Your bachelorette party marks the end of your single days and the beginning of your life as a wife. Hooray! There are so many ways to celebrate this momentous occasion, from sipping cucumber cocktails poolside to a wild night out in wigs. Likely, this will be one of the more fun events leading up to your big day, especially if you pick the best company.
You’ve already chosen your nearest and dearest to stand up on the actual wedding day, so their invites are given, but the guest list doesn’t have to stop there. Who else do you invite to a bachelorette party? You as the bride have the ultimate say, but your decision will affect everyone. These are the gals you should consider sending a bachelorette party invite to and what to know before you do.
There are a few things to mull over and a few people to talk to before deciding who gets the official party invitation.
First things first, talk it over with your MOH—or whoever is hosting the bachelorette party. She’s the one planning the fete, so she should probably know if you want to have 10 or 20 girls in attendance. And if it’s the latter, do her a favor and assign a helper for her to lean on.
Have this conversation early on, in case she’s the kind to jump in and plan everything before you get a chance to set the guest list. She can also act as a sounding board if you’re unsure who (or how many people) to invite.
Your bridal party may be smaller than you wanted for a number of reasons, from the size of your groom’s party to the size of the altar, or simply due to how many people can fit in one photo. While you can’t always include everyone in the wedding celebration, your bachelorette party can be a great way to make these people feel included. (They may even prefer they get to attend the bachelorette party without the other responsibilities of being a bridesmaid.)
While the more the merrier does apply to your bachelorette party, keep in mind that coordinating travel, favors, activities, dining, etc. is more difficult with a bigger group. Plus, the more people you invite, the harder it will be to get quality time with everyone there. If it’s important to you for the group to feel intimate or to do certain activities that have a max capacity, put a limit on your guest list.
This is especially important if you are inviting girls outside of your bridal party. It’s simple to say only your bridesmaids are going to the bachelorette party, but not so simple to explain when you start extending invites to select people in your friend group. No one likes to feel like they didn’t get the invitation, and while it’s totally your decision, it’s kind and courteous to avoid the topic in front of people who aren’t on the list.
Once you’ve talked it over with the host and decided on the max capacity, you can begin to create the guest list. Ultimately, the final headcount is up to you, but these are some individuals who traditionally might get a bachelorette party invite:
If you put them in your bridal party, they should be invited to your bachelorette party. However, that doesn’t mean they will say yes. It’s perfectly understandable for bridesmaids to bow out of the bachelorette party if they can’t afford it, take the necessary time off, be away from their kids, or for plenty of other viable excuses. Don’t take it personally. They said yes to supporting you on the big day, but you shouldn’t expect them to be at every event.
Both your sisters and future sisters-in-law should be in the running for a bachelorette party invite if they aren’t already accounted for in the bridal party. It can feel a little awkward to invite younger siblings, those who aren’t 21, or your fiancé’s sister, so the final decision is ultimately up to you. When in doubt, though, it’s nice to extend the invite—even if you know they won’t be able to come or will choose not to.
If you’re living with friends who aren’t in your bridal party and want to include them somehow, the bachelorette party is a great opportunity to do so. You spend a lot of time with these people and will likely be looking forward to (read: talking about) the bachelorette party for weeks leading up to it, as well as reliving it after the fact. If you want to avoid any awkwardness amongst roommates or just want to celebrate with them in general, invite them.
If you’re having a small bridal party, or just have a lot of close friends, you should extend the bachelorette party invite to people outside of your bridal party who you want to celebrate with. This is a great way to show them how much they mean to you and make them feel part of this special season in your life.
Your bachelorette party is also a great opportunity to include extended family members such as cousins, second cousins, or close family friends. If they’ll fit right in with the crowd, and you’ll love having the extra quality time with them, add them to your guest list.
Sure, it’s unconventional, but if you want your mom to tag along on your bachelorette party, by all means, invite her. You may want a few of your fun aunts to come, and dare we say, even your future mother-in-law, too. Just be sure to consider the vibe first: Inviting mom or your MIL is probably best for more laid-back or local bachelorette parties, but you know your mom best—maybe Nash-Vegas is just her style.
After you narrow down your list, but before you hit “send,” there are a few final things to consider:
If you’re taking off to Timbuktu, keep your crew small. If, however, you’re staying at a family friend’s ranch or booking a Palm Springs B&B with a pool and plenty of beds, size is less of an issue.
The location can even dictate who is allowed. Heading to Cabo? Great! Anyone over 18 with a valid passport will have a good time. Is Las Vegas more your scene? As long as your party is over 21, you shouldn’t have any problems.
You want everyone at your bachelorette party to have a good time. And while you can’t control their attitude and you can’t please everyone at every possible moment, you know your guests best and can probably guess whether or not your bachelorette party is something they will enjoy. If you’re going to Las Vegas and your sister isn’t 21, she’ll probably feel pretty left out. If your mom will spend most of the weekend cleaning up after you and your friends, she would probably rather stay home. If the activities you choose will make a friend feel unnecessarily uncomfortable, talk it over with her and let her make the call.
Don’t forget to consider the dynamics of the group as well. If there’s tension between any two guests it will surely surface when travel, liquor, and ample time together are involved. For the benefit of everyone, namely you, keep your guest list drama-free, so your bachelorette party will be also.
When deciding who to invite to your bachelorette party, it comes down to who you want to celebrate with. This is the prime opportunity to spend quality time with your favorite females before you walk down the aisle, so be thoughtful about who you invite, and go have a good time. And don’t forget to see our guide on nailing down the bachelorette party invitation wording to get your gal group stoked for the celebration.
For more bachelorette party resources, see our expert guides below: