How to Throw a Joint Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

Thinking of hosting a joint bachelor/bachelorette party? Check out these unique party ideas for an unforgettable event.

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Photo by Zola

Brides, grooms and same-sex couples are increasingly searching for unique ways to celebrate their wedding day, and ideas on how to throw a more inclusive wedding gathering is at the top of the list for many. Now more than ever, modern-day wedding goers want to celebrate in a way that includes all ages, genders and backgrounds.

If you have a flair for the non-traditional or are looking to host a more inclusive party, why not consider a joint bachelor/bachelorette bash? It gives you and your soon-to-be-betrothed a chance to gather all your closest friends before the big day, and doesn’t box you into any typical wedding traditions that don’t ring true to you. For an unforgettable event, here are 15 joint bachelor/bachelorette party games and ideas to get you started.

What Is a Joint Bachelor/Bachelorette Party?

what-is-a-joint-bachelor-bachelorette-party A joint bachelor/bachelorette event is much more than a coed party—it’s a party that celebrates both halves of the soon-to-be-wed. Instead of focusing the festivities on just one person, a joint bachelor/bachelorette event brings both parties together for the ultimate celebration inspired by the couple as a whole.

Enter a bachelorx: the pre-wedding party that lets you decide who you’ll include in your celebration, without the need to ascribe to inherently gendered traditions that limit your ability to freely celebrate in a way that feels right for you. This modern day wedding trend breaks down the traditional barriers of a bachelor or bachelorette party, and offers the chance for a more gender inclusive event.

Why Combine Your Parties?

why-combine-your-parties A couple may choose to throw a joint bachelor/bachelorette party for different reasons, but there are a few distinct advantages to combining the event. Whether your preferred party style is an over-the-top destination trip or something more low-key at home, many couples are opting for a joint event as they look beyond traditional wedding festivities and find more out-of-the-box ways to celebrate in a way that makes sense to them.

Aside from being a less traditional way to celebrate, a joint event makes sense for couples who have many of the same friends and want to create a more inclusive celebration with all of them at once. And if you and your partner don’t share the same friends, a combined party is an opportunity to give both friend groups a chance to get to know each other before the wedding and bring groups closer before the big day.

15 Joint Bachelor and Bachelorette Party Games

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1. Race Down the Aisle

Start your party off the right way with a fun activity that gets your guests moving! This classic three-legged race is perfect for setting a lighthearted mood to carry you throughout your event. To play, have guests break into partners and use a wedding garter or scarf to bind their legs together. Try not to laugh as you all compete to race down the “aisle” the fastest!

2. Friendly Competition

A bit of friendly competition never hurt anybody, and adding some competitive play to your festivities is the perfect way to help bond your wedding parties before the big day. Whether you want to scope out a local field space or use your own backyard, you can spin this activity any way you like it, but we recommend an Olympic-style relay tournament to keep people on their toes. Drinks that night are on the losing team!

3. Scavenger Hunt

For an exciting, interactive activity that brings your wedding parties together, go all out with a scavenger hunt. The personalization options are endless, whether you choose a specific theme or focus it around the group’s knowledge of the bride and groom. Go old school and have people collect items or photos, and decide whether you want to stick to a limited area or spread across your whole city for an all day affair. At the end of the hunt, have the teams come together at a central location for dinner and drinks.

4. Ring Hunt

For a more active activity, take a cue from this scavenger hunt-inspired Ring Hunt game—all you need is some toy rings or Ring Pops! Before guests arrive, hide the rings throughout the home (or wherever you’re hosting your party) and challenge guests to find them by a certain time. Whoever finds the most rings wins! To make it more festive, create a fun DIY sign with the game instructions to display at the event.

5. Wedding Shoe Game

This tried and true wedding game is sure to make guests giggle as they see how well the happy couple really know each other—and the only props required are the shoes on their feet! To play, put two chairs back-to-back and have the couple take a seat so they’re facing away from each other. Have both take off their shoes and swap one of them, so that each person is holding one of their own shoes and one of their partner’s.

To begin, have the host read out questions about the couple. (For example, “Who made the first move?” and “Who’s the messy one?”). After each question, the couple raises the shoe of the person they think the question describes. Since they can’t see each other, it’s a hilarious way to gauge how the couple’s opinions might differ!

6. Adult Summer Camp

If you’re looking for a joint event with plenty of adventure, consider escaping to an adult summer camp. These camps recreate the authentic summer camp experience you might’ve experienced as a kid, but with adult-only perks like no curfew and boozy social events. From outdoor activities and campfires to foam parties and talent shows, there’s something for every wedding group. You’ll find these camps scattered across the U.S.—Camp No Counselors features a variety of group camp activities during the day, and open bars and themed parties fill the evenings for a unique experience.

7. Clothespin Game

This activity makes for a perfect icebreaker, and is a great way to kick off your bash with a little friendly competition. To prepare, gather clothespins (at least one per guest) and pick a “forbidden” wedding-themed word (like honeymoon, dress, or ring). Have guests attach their pin to their clothing once they arrive and announce the forbidden word. If another guest catches someone saying the word, the offender must give them their pin. Whoever ends up with the most pins wins!

8. Host a Backyard Barbecue

host-a-backyard-bbq If your party style is more low-key or you’re looking for a more affordable joint event, a backyard barbecue might be what you’re looking for. It requires minimal planning and coordinating and is far cheaper than an all-out destination event—something your wedding party’s wallets will appreciate. Make it special by creating a theme, finding fun decorations, and customizing the menu for a memorable bash.

9. How Old Were They? Photo Game

This party game is a fun way to bring guests together while also giving a nod to the happy couple. Before your event, grab a series of old photos of you and your partner at different ages. You can either print them out, or compile them in a slideshow that you play at the party. Have each guest write down how old they think each partner was in each photo, then reveal the correct answers at the end to see who wins!

10. Two Truths and a Lie

This icebreaker game is a longtime favorite, and it works well for both close-knit groups or groups who are still getting to know each other! To play, each guest comes up with two truths and a lie about themselves. Take turns sharing your answers while the group tries to guess which one is the lie. You might be surprised by what you learn about the group!

11. Pizza Box Toss

Whether you’re ending a wild night out with pizza or made pizza your feast of choice for the evening, all that’s required for this game is an empty pizza box. To play, toss a coin in the box and draw a circle around it. Choose a task to be written inside the circle, for example, “truth or dare” or “make eye contact with someone for 1 minute”. Have guests toss their coins and add a new task and circle each time. If your coin lands inside a circle at any point, you have to perform the corresponding task!

12. Wedding Charades

This interactive game is perfect for large groups and is a great way to bring your guests together. First, you’ll need to write down wedding-themed songs, movies and other items on slips of paper. This could be anything from romantic movies like The Notebook to common wedding phrases like “cut the cake” or “first dance”.

Place the slips of paper in a bowl and divide guests into two teams. One player from the first team pulls a card and has to act out whatever is written on it. They get two minutes to act it out while their team tries to guess what it is. If someone guesses correctly, the team gets a point and it’s now that person’s turn. If no one guesses the phrase, it’s the next team’s turn.

13. Classic game night

classic-game-night Contrary to popular belief, your bachelor/bachelorette party doesn’t have to be an all-night rager at a club. For a simpler affair that doesn’t require a huge budget, consider hosting a game night with you and your crew. Stick with classics like Clue, Monopoly or Catan, or in the spirit of weddings, add a raunchy twist with something like Cards Against Humanity. To uplevel the evening, you might even rent out a hotel suite for an upgraded sleepover vibe (complete with drinks and snacks, of course.)

14. Ice Breaker Bingo

If you don’t have many shared friends between your two wedding parties, this icebreaker bingo game gives guests a chance to mingle and learn more about each other. For this party game, the group must find people at the party who admit to the characteristics on the bingo card. Once you find a match, write that person’s name in the corresponding box. The first person to complete a row across, down or diagonally wins!

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15. Trivia Test

For a party game that invites a bit of friendly competition, put your groups’ knowledge of the happy couple to the test. This activity is a fun way to see how well your crew knows the bride and groom. Start a timer and have each guest answer as many questions as they can on the questionnaire. Then, have the couple read the correct answers aloud so guests can score themselves. You might be surprised how well your guests really know you!

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Joint Bachelor and Bachelorette Party Planning Tips

joint-bachelor-and-bachelorette-party-planning-tips If you’ve decided to rally both wedding parties together for a combined pre-wedding romp, there are a few things to keep in mind that can make the planning process smoother.

Consider Your Guest List as A Couple

The guest list for your event is arguably the most important part of the planning process, so take some time to craft it thoughtfully. Unlike pre-wedding events like showers and engagement parties (or even the wedding itself), there’s no must-invite list for a bachelor or bachelorette party. Instead, think about the type of event you want to throw and what that might look like as a combined group.

Take some time to think about your ideal guest list as a couple. If both of your friend groups already know each other, it won’t be too difficult to plan a party that you know everyone will enjoy. However, if your friend groups don’t know each other well, think about how both groups might get along and craft your guest list from there. In the end, your final guest list should be one that both you and your partner feel good about.

It’s also important to manage guest expectations—make sure they know that a coed party doesn’t mean “bring a date.” Feel free to pick whoever you want to join in on the fun, and consider how the number of guests will impact your party budget.

Pick a Theme

The options for great party ideas are endless, but choosing an overarching theme can help focus your plans and activities. It helps to make your decision based on the collective tastes of the group (although ultimately, it should be whatever you and your sweetheart want it to be.)

Do your friends enjoy some physical activity and the outdoors? Or do you think a bustling social scene is more their style? Do you want to get wild or do something more low-key? Answering these questions beforehand can make it easier to decide on the focus of your party. From there, you can explore games and activities that fall under the overarching theme.

Consider Your Budget

consider-your-budget Nailing down a budget can be the trickiest part of the planning process, and throwing a combined party means you have twice as many guests to account for. To help smooth out the process, use a tool like SurveyMonkey to send a poll to your guests to get a feel for the ideal party budget. Choose budget range categories and ask guests to select how much they can plan to spend at the event. Their answers can give you a better idea of what you can and can’t afford for your party.

Planning a joint bachelor/bachelorette party might seem overwhelming, but once you nail the most important details down like your guest list and budget, all that’s left is deciding how you want to celebrate! What matters most is that you’re surrounded by your closest friends as you prepare for your wedding day. For more planning tips, check out our expert advice for answers to all your wedding questions.