Let’s rethink “What happens at a Bachelorette Party”
I’ve learned recently that bachelorette parties are a cause of dread for most people. My friends and I have the exact opposite reaction — we immediately start a countdown for the next one. We’re going to talk about planning an overall crowd-pleasing bachelorette around here.
First off. I am sorry if you got dragged on one of these bachelorette parties that cost all your savings, require an entirely new wardrobe and leave you feeling like you’ll never get that weekend of your life back. This moment might be a good time to remind you that you can decline an invite to a bachelorette party.
I have genuinely never been on a bachelorette party that left me feeling anything but, “Wow, I feel so relaxed! That was seriously such a fun weekend. Can we repeat this ASAP?”
So, how do we celebrate one person, but make it an enjoyable experience for everyone?
We get really, really honest about what is actually necessary to make the guest of honor feel celebrated, and then we zoom out to consider everyone attending.
OVERALL GOAL:: Celebrate the guest of honor
…but also make this an enjoyable experience for everyone.
So to start, consider what will make the guest of honor happy.
Pick the top 3 things.
Write them down.
Compare everything you plan against that list.
- Being silly (because as adults sometimes we need to focus on laughing a lot).
- A night of letting loose (I’m not talking a million shots or dancing on tables. But we’ve been known to dance in the middle of the street or take over a dance floor.)
- Long conversations with friends (you know. the kind where you are in sweat pants at 1AM talking about the most random things.)
- Introducing friends from different parts of life (This can be a BIG one for many bachelorette’s.)
- Taking lots of photos for memories (Not for Instagram).
Consider the things about the guest of honor that show you know them well — Do they swear by an AM workout? Are they a morning person or night owl? Do they love long afternoon naps? Work those kinds of details into the weekend plan.
[COMING SOON: Personalization worksheet ]
Now, let’s talk about how to make the weekend enjoyable for the guests.
Be conscious of everyone’s cost.
Hey! Newsflash! It is super disrespectful not to allow people to set boundaries around their money. So let’s stop looking at bachelorette parties as a once-in-a-lifetime trip that your girlfriends where your girlfriends foot the bill. Instead, a bachelorette is a privilege. It’s a chance to spend some QT with your people.
- Being conscious of the overall cost and sometimes deciding to do things that keep the cost down
- Communicating the estimated cost when you make the invite
- Communicating costs as they are confirmed and how they affect the estimate
- Communicating to all guests that you are more than happy to listen if anyone has concerns about the price
- The Guest of Honor chipping in for their transportation/lodging if asking the guests to pay more to travel
- Tracking costs in a transparent manner — read all about why my friends and I love Splitwise.
Let’s talk more about why + how I talk to my friends about Money. [COMING SOON]
Unsure what a bachelorette should cost? I’ve got a whole worksheet to to help you figure it out. [COMING SOON]
Stop with the peer pressure
Let’s put something in perspective — You are requesting people use their time, money, and energy on this celebration. Yup – it is a celebration for one person, but that doesn’t give them the right to make requests that disrespect people’s boundaries.
- Make alcohol optional. We have plenty of alcohol around at our bachelorette parties, but we don’t pressure, shame, or push alcohol on anyone. In fact, we make an effort to always offer non-alcoholic all day long. For example, “I am going to make another round of watermelon margs. Who wants one? Anyone want one without alcohol?” Provide lots of non-alcoholic options in the fridge. Don’t push shots on anyone. I don’t know when being drunk all weekend became a requirement for a good time at a bachelorette party — but JUST STOP.
- Allow people to opt-out of activities. Horseback riding, jet skiing, ziplining peddling on a cycle saloon, or yoga might not be someone’s cup of tea. You don’t need to move as a pack all weekend to make it memorable for the guest of honor. Instead, say things like, “Here is the plan for the weekend. If you aren’t feeling any of these activities, not a problem, just let me know!” Give people autonomy over their finances, boundaries, interests, and needs.
- Stop pressuring people to spend more than their budget. See #1
What happens at a bachelorette party? Whatever makes the guest of honor feel special.
We are all familiar with the “formula” we envision when we say a bachelorette party. Some things that might come to mind — lots of alcohol, a stripper, naughty necklaces, veils, sashes, games, drunken nights at the bar.
The tendency is just to replicate the formula. Check the boxes.
Do you think if we skip those things we’ll be missing out? I sure don’t I think if we skip those things we can probably plan a much more personalized celebration.
What will make this event meaningful for the guest of honor?
What emotion do you want to invoke? – Feeling seen, Feeling loved, Letting loose, Laughing, Being silly.
Pick the top three.
Focus on those and let the rest go.
Consider how much the guest of honor wants to be a “bachelorette”
Do you truly think the guest of honor wants to wear a sash in public? What about getting some person’s number in a bar? Wear a crown? Play bachelorette-specific games?
Why do we feel like these dumb things are a right of passage? Why do people do them without questioning them?
All the guest of honor wants is to feel special. There are so many other ways to achieve that goal.
Some people do in fact want some of these traditions. Other’s don’t.
The reason this is included in this guide is that if the guest of honor doesn’t enjoy the silly games or crowns or sashes in public, the guests likely won’t enjoy participating in it either.
If the guest of honor wants to have typical bachelorette games/items then allow for the guests to opt-out, if they’d prefer.
Be considerate of food preferences
You don’t need to make every single item of the entire weekend tailored to fit everyone, but ask them for help in planning to have food on hand that they can eat.
I have an entire article about how to handle dietary restrictions with ease. Link to Dietary Restrictions
Want the exact questionnaire I send out to guests when I start planning? [COMING SOON]
Choose a house with enough space
Yes. I firmly believe in a house, not hotels. You can read more about why HERE [coming soon].
We love to use Airbnb (Receive $65 off your first rental)
- Make sure there are beds for every person. They don’t all need their bed, but no one wants to sleep on an air mattress or couch if they can help it. (If you are 21 and reading this and budget is a huge factor, then do what you have to do). People don’t want to sleep on the floor
- Make sure there is there enough comfortable gathering space. Consider space inside vs. outside and the weather.
- Choose a good kitchen! Make sure there is a grill. Cooking a good chunk of meals at home is a great way to keep the budget down, keep things more relaxed (less time traveling to and from restaurants), and get people involved. I would bet that at least one person in your group enjoys cooking.
- What are your non-negotiables- A pool, hot tub, a house close to water, a. game room, walking distance to a certain area, a secluded yard? Are there activities/non-negotiables — pool, hot tub, game room, theater room, walkable to the downtown area, etc.
Keep the plan simple
Nothing makes my friends happier than when a bachelorette weekend is a relaxing experience. Believe me, we still have plenty of fun. We balance right on the edge of doing fun things and relaxing.
This also creates time for long chats, one-on-one conversations, and the ability for people to mix in with people they haven’t met before and spend enough time together to get to know them.
Keeping the plan simple also allows for reading a book, taking a nap, or playing a game. All things that will balance this weekend out for everyone.
Not to mention, running from one activity to another takes up a lot of your day between travel and the extra time it takes to move a large group of people around.
We try to keep our days to one activity.
Learn more about my suggested schedule here. [COMING SOON]
Remember, what happens at a bachelorette party? Whatever makes this an impactful weekend, not an Instagram-worthy weekend.
In the end — if you are wondering ‘What happens at a bachelorette party?” My answer to you is — whatever makes everyone happy. Get more creative. Seriously. Stop repeating the same old tired raunchy decorations, and endless shots and instead plan a weekend that will be dear to the guest of honor forever.
Are you planning a bachelorette party? I didn’t realize how passionate I was about making sure people don’t dread this celebration. More articles coming soon!