I’ve been to a few bachelorette parties in my time and they all seem to consist of basically the same thing – cocktails with dirty names, penis shaped straws for those cocktails and occasionally a male stripper or two. Can’t we do a bit better than that? Bachelorette parties aren’t about the guests though. Bachelorette parties are about the bride-to-be. A good bachelorette party will keep guests entertained while giving the bride-to-be a fitting send off into the world of wedded bliss. That doesn’t necessarily mean lots of suggestive presents and saucy activities, although it can (see the Anything Goes Bachelorette Party for more on that one). It can just be about celebrating friendship and having a good time – a little relaxation in the midst of all the stress of wedding planning and preparation. Know your bride-to-be. Gear the party to her interests. Focus on showing her a good time and your party will be a success.
The Social Butterfly Bachelorette Party
Perhaps my most successful bachelorette party to date was a party I planned only a few months ago for one of my closest friends. This woman is a social butterfly. She loves talking and she loves meeting new people. She’s always the life of the party. I planned a party that played to that part of her personality. I spoke with the manager of a local bar and told him I wanted to hold my friend’s bachelorette party at his establishment. I asked if I could leave a bunch of fliers at the bar the weekend before the party, inviting anyone who wanted to come. He was more than happy to oblige. He also agreed to rename her favorite cocktail – the apple martini – the “Kim’s Getting Married” the night of the party. I went in early that afternoon and decorated the bar in Kim’s favorite colors and spoke with the DJ about playing a few of Kim’s favorite songs over the course of the evening. It cost me absolutely nothing and come the night of the party, the bar was packed with a lineup outside. It worked well for the bar who had their busiest night in years and Kim had a fantastic time.
The Conservative Bachelorette Party
The conservative bachelorette party can definitely be a challenge but it is by no means impossible to pull off. You just have to get creative. When people attend a bachelorette party, they expect certain things and if the bride-to-be is conservative, those ‘certain things’ are likely going to be off the table. That doesn’t mean you still can’t throw a great party though. Serve standard cocktails like martinis, Caesars and cosmopolitans with lots of finger foods and keep the conversation going. If your bride-to-be doesn’t like alcohol and has asked for a dry party, serve virgin variations of the cocktails. Play a few variations of traditional baby shower games to keep everyone entertained and having a good time. Some of my favorite games for this kind of bachelorette party are:
- Don’t Cross Your Legs: Give everyone a picture of a wedding ring or a foil wedding ring and ask them to pin it to their clothes in a conspicuous place. Once the ring is pinned in place, the woman is no longer allowed to cross their legs. If a guest with a ring pinned on their clothing crosses their legs, another guest can take that ring. The person with the most rings at the end of the party wins.
- Don’t Say A Word: Choose a forbidden word and make it off limits to everyone at the party. At a baby shower, the word would be ‘baby’ but for a bachelorette party, it’s better to stick with something marriage or wedding themed. When I play this one at parties I throw, I usually use ‘wedding’ or ‘bride’. Each time someone says the forbidden word, they get a strike against them. Keep track of the strikes on a big piece of brightly colored poster board and make sure it’s mounted where everyone can see it. The person with the fewest amount of strikes against them at the end of the party wins.
- Pass the Ring: You can play this with a garter too, but if your bride is especially conservative, that idea may not sit well with her. If you opt to go for the ring, use Ring Pop candies or make large ‘wedding rings’ out of tinfoil. When you’re ready to start, ask your guests to separate into even numbered teams. Have them stand in a line with the team leader at the front of the line. Hand every guest a straw and ask them to put the straw in their mouths. Give each team leader a wedding ring and ask them to put it on their straw. The team leader must then pass the ring to the next member of their team using only their straw and the next team member’s straw. No hands may be used in this process. The next team member then passes the ring to the next the same way. This continues until the ring reaches the last person. The first team to get the ring to the end of the line wins.
I understand that some of these games might seem a little lame, for lack of a better word, especially for a bachelorette party but you can make things a little more exciting by offering a prize everyone in attendance is going to want. If you only have enough money for one decent prize, offer it to the person who wins the most games. Trust me – competing for a prize they actually want is a great way to make sure your guests have a great time.
The Stressed Out Bachelorette Party
Planning a wedding means a lot of stress, even if you’ve hired a wedding planner. There are a lot of decisions to be made and there is a lot of pressure to make the right ones. There is a reason perfectly normal women can turn into Bridezillas in the blink of an eye. If your bride-to-be is having an especially difficult time or is just generally a stressed out kind of woman to begin with, consider going a little off the beaten path with the bachelorette party and focusing on relaxation over traditional entertainment. Remember, this is about the bride-to-be. If your bride-to-be needs to relax more than anything else focus on making sure she gets that. Take a spa day or set up a spa in your home or the home of one of your guests. Take her out of town for the weekend to somewhere relaxing. She’ll appreciate that more than you can imagine. If you decide to plan a laid back, relaxed get together, serve drinks like mojitos and pina coladas and keep the activities light. It should be about just hanging out and relaxing instead of being about keeping everyone entertained.
The Low Key Bachelorette Party
Not all women are looking for excitement and a story to tell for years out of their bachelorette party. Some women are just looking for a nice, laid back time with their friends. This is probably the easiest kind of bachelorette party to plan because all it really involves is inviting the right people and asking them to show up on time. Put together a nice meal everyone can enjoy together, get some drinks together and spend the evening chatting, sipping drinks and enjoying each others company. If that is a little too low key, change it up by going for a ‘girly’ night. Pool together some nail polish and give each other manicures and pedicures, serve some cocktails and indulge in some junk food and a couple of good movies. Low key but still lots of fun.
The Anything Goes Bachelorette Party
The anything goes bachelorette party is the kind of bachelorette party that will have people talking for years. There are no rules. For this kind of bachelorette party, the more outrageous the idea the better! I love playing games at bachelorette parties and there are so many great ones to play at this kind of party. I’m particularly fond of the condom race in which every guest gets a bushel of bananas, a bunch of flavored condom and a time limit. The guest that gets the most condoms on their bananas in the allotted time wins a leopard print vibrator, a pair of fuzzy handcuffs, a pair of edible panties, a gift certificate to a local adult gift store or some other kind of very naughty prize. The catch, of course, is that the ladies are not allowed to use their hands when they put the condoms on the bananas. It’s always a lot of laughs and has been a bit hit at every bachelorette party I’ve ever planned. I’m also a big fan of the ‘best fake orgasm’ contest in which guests who are willing to participate must try to fake a convincing orgasm. This one works best in a bar or club after many drinks have been consumed where the contest can be judged by random strangers. If you’re really throwing a party for a group of girls that are really open to anything, try out the “porno drinking game”. This one is most definitely not for every party but it can be way more fun than it should be with the right group of girls. In this one, you’re going to put on a porno and do a shot everything time someone says “yes”, “oh God” or “like that”.