Having planned a few bachelorette parties, I know the amount of coordination, time and research that goes into a fun and successful event. For all you first-time bachelorette party planners or those wanting information for your next bachelorette party, here are some helpful tips and ideas for you to think about.
Ask the bride.
Be sure to get the bride’s input on what she wants to do and who she wants to invite. You can have her completely involved with decisions and scheduling or you can get a general idea of what she wants and make the activities and schedule a surprise. I’ve had friends request no phallic paraphernalia, great food and dancing and allowed the planners to decide and plan everything else. I’ve also had friends who want to be a part of every decision. You know your bride and asking first doesn’t hurt. It’s a party to celebrate her so ultimately she gets the final say!
Have one or two main planners.
These planners can get ideas from the bride and bachelorette party attendees but will be the main ladies doing the majority of research, making reservations, and leading the group. If the bride doesn’t have specific requests, the entire group can be a sounding board for ideas. The best thing would be for the bride to not have to plan anything because the bachelorette party is a gift to her and she’s already planning a wedding! You could have a type-A bride that wants to be a part of the process though.
Plan activities according to your group’s interests.
The bride does get final say, but also know your group. Plan activities that the majority of guests will enjoy. Would your guests enjoy relaxing activities like pampering or physical activities like bike riding? If you go out, some guests could hang out at the bar while another group hits the dance floor. Know your guests’ ages before you book a wine tour or go bar hopping.
Start planning well ahead of the party to be able to make reservations and get the best deals. This would include reservations for restaurants, activities, and hotels. Also check online deals like Groupon or Living Social for group discounts.
Create a private Facebook group.
This is very helpful for large groups, guests living in different cities, and guests who don’t know each other yet. The Facebook group can be a central location for getting feedback for planning purposes, sharing last-minute details, keeping track of each other during the weekend, and sharing photos after the event.
Book a place for everyone to stay together.
Staying together in a hotel or house through Airbnb is a great way to keep the group engaged. It adds to the bonding experience and keeps everyone on time. A cute Airbnb house would be best for big groups and you can save money by making meals in the kitchen or storing food and drinks for pre-gaming. Make sure everyone has a bed or a comfy place to sleep!
Decide payment ahead of time.
It may be helpful to set a reasonable budget per person so that guests know how much they’ll spend or to be sure the costs are split evenly. You can estimate the full weekend’s cost and ask everyone to pay one amount or have each person pay at each activity or meal. The bride usually has everything paid for during the party. If everyone is paying at each activity, estimate the cost for the bride and request contributions from the party guests to make sure the planners aren’t stuck covering the whole cost. Also be sure individual payment is available at each location ahead of time. Some restaurants won’t split checks or some activities may require a deposit. No matter what, having a plan about money will help things go smoother.
Don’t forget downtime.
Try not to pack your schedule so tight that you are running frantically from place to place. Allow time to freshen up, relax and travel from place to place. Multiple girls getting ready in one bathroom can take some time! Traffic will happen. Finding a parking spot is sometimes difficult. Extra time in the schedule will help keep things on schedule.
Put together an outlined schedule.
Prepare your guests by giving them a schedule or general idea of what you all will be doing during the party/weekend. This will make sure guests pack/bring the right kind of clothes for specific activities or know where to meet you if they’re only dropping in for a part of the events.
Trinkets are fun!
There’s something about matching trinkets that make a bachelorette party extra festive. Get your bride a veil, crown and/or sash. Get matching beads or buttons for guests. You could even take it a step up and get matching shirts or matching cups for lounging by the pool.
What are your tips for the perfect, stress-free bachelorette party?