May 11, 2008

Maid Of Honor’s Bachelorette Party Guide: 50 Ideas and Resources

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As Maid of Honor, one of your main duties is to send your best friend off in style with a wild and terrific party. Or if the bride is more low-key, perhaps a nice quiet evening in good company. There are lots of things you can incorporate into a bachelorette party to make the event more unique and fun, but some of the main things to focus on are location, drinks, food, and accessories. Here are some ideas to consider for each category, as well as a few tips and pointers on making the evening the best it can be!

Location
Nothing sets the mood of the party more than the location. While it should be special, it should also suit the bride’s personality. Wild childs may delight at a party spent dancing the night away with her friends; quieter brides may prefer a day, or weekend, of pampering at the spa. Just know that not all bachelorette parties have to take place at Chippendales or feature a male stripper in your cousin’s living room. Here’s a few ideas for a classier, man-free time with the gals.

Rooftop Hotel Pool: If you live in a city, and want to feel far away and pampered at the same time, check out local hotels in your area that have rooftop hotels. If you live in New York, the Gansevoort is an incredible option; in Boston, try the Colonnade; in Los Angeles, The Peninsula. Soak in the views, the warm sun, and the time spent drinking fruity concoctions with your friends. If there’s not a suitable hotel in your area, consider taking a weekend getaway.

Spa Day: A day at the spa is a great choice for a bachelorette party, as it is the quintessential female way to gather and bond. Book a few massages, pedicures, facials, and manicures and prepare for a day of gossip and giggling. If the spa is the party’s main event, make it even more special by renting a limousine and toasting with mimosas beforehand, or make the spa trip a precursor to a night out on the town.

Karaoke: This is your friend’s last night out as a single woman, so it’s time to toss back a few cocktails, get silly, and indulge in some self-humiliation! No better way to do that than with karaoke. Look into what’s available in your area – perhaps a bar or a private room – and you may want to invest in some cheesy, coordinated outfits. This is a scenario that will probably require a designated driver. Make it fancy by renting a limo and if there’s more than one karaoke bar in your town make a night of it by going on tour.


Drinks
Drinks are essential at a bachelorette party, and the fruitier and girlier the better. Even if the bride doesn’t normally partake, she make may an exception for this occasion. Just make sure you have some non-alcoholic beverages available for those attendees who prefer to abstain.

Food
With all this drinking going on, you’re going to need something to soak up the alcohol. Bite-sized items and finger foods are the perfect party nosh for a mingling affair that’s casual and fun. Even if you are going to dinner, maybe you’re considering a pre-party with appetizers? Here are a few yummy options you can cook yourself or pass on to your caterer.

Accessories and Favors
When you’re throwing a bachelorette party, it’s a good idea to incorporate some of the standard bridal party accessories and favors. Some are somewhat cliché and cheesy, but feel free to take some classier liberties with old party standards. And what’s a party without presents? While everyone should bring something special for the bride-to-be, memorable keepsakes and party favors are also completely appropriate. After all, you’re all in the wedding!

Tiaras: Like the prom, a bachelorette party is the type of occasion where sparkly tiaras are appropriate. If you look hard enough, you can find tiaras that declare who’s the bride-to-be and who’s not. In fact, you may want to invest in one of these just for the bride and find something less-flashy for the bridesmaids. Even if your bachelorette party is going to be a nicer affair, tiaras are still a great option for a little fun with your ensemble.

Personalized T-Shirts: If the party is going to more casual, have some fun making your own customized T-shirts. “Team Bride” could have each attendees name printed on the back. Get funny with the bride and get her buzzed with T-shirt sayings like “Buy me a beer, my wedding is near!” or “Buy me a shot, I’m tying the knot!” Make sure the T-shirts identify who’s who in the party and make sure the bride to be stands out.

Feather Boas: For a night out at the bars or singing karaoke, make sure everyone in your party has a different colored feather boa with the bride’s boa being, of course, white. The coordination of this accessory will let the crowd know you’re all together celebrating a special occasion. Plus, boas are fun and a bachelorette party is an excellent excuse to get a little costumey.

Disposable Cameras: Don’t let a minute of this hilarious and fun evening go undocumented. Give everyone a disposable camera to take along with them. At the end of the evening, develop all the film and make a keepsake album for the bachelorette.

Tips for a Great Party
Now that you have most of everything you need, here are few tips and pointers to ensure the night to remember goes smoothly!
Music: Music sets the mood more than any other item at your party. Stick with the classic girl power mantras like “I Will Survive” and “It’s Raining Men.” Pop it into the stereo at your house party or listen to the tunes on the way to your venue. There are plenty of event-appropriate mix CDs out there to buy or get clever and make your own.
Games: Loosen your bride to be up with some fun, lighthearted games. There’s the classic “Pin the Macho on the Man” and the timeless game of Truth or Dare or look into one of the many card and board games made explicitly for bachelorette parties.
Moderation: It’s going to be a long day, night, or weekend. And since drinks will likely be involved, you need to remember to drink in moderation. Limit yourself to a drink per hour and drink lots of water in between drinks. With such a wild group someone needs to remain in control and be concerned about everyone’s safety.
Designate a Driver: If your party is going out for an evening of bar hopping, you’ll need to either appoint a designated driver for the group, travel only by taxis or limos, or have a third party person that can come pick you all up at the end of the night. Don’t ruin a good time by getting into a car accident or worse.
Research: Before you even start thinking about setting a date for the party, research what the bride to be in your group is interested in doing. Take hints from her personality and then look into what’s available that will suit her style. If you’re not planning to make it a surprise, consider even asking her straight out what she’d like to do. Being thorough is a sure way not to disappoint.
Plan!:Do not wait until the last minute to throw something together. While there is something to be said about spontaneity, it’s not always a virtue in situations like these. For example, if you’re planning a July party at the beach and you wait until the weekend before to reserve a room or a camping spot, chances are you could get shut out. Don’t let a little laziness ruin your ideal party.
Checklists: When planning a party, you’ll want to make a checklist so you know you’ve got everything under control. Depending on how much responsibility you’re putting on the other attendees and bridesmaids, you may want to make an individual checklist for each person invited, especially if others are expected to help with the arrangements or bring something along.
Don’t Rule Out Men: It may sound counterintuitive to the bachelorette party tradition, but if the bride to be has a best guy friend that she holds near and dear it’s OK to invite him along. Or maybe you want to reserve some time for just the girls? Then invite him to attend a portion of the festivities, maybe right at the beginning or at the end. The point of the party is to honor your friend and surround her with love so don’t leave out the people that matter to her most.
Value Responsibility: Whoever is in charge of keeping the order over this raucous affair should take responsibility for a few key things, like bringing extra cash, a map of the area, phone numbers for cab companies and a list of addresses for every place on the agenda for the evening.
Have Fun: Whatever you do at the party remember to have fun! Regardless of whether you’ve had a bad day or whether something isn’t going how you planned, don’t let a sour mood ruin the experience for the bachelorette. At this party, you’re a slave to someone else. Keep a positive attitude and have a blast!

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