Bachelorette Blunders: Party Planning Tips
Posted by Cat Meeker on April 24, 2012 at 3:12 PM
With wedding season ramping up, it’s time to think about planning the bride’s other special day: The bachelorette party! Bachelorette parties can be a blast, but can also quickly fall apart. We’ve all seen Bridesmaids right? Think about it: A large, random group, poorly planned festivities, or an unhappy bride-to-be can turn a fun night into a total disaster. One of the easiest ways to ensure a great time? Think ahead. Learn these 10 common bachelorette party bloopers so that your next round of festivities is all smiles and smooth sailing – and no one has to be escorted off the plane.
Missing In Action
To avoid any hurt feelings, it's critically important to go over the guest list with the bride-to-be. When it comes to who should or shouldn't be invited — from relatives to random friends — she knows best. Plus, she'll be able to help organize the rooms (if you travel) so that everyone feels comfortable within the group.
Same Old, Same Old
Just because other brides have gone for a wild getaway weekend, that doesn't mean it's the right choice for every bachelorette. Get creative when it comes to which city or venue you'll visit. Cater to the guest of honor's taste: if she loves the water, try a sailing trip, or if she's into low-key get-togethers, try a local winery or a fun, old-school sleepover. My friends and I hosted a sleepover for our bride-to-be, complete with silly pajamas, sleeping bags, tons of movies, and board games like “Pretty Pretty Princess.” Oh, and lots of wine. It was a blast and one of my most favorite memories!
To make everything easier, from decorations to favors to outfits, try to unify the trip with some kind of theme. Step outside the box by choosing something the bachelorette loves; Her favorite decade, hobby, colors, whatever. Keep the theme in line with the couple's interests by choosing, say, a music motif (or a weekend getaway to a summer music fest) for concert lovers.
Let’s get real for a minute. Things can get tricky when different groups of friends blend together, but it's important for everyone to get along so that the bride-to-be feels comfortable. It’s one night – try and encourage everyone to drop the drama. Already anticipating an awkward dynamic? Split the rooms accordingly and do your best to steer conversations away from any delicate topics.
Large groups can be tough to coordinate, so be sure to plan out every last detail — especially transportation. I know it’s a lot of work, but a slipup-free party will be worth it. Make reservations several weeks ahead of time and send detailed itineraries to guests so that everyone knows what's expected of them ahead of time. If it isn't a jam-packed weekend, go ahead and mark down the free time, too, so that girls can pencil in their own plans.
A Blown Budget
This is probably one of the trickiest issues to handle and can cause a lot of stress and resentment. Many girls are in or attending several weddings each year and the costs really add up. Not everyone has unlimited travel budgets! Steer clear of astronomical, unexpected costs by deciding on a group budget beforehand. Reach out for guests' opinions and come to an agreeable consensus on how much you plan to spend. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, either. For those who can't afford to join in on all the festivities, let them pick and choose which events they'll be able join.
An Uncomfortable Bride-to-Be
It goes without saying, but honoring the bride's wishes is non-negotiable. Have an open, honest conversation early on to find out what she is or isn't comfortable with — whether it's drink limits, surprise guests, or tacky paraphernalia (penis cake anyone?). Learn her expectations and follow through on any dos and don'ts so that she has a bachelorette party that's right for her. This night is not about you.
Sure, a bachelorette party should be a good time, but it should also be a memorable trip — even without photographic evidence. It's important to maintain a sense of responsibility, especially if you're the host, so that the bachelorette doesn't have to worry about everyone else. The bottom line: you don't want to embarrass yourself or the bride-to-be.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…until it's all over Facebook. Steer clear of any 2 a.m. pics that you might regret in the morning, and chat with the group about what is or isn't appropriate to share. If you want to share some funny shots with the girls but not with the bachelorette's soon-to-be mother-in-law, ask the guests to email you their photos, then make a private gallery on Shutterfly or flickr.
Tiaras, light-up rings, sashes, matching tees — needless to say, it isn't tough to spot a bachelorette party. If you're not careful, all that attention can also be a target, so keep the group safe by turning down any drink offers from friendly bachelor parties or randos. A good rule of thumb: as always, be sure that you see all the drinks that are made for you.