the invitees may be able to spend over the course of the night, and backtrack from there. Nobody wants to be left out because they couldn't afford a $50 limousine buy-in. Be upfront about how much you expect the night to cost, so invitees can save ahead of time. And, have a plan for the bride's expenses. Consider having a "kitty" for her drinks, which everyone chips into at the start of the night.

Be Safe

A designated sober person helps keep track of everyone throughout the night. Sadly, there are a lot of creeps out there who target bachelorette party-goers. Your sober friend can double as the official creep-blocker. If alcohol is in play, you also need transportation to avoid drunk driving. With a little planning, you can make sure debauchery doesn't turn into disaster.

What unconventional bachelorette party fun are YOU planning?!

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  1. These tips are great, especially the one about budget! For my bachelorette we took a limo into NYC, saw Wicked, and ate dinner. BUT my instructions to my MOH who did the planning were very clear that if anyone could not afford to do it we were ditching it and going mini-golfing at our local fun park instead. I think it's so important to remember that something that might be affordable to someone might be a month's rent to someone else. My husband was once invited to a bachelor party weekend out of state that would've ended up costing him nearly $500 between travel expenses, the hotel, plus the itinerary of events of locations all of which were in an area that's far more expensive than where we live. He felt really bad that he had to miss out but $500 literally IS our rent!

    2 agree
  2. My bachelorette party for my 1st marriage was planned by a dear friend with nothing but good intentions but it didn't work that well for me for a number of reasons:

    -She planned a party she would love: downtown (I hate downtown), stopping by a trendy dance club (not my scene), and going to a gay male strip club (I would rather see ladies, honestly). So I would say it is really important to remember to plan the party your friend would want and leave your own preferences out of it if they really differ.
    -She pushed me too far out of my comfort zone. Even one of the above things, if combined with other, more low-key activities would have probably been fun – but all three was way too much for me. I think this just points to not trying to do too much at once and being wary of pushing the bride too far.
    -Part of the reason it played out this way was also because she was from out of town so she was relying on "where do you do bachelorette stuff in Portland" info without really having the context or ability to tell what was for me versus what wasn't. It would probably be best to either have a local friend plan the event OR at least have a local friend your planner can use as a sounding board.
    -Additionally, this is one of my best friends from high school but we didn't at that time see each other regularly since we lived in different states – so that also made it hard for her to know what my preferences were at that moment in time, even though we were (and still are) very close friends. It might be better to have a "newer" friend plan your bachelorette party if it means they have a more accurate idea of what you like your weekends to look like usually. Basically, we have different relationships with different friends – don't feel like you have to choose your "best" or closest friend if there's another friend who's a better planner, who knows the area better, who you already go out with a lot, etc.
    -The group of girls attending (my bridesmaids and a few other female out-of-town wedding guests) was a real mish-mash of personalities, preferences, and comfort levels. I think everyone was actually pretty game, but there are a few people who, in hindsight, I might have left off that list to make the group more cohesive and myself more at ease.
    -Lastly, if your friend doesn't want a bachelorette party, don't force one on her. That wasn't entirely the case here (it was thrown together last-minute with my blessing although I had previously not planned on doing one) – but I have known other friends who have had bachelorette parties foisted upon them. It's tempting to "surprise" a friend with an awesome party, just make sure it will be a good surprise to them. Along these lines, I highly recommend letting the bride make a veto list of the things she absolutely does not want (and sticking to it!)

    3 agree

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