Bachelorette Party Basics

In theory, the bachelorette party is your last opportunity to “live it up” and “paint the town red” before becoming a happily married woman. The prospect of a bachelorette party can be a bit terrifying (male strippers, anyone?) and confusing (who’s invited? Who’s planning?), but in reality, a bachelorette party is an opportunity for a night of fun, celebration, and laughter among you and your closest girlfriends. Here’s a quick overview of the bachelorette party basics:

Hostess: When it comes to hosting the bachelorette party, there’s no real proper etiquette. It can be hosted by anyone. Typically, the maid of honor and/or bridesmaids offer to plan the festivities, but truth be told, it’s completely appropriate for the event to be planned by a relative, co-worker, or close pal.

Guests: Typical wedding etiquette gets thrown out the window when it comes to the bachelorette party guest list. At bridal showers, all of the invitees should also be invited to the wedding. The same doesn’t necessarily apply to the bachelorette party. In general, the guest list should be women close to the bride, which, in most cases, would strictly include wedding guests. However, if your wedding is happening out of town or is a small, family affair, it’s totally appropriate to extend a bachelorette party invitation to friends or co-workers who won’t be attending the nuptials. The most important rule to follow is to include women that you can relax and have fun with!

Date: The bachelorette party can be held anytime in the weeks or months leading up to the wedding. A couple of weeks in advance is usually the best option. If it’s held too close to the wedding, you run of the risk of adding undue stress or anxiety to the event (or not giving yourself enough time to recover). If it’s planned too early, it can lose its sense of urgency and finality.

Where: There aren’t strict rules about where a bachelorette party should be held. The venue should be selected based on the preferences of everyone involved. The place can range from a more relaxed, intimate gathering at someone’s home to an elegant dinner at an upscale restaurant to a night of revelry at a series of clubs or bars.

Activities: Again, the night’s agenda can be tailored to meet the specific needs and desires of the bride and her pals. All in all, the purpose of the bachelorette party is to have fun and perhaps embarrass the bride a bit. Hit up a dance club, gorge on a gourmet dinner, plan an out-of-town weekend, visit an, ahem, adult entertainment venue, or host an intimate lingerie shower. If you, as the bride, are uncomfortable with the idea of an event that’s too risqué or wild, simply be honest with the ladies who are planning it. Let them know your expectations ahead of time so that everyone is able to be comfortable and have a good time.

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