Tradition aside, the world of weddings (and wedding planning) is rapidly changing. Massive celebrations are being replaced by micro weddings, while things such as wedding showers and gift registries fall by the wayside as couples choose to spend money on travel and experiences instead.
No matter the type of wedding being held, bachelor and bachelorette parties are still going strong, and they serve as an unforgettable bonding experience for the wedding party. But, with so many details to plan and organize, it’s easy to let this one languish. So, who plans the bachelorette party?
Typically, things such as choosing a place to stay, setting up activities, and keeping the bridesmaids on the same page falls under the role of the maid of honor. This also includes the “less fun” stuff, such as keeping a budget and organizing necessary transportation. Like any event, there’s a lot of planning involved when organizing a bachelorette weekend, so the MOH shouldn’t be shy about delegating some tasks to the rest of the wedding party.
To initiate the planning process, it’s best for the bride to give her wedding party a few ideas or locations that sound good to her, which could be anything from a ski weekend in Breckenridge to a simple staycation in her hometown. Whatever it may be, this gives the MOH a good place to start when planning the perfect bachelorette party.
As weddings get more creative and stray further from tradition, conventional roles tend to fall by the wayside, including the MOH. For those who still have bridesmaids, but are simply avoiding the “maid of honor” title, it’s best to delegate different tasks to different members of your tribe. Maybe one person is in charge of finding an Airbnb, one is responsible for booking brunches, and another serves as the group accountant. In the same way that you’re likely enlisting different maids to help with different wedding-related activities, you can do the same for your bachelorette party.
If you’ve opted to be further removed from the bachelorette party planning process altogether, consider selecting a specific bridesmaid to be the bachelorette party organizer. Different maids can still be given responsibilities and ways to chip in, but this gives you (as the bride) the ability to hand off the planning without worrying too much about the specifics. If you’re worried about hurt feelings from other members of your wedding party, make sure that everyone is given other, equally important roles. For example, maybe you still need someone to plan the wedding shower or give a speech on the big day. There are plenty of ways for each bridesmaid to leave her special touch on your wedding.
Even before COVID-19, micro weddings were growing in popularity, as were destination elopements. But, just because you’re opting for a less traditional ceremony doesn’t mean that you can’t have a bachelorette party to celebrate with some of your closest friends. Start with a list of some of the people that you most want to celebrate with, and then send them an invite (or simple email) to let them know what you’re planning. If you’re inviting people from across the country, make sure that they don’t feel obligated to attend, as coming to your wedding might already be a big trip for them. Lastly, if you have a sibling or close friend that you feel could help out, don’t be afraid to hand off some of the planning to them, so that you can still be surprised.
Just like with the situations above, make sure that you’re clear from the get-go what kind of experience you’re looking for. If you want as many people to come as possible, then maybe you plan something local and low-key. However, if you need a change of scenery, it might be best to pick something that is a short drive (or flight, when COVID-19 conditions improve) away, that’s also still accessible to many of your friends.
The idea of letting a bride plan her own bachelorette party makes many people scoff (after all, you’re planning a wedding)...but keeping the bride completely out of the loop can pose a whole new set of issues when planning out the itinerary. What if you’re picturing a relaxing weekend on a lake and the MOH is planning a grand bash in Miami? Or, maybe you want to do a wine and spa weekend in Sedona, but the wedding party is looking to keep it local.
Managing expectations is critical, which is why communication between the bride and all the members of the wedding party is fundamental throughout the planning process. Don’t be afraid to discuss locations, costs, and even specific activities. Chippendales might be on one person’s bucket list, but that may not be the case for everyone. By communicating these things, budgets are unlikely to be broken, details won’t go overlooked, and feelings are less likely to be hurt.
Remember, this is a big event for both the bride and her bridesmaid team. Make sure that it’s a fun time for everyone involved. However, just keep in mind that the special event should still direct focus on the bride and her big day ahead.