A recipe for a solid bachelorette bash


No one threw a bachelorette party for me. I know, wah wah wah. My bridal shower ended up being slightly weird because a goodly handful of my friends never received invitations. This was probably due in part to the fact that my MOH was 16 years old. All I know is that I dutifully gave up the names and contact info they asked me to provide and that’s where my responsibility ended.

I heard from numerous girlfriends in the days leading up to the affair, all of whom were sooo sorry they couldn’t attend but they’d only just heard about it and simply couldn’t travel out of state on such short notice. At the time I was too busy working three jobs and planning a wedding to lost much sleep over it, but it was a tad disappointing.

To make a long story even longer, a bachelorette party would have been nice, but the only person who suggested one was my soon-to-be ex-stepmother and her idea of a good bachelorette party is going out for a rowdy evening with the gals the night before the wedding. Get hitched with a hangover? No thanks!

So what goes into planning a solid bachelorette bash? That depends on the bride, of course, but I found a list of 50 ideas over at CustomizedGirl, a cute blog with an unfortunate name taken from its host site, a custom t-shirt shop. While “Pinups and Phalluses” are on the list, there are plenty of less-than-stereotypical tips, recipes, and achtung items as well. Here’s a sample:

5. Wine Tour: Going on a tour of local wineries combines lots of interest into one. First, there’s great wine; second, there’s a road trip; third, there’s beautiful scenery. And did we mention great wine? Not all bridesmaids will have this option readily available, since not every state has a booming wine region, but you would be surprised at how many do exist outside of California.

28. Pizza Bianca: A light pizza made with rosemary, garlic and olive oil makes a light alternative to pizza or a nice, thin bread to accompany a salad or pasta meal.

40. 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.

48. 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.

What would my ultimate bachelorette party have looked like? A tipsy trip to the art museum, perhaps. Maybe a wine-soaked picnic at the arboretum. I’m not down with dicky straws and penis pasta, but YMMV. It’s a relatively new “tradition,” so anything goes, really. I know one gal who had a sex toy party and another who just went out for a relatively tame night at her local pub.

If you had a bachelorette party, tell us about it. Was it everything you hoped it would be and more?

22 Responses to “A recipe for a solid bachelorette bash”

  1. beeble says:

    I threw a bachelorette party for my best friend two weekends ago. We started off the night with some alcohol provided by one of the mom. Then we went to dinner at a wine bar/tapas restaurant. After that, we danced in the entertainment district. I made gift bags for the girls that included lime shaped soaps, phallic candy and straws, mardi gras beads, a customized lip balm, and a bachelorette party photo album. The bachelorette party well very well.

  2. Audrey says:

    It was not everything I hoped for. Or more. My MOH took me to her favorite place to go with her boyfriend..Dave & Buster’s. I had to drive an hour to get to her, then another hour to get to the place so that we could essentially play arcade games and get a few drinks. I’m not a big arcade person so I made the best of it with the few friends who were up to driving an hour away that late in the evening.

    I think I would have rather gone to the pub with all of my friends there, instead of just three girls, and played pool and had Guinness and laughed than wandered around a mostly empty arcade/bar/restaurant.

  3. Molly says:

    When my best girlfriend got married last summer, we threw her a slumber party. We did just like when we were in highschool; sleeping bags on the floor, pizza, nail polish and chick-flicks!

  4. Emily says:

    I didn’t have a traditional one. Instead, we had three good friends staying with us before the wedding, so it was basically a week-long hanging out/having fun/cooking massive amounts of food/wedding prep occasion. It was fantastic.

    The two bachelorette parties I attended (I was in both wedding parties) were…. all right. The first involved bar-and-club hopping after a meal at a nice restaurant. Personally, I think we (both the bride and the group) would have had a much better time had we gone back to the bride’s apartment and watched movies and drank cocktails after dinner, but she wanted the barhopping, so hop we did.

    The second was dinner and a bar. Not as prolonged as the first one, and it was a hoot. It was helpful that we watched a Sox playoff game at the bar (this was 2004).

  5. Julie says:

    I had two halves to my bachelorette party which was perfect — the PG-rated version for quality time with my friends (and something fun to do for those who don’t drink) and then this weekend was the 21+ version. Back in March, my friends arranged for us to stay overnight at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. I know it sounds a little weird, but we had a lot of fun — it was the perfect location to get everyone together for some good girl time, kind of like an old-school sleepover, except with sharks. Then this weekend we went out for dinner at our favorite Mexican place, had way too many margaritas, and danced until dawn. With both halves combined, it was PERFECT!

  6. Twistie says:

    No bachelorette party here. If I’d had one, though, I’d have wanted something fairly low key and clean cut, like a really nice dinner out with a few good friends or romantic movie night…which would have to include some quite off-beat interpretations of romantic movies. Or maybe going to a really good coffee house to hear a folk singer and have a mocha.

    Of course, I’m one of those fuddy-duddies who doesn’t drink and isn’t comfortable with strippers.

    I was always disappointed for my brother. When he was getting married, the bride ruled that a bachelor party was utterly forbidden, so my brother complied…but all he wanted was to go to his favorite pub with a couple buddies and have maybe two or three beers and a basket of onion rings. It doesn’t get much tamer than that.

    And I did have to intervene once in a wedding I was MOH in. The other bridesmaid got it into her head for some reason that the bride needed a bachelorette party, consisting mostly of male strippers and fruit daqueris. When the bride came to me with her dilemma, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone look so confused in her life. I quietly dropped the hint that I had all the extra-curricular bridal activities under control (I did. I was planning a simple shower, which was what the bride wanted and no bachelorette party because she didn’t want one. Besides, she wasn’t interested in strippers and had never had the urge to drink a daqueri in her life.) so there was no need for her to do anything. If the bride had wanted something, I’m sure it would have been something quiet with minimal drinking, no naked people or items shaped like the less public bits of human anatomy, and nothing to draw the attention of the general public.

    I run in a fairly low-key crowd.

  7. C* says:

    I had a sex toy party but sadly none of my friends (including the MOH – all my BMs were under age) came so it sucked. The sex toy party ended up being my friend’s friends and me so that was kind of awkward because the girl running the party had no idea that I didn’t know any of the other guests.

    A few days before I left for the wedding (destination wedding) we had a night out at a club and it was actually really fabulous. It was supposed to be a joint Bachelorette party with one of my best friends but again, none of my friends (including MOH) showed up to that either. Her friends were awesome though and I had a good time

  8. Jen says:

    My two best friends got married to each other and faced a bachelor/bachelorette party dilemma. They have many friends in common and didn’t want to have separate parties that would force friends to choose which to attend.

    They decided to have a joint party in the French Quarter in New Orleans (short drive for most party attendees). We hopped from bar to strip club up and down Bourbon St. Everyone had a great time, even those of us who had volunteered to act as designated drivers for the evening.

    I know this wouldn’t be everyone’s ideal party, but the joint party idea works really well if you want something more low-key as well, especially when the bride and groom have many friends in common.

  9. Sarah C. says:

    My MOH/best friend arranged a wonderful night: girls’ night out at a really great restaurant that was dressy but not intimidating, which had a great atmosphere and incredible drinks (we worked our way through the entire “specialty drinks” menu at least twice); an act at the local comedy club; a trip to the 70s disco themed club for an hour afterwards; and a 3am stroll at the beach (not really the safest place, but there were 6 of us), all ending in a hotel room so nobody had to drive home.

    It was awesome. And carefully planned for the weekend before the wedding so we’d all be well recovered in time. The night before the wedding, the bridesmaids all stayed at my apartment and we had a sleepover, complete with nail painting and half-a**ed facials that we did ourselves.

  10. Jeanine says:

    My dream bachelorette party would be going to a Phillies game and going out for Ethiopian food in Philly! I guess I’ll find out in the next few weeks.

  11. Dent says:

    I love karaoke, so I hope my MOH/sister will get the hint and book a private room at a karaoke bar in town.

    One of my bridesmaids is only 15. How do you include a minor in a bachelorette party?

  12. Julie: I am SO jealous! I want to have a sleepover with sharks now…

    Twistie: Your poor brother! My dad said he’d take The Beard out for a few drinks before the wedding, but then my brother was run over by a car and going out was no longer an option. The funny thing is that The Beard was solidly overwhelmed by all the pre- and post-wedding activities we ended up having to take part in, so one more would not have pleased him!

    Jeanine: If that’s what you want, I’d suggest dropping a few hints unless your peeps know you *that* well. Sounds like a good time!

    Dent: I’d say do like Julie and have a half-and-half party. Maybe an early evening activity like dinner and bowling (or whatever) then a pub crawl later that night after the youngest BM goes home?

  13. duvetgirl says:

    I’m also having a two part hen party (what we call them over here in the UK). I went to Northern with my bridesmaid and my brother’s fiancee a couple of weekends ago and we walked and ate and drank and had the most amazing time in the mountains and on the coast as well as time in Belfast. It helped that my BM is from NI so she knew some really cool places to go to. The other part is this weekend, which is a more sedate bridal tea – basically all the ladies from my side of the guest list are coming round on Saturday afternoon about 3.30 for tea and sandwiches and cake, probably followed by a few drinks in town. It will be a great way to catch up with some people before the big event on the 31st!

  14. Ladyjane says:

    My MOH doesn’t live in the town I’m getting married in, so I’m thinking about just throwing a girls night out for my BMs and other close girlfriends who will be in town the night before. But I’m not sure about the etiquette as far as this is concerned– is throwing yourself a “bachelorette” party like throwing yourself a birthday party?

    In any case, it should be a low-key night. My MOH and possibly two of the BMs will be underage (and I don’t like the taste of alcohol), so we’ll probably just do something silly and fun like lasertag!

  15. Dianasaur says:

    I had the best bachelorette party ever! My sister was my MOH and she went all at. First we had the all ages bridal shower with sexy gifts, silly games, punch, cake, the whole nine yards. I also had some gifts from my mom and MIL, silly gifts to make me think they were embarassing lingerie but were really flannel pajamas. Then, we went on an amazing photo scavenger hunt she designed. She’s an artist so even the clues were incredible looking. We did all kinds of crazy things like doing the macarena with firefighters in a fire station, or getting a Safeway employee to pose with us by a fire hydrant. She put in a lot of work, going to places ahead of time, dropping clues off, etc. It was so much fun! Then we went to a bar just down the street from my house that has karaoke. We didn’t really drink, we just hung out and sang crazy songs. Plus, the bouncers there were from Samoa, which made me feel right at home (I grew up in Hawaii and had lots of Samoan friends). They even serenaded me!

  16. Nariya says:

    My sister-in-law threw a party for me at our friends’ place. It was low-stress and full of hilarity, and all my friends, male and female, who could make it were there. One friend bought a polaroid camera (in honor of polaroid film being put out of production) and took crazy photos all night. It was a blast.

  17. SusanC says:

    I live in California, so I did the wine tasting one – 4 girl friends took me to various wineries in Sonoma then we drove to the coast to stay at a beachside house, complete with hottub. We cooked a nice meal together and drank more wine. I’m waiting for one of them to get married so we can have an excuse to do it again. I sure enjoyed it more than I would a loud bash with a fireman stripper, but each to her own.

  18. Melissa B. says:

    SusanC, you just described my ideal bachelorette bash! I would love to rent a limo and drive around to different wineries with my girlfriends (possibly even picking out the wines to serve at the reception! I’m a big wine nerd, and one of my requirements of my reception site/caterer is that we get to choose our own wines). Alas, I do not live in California or Tuscany.

  19. De says:

    I’m MOH for my best friend (october wedding) and her Birthday is coincidentally one month before the wedding. I’ve invited her to take a 3-day weekend and come spend it with me and have a wacky wild and fun filled time :D….

    I’m seeing some Karaoke, shopping, and mani-pedi’s in our future!

  20. TeleriB says:

    I was planning a camping bachelorette – girlfriends, campfire, some beer or wine. If there was going to be anything phallus-shaped, it would be hot dogs on sticks. I love camping, and it would have been in late October – a great time to go around here. Not too hot, not too cold.

    But I was working on my dissertation (I was really trying to finish it before the wedding – didn’t happen) and the bachelorette just never happened.

  21. Very oddly, my sister’s bridesmaids hauled us out to see Naked Boys Singing for her bachelorette party. Six google-eyed single gals in the front row, me and 100+ gay guys in the theater. The show was great, but because the score and script were good, NOT because of the dangly bits. How a bunch of straight girls got themselves so worked up over a bunch of gay guys is beyond me…

  22. I have ALWAYS wanted to see Naked Boys Singing, Omnibus Driver. As a straight girl myself, I’ve never had any trouble getting myself worked up over a bunch of gay guys 😉