Can one go too far?

Stay back, there be bridesmaids about!

After reading about a groom who took revenge on his groomsmen for heckling him into dancing around a pub in a leopard-print thong on the night of his stag party (i.e. bachelor party), I started wondering where brides- and grooms-to-be should draw the line.

The question of how one is forced into dancing in one’s underpants aside, what is up with the all of the crazy crud marketed to women planning bachelorette parties (i.e. hen parties)? Paper-plate ribbon hats are one thing — who remembers those? — today’s bachelorette party accouterments are just insane. Jenna of Girlspoke discussed the prevalence of penis-related products pushed on unsuspecting brides-to-be by their well-meaning bridesmaids and sisters.

So let me get this straight…you’re out celebrating your last moments of single girl behavior, and you’re wearing a penis?

In my opinion, if you have to ask yourself when the right time to don your blinking penis tiara is, you should ask a trusted friend to monitor your behavior for the rest of the night because you are obviously drunk. Bachelor parties are simple. The recipe: Get plastered and ogle women. Gals get craaaaaaazy. Riona of God-awful Wedding Crap has profiled piñatas, cookie cutters, snack trays, and more, all shaped like or in some way associated with the male member.

Bachelor and bachelorette parties can be seen in two different lights. Many people see them as a last hurrah before men and women are shackled to a ball and chain. Well, I’d like to posit that stag and hen parties should be a celebration of lasting friendship that does not seek to actively humiliate the bride- or groom-to-be.

If you’re planning a bachelorette party, consider that the bride’s boundaries may not mirror yours. The penis cake you think is hilarious may make some (many? Most?) people profoundly uncomfortable. If you want to plan a truly memorable event, check out The Everything Bachelorette Party: Throw a Party That the Bride and Her Friends Will Never Forget for tips. I <3 the Everything series.

Oh, and if you were wondering how the aforementioned groom got his revenge on the aforementioned groomsmen, newly married Matt Edgley,

sprang a surprise after the ceremony at the Dean Row Chapel, Wilmslow, by handing his pals toy scooters decked in ribbons to get to the reception at the nearby Deanwater Hotel.

Stunned motorists saw the eight men hot-footing it down main roads still dressed in their fancy wedding outfits in the sweltering heat. Each scooter had its own personalized “number plate”.

21 Responses to “Can one go too far?”

  1. Jessica says:

    Word. And thank you. My MOH is already aware that I will not be drinking all that much on my bachelorette night, and has hinted that she’s making other, much more fun plans.

    Besides, to be quite blunt . . . I’m bisexual. I’m marrying a guy. A wonderful, amazing guy, true, but on my final single night it’s not going to be the penises I’m nostalgic for.

  2. Twistie says:

    I remember well when a good friend of mine was getting married and one of her bridesmaids started talking about strip clubs and fruit-flavored daquaris. The bride came to me and whimpered on my shoulders. She was honestly wondering what the bridesmaid thought any of that had to do with her (the bride) at all! LOL! Luckily we managed to talk the bridesmaid down from the ledge.

    Also luckily nobody tried to plan that sort of an evening for me. I mean, if it’s your deal, more power to you, but it sure ain’t mine!

    Jessica, you owe me a keyboard! LOL! I hadn’t finished my coffee when I got to your comment about it not being penises you’d miss! ROTFLMAO!

  3. Gwen says:

    I’ve actually been undergoing this trauma with my bridesmaids. Actually, my crazy younger sister who is my MOH. It didn’t occur to me to have a conversation about what I wanted and didn’t want at my batchelorette party because I’m an Anne of Green Gables, high tea loving, Jane Austen reading type of gal. My bridesmaids are on the same wave length too including my sis or so I thought. It turns out that she had started purchasing this penis paraphenelia as well as sex toys, a whip, a pink leather catsuit etc. I told her in kind but firm tones that I did not want the stuff. A silk nighty, feather boa or fuzzy handcuffs would more than do the trick. She seemed to reluctantly agree.

    A few weeks ago, I get a call from one of my other bridesmaids. She informed me that my sis wanted to hire a female stripper in order to teach me how to strip. My other bridesmaids managed to put the kibosh on sis but not before I had an asthma attack. It was really funny but weird. Never knew my younger sis was like this.

  4. Chaeriste says:

    I told my MOH and female friends that I was NOT going to participate in any ‘hen parties’… I’m 35 and have had my fill of the penis, thank you. I’m happy to settle down to my one and only. So, we had a wedding shower that turned into a partial ‘underwear party’… I don’t know why some of my friends thought I would wear something that had less fabric than an eyepatch, and I don’t know why they succumed to the knee-jerk reaction of ‘oh, she needs sexy underthings’. I wear Old Navy pJ bottoms and a tank top to bed. The underwear only slows him down. So it all sits in a drawer, still wrapped in pink tissue paper. What a waste. Keep the BRIDE and her tastes in mind when planning her special party. Respect her wishes.

  5. Never teh Bride says:

    Hey Jessica, I just discovered that the naughty candy manufacturers don’t discriminate 😉

  6. MNT says:

    In what seems to be a recurring theme here, my little sister also wanted to take me to an “all male revue” for my bachelorette party. I kindly explained to her that I would simply die of embarrassment and would NOT have fun, and she accepted it (sort of). I don’t know why these sorts of bachelor/bachlorette parties have become the norm; if you are so broken up about not having sex with other people any more that you need to go out and mourn the loss of your freedom, maybe you aren’t really ready to get married.

  7. SJ says:

    Very much agreed MNT.
    My MOH and BMs and I have been on the same page since the beginning on this. We did have the no penis pop or male stripper conversation very early on, just in case there was someone who thought either of those would be a good idea.

    My MOH and BMs have been tight lipped at what they’re doing this coming Saturday. At this point, all I know is that I have to up and ready “to go” by noon this Saturday. However, my MOH who traveled down to DC has made strong recommendations of what I should pack in my overnight bag…

  8. Never teh Bride says:

    I agree, MNT. I’ve never understood the tradition of celebrating one’s impending nuptials by watching naking people who are not one’s spouse to be gyrate to music. That said, I love the movie The Full Monty. If hypothetically, I was going to watch a dude strip, I’d rather he look a bit normal.

  9. well I feel like a total freak now because if my MOH plans that sort of gig, I’m totally up for it. Not because I’m “mourning the loss of my freedom” but because it’s a good excuse to have a little fun and let my hair down. If penis accoutrements are on the cards we’ll have a bit of a giggle and move on. That said, it’s all a surprise and I just want a good night out with my sisters and friends.

  10. Twistie says:

    I love The Full Monty, NtB! Of course, I can no longer look at a garden gnome without bursting into gales of laughter, but they always made me giggle a bit anyway.

  11. Mcmiller says:

    I was in a wedding where the MoH wanted to have strippers and I talked her out of it, but she decided we’d go to a bar instead. With the bride’s mother and aunts. She proceeded to tell “kooky” stories about all the times the bride had snuck out or had sex under the nose of her guardians when she was living at home with her mom or with one of the aunts present. To add to this thoughtlessness, the mother of the bride has a substance problem and is on medication that interacts with alcohol. The mother of the bride started sneaking other people’s booze and got very out of it. The bride got drunk and cried with embarassment and apologized to everyone about what a horrible person she used to be and the night ended very early.

    Yeah, she was the type that would have prefered a tea party. I think a lot of bridesmaids are looking for an excuse to go crazy and think it’s more acceptable in this context. They seem to forget the whole part about supporting the bride.

  12. patient one says:

    Hmm…I could go for a PG 13 version. Watch the “Full Monty” at home with my girlfriends while enjoying some naughty candy. Then going out and doing some sisterly bonding over drinks and shopping! The best of both worlds.

  13. enygma says:

    Wait, so women get both a bridal shower and a bachelorette party? I thought the guy’s bachelor party was the male version of the bridal shower? Isn’t that, well, excessive. And honestly, I don’t know about you guys, but I think spending the night before you pledge to live your life with another person ogling strippers (male or female) is in pretty poor taste. I know the person isn’t married yet, but what happened to faithfulness?

  14. Margaret says:

    I decided I didn’t want any of *that* kind of behaviour at my hen’s night and had a sedate evening in with my girlfriends and female relatives. My MOH organised games and this included a quiz for me about my future husband, full of completely obscure questions about what his favourite primary school teacher’s name was, and other things I had no idea about. I ended up feeling humiliated that I didn’t know the answers to anything.. particularly seeing as my MOH gleefully made me drink a shot for every question I got wrong. I found out the next day that my now-ex-husband had deliberately told my MOH things he knew I wouldn’t know becuase he thought that would be funny when I got them all wrong.
    So even a “nice” hen’s night can still turn out to be humiliating for the bride. Although I now realise that that was more about the choice of husband and MOH possibly than the choice of the event… They also threw in a few penis shaped objects into the pass the parcel and they made me feel pretty uncomfortable too. Particularly in front of his mother, sister and 12 year old cousin!

  15. Carmen says:

    Enygma, the bridal shower predates the bachelorette party (in the US). The latter is the result of marketing, I think.

  16. Never teh Bride says:

    Bingo, Carmen. Retailers saw a niche they could fill and *poof* people suddenly needed chocolate wangs!

  17. MJ says:

    I think it’s just meant to be a fun night out to celebrate the bride and her upcoming marriage. The penis stuff and strippers are just goofy fun. Try not to take it all too seriously. Ogling a stripper for laughs doesn’t make anyone a bad person! By the way, if you’re looking for a fun bachelorette party in Las Vegas, check out Thunder from Down Under at the Excaliber.

  18. patient one says:

    I don’t think oggling strippers is bad thing MJ. I think what most people are complaining about is “friends” who take it upon themselves to plan this soft of activity for brides who have specifically stated they don’t enjoy this kind of thing.

    It’s grooms too, you know. I had a male friend get married last march. His groomsmen wanted to drag him to a bunch of bars and strip joints, and he’s a very quiet, non-strip joint type person. …So they all went and had a stripper party “in his honor”. : P

    Tip: If you do decide to get wild and crazy, don’t do the night before the wedding. The groomsmen were all obviously hung over the next day at the ceremony!

  19. Never teh Bride says:

    Quite right, patient one. Naked dudes? Bring ’em on. But not when I’m celebrating impending nuptials. To me, it’s odd. But I won’t deny a bride-to-be a stripper party if it’s what she wants 🙂

    I went to one wedding where the every single one of the groom’s attendants was hungover. The groom had a splitting headache. They used it as an excuse to enjoy a little hair off the dog before the ceremony!

  20. JaneC says:

    NtB, I think that’s why some of my friends have had their bachelor/ette parties two days before the wedding. Even so, the parties I’ve been to have been quite sedate– one consisted entirely of praying the Rosary (praying for the happiness of the bride and groom) and going out for ice cream, albeit probably the best ice cream in all of Idaho, with a spectacular view of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

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