The bachelorette party is one of the best parts of the wedding festivities for many of the bride’s guests. So if you’ve been dealt the planning and hosting duties for this fun-filled bachelorette event, make it one your guests will be talking about for months – or even years. Once you’ve pinned down a night that works for the bride and her bridal party (usually one to three weeks before the wedding day), start hashing out the details.
Pin Down a Budget
Decide who will help you pay for the party. Unless you’re in a financial situation that allows you to pick up the entire bill without being put out, it’s fair to ask the other bridesmaids to chip in. If that’s the case, ask everyone how much they’re comfortable contributing. If you’re flying solo in the hosting department, consider asking guests to bring something like a bottle of wine, side dish or dessert. Most people will be happy to do so.
Choose a Theme That’s So Her
Create a theme that you know the bride-to-be will be into, not one that everyone else wants. Say, she loves the outdoors, or chocolate, or dancing. Plan everything for the party with the chosen theme in mind, from invitations and decorations to favors, and maybe even the food and drinks you serve. If you know the bride thinks themes are tacky, stick with a generic bachelorette or girls’ night out theme. And be sure to ask if she wants to go with a G-rated ambiance or one that delves into the wild side. If she requests the latter, ask her to define what wild means, so you know her comfort level. After all, her conservative, soon-to-be mother-in-law may be there.
Invite Guests She Wants
Definitely ask the bride who she’d like to be include. You may know a chunk of her besties, but she may have other friends, coworkers or family members you didn’t think of. Once you’ve got a complete list, shoot them all an email to save the date (just in case there are a lot who can’t make it and you need to change plans). Then decide how you’ll send the formal invitation – email or snail mail both work. Though if you’re having a formal dinner, you might want to go with a paper invite, whereas if the dinner will be more casual, an email or Evite makes sense. Send the official invitation about a month before the party, and include date, time, your address, deadline to RSVP, and a bit about what to expect at the dinner. Will appetizers, dinner and dessert be served? How about alcohol? And maybe something about attire. You know guests will wonder what to wear.
Create the Menu
Obviously your budget and number of guests will mostly determine what you serve. But go with foods that the bride likes. If she likes Italian or Mexican, stick with one of those. Then find out if your guests have any food restrictions. Ask the bride if she knows of any or send out an email to the guests asking if there are any allergies or dietary options. It can be hard to accommodate everyone, but if you know ahead of time, at least you can be prepared to offer every guest something. Unless the bride lives a dry lifestyle, plan on providing alcohol. After all, that’s a huge part of most bachelorette parties.