If you want to give one of your best girlfriend's a party she'll never forget, that probably means you want to throw her a bachelorette party. In fact, maybe you want to throw her a party that's so fun, she'll have even colder feet on her wedding day and will remember her last “hoorah” fondly and as a symbol of a part of her life she will always miss: when she was single and free.
Of course you support her soon-to-be-said wedding vows and you wish her the best of luck in marriage and family life. But your job as a bridesmaid is first and foremost, to show her a good time before she ties the knot. And you only have one opportunity (hopefully) to do this, so here is your bachelorette party how-to.
It's crucial that you do some pretty serious party planning. Fortunately, there are so many possibilities at your fingertips. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
First and foremost, let your bride be your guide. Is she conservative or was she your sorority sister in college? While bachelorette parties are often pretty comparable to bachelor parties, these days, some women may prefer a girl's night in rather than a girl's night out. Make sure you ask your friend what she wants from her bachelorette party experience. This doesn't mean you can't surprise her, but you must keep in mind that the bachelorette party is for her, and her alone, not her guests. It should be a party she will have good, lasting memories of (unless of course it's a much-welcomed blur and she doesn't remember it at all).
So, for starters, you have to plan the date of the bachelorette party. The night before the wedding is probably not a brilliant idea. Most brides want to have their beauty rest beforehand and don't want to feel hungover as they say their wedding vows. So, find out when all the important events surrounding the wedding are (like the rehearsal dinner and engagement party), and then decide upon the date.
Now for the guest list! Obviously you and the other bridesmaids should be in attendance. But you can make this is a big affair or a more intimate gathering – just make sure you don't accidentally invite anyone to the bachelorette party who isn't already invited to the wedding! That's a recipe for disaster. And also, no boys allowed. Or at least, no heterosexual men should be in attendance. Whatever the festivities include, a bachelorette party should not include the attendance of male friends and family of the bride. Men may participate in the party, but only as entertainment – not as guests!
Again, the itinerary can be anything you think your bride would like – a cozy night spent inside the house, drinking or not drinking wine, watching movies, eating dessert, etc. Or it can be a wild night on the town, complete with a visit to a strip club (or at least a peak inside!), etc. Remember, however, that while a male stripper is a nice idea, it's not all that exciting for many women – so you want to have a good idea of the character of your party before you plan the events. If you do plan for there to be a lot of alcohol consumption, consider renting a limo to tote the bride and her guests around! This is not only fun and luxurious, but safe too.
There is only one rule, really: that the wife-to-be has a fabulous time.
Typically, however, the bachelorette party will begin with dinner – perhaps at a restaurant or at your house, if you like to cook. You might even share gifts before the main festivities take off; usually these gifts aren't too serious and include adult toys and lingerie.
Overall, while you want the bride to have a good, old time, it's okay – in fact, it's pretty standard – to embarrass her in front of her guests and better yet, strangers. Especially if you're barhopping, there are lots of cute strategies to make the bride feel uncomfortable. For example, you can arrange a scavenger hunt! Make a list of items that the bride has to collect in order for her to be given alcoholic beverages. Items on this list can include condoms or lighters (she'll have to ask bar patrons, etc, for them).
You might want your bachelorette party to last a whole weekend. Many bridesmaids arrange to whisk the bride off to some exotic island or exciting city for a couple of nights. The bride will have to front the bill, however, of transportation, so only do this if she can indeed afford it. But only if you are planning for a resort vacation, or something of that sort, should you expect the bride to spend even one dollar toward the festivities. This should be a completely free night of excitement and adventure for her!