While bachelor parties have been around for centuries, the history of bachelorette parties is much shorter. Brides-to-be didn’t really start having wild parties before they got married until around the 1960s.
In some ways, that’s freed up bachelorette parties to do more and be more than the typical, often messy events you see for grooms-to-be. If you’re in a bridal party and tasked with planning a bachelorette party, you have a few options. Here are three of the best ones worth considering.
An elegant party
If the bride is the type of woman who prefers dinner parties to happy hour at the local bar, then an elegant party could be the perfect way to mark the end of her days as a single lady. In some ways, it’s like a precursor to a wedding dinner, albeit with slightly less formal dresses.
Make no mistake, though: the gals attending this event will need fancy dresses, albeit not quite as fancy as what you’ll wear to walk down the aisle with a bouquet of flowers and a groomsman on your arm.
But you have a lot more freedom with a bachelorette party dress than you do with a bridesmaid gown. For starters, you don’t have to adhere to any particular color scheme. If you want to wear a little black dress, then there’s nothing stopping you.
Just don’t get so caught up in your wardrobe that you forget to plan for food, though. You can call a local restaurant to bring in catering if you have a big enough budget. If you don’t, ask your fellow bridesmaids if they’d be up for a little cooking beforehand. You can make one or two main entrees and pick up the rest at a local deli.
An adventure party
Getting active is a great idea if, for instance, if the bride is always outdoors and you live in an area where fitness is a big priority for most people. There are some parts of the country where saying, “Hey, let’s go on a hike to celebrate” will go over much better than others. So talk to the rest of the bridal party before you schedule anything.
If everyone agrees to it, then you get to plan a day’s worth of activities that can help you connect while also making you sweat. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, you might consider taking a hike in a spot like Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain. If you’re in Florida, then you should feel free to take advantage of all the beaches around you. That could mean kayaking in West Palm Beach or even jogging together in the sand.
Wedding planning is notoriously stressful. If your bride loves physical activity, she’ll appreciate the chance to both work up a sweat and work off some of those pre-wedding jitters.
A road trip
If the bride wants to have a blowout bash before she weds, then consider heading to a place like Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Those cities were made for gambling, drinking, and other adult activities. While travel can be expensive, it can be worth it for a memorable bridal party.
But be sure that the emotional price doesn’t get too high. A gambling site polled 1,000 married Americans and found that Vegas bachelor and bachelorette parties were more likely to involve some kind of sexual activity than a bachelorette party elsewhere. You don’t want the bride to get so out-of-control that she does something she’ll regret.
Also make sure that the bride hasn’t promised her future husband that she won’t go to a crazy party with male dancers. As a friend and bridesmaid, you want to support the marriage, not unwittingly undermine it before it even starts.