The Maid-of-Honor's Guide to Planning the Bachelorette Party
A bachelorette is super special by definition: how often does a girl get to hang out with all of her closest friends from K through 12, college, and thereafter? Making it an occasion she'll remember forever (for all the right reasons) is easier than you think.
1. Consult with the bride.
Even if you've been best friends since birth and know exactly what she wants, check in. Find out how involved she wants to be in planning (if at all) and if she has any special requests (good margaritas, spa time) or major don'ts (no penis straws, please!). Ask for a guest list, but recommend she keep the party small (10 to 15).
2. Set (and save) the date.
Finding a date that works for everyone can be a little tricky. A few days before the wedding may be stressful for the bride, but more than six weeks out can be anticlimactic. Coordinate with the bride and bridesmaids first to make sure all the key players can make it, and then send a save the date.
3. Collaborate with the bridal party.
Unless the bride gave you a play by play of what she wants, reach out for ideas (not just help with to-dos). Each of you likely has different interests in common with the bride and unique insights into what would make this celebration perfectly suited to her.
4. Involve the groom.
Whether it's a little love note, or his answers to a few naughty questions you'll also ask the bride, or secretly getting your hands on her ice skates because a surprise group skating session will make her beam, there's nothing like finding out your best friends in the world have been in cahoots with your future husband to make you feel more loved than you even thought possible.
5. Don't overschedule.
Schedule down to the minute, and you won't leave any wiggle room for the sort of fun that develops organically when you're just chilling with your besties, like an impromptu fashion show or an extra round of drinks (and laughs) by the pool.
6. Make an itinerary.
Especially useful for a weekend away or multipart event, itineraries mean everyone will know where they need to be when, and you, the MOH, won't need to be constantly checking your phone.
7. Be considerate and transparent about cost.
When planning, be sensitive to what guests can afford. A groups of girls in their early twenties probably won't be able to spend as much as a similar group a decade on. Being up front about cost allows people to plan accordingly or opt out of certain activities if necessary. Remember not to let the bride pay for anything!
8. Get creative.
Pick a theme. Decorate. Coordinate outfits. Wear boas. Plan a few games, silly gifts, a scavenger hunt, a dare list, a keepsake for the bride. Whatever you end up doing, spend some time thinking of little ways to tailor the event (and any antics) to the bride (she'll notice all the details, we promise).
9. Don't be lax on logistics.
Make sure to confirm and reconfirm all bookings, reservations, transportation, and, ehrm, talent, so that everything runs smoothly, and you can enjoy the party instead of being troubleshooter-in-chief.
10. Be safe!
Whether it's just a couple glasses of wine or another round of shots on the house, booze is booze. Consider organizing group transportation, so no one has to drive.
12. Make it about the bride, not the bachelorette.
Don't get too hung up on what a bachelorette party "should" be like. Nothing wrong with revisiting the wild abandon of the bride's single days, but you don't want her to regret anything in the morning! Keep the focus on fun times with close friends and showering the bride with some serious love.