The Why We Love
This is a guest post by our friend Maggie of The Editorialite.
Hi there! I’m Maggie Winterfeldt Clark, a newlywed, lifestyle journalist and author of the blog The Editorialite. Recently, I’ve added professional wedding guest to my resume, having attended more than a dozen weddings in the past year. All my experience celebrating friends and family’s nuptials, and participating in the proceeding events, has taught me a few things about how to throw a great party. Today, I’m thrilled to share my six tips to planning a stellar bachelorette bash with Wedding Party’s readers. Here we go…
Planning a bachelorette party is no walk in the park—or down the aisle, as the case may be. It starts with building a guest list, determining a location and rallying invitees around a weekend. Once these essential tasks are done, it’s easy to want to sit back and watch another episode of “Say Yes to The Dress.” Resist this urge! There are still six important steps to planning a stellar bachelorette bash…
1. Talk to the bride about what kind of activities she’s comfortable with
Some brides don’t consider their bachelorette complete without a Magic Mike moment. For others, strippers are a serious no-no. There are many entertainment options–both with and without clothing. Maybe a stripper is too risqué, but a burlesque show is just right. A visit to a fortuneteller can be fun, as can a dance lesson, be it pole dancing or belly dancing. For active brides, a hike or golf outing are good bets.
2. Set a basic schedule and share it with the group ahead of time
Setting a schedule is the first step to setting guest expectations; invitees know what they’re expected to do when and can budget and pack accordingly. While a minute-by-minute agenda is too rigid, it’s important to have a few preplanned activities to anchor your days. Leave plenty of time for sleeping in and nursing hangovers to reruns of SATC, but don’t put yourself in a position where you’re asking each other “what do you want to do tonight?” If you’re asking this question, it’s likely too late to put a thoughtful evening together.
Jessica Kettle Photography
3. Research and book appropriate restaurants and venues, and make reservations far in advance
If you’re not familiar with the area, do your research and find a venue that aligns with the tone of your bachelorette party. Hot spots fill up far in advance, and it’s hard for restaurants to accommodate large groups without sufficient notice, so it’s important to book early. Depending on your group size, similar foresight may be needed for transportation; can you all fit into a cab? Are you going to rent a limo for a night or does it make more sense to rent a car for the whole weekend?
4. Set a budget and stick to it
After a few glasses of bubbly at the club, it’s tempting to want to upgrade your standing room only corner of the dance floor to a table and bottle service, but beware: small splurges add up. Not every guest can afford to go over the predetermined budget, and asking for a little more money from each guest can lead to big problems. I’ve seen it happen, and it’s not pretty.
Lauren & Abby Ross
5. Blend the bride’s different friend groups
Who hasn’t been at a bachelorette party where the school friends sit on one side of the room and the work friends on the other? It’s like that Girl Scout song that says, “make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.” It’s as true today as it was when you were six years old. Encourage the bride’s different friend groups to mix by assigning seating at dinner and finding common ground by going around the table and having everyone share her favorite memory of the bachelorette.
6. Share contact and travel info in a single, shared file
This may sound rudimentary, but having a single, easily accessible place to aggregate this information is a game changer. Instead of sending a million emails back and forth that you then have to sift through, I recommend creating a shared Google Doc, like this one (click File->“Save a copy” to use this template) in which each guest can fill in her phone number and flight or travel info. If someone gets lost or wants to coordinate a ride, she can find all the info she needs quickly and easily in one place.