A bachelorette party is a contemporary rite of passage for a bride before her wedding day that celebrates her final night(s) out on the town as a single woman.Traditionally a group of close female friends plan and attend the bachelorette party in the bride’s honor. While the bride is away for her weekend getaway, the groom would celebrate his bachelor party with a separate party of close friends.
Bachelorette parties may last for just a single day or evening, or it might involve an entire weekend of activities either near the bride’s home or at a travel destination. Typical bachelorette party activities often involve meals at nice restaurants, pampering trips to day spas, relaxation in the form of beaches, pools, or easy hiking, and/or bar hopping and dancing.
Traditionally the bridal party—the bridesmaids and maid/matron of honor—throw the bachelorette party for the bride. If the bride has chosen to not have a bridal party, or if it’s not ideal or possible for the bridal party to handle this task, anyone else who is close to the bride can plan the bachelorette party, such as:
Really, anyone can throw the bachelorette party if she or they meet the following criteria:
The only person or group of people who should NOT throw the bachelorette party are the bride’s parents or senior family members. A bachelorette party is typically an event that’s reserved for friends and family of the bride who are close to her in age, and thus interested in the same kinds of “last fling” activities.
The bride should make a list of people she’d like to invite to her special day or weekend. While traditionally this list would have been all women, modern brides with coed or non-traditional wedding parties might want to have their close male friends or siblings also attend. Go with whatever the bride wants here: this is her celebration before the big day! If you’re looking for ideas, these folks will typically make it onto the bachelorette party invite list:
The party planner(s) should send out bachelorette party invitations to the bride’s list, collect RSVPs, and begin planning according to the total number of attendees. Invitations to a bachelorette party can be more casual than for a bridal shower or rehearsal dinner, but there are few options when it comes to formal bachelorette party etiquette:
While the philosophy of “the more, the merrier” is lovely in theory, there is a limit to whom you should invite to a bachelorette party. This limit has to do with the bride’s feelings, and with making sure that she has the best possible experience relaxing, exploring, and generally living it up with her closest crew. With that in mind, here are some folks whom you might want to keep off the invitation list:
However, be sure to check with the bride before finalizing a guest list. She may want her mom there, for example, depending on the relationship.
The costs for a bachelorette party are typically split up among the attendees, minus the bride. The bride should not be expected to contribute much, if any, throughout the weekend, as it’s a party thrown in her honor.
However if there’s a group consensus to turn the bachelorette party into an expensive weekend getaway, the bride might want to pay for her own airfare and/or accommodations in order to make costs more even and reasonable for everyone.
When it comes to dividing up expenses, there are a few methods that work best:
One main organizer covers large group expenses, like an Airbnb rental, tickets for excursions, or bills for meals out. Individuals cover their own smaller expenses. The organizer then tallies up and divides the group costs, letting each attendee know what they owe her (including a percentage to cover the bride).
Major expenses are outlined ahead of time and assigned to different attendees so that the total amount spent by each person is roughly equal. For example, one person can cover an expensive meal at a restaurant, someone else can cover all of the cab fares, while someone else can pay for entrance fees at clubs and venues, etc.
Certain group expenses in which everyone has equal share—such as accommodations, car rentals, costs of excursions—are pooled and split equally, minus the bride. Everything else is covered individually. This option allows those on tighter budgets to modify their spending (such as ordering less expensive items at restaurants or buying less drinks at a bar) while still participating in the main events.
It can be tough for some people to attend bachelorette parties when they’re on tight budgets, as expenses can add up quickly. Here are some things you can do to make it easier for guests to make the right decision:
Bachelorette party activities are as varied as brides themselves. From a wild weekend of drinking and dancing, to a zen getaway focused on yoga and wellness, to a nature lover’s itinerary of day hikes and bonfires, there are tons of ways you can plan a bachelorette party that’s fun, unique, and matches the personality and interests of your bride. Check out our sample itinerary and creative ideas below to get your ideas flowing.
Friday: As folks arrive, plan to spend a low-key but festive evening exploring your surroundings and getting to know each other. Suggestions include:
While sitting by a pool or going to a spa are always fantastic options, don’t be afraid to think outside the box when planning a bachelorette party. Group classes can be a great way to freshen up the usual itinerary: take a group cooking class, book a yoga teacher for an afternoon stretch session, or do something active and empowering (or maybe just humorous?) like a burlesque or hip-hop dance class. Here are some other creative bachelorette party ideas: