Bridesmaid 101: the Bachelorette Party!

**Before I start this post, I just want to say that although my tone may come across as whiny sometimes, I genuinely love to death every girl I’ve been a bridesmaid for, and would do this all again, tomorrow.**

Oh, bachelorette parties. They’ve become such a thing, haven’t they? Let’s begin by setting the precedent that your bachelorette party has no effect on your marriage! The most important thing is that your bride-to-be feels celebrated, in her own special way.

+ My first pieces of advice is DO NOT HAVE YOUR BACHELORETTE PARTY IN NASHVILLE. I’m kinda joking…but just keep it classy, ok ladies?

+ First up: So you’re not the Maid of Honor. Should you even care? In a word- yes. I’ve been in a few situations where: there is no Maid of Honor, the MoH lives far away, the MoH is a very pregnant older sister, etc. etc. Put yourself in the bride’s shoes, saddle up, and secure yourself that “best friend of all time” spot by blowing her away!

+ If you’re not the Maid of Honor and she reaches out about the Bach, for the love, please be attentive and respond and help her in any way you can.

+ Have an honest conversation with your bride. What does she want the most? A chill, cabin or beach weekend away is totally cool! A hybrid with one night out is cool. A long-weekend rager in Vegas is also cool (and I’m still waiting for my invite to that one, btw.)

+ That being said- I think in 4/4 bachelorette parties I’ve been involved in planning, the bride-to-be has specifically requested nothing trashy at all, to which I say “She doesn’t know WHAT SHE WANTS!” And factor in that the surprise and delight and general high of being trapped in a house with 10 girls will make some shenanigans a-ok. :) Cake is cake.

+ Be sure and confirm the guest list with the bride, including any random additions that aren’t bridesmaids (sisters of the groom, cousins, etc.)

+ Send out a feeler email to that crew just as soon as you can. Figure out what you want and don’t want to spend money on. Budget is THE most important thing to nail down. Nothing is worse than booking an amazing house in Santa Barbara, only to learn that the group has a budget of $0. Also- you may find it easier to just make the plans and invite people, without taking input.

+ I take it back: THEME is the most important thing to nail down, non-negotiable. A theme gives you your hashtag, décor & swag, & just makes it fun. Themes I’ve participated in: wild/animal print, luau, firefighter, nautical.

+ Make Google docs your best friend! At the very least, start an itinerary, budget, and décor sheet, and delegate the heck out of it. Once again, not everyone is a planner, but it is reasonable for you to assign tasks (everyone brings a snack & drink to share, someone is in charge of the banner, someone is in charge of coordinating the activity, etc.) ETA: There is also an app called Splitwise that is GENIUS for bachelorette parties!

+ Having swag is great, but I don’t think t-shirts are your best bet. There are several simpler items that are just as cute, so much easier, and cheaper than a t-shirt that will probably never be worn again (koozies! sunglasses! tumbler cups!) I think it’s most important that the bride has fun things to wear for every activity (this is the time to get your best friend to wear that tiny sparkly cowboy hat like you’ve always dreamed of!)

+ Airb&b. Use it! Staying in a house is the most fun and cost effective option for a big group. Book this as early as you possibly can, and while some hosts are strictly against parties, I think it’s generally worth it to send a message explaining your party (“We are all young professionals that will mostly be on the town and I am SUPER responsible.”)

+ Hashtag. This is seriously the easiest thing you can do to delight your bride and stay on theme. The more creative, the better; bonus points for incorporating their new last name! Encourage Demand that the party guests use the hashtag as MUCH as possible. (Some ideas: #AmandaGoesWilder, #JenaesLastLuau, #MrsSuarezEnFuego, #AndreasFinalFiesta, #FutureMrsPappu.)

+ In my opinion, a perfect bachelorette party is a mix of plans and un-plans. You’re going to have a lot of personalities, and a lot of girls getting ready. Make sure you schedule downtime to craft, or chill, or nap. Each day really only needs one big planned activity.

+ I could write an entire post on saving vs. splurging for a Bachelorette party. Just know that even if you are traveling, there are so many inexpensive options for activities, décor, and food. You do NOT have to max your credit card to have a successful Bachelorette party.

+ On that note…go to Dollar Tree. This is the best place to get super cheap party supplies in any color palette. They also have wonderful kitschy stuff for decorations (I’m waiting for the day that I can plan a Christmas themed bachelorette party) and the best part is it’s all one dollar! Holllla

+ Again on that green subject…be prepared to spend money and not get it back. In a perfect world, everyone wants to split things fair and square, but in reality, you’re planning the party, and you WILL end up spending your own money on things. It’s best to go into the weekend knowing that and factoring that into your wedding gift. Addendum A to this point is: when it comes to things like paying for the accommodations, invoicing on Venmo is a real thing, that I wish I had known about sooner. If a party guest does not have Venmo downloaded on their phone, don't let them into the house.

+ Dinner reservations. Make ‘em. That’s all I have to say.

+ Some brides have the bandwidth to have multiple showers, but keep in mind that a Bach party is a perfect place to tuck in a lingerie shower. This can be as simple as a pair of novelty panties for your bride. (<-- a sentence I have never before written.)

+ Now enjoy yourself. You planned this shebang, and while your top priority is making sure your bride has the time of her life, you earned your champagne, sister.

Alright ladies, Bachelorette party tips, tricks, themes and hashtags- let's hear 'em! Share below in the comments. This is totally a safe space for shenanigans.


Missed the kick-off to the series? Check out Bridesmaid 101: Now What?

Stay tuned for Bridesmaid 101: the Bridal Shower, up next!


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