There’s a lot of planning involved in the wedding process, and bachelorette parties are no exception. Whether you’re a bride looking for some general guidance or a maid of honor who’s ready to get the party started, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by planning yet another event. So, where do you start? And, how soon is too soon to start bachelorette party planning?
As a general rule, you likely want to start planning a bachelorette party a few months out. For a destination bachelorette event, or something with a larger group of people, that timeline might be closer to six months; however, if you’re keeping your bachelorette bash it local and pretty laid back, most things can be done fairly last minute. Lodging and transportation should take priority, followed by things such as dinner reservations, wine tasting tours, and other activities.
Before you start any type of party planning (and make sure that you know who plans the bachelorette party), it’s best to get a list from the bride of who she’d like to invite, and then take some time to connect with everyone far in advance. Maybe the bride isn’t all that picky about where you go, but she wants to make sure that most of her friends can come. Or, maybe she’s set on a destination bachelorette party, such as Lake Tahoe, and could care less if there’s only three of you. For this reason, it’s never too early to ask for the bride’s input and gauge where everyone is at. Consider hosting a bachelorette planning party just to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
No matter the scenario, there are a few things to consider as you begin the bachelorette party planning process:
This is a big one, as it not only dictates if flights are involved, but also may influence the number of people whom you choose to come. For example, if the bride’s dream bachelorette party weekend is in Vegas, but she and most of her friends live in Boston, you might want to start the planning process a little earlier so that everyone in the wedding party can mark it on their calendars. However, if Vegas is the plan and most of you live in Reno, planning might require less coordination and, therefore, less time.
For any destination bachelorette party trip that involves flights, start connecting with people at least six months out. You might need even more time if the trip you’re planning is international. However, if the trip is a drivable distance, you might be able to organize something in only three or four months. For longer road trips, you might want to treat it the same as a plane flight, particularly if transportation rentals are involved.
Again, this has a lot to do with what the bride envisions. Just as with the wedding, there’s little chance that everyone who’s invited will be able to make it, but if attendee numbers are more important than the destination, make sure that you take that into consideration as you start planning. The larger the party, the more planning that’s required. However, make sure that you prioritize the schedules of the wedding party, as it’s usually most important to the bride that her bridesmaids can attend.
To avoid any disappointments, make sure that you tackle the “who’s invited” conversation as soon as the bachelorette party topic first comes up. Not only will it help you narrow down possibilities when you know where everyone is from and what their schedules look like, but it will also give you time to track down everyone’s contact info, as these types of things often take longer than you’d expect.
Last, but definitely not least, make sure that you’re carefully coordinating your bachelorette party planning with the wedding day date (and other coinciding events). Talk to the bride and see if she’s looking for a final hurrah the week before her wedding, or if she would prefer something more relaxing a month in advance. It’s her bachelorette party after all, so making it work with her timeline and schedule should be your main priority.
To keep from having anything overlap (and to make things easier for the bride, in general), make sure that you have a calendar of events on-hand, as well as a list of the dates that work best for her. The earlier you can convey these pockets of availability to her wedding party and friends, the better. Just make sure that you incorporate travel times as you begin to block off dates.