A Bridesmaid’s Guide to Planning a Bachelorette Party

The bachelorette party is a time-honoured tradition. As the bride’s last hurrah before tying the knot, you and the other bridesmaids need to show her the time of her life. If you kill a few brain cells and cause a little ruckus along the way, then so be it! However, a few things to avoid: losing the bride, the bride getting sick or the bride ending up in a North Korean prison.

How to Prepare for a Bachelorette Party

Learn from mistakes made in The Hangover – having the bachelorette party the night before the wedding is a TERRIBLE idea. There’s nothing worse than having to stand all day, pose for pictures and socialize with everyone and their mother while you’re hung-over. Instead, aim for anywhere between 4-6 weeks before the wedding. Deciding whom to invite is usually a no-brainer. The bridesmaids, any sister(s) of the groom and only a handful of the bride’s other close friends and family should be included. Try to make it as age-appropriate as possible – if she’s under 21 or over 15 years older than the bride, it’s a good indication that she shouldn’t come. You have to consider factors like budget, convenience and timing – all three should work out well for the bride, and ideally most of the guests. Don’t go to Las Vegas, where you’re almost guaranteed to lose money, if you’re on a budget.

The Pre-Party: Start off the Night with a Bang

At most bachelorette parties, the guests begin their night at someone’s home to mobilize before the real festivities kick off. The pre-party sets the tone for the rest of the evening. If you’re hosting, follow these steps to make sure that you start the festivities off right. When decorating for a bachelorette, remember to keep it fun with a hint of sexy. Use bright colours with black accents for your streamers and balloons. Decorative coasters, napkins and confetti can help to brighten up the room.   You don’t have to decorate to excess because, let’s face it, you’ll probably spend most of your evening out on the town. Most guests will want to have a few drinks before leaving. For a truly Sex and the City experience, offer the ladies a round of martinis or cosmopolitans, complete with glass charms.  If she opts for beer instead, she can use a bachelorette-themed cozy.  Keep a bottle opener and corkscrew on hand – your guests will thank you later. Before you head out, give each girl a plastic shot glass necklace. Not only will they come in handy later, they make for fun, affordable party favours.

What to Wear to a Bachelorette Party

The cardinal rule of a bachelorette party is that the bride-to-be should have the spotlight at all times. To help ensure that happens, she should wear one of the following ceremonial crowns:

Another great accessory is a sash and veil combo. Depending on what the bride chooses, the bridesmaids also have to wear sashes or tiaras as a sign of solidarity. Wear an outfit that you would for any girls’ night out – dress and heels are a safe combination. If the bachelorette party prefers to be comfortable, custom-made t-shirts are a fun alternative. T-shirts can be made specific to the bride, Maid of Honour and bridesmaids. To personalize them even more, add nicknames or inside jokes to the back of the shirts. Matching accessories or t-shirts will help to make your group stand out in a crowd. You’ll have an easier time finding each other, and starting conversation with new friends. It’s guaranteed that you’ll be the talk of the town! Or at least the bar.

Where to Go for a Bachelorette Party

Every bride has her own style, her own sense of what’s fun and entertaining, so it’s important that you tailor the night’s agenda to that. If she’s classy, take her to a cocktail bar followed by a swanky gentleman’s club. If she’s country, a cowboy themed bar is a choice destination.  Use your imagination and she’s sure to have the night of her life. Plan to visit several destinations in order to keep the night’s momentum going.  The bachelorette party normally begins with dinner, followed by a few rounds at a low-key cocktail lounge. Bring the party to a close at a nightclub, bar or “gentlemen’s club” that the bride-to-be would love most. If you really want to make an entrance, and if it’s within your budget, rent a limo to chauffeur you around town. The bachelorette party is the bride-to-be’s last breath of marital freedom so it’s important to make it count. Stick together, drink responsibly and live outside your comfort zone for a night she’ll ever forget.

Next Steps

After the (probable) hangover clears and life resumes, it’s back to fulfilling your duties as a bridesmaid. Help the bride send personalized thank you cards to all the ladies who attended the bachelorette. Include party favours like manicure sets with the thank you cards. There are only a few more weeks before the wedding. Take this time to help the bride deal with every little thing that’s bound to go wrong. Flowers won’t be the exact shade of blue she wants, the cake will be a layer too small or the violinist will suddenly back out of the string quartet. Just remember – there’s no crisis too small for you to help.

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