summer holidays and vacation - girls with champagne glasses on boat or yacht

Planning and Perfecting an Unforgettable Bachelorette Party

Planning and Perfecting an Unforgettable Bachelorette Party

Writer / Alli Donovan
Photography Provided

The Wedding Report estimates that there will be 2.24 million weddings in 2023. Many things come to mind upon hearing the word “wedding.” The reception, the food, the dress and the vows are all considerations. The lucky best friend who is selected as a maid of honor immediately thinks of the bachelorette party.

Bachelorette Party
summer holidays and vacation – girls with champagne glasses on boat or yacht

The history of bachelorette parties is fairly simple. After becoming somewhat common in the 1960s, the term “bachelorette party” became more popular by the 1980s. We can credit this to the women’s liberation movement and the desire for a fun affair to celebrate a wedding with the gals only – besides a bridal shower.

TIME magazine published an article stating that weddings weren’t extremely lavish and elaborate until Princess Diana married Prince Charles in 1981.

But enough about the history. Let us tell you what you need to be the best maid of honor (or matron of honor) to plan your bride’s bachelorette party.

Pre-Bachelorette Party Preparation | Six or More Months Before the Wedding

  • Local versus destination. Our first recommendation is to talk to your bride. Consult with her on whether she wants a local celebration or destination party. Destination bachelorette parties have become more common, but not every bride wants that. As a maid of honor, it is up to you to chat with the bride and collaborate on what best fits her style.
  • Consult with the rest of the bridal party. This a pro tip from past brides – chat with the rest of the bridal party. This is crucial before planning a bachelorette party, because this helps set expectations across all participants on the budget and what everyone is comfortable with. This is a great time to talk with them, and determine what the bride will and will not pay for (travel and lodging expenses, food and drink bills, etcetera).
  • Pick a location. If a destination bachelorette party is the move, then next is determining where you will go. Many brides already have a place in mind, which makes your job easy. However, if your best friend is indecisive about where to go, you are on deck to help with options and build a pro-and-con list. When brainstorming options, it is important to take into account factors like the time of year that you will be traveling, the overall budget, and the personality of the bride-to-be.
  • Select a date. Once the question of location is answered, the group can consider when it will take place. Usually, a girls weekend away occurs Thursday through Sunday or Friday through Monday. You want to plan your trip for no earlier than two months before the wedding, but no later than two weeks before. This timing will guarantee that the bride has time for the party, and also ensure that the fun doesn’t come and go too soon.

Again, if it is a destination party, it is very important to consult with the rest of the bridesmaids on the date to confirm that everyone is available. Arrivals and departures do not necessarily have to happen all at the same time, but as long as the group has one full day and night together, the bride will be pleased.

  • Book lodging and travel. You have decided on the when and where for the bachelorette party. Now it is time to decide on how everyone will travel there and where you will stay. Most destination bachelorette parties require a round-trip flight, so be sure to start searching as soon as possible.

While each bridesmaid is responsible for booking her own transportation, it is helpful if the maid of honor keeps everyone on the same page regarding flight times and prices. This will guarantee that everyone has the opportunity to travel together and that no single member of the bridal party must pay more than another.

While booking flights or rental cars, you should also be scoping out the lodging options available in the area. Depending on the size of your group and the overall budget, we suggest looking into renting a home through Airbnb or Vrbo, since they are typically cheaper to split and allow for everyone to remain together. Before booking, be sure to read reviews and double check that you are getting the most bang for your buck.

  • Choose a theme. While this is not a necessary part of planning a bachelorette party, there are many brides who prefer to have a theme associated with their girls weekend. Typically this theme needs to be decided prior to planning the specifics for decorations, party favors, etcetera.

Please consult with the bride about her vision regarding her bachelorette theme before any major decisions are made. Chances are, she already has an idea of what she does and does not want.

Big-Picture Basics | Four to Six Weeks Before the Party

  • Research and plan your days. In the weeks leading up to the party, the maid of honor will want to research all the activities, attractions, restaurants and bars that the city has to offer. It is your responsibility to have a basic itinerary of fun bachelorette party ideas to make the weekend unforgettable. This allows the trip to play out smoothly and creates minimal uncertainty amongst the bridal party.

When you plan to go out, research transportation and club entry fees to plan for those additional costs, if that’s what the group wants to do. If you have nights planned that involve staying in, be sure to brainstorm some game ideas to either get the party started or to work as icebreakers, in case any bridesmaids aren’t familiar with one another.

Another pro tip from past brides – pick out a game that can double as a gift for the bride to take home, to play at all future girls nights!

  • Order decorations. Whether you and the group are staying in an Airbnb, Vrbo or hotel accommodation, it is fun to turn a plain rental into a fun, picture-perfect pad. You can keep the same decor theme as the bridal shower, or go as R-rated as you would like.

Tip: Contact the host of the rental property and ask if they would be willing to set everything up for you beforehand, if you, the maid of honor, can’t get there earlier than the bride. If that doesn’t work out, have the bride go into the bathroom while you and the group decorate.

  • Coordinate clothing. Matching or coordinated clothing among bridesmaids and the bride has become popular in the last few years. It is a responsibility of the maid of honor to chat with the bride and decide which outfits are planned in advance, so the rest of the party knows what to wear and when.
  • Organize gift bags. After coordinating outfits, another step to complete as maid of honor is organizing gift bags. This is optional, but it can be a fun way to hand out party favors and hangover helpers to help for the weekend. This cute care package can include anything from hair ties and temporary tattoos to Advil and Pedialyte.

The Final Tasks | The Week of and Day Before the Party

  • Start a shared album for wedding pictures. In the world of smartphones and constant picture snapping, hundreds of photos will be taken during this fun girls weekend. Save a ton of time, spare the group texts, and just create a shared album for the photos. It creates a simple and easy place to find the photos whenever needed.
  • Pack the necessities. Packing lists are incredibly helpful for any trip, especially for a trip that you are in charge of. Help yourself out and create a packing list of all the clothes, cosmetics and goodies you will need.

Tip: If you are flying to your destination and are taking party favors, consider splitting them among the rest of the bridesmaids to save room.

  • Finalize everything. The last thing you or the bride want is for something to go wrong. This is why we tell you to double check everything. Travel plans, lodging arrangements, transportation, packing lists, decorations, party favors – do yourself a favor and check everything, and make sure it is ready for the weekend.

Keep in touch with the rest of the bridesmaids. Be sure they are on the same page as you as far as weekend plans. If they are responsible for bringing anything, be sure they have packed it.

Lastly, talk with the bride. Be sure that all the plans are OK by her, and that there are no last-minute changes or concerns on her end.

Day of Duties | The Weekend Is Here!

Party! You worked so hard to put together an amazing bachelorette party for your bride. Live it up and enjoy yourself. Celebrate the bride and create some amazing memories. Don’t forget to drink lots of water, eat plenty of food and take a million pictures.

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