If you’re planning a bachelorette party, it can be helpful to know the history of this tradition. A bachelorette party is a celebration held for a bride-to-be in the weeks leading up to her wedding. Bachelorette parties are for the bride and bachelor parties are for the groom.
In days gone by (and sometimes even today), this event would often consist of just one thing: an evening out on the town with gal pals. These days, however, bachelorette parties are often elaborate events that combine fun and frolic with traditions steeped in history and culture.
So, if you’re thinking about throwing one yourself, the bride-to-be or if someone has invited you along on theirs, read on!
What Does Bachelorette Party Mean?
What does the phrase “bachelorette party” mean? The bachelorette party is a party for the bride-to-be, where she celebrates her last days as a single woman. It’s a time to get together with friends and family for fun and an excuse to do something different. This could be anything from dinner at your favorite restaurant to movie night at home, but it should definitely include some activity that will help you bond as women.
Origins of the Bachelorette Party
Bachelorette party history is unclear, but most historians agree that they date back to ancient Greece — where brides were given jewelry and other gifts before marriage — and maybe even further back than that!
Others say the word “bachelorette” comes from an old French word meaning “single lady.” Today, you can use this term to describe any unmarried woman who has reached an age where people consider it appropriate for her to be married (typically 25-35 years old).
Modern bachelorette parties have become more common in recent years thanks to their connection with modern feminism. Many feminists believe these celebrations can help women reclaim agency over their bodies after years spent being told what they’re meant for by society versus what they want for themselves.
When Do You Host a Bachelorette Party?
You can host a bachelorette party after the wedding, but it’s better to hold it before or during. Before the wedding gives you a chance to get your guests together and plan fun activities; during the wedding gives you time to be silly while not worrying about the big day.
If you’re having a bachelorette party before the wedding, try to plan it for a week or two before. This way, if there’s any last-minute scrambling when you realize you forgot something for the wedding itself, your guests will be able to help out.
Who Throws a Bachelorette Party?
The bride can throw a bachelorette party or ask someone else to do it for her. Usually, the groom is tasked with organizing the bachelor party and the maid of honor is responsible for planning the bridesmaids’ night out.
The bridesmaids often get together on their own to plan a fun night out before they head off to spend time with the bride. Sometimes it works out that all of your friends gather together at some point during your engagement celebration and celebrate you!
The best part of most bachelorette parties is that it’s an opportunity to celebrate with your friends. It’s not just about having fun with the bride but also celebrating those who are important in her life.
How to Plan a Bachelorette Party
Planning a wild bachelorette party can be an exciting and creative process. Whether you’re planning the whole thing yourself or letting your friends take over, there are plenty of resources at your disposal.
If you want to plan the entire night yourself, keep in mind that it’s not as hard as it might seem. Start by deciding what kind of theme you want for the party — options can include “Casino Night” or “Dating Do’s & Don’ts.”
Then, think about music. Do you need a DJ? How many people will come? What type of food should be served? Finally, decide on activities for your guests. Will there be games or contests? Maybe even karaoke?
Let’s go a bit more in-depth in actually planning a bachelorette party.
Make a Budget
Although the bachelorette party is all about the bride, don’t make the other girls and their bank accounts empty. Respect how much money people are able or willing to spend.
If you aren’t sure what any of the ladies would be willing to pay, then reach out and ask them what they would be comfortable contributing. The moment you have a certain amount that’s close to your estimate, get creative and make the most of it.
Choose a Theme for the Bachelorette Party
You need to pick a theme to make the bachelorette party an amazing one. Everyone will love this. This will help you not have another boring bachelorette party.
To make the bride love it, pick a theme she loves and is obsessed with. Here are a few ideas for themes you can work with.
- Beach theme
- Barbie theme
- Movie or Tv show theme (Mean Girls)
- Country theme
- Specific Decade (mainly the 90s) and many more.
Whatever theme you choose, you can start making the decorations and games, among others, all based on the theme.
Choose the Dates
After making a budget and choosing a theme, the next thing to do is to select a date for the party. Picking out dates that will work for everyone is the most challenging part, but if no one comes, the bride is going to be very unhappy with you.
That said, the earlier you can get this on the schedule, the better. You can start by asking the bride when she would want her bachelorette party before asking others. After that, work with the answers you were given to get the perfect date; everybody will be available.
Choose the Destination
The next step is choosing a destination. Do you want to stay local? Or Go across the country? Whatever you decide, ensure you ask about the cost of each place.
Ensure to research their food, rooms, nightlife, and other fun things to do. You also need to know how much each of these things is going to cost.
Then if you’re okay with the cost, book the appropriate accommodations, limo pick- up and dinner reservations.
Finally, it is advisable to have a backup plan. Always presume the best but plan for the worst. For instance, maybe the restaurant you made dinner reservations at floods unexpectedly.
Therefore, it is best to look out for a few backup options. There’s no need to book them, but you can know where they are and what they offer.
Plan the Activities
The bachelorette party should be fun for everyone. As such, plan many activities to occupy a few hours a day if it’s a multi-day event. But leave room for relaxation and conversation.
First, start with games, introductions, then gifts. However, no matter your plan, the bride should enjoy it. Always remember every bride is different. Some people want a wild, crazy party weekend. On the other hand, other brides prefer something quieter and more elegant. Ensure you are tailoring the bachelorette party to the bride-to-be’s preferences.
How Much Does a Bachelorette Party Cost
A bachelorette party can cost anywhere from $50 to a few thousand dollars. The cost depends on the location, length of the party and the number of attendees. On average, a bachelorette party (or hen party) costs around $200 per person.
If you’re hosting an intimate daytime brunch for your best friend’s bride-to-be with only four guests, you could have it at home or at a restaurant for about $200 total — this includes food, table service and decorations. Depending on your budget, this may be all that’s needed!
However, if you want to do something more extravagant like go clubbing or have spa treatments done at an upscale hotel such as the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City, the costs will obviously rise dramatically.
Do You Need a Bachelorette Party?
Bachelorette parties are fun and a great way to celebrate the bride-to-be. They also serve as an opportunity for her friends to get together and give each other gifts, make memories and have some laughs before the bride gets married. What better way is there to do that than by drinking?
No matter how much experience you have with drinking or partying, your bachelorette party should be something that everyone will remember fondly long after the event has come and gone. Ultimately, the choice is up to you though.
Who to Invite to The Bachelorette Party
There are a few factors to consider when deciding who to invite to a bachelorette party (also known as a hen party). Obviously, invite the bride’s closest friends. The bride’s family and friends and the groom’s family and friends will likely be invited, but there may also be people you want to include that aren’t technically related to either side of the couple.
It’s important that you think about what kind of relationship the bride has with these people and what relationship they have with each other to determine if they should be invited or not.
Overview of Some Common Types of Guests
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The bride’s closest girlfriends should be at your party for obvious reasons. If you don’t know what constitutes a “closest girlfriend,” invite all her friends because no one wants their bestie left out of a night like this! You can even throw in some male friends if they’re close enough (and if it makes sense).
A bachelorette party can be the perfect time to start making memories with your new in-laws! They might also bring gifts, which would make things even better!
Bachelorette Party vs. Bridal Shower
Bridal showers or bridal parties are often confused with bachelorette parties because they’re both held by the bride-to-be and her friends. However, bridal showers are typically hosted by the bride’s family or close friends, while the bride and her friends host a bachelorette party.
The best way to tell if you’re at a bridal shower or a bachelorette party is to check whether there is any alcohol involved! If there is no alcohol, it’s probably not a bachelorette party — it might be an engagement party or even dinner with friends. But if drinks are served (or cake), it’s time for some fun!
What To Do Before Bachelorette Parties
The first thing you’ll want to do is plan an itinerary for your friends’ evening out! This includes deciding where you’ll eat, what kind of drinks you’ll have at each stop along the way and how long it will take for everyone to get safely from one place to another.
The second step in planning your bachelorette party is to send out invitations. Whether you want to put these on paper or email them, the details should be included: date and time, location and who to contact if there’s any confusion over the event details.
Bachelorette Party Gifts
Once that’s all settled, it’s time for gifts! You can buy them now or wait until closer to the time — it depends on how much thought and money you want to go into the gift(s) each attendee will receive.
Many brides just want something small and fun, like a photo frame with photos inside from their best friend, while others go big with expensive jewelry pieces.
If possible, try finding ways around giving money as a gift. Other ideas include tickets or passes (to concerts/movies/plays etc.), flowers, handmade cards and chocolate-covered strawberries.
Destination Bachelorette Party Ideas
Have you ever been to New York City? How about Washington, D.C.? If not, it’s time to go! What about Disney World? Or maybe even Las Vegas? You don’t have to spend too much on travel if you choose one of these destinations as your bachelorette party destination. Even though it’s affordable, it will still be fun and memorable!
Beach Bachelorette Party
The best part of going to a beach for bachelorette party ideas is that there are so many things for everyone to do! You can go swimming in the ocean or lake, snorkeling, surfing — there’s no way you’ll get bored! Here are some tips for the perfect beach bachelorette party:
- Bring a beach chair and umbrella
- Bring a cooler full of drinks
- Bring a volleyball and boombox to play music while you’re on the beach (don’t forget your speakers!)
- If it’s sunny out, bring along some sunscreen!
A pool party can also be just as fun as a beach party!
Bachelorette Party Ideas for A Small Group
If you have a smaller group, like 4-8 people, it can be hard to keep everyone involved and having fun. However, you do not need wild parties to have fun!
Consider putting on a bachelorette party movie night. Many brides will love this. Choose movies with comedy (and maybe some romance) so that everyone will enjoy them — and everyone has an opportunity to participate. Some options are “Bridesmaids” or “The Hangover”. If you want something less raunchy, try “Crazy Stupid Love”.
What To Do Before the Festivities
Get a good night’s sleep. You’ll need all the energy you can muster to get through this party, so it’s best to be well-rested!
Have a healthy breakfast before the party. This is important for everyone, but especially for the bride-to-be — you’ll want to keep your energy up throughout the whole day (and night!) so make sure you fuel up with something nutritious before hitting the road for your bachelorette party!
Drink plenty of water before bachelorette parties. Remember: too much alcohol dehydrates you even more than if you hadn’t drank water, so stay hydrated by sipping water throughout the evening.
Look after your feet while walking around town all day long exploring different places together. Remember these tips when selecting footwear for bachelorette parties:
1) Wear sturdy shoes that have been broken beforehand. Blisters are not fun!
2) Don’t forget some comfy socks.
3) Make sure the shoes you choose are comfortable enough to wear all night!
It’s party time!
Now that the party has arrived, it’s time to get down to business. The bride-to-be is the center of attention and should be treated like a queen during the party! In addition, remember that these bride and hen parties are all about celebrating the bride’s upcoming nuptials — don’t forget why you’re there!