It’s 2016, and bachelor and bachelorette parties have gone through quite a few evolutions in the past few years. Firefighters with velcro, break-away pants and a boombox aren’t every bachelorette’s cup of tea, and not every bachelor would consider a 2 A.M. bar crawl a good time.
If you want to be sure you’re throwing your friend a bachelor or bachelorette party they’ll really love, we have 7 thoughts you should keep in mind.
7 Tips for an Amazing Bachelor or Bachelorette Party
1. Consider everyone’s budget
Before you go planning some big heyday in Vegas or a cross-country road trip, consider two things:
- not everyone can afford the same things as everyone else
- for bridal party members living in other areas of the country, travel may not be cheap
Talk to all the bridal party members to see what’s feasible and what isn’t. If everyone is on board with an extravagant week of tipsy tourism, but not everyone can afford it, it might still be possible to raise cash or pool funds. If it isn’t, that’s okay. There are dozens of ways to stay close to home and still party like it’s 1999, from weekend cabin rentals on Airbnb, to long, relaxing spa days in the nearest metro area.
2. Remember who this is for
If the bride or groom isn’t a big drinker, skip the bars. If they’re into a specific sports team, go to one of their games—even if it’s not a team you root for. If they hate the beach, bypass it, even if everyone else in the bridal party is longing for a seaside bash. This isn’t about you or the bridal party: this is a celebration of the bride or the groom. Show them you know them by planning a party you can be sure they’ll have fun at.
3. Stray from the cliche
For most brides and grooms, the bachelor and bachelorette party is about spending time with friends—not fulfilling a rom-com, booze-cruise-style fantasy. Sure, those little party favors in the shapes of…well, you know…might be cheap, but why waste money on a cliche when you could spend it on creating a party the bride or groom will actually feel honored by? Unless the bride or groom specifically asks for one last hurrah at a strip club, skip it. You’ll avoid ruffling their betrothed’s feathers while ensuring that every member of the bridal party can have a fun, embarrassment-free time.
4. Collect the memories
Don’t stop at taking pictures! Designate someone to jot down every hilarious memory. Let’s be honest—things can get a little hazy between tequila shots. Give your friends a gift they can look back on. You can collect quotes using a notepad app on your phone, or in a small moleskin-style notebook. Later, print out the pictures (or collect them in a photo book), or edit together a video. Then, you can caption pictures or video clips with some of the quotes and memories that got written down.
5. Think outside the bar…erm, box.
Keeping tip #1 in mind (considering everyone’s budget,) remember there are other places to throw bachelor or bachelorette parties than bars and strip clubs. Some amazing bachelor and bachelorette parties have taken place on road trips, cruises, theaters, and camping trips. And the party doesn’t have to last for one single night, either. Consider taking a week off and enjoying time with friends together and just sightseeing in a new city—museums, beer or wine tastings, and even snorkeling off the coast of some lazy beach can make for incredibly memorable experiences for everyone involved.
6. Don’t overschedule
Sure, waking up at 7 A.M. to get a big day of sightseeing and activities sounds fun at first, but don’t forget: even the most energetic and extroverted feet get tired eventually. If you have to choose from a long list of activities you know the bridge or groom will enjoy, remember that no one has a good time exhausted. Pick one or two really amazing, really memorable activities, along with a fabulous dinner and some buffer-time just for hanging out, chatting, and connecting.
7. Give a big gift together
The bachelor or bachelorette party is the perfect time to present your friend with an amazing gift that the entire bridal party pitched in together for. You can go simple, by perusing the bridal registry and getting them a bigger-ticket item that they’ve registered for, or go a bit bigger by coming together to fund part of their honeymoon. Whatever gift you choose to give the bride or groom, be sure you do it together with the bridal party. Gifts are more memorable and meaningful when they’re given together.