If you’re googling “how to plan a bachelorette party” because the whole thing seems a tiny bit overwhelming, I’m here for you. It seems overwhelming because it is overwhelming. Nothing like organising five to twenty-five people you don’t precisely know, trying to figure out what dates they are free, what they’re willing to spend, and how ridiculous they’re eager to be; and then trying to match that up with one of your favourite people’s expectations…which may or may not be coloured by the over-the-top antics of people they don’t know on Pinterest and Instagram. Add in the actual logistics of party planning, plus collecting cash from people, and you have yourself a full-time job.
Except, you know, you need to do this in your spare time.
But the truth is bachelorette parties are fun. They are one of the rare adult opportunities we get to get a bunch of our (girl) friends together and just focus on having fun and each other. They allow us the chance for ridiculous over the top party planning and celebrating someone you adore. They are generally worth all of the pain-in-the-ass emails and texts required to organise them. They’re also a relatively new phenomenon, which means there is very little etiquette to guide you as you plan. That’s both a blessing and a curse. It means you can make this bachelorette party what you want it to be, but it also means that the rules about what you’re supposed to do and how you’re supposed to do it are fuzzy at best. We have an exclusive range of hens party services to spice up your girls’ night out at Magic Men.
Today I’m here to break down all of the tips and tricks that will make bachelorette party planning a little less painful and make the party a lot more fun.
When planning a bachelorette party, whether it’s a weekend away or a night out, begin 3-5 months in advance to allow plenty of time to book accommodations and events, and to pick games and party favours, as well as to allow guests time to ask off of work and plan to attend.
Brainstorm with the Bride (4-5 Months Before the Party)
If you’re planning a bachelorette party, you probably know the bride better than anyone else. Even though the party’s in good hands, don’t assume you know what the bride would like to do or which friends should or should not be invited to the bash. Sit down with the bride and base the party on her vision, schedule, and guest list. Ask who she wants to invite and precisely what she is or is not comfortable doing. Sequins and sashes may or may not be her thing, and a night in could be more exciting for her than a wild weekend away.
Surprise parties may not make the best bachelorette parties, but this doesn’t mean you have to tell her everything. A list of do’s and don’ts and possibly a wish list is all you need. The best bachelorette party is the one that best suits the bride’s personality, and there’s plenty of room for creativity.
- Outdoorsy bride: consider hiking or glamping.
- Musical bride: may love a Broadway show or a concert.
- Pampered bride: may love a trip to the spa her best girlfriends
The options are endless. Let loose and don’t misinterpret bachelorette party trends as rules. There are no rules, only fun– as defined by the bride. The bride is the only one whose notion of the perfect bachelorette party matters.
Do Your Research (4-5 Months Before the Party)
Find a few potential locations for the celebration (if the bride hasn’t specified) and make a list of places to go and activities to do at each location. At this stage, it’s okay not to have a solidified destination or itinerary. You’ll need to consider the availability, budget, and location of guests, so make sure you estimate each option’s costs, have a general idea of travel plans and find possible discounts for large parties. This is also an excellent time to consider a theme.
Bring in the Bride’s Closest Cohorts (3-4 Months Before the Party)
If the bride’s guest list includes more than five, trying to plan around each person’s schedule and budget could become a complicated mess after you’ve gathered ideas, coordinate calendars and costs for one or a couple of friends of the bride who the bride wouldn’t want to party without. This way, you can confirm that the most special friends will be there and get their input on your ideas. You can also ask for their help planning the itinerary and marking off your to-do list.
Set the Party Date (3-4 Months Before the Party)
If you plan to have the bachelorette party before the wedding, try to set the date at least a month before the ceremony, and make sure to coordinate with the person planning the bridal shower. It doesn’t matter whether the bachelorette party happens before or after the storm. The bridesmaids are expected to attend the bridal shower and bachelorette party, so you may want to send out a poll with a few tentative dates to those on the guest list to get an idea of guests’ availability. Avoid group messages with a large party to discuss matters like dates and budget to avoid heated conversations or hurt feelings.
Establish a Budget (3-4 Months Before the Party)
Aa bachelorette party’s cost ranges from $30 to over $1,000 per person depending on where you go, what you do, and how long you stay. While you may not want the bachelorette party to be conservative, your guests may appreciate it if the budget is. So if you plan to travel far and do a lot, try to look for group rates on tickets or book an Airbnb instead of a hotel. When budgeting, don’t forget to include the cost of food, drinks, access to events or attractions, travel expenses, and any fineries. Here are tips on bachelorette party budgets.
Spread Some Enthusiasm (3-4 Months Before the Party)
Get guests excited about the bachelorette party through an email or group chat. At this point, you can reveal the location or theme. Get the party on their radar and show just enough to whet their appetites for the getaway or night out. This may also be an excellent time to send a poll for the date if you haven’t solidified it already.
Reserve the Fun (3-4 Months Before the Party)
Now that you have a general idea of who’s coming and what you’ll be doing, it’s an excellent time to book your stay. Locate restaurants and bars you plan to attend and look for an Airbnb or hotel within walking distance to save on transportation. If you plan to stay local, it’s time to book a venue or purchase tickets if needed. Looking for Melbourne hens ideas to make sure you and your friends can enjoy hens party? Magic Men has you covered.
Create the Itinerary (2-3 Months Before the Party)
Schedule a plan for the entire duration of the party. “So, what do you all want to do?” should not be asked at any point during the bachelorette party. Remember, it’s all about the bride. Giving people a choice brings in others’ ideas of fun and could ignite conflict. Have an itinerary and stick to it, but also include time for relaxation during a busy weekend away. Give guests time to chat, bond, rest, or groom before the next outing.
Send the Invites (2 Months Before the Party)
Paper or paperless invites work well. A bachelorette party isn’t supposed to be formal, so keep the tone casual and lighthearted. Just be clear on the RSVP deadline if it’s necessary for reservations. Include essential items from the itinerary or a packing list so guests know what to bring to purchase anything. Let them know if they need a swimsuit, cocktail dress, athletic attire, clothes of a specific colour, hiking boots, etc.
Tie Up Loose Ends (One Month Before the Party)
It’s time to polish the plan. Make dinner reservations, plan bachelorette games to play or movies to watch during downtime, and shop for decorations, snacks, booze, and bachelorette party favours. Make sure everyone has RSVP’d and confirm bookings. Pump everyone up by sharing a hashtag or a clue to keep them guessing about a surprise element. Check out our bachelorette hashtag creator!
Prepare for a Good Time (1-2 Weeks Before the Party)
Check-in with everyone, answer any last-minute questions or concerns and try to convince the person who tries to back out because “something came up” that occasion will be well-worth her time. Also, check the weather. You may need to suggest that people pack an umbrella or a jacket. And finally, it’s time to pack for yourself and prop your feet up before you hit the ground running.
How to Plan a Bachelorette Party
Who Plans This Thing?
The maid of honour often plans the bachelorette party. But let’s be real: sometimes the MOH isn’t much of a planner, or is say, a busy mom of infant twins. In which case, it’s perfectly reasonable for a bridesmaid or other friend to step in and offer to plan the party. (In fact, if you know your MOH is not great at organising events but loves you and wants to make you happy, it might be worth a quick conversation with her to see if she’d even like the task and then politely let her off the hook.) If there are a group of friends or bridesmaids close, they may also plan the party as a group. My best advice? Figure out who your most planner-y type-A friend is, and let them run with it. At Magic Men, we have the best hens packages to make your party a night to remember.
Whatever the case may be, hopefully, the bride doesn’t have to plan this one. Chances are she’s got a wedding to plan.
Figure Out What People Can Afford
The first and most critical step is to figure out what people can afford, so before you invite everyone to a long weekend, think about who you’re requesting. If you need to, send private emails to get the lowdown on what people’s budgets look like. While it can be awkward to ask for your friend’s financials, it’s less awkward than putting them in a position where they have to tell you they can’t possibly pay for the party you’re throwing.
Once you get a sense of your group’s budgets, assess your resources. In rare cases, you might have a mom or sister or MOH or mysterious benefactor who’s able to pay for a significant party expense, like an Airbnb or a fancy meal out. If you have an offer like that on the table, by all means, take it. But otherwise, usually, you’ll be splitting the cost of the party, so plan in a way that makes it possible for your attendees to do just that.
Decide On A Night Out Versus A Weekend Away
Not all of us can afford a bachelorette weekend, a dress-up yacht weekend on the Gold Coast. But in reality, deciding between a night on the town and a weekend away generally comes down to location. Are the people you’re inviting, typically located in one place? Then a night on the town is probably the most straightforward, most affordable bet. But if your people are found all over the place, and most people will be travelling, you might as well plan on making a weekend out of it. And if everyone is going to need a place to stay, you might as well go to a full slumber party.
Get A Guest List From The Bride
While, in an ideal world, the bride is not going to plan this thing (she’s got enough on her plate), do not make up the guest list yourself. It’s possible that while her mom insisted that her second cousins be bridesmaids, she may not want to kick it with them all weekend. Or maybe she wants to invite all her sorority sisters, and you don’t know any of them. Don’t make assumptions. Ask your lady of honour for her guest list (and you have full permission to bug her till she gives it to you. But this is the only thing you’re allowed to upset her about).
How Far in Advance Should You Tell Guests About the Bachelorette Party?
Once you choose a date, a destination, and a theme, it’s time to let your guests know the details. But how far in advance of the event should you start spreading the word? While you’ll want to give everyone enough time to consider their schedules, book travel (if necessary), and to take time off work, you also don’t want to begin planning too far out that guests can’t gauge whether or not they’re free.
Lives are so busy these days, and if the bachelorette party is out of town or destination, I think three months is appropriate. I think it’s important to give guests the time to plan and get excited about the fun to come. It’s a good idea to notify the bride’s ideal guest list with the trip’s information at the three-month mark, including dates, estimated travel costs, and any essential plans. These details will help them decide whether or not they can attend.
What type of event you’re planning also impacts how far in advance you’ll need to spread the word to guests. Just like every wedding is different based on the couple’s preferences, bachelorette parties can vary from a simple one-night affair to a week-long international vacation. If you’re keeping it simple by having a night out on the town with your favourite ladies, then a few weeks’ notices should be sufficient. But if you’re planning a destination extravaganza, try to give your bridesmaids several months notice, or even as much as six months. Requesting time off, purchasing plane tickets, and booking hotels or an Airbnb all become more difficult the closer you get to the bachelorette party’s date.
Simply put, be courteous of others’ time when planning a bachelorette party. If the celebration is easy to get to and associated with low costs, a shorter notice is outstanding. But if you’re asking guests to travel for the bachelorette party, notifying guests at least three months ahead of time is a good idea.