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Dos and Don'ts for Your Bachelorette Party

Before the wedding, you'll want to get together with your girlfriends and enjoy your last few weeks of being unmarried. You want to help create an event that is as memorable and exciting as you are—without causing your wedding guests undue stress or expense. Here are some dos and don'ts for your bachelorette party.

It's easy to begin planning your bachelorette party by daydreaming about your favorite things to do. Popular culture encourages us to think big. And you should—it's your big day before the wedding, after all! But as you move forward, there are some dos and don'ts for your bachelorette party that you should be aware of.

Don't assume your guests have unlimited resources.

Your friends love you, and your guest list might be filled with ladies who want to participate in your bachelorette party. But think twice before you plan a $5,000 trip to Vegas for the weekend. Planning a bachelorette party is about more than making your dreams come true; it's about spending time with the people you love before the wedding. Who will you be excluding by planning a high-budget adventure? Who will be incurring a significant financial burden even if they somehow make it work? Especially if you're planning a destination wedding, think twice before asking your friends to travel great distances for your bachelorette party. If your friends have the means, then of course you should go for it! If some do but others don't, though, consider whether the trip, or your friends, is your real priority. Falsely assuming your budget is the same as your guests' budget is a definite don't on the list of dos and don'ts for your bachelorette party.

Do consider creating a multi-part bachelorette party.

If your dream was to go to one of the best restaurants in Miami after a day at the beach with your girls before the wedding but only half of them can go, then by all means go! But be cost conscious and don't exclude the others. Plan a multi-party event where you start with a night in your hometown grabbing a nice dinner or going for a mani or pedi before the big event. That way, those on the guest list who can't make it on the trip can still participate in some of the events and feel included. Even if you choose to keep the whole thing at home, you can create layers to the event to accommodate everyone. Think: A nice dinner followed by a show followed by an evening at a club dancing. Your best friends—and those without other financial constraints or kids—can opt into all three parts. But those watching their budget or needing to get home early can just attend the dinner and the show, while your night owl friends can join you out at the club. If you have non-drinkers with you, you can designate one piece no drinking or low drinking to create an atmosphere where they feel included, and then they can opt out of the rest of the events.

Don't get caught up in stereotypes.

Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash

What do you think a bachelorette party is supposed to look like? A drunken night out at a club? A stripper visiting the house? A luxurious party at a destination resort? Stop for a moment, block out social media, and think about where these assumptions are coming from. Real life isn't like the movies, and what you like to do might not match what you think you're supposed to do. Planning a bachelorette party is not just about checking off items on a list of things you think are expected of you and the girls on your guest list. If you genuinely love going out dancing and drinking, or think a stripper would be hilarious, go for it! If you don't love those things however, then do something else!

Do something you actually want to do.

What do you love? What would be a great way to celebrate your final days before the wedding with your friends who might be traveling a great distance to see you? While it might seem exciting to go out on the town, it's also fine to do something more low key if that's what you would genuinely enjoy. Love brunch and the beach? Create a bachelorette party where you and your besties sip mid-morning mimosas and then catch some sun. Are you a wine connoisseur? Go to a local vineyard for a wine tasting. Maybe a yogi? Combine your passions and look into attending one best wine yoga retreats out there. Have a game night at home. Take a dancing lesson together. The girls on your guest list will have fun if you have fun! Doing something you actually want to do is the biggest DO on your list of dos and don'ts for your bachelorette party.

Don't assume your MOH or BFF can plan it alone.

Image via Pexels

If you leave every detail of planning a bachelorette party to your maid of honor or best friend, you might not get to do exactly what you want. They might have ideas that don't jive with your personality or the budget of the girls on your guest list. Beyond that, they might not know who to include on your guest list! There's nothing worse than showing up to a bachelorette party realizing that eight of your college friends have been invited when you hadn't planned on inviting them as wedding guests. You can leave the majority of the planning to your bridesmaids, but don't assume they can read your mind.

Do provide a guest list and loose suggestions.

Maybe you do want your maid of honor, bridesmaids, or best friend(s) to plan your bachelorette party. That's totally fine! Many friends are glad to do it! Planning a bachelorette party can be fun, but you should provide a guest list and let your planners know the emails and addresses of each wedding guest you'd like invited so that they know who you want invited and how to contact them. While you're at it, you should also give some vague ideas about what you'd enjoy without trying to micromanage it. Try something like: "I'd really like to go out dancing," or "I had my heart set on Montreal," or "I want a low-key game night at home with some wine." You can let them plan the details, but you can give the event some structure. Giving some guidance, however brief, is a definite DO on the list of dos and don'ts for your bachelorette party.

Don't feel like you have to invite every wedding guest.

Image via Pixabay

Just because you're inviting them to the wedding does not mean you have to invite them to the bachelorette party. Your wedding guest list and your bachelorette guest list can be different. Ideally, your bachelorette guest list should be smaller—just the bridesmaids, or your closest friends, or the girls who live near you. Inviting every single female on your wedding list can be a huge hassle as you or your bridesmaids work on planning your bachelorette party. You shouldn't worry about whether or not girls will feel left out of the bachelorette if they live far away; if you're worried about that, simply reach out to the girls individually and let them know what you're planning. If they can make it, great! If they can't, or your list is so long you can't include them, offer to grab coffee or drinks another day. 

Do invite the wedding guests you want to invite!

Who says a bachelorette party is for women only? If your best friend is a man, or if you have great guy friends, you can invite them, too. It is 2018, after all! Planning a bachelorette party does not have to conform to gender norms—unless you want it to. Your guest list can include any of the guests you'd like to spend time with, and who would most enjoy the events being planned. While few moms and aunts attend bachelorette parties today than in the past, you could invite them, too, to all or part of the celebrations if that's what you wanted to. The determining feature of your guest list should be: Who do I want to spend time with before the wedding? As you think through the dos and don'ts for your bachelorette party, remember that you get to choose who attends!

Don't spend your whole event trying to get the perfect pic.

We know, we know; social media is addicting. This is the last big event before the wedding with your friends. But spend some time in the moment! A bachelorette party should be fun for you and everyone on your guest list. Don't let social media clog your vision for the night, or the weekend. You don't have to give a play by play on Instagram or Facebook. If your friends were planning a bachelorette party for weeks, the last thing you want to do is spend the whole night on your phone. Sit back and let someone else snap the pics! Enjoy these last few moments before the wedding. Let your friends treat you, and have a great time being in the moment. 

Do make one killer social media post.

With that said, you should try to grab at least one great group picture at your bachelorette party. You don't have to share it with every wedding guest on your guest list, but you'll want a memento of your great weekend! This is definitely a DO on the list of dos and don'ts for your bachelorette party! So make sure someone snaps a fun picture at dinner, or in a scenic spot, and then sends it to you. After the weekend is over, you can make one social media post—a nod to the fun that was had, with a touch of gratitude. Your bridesmaids will appreciate the gesture!

Remember that there is no wrong way to go about planning a bachelorette party. As long as you have a great guest list and enjoy your time with your friends before the wedding, it will be a success! Just follow these dos and don'ts for your bachelorette party, let your friends do some planning for you, and enjoy the ride. No matter what happens, the bachelorette party will be exciting because your friends will be getting together to celebrate you!

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