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So your best friend wants you to be her maid of honor—congratulations! While this is a great honor (I mean it's right there in the title), it also means you have some pretty hefty responsibilities to the bride-to-be before her wedding day. Perhaps the most exciting, but potentially most stressful, of these duties is putting together the bachelorette party. From the moment you start planning to the end of the big night itself, bachelorette party fails are always just around the corner. The first step in avoiding them is to be aware of the most common pitfalls. That way, you can plan ahead and work to create the perfect send-off for the bride-to-be on one of her last nights as a single woman.
Creating the Wrong Vibe
Ignoring the bride-to-be's wishes is one of the worst bachelorette party fails out there, because a bachelorette party is supposed to be about the bachelorette! It sounds obvious when you say it out loud, but far too often the maid of honor lets the party get to her head and makes it about herself. Not all brides want to get wild and crazy right before their wedding day, and they would much prefer a relatively quiet night with their close friends. On the other side of the coin, some brides do want that crazy party or to spend the night at a raucous dance club. While it may be your job to plan the event, you have to plan it with the vibe the bachelorette wants.
Leaving Important People off the Guest List
Whether your bachelorette party is a small gathering of close friends or a massive event with the bride-to-be's extended family, it's up to you to make sure that everyone who should be invited is invited. Most brides-to-be will at least know the size of party they want, so you'll want to defer to their decision as far as who to invite. That makes this one of the easier bachelorette party fails to avoid as long as you follow through and make sure everyone gets their invitation and has all the information they need about the bachelorette party.
Inviting People the Bride Doesn't Want to See
The inverse of leaving important people off the guest list, inviting too many people and inviting specific people the bride doesn't want to see are equally egregious bachelorette party fails. Inviting too many people in general means you're just ignoring the bride's wishes for the vibe of the party, but it can be much, much worse to invite one single person who the bride definitely does not want to see. Whether it's an estranged family member or an unfriendly work colleague, there are certain people that a bride-to-be does not want to have to deal with when she's trying to enjoy her "final fling" before her wedding day. This is why you should always get the bride's approval on the guest list.
Making the Budget Unrealistic
Most people will expect to have to pay at least some money if they're going to a bachelorette party. Between meals and drinks and whatever else goes on, a good party guest will be happy to kick in for their share of the festivities. It starts to get a little out of hand, however, if you plan something especially expensive. Even if everyone on the guest list is financially comfortable, not everyone is ready to drop a few grand on a road trip to Las Vegas.
Failing to take your guests' budgets into consideration is one of the most inconsiderate bachelorette party fails there is, because you may unintentionally exclude those who want to celebrate with the bride to be but can't afford the festivities. If you're planning a small bachelorette party with just a few close friends and you collectively decide you're willing to splurge on something fancy, then go for it. A good rule of thumb for a larger party, however, is to keep it as accommodating as possible for those who aren't willing or able to spend that much money for one party. Look into the best cheap champagnes and other ways to potentially save a few bucks while planning so everyone can be included.
Getting Too Drunk
One common bachelorette party misstep is throwing up the night before the wedding. This is really only problematic thanks to the larger issue of over-drinking, one of the most common bachelorette party fails.
I'll use myself as an example: I had my party a couple nights before my wedding day, knowing several of my friends (and yes, myself) were likely to get carried away with drinking. I was actually able to keep things relatively reigned in, but the same cannot be said for my sister. By the time she got going, she was the queen of the party, leading the gang on a reluctant bar crawl until one by one, most of my friends decided to cut out early.
Whether you're a friend, a bridesmaid, or even the maid of honor, there is nothing more embarrassing than getting too drunk at your friend's bachelorette party. Don't be afraid to let loose, it's the bachelorette party, not the bridal shower after all, but know your limits, especially if you're the type to get overly-excited when you drink.
Making the Party Too Raunchy
This is another one of the easier bachelorette party fails to avoid, because if you're close friends with the bride-to-be enough to be her maid of honor, then you should probably have an idea of how raunchy she'd want her party to be. Not everyone wants to see a male stripper the night before their wedding day! Strippers are becoming less common at bachelorette and bachelor parties alike, so make sure you know what you're bachelorette's preference is—even if you have to ask.
While the decision whether to have a stripper is usually a hard line, the line gets a little blurry when you're considering other gaudy and borderline inappropriate, ahem, novelty items, so you'll just have to use your best judgment there. My personal advice, however, is better safe than sorry.
Waiting Until the Last Minute
Even if your plans are simple as can be, waiting until the last minute invites a whole slew of bachelorette party fails. This is hopefully the last bachelorette party the bride-to-be will ever have, so you have to make it count. There's no excuse to not give yourself at least a couple weeks to make sure all your i's are dotted and t's crossed. Whether you have to arrange plane tickets, book a private room at a restaurant, or just make sure everyone got their Facebook invite, it's always better to have extra time than not enough.
Planning Too Much or Not Planning Enough
This one is a double-edged sword, as you have to find the right balance between structure and freedom. While not nearly as cringe-inducing as some of the other bachelorette party fails on this list, the right amount of planning can make the difference between a good party and a great one. If you've already picked a good venue and invited the right people, your bachelorette party is off to a great start. However, hanging out over food and drink can only carry the party for so long. The successful maid of honor or other party planner should have a couple tricks up her sleeve in case of a lull. Whether it's group painting, or live entertainment, or whatever fits the vibe of your party, you don't want people to get bored halfway through the night: failure to plan is planning to fail.
By the same token, you also have to allow some flexibility and time for your guests to decompress throughout the night. Forcing everyone to wrap up and move on to a new activity every 45 minutes is flat out discombobulating and makes for a worse party than if there were no plans at all. Never underestimate the importance of planning.
Making the Bride Pay
Unfortunately, money is at the center of many bachelorette party fails. When you're throwing a bachelorette party, the guest of honor should not be paying for any of it. Even if the bride-to-be is perfectly capable of paying her own way, it's still a faux pas to make her put money down for a party you're throwing in her honor. Whether you foot the bill yourself or allow all the guests to pitch in, you should plan to cover the cost of the bride-to-be's food and drinks and whatever other expenses the night has in store. Even if the bride insists on paying for herself, you must absolutely avoid making her pay for anyone else, as that is an even worse bachelorette party fail.
Forgetting That Social Media Exists
Along with amazing advances in technology, the 21st century has brought about a new era of bachelorette party fails. No doubt every single one of your guests will have their phone with them, and these days that means most of them will have access to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and any number of other social media sites all night long. This means that now, no matter how mild or extreme your bachelorette party fails are, they all can be instantly posted on the internet for the world to see, so social media should be a priority.
While this should also serve as an extra reminder to act reasonably responsible on the big night, it mainly means you should consider setting some ground rules or at least discussing some limits with the bachelorette party attendees. You should absolutely feel free to take all the selfies you desire with your friends and the bride-to-be, but nobody wants to log in to Facebook the next day to see a photo of themselves getting a lap dance. There's no easy way to regulate what people do with their phones, but just be mindful and wary, lest your great aunt see something you definitely don't want her to see.