To Party or Not to Party

Let’s talk about bachelorette parties, shall we?

Thirty years ago, they pretty much didn’t exist. Twenty years ago, they were fairly rare. Now they seem pretty common. Still, they aren’t for everyone.

I well remember a wedding where I was the MOH about twenty years ago. One day the bride called me in a bit of a panic because the other bridesmaid was talking about whisking her off and forcing her to drink fruit daiquiris and watch male strippers. This was profoundly not the bride’s cup of tea.

Luckily, I was able to talk the other bridesmaid down from that particular ledge, and the bride was saved. I threw her a nice, quiet, game-free shower with tea and desserts instead.

Now it seems that every bridal magazine and reality show and forum more or less assumes that the bride will have some form of bachelorette party. Some of them involve hard liquor, penis-themed garb, strippers, and adult-rated scavenger hunts. Some involve pole dancing lessons. Others might be about paint ball with the girls.

Me? Well, that bride I saved from a bachelorette party was my MOH, and she knew not to even go there for me. What’s more, she wasn’t tempted. Nor were any of my other bridesmaids.

Do I morally object to bachelorette parties? No. I just haven’t met one that seemed like a good time for me. Most of them seem to be about emulating some form of typical bachelor party, and most of the things guys traditionally do at those parties are not things I want to do. Nor do I wish to wear/carry a penis in public, learn to pole dance, or participate in games that require me to drink to excess or make embarrassing requests of total strangers in public.

On the other hand, the practice is becoming far more popular. I’m guessing that there are plenty of people who’ve come up with interesting variations on the theme, just as there are now plenty of bachelor parties where nobody drinks until they pass out on the stripper.

So I’m curious. Are you being given a bachelorette party? Did you have one? Do/did you want one? What sort of party was it/will it be?

Does this appeal to you?
Bachelorette Party

19 Responses to “To Party or Not to Party”

  1. dr nic says:

    I had a bachelorette party. My MOH had a bunch of us meet at our local bar/hangout. Then we all went up to the local Indian casino. She provided everyone with $20 to play some slot machines with (and said the winnings off that money went to me/my husband). She also had a prize to give to the person who won the most money. Going to the casino meant we could drink for free, and the fact she provided some money meant everyone could participate even if they were flat broke. It was fun.

    The most memorable bachelorette I went to was one of my friend’s. We started out with the groom’s buddies and played a few rounds of laser tag (complete with pizza and cake – just like a birthday party). Then all the girls when to one of our female friend’s house where we had an old fashioned slumber party (talking all night, watching chick flicks, and of course adult beverages). It was something the bride’s two sisters (15 and 17 at the time) could be involved in without their mom worrying.

    And not a stripper in sight.

  2. My sisters bridesmaids subjected us to Naked Boys Singing — front row, center. My sister, who loathes being front and center of anything, and six other women ogling naked gay men, surrounded by an audience of gay men. How appropriate.

    (Don’t get me wrong — the show is actually great… just not the appropriate venue for a bachelorette party.)

  3. Dragonbait says:

    I’ve always loved the bachelorette party they threw (I think) for Charlene on Designing Women, where they had a big sleepover. It seems to be the kind of thing that you don’t get to do in a serious relationship/when married but still actually fun.

  4. Ripley says:

    Eleven years ago, my bachelorette party involved my bridesmaids and friends taking me to a local dance club where we just danced our butts off. I had a total blast. No penis garb was in sight.

    I recently went to one where the bride & groom and their friends and family went to a NHL game. We had a great time, and the home team even won!

  5. Crystal says:

    I flew into town where all my bridesmaid and MOH lived (I recently moved away), split a luxury hotel room with them, and we went out on the town. We went to a nice bar/restaurant, then another bar. I really wanted it to be me-with-my-friends-having-fun as opposed to its-a-bridal-shower-so-we’ll-do-something-outrageous. I commented that I was very happy not to be wearing any plastic penises on me, especially since we saw about 4 other bridal parties where the bride were decked out!

  6. Cassie says:

    When my mother got married to my step-father, she and I and the MoH (the other bridesmaid couldn’t make it) went – at my mother’s request – to a drag show at one of our local gay bars. One of the strangest nights of my life.

    It was fun, of course, but strange. I mean, going to a gay bar with your mom is odd by any measure, I think. But if I have a bachelorette party, it will not involve penis-themed anything.

  7. enygma says:

    I don’t remember if I read it in the news or watched it, but in the last year or so, I read that there was at least one gay bar contemplating charging extra cover for bachelorette parties because they were tired of the women’s behavior. Plus, other (gay) patrons of the bar were complaining about the parties. I just thought it was interesting that women would go to the gay bars because they didn’t want to be hassled by men, but their behavior was so excessive that the bars don’t want them there.

  8. La BellaDonna says:

    I have to say that I love the idea of the paint-ball bachelorette party I didn’t have one, but I would have loved a full formal tea, myself. Still would, in fact – with or without bachelorettes!

  9. Deanderthal says:

    I had what I like to call my “Bitchin’ Hitchin’ Party”….it was a Bachelorette/Lingerie Shower…..Thing. Event? Whatever.

    We had dinner at a seafood restaurant (delicious), then went to a friend’s house for dessert and the gifts, then we hit up our favorite Karaoke bar to party the night away. It was tons of fun and while I DID get a feather boa to wear at the bar….quite honestly, I would have worn one anyway. So. 😛

  10. Isn’t the whole “let’s wear penises” thing terribly sexist and objectifying? I hate that kind of bachelorette party with a blinding, fiery passion. I also hate shower games. bleh.

  11. I always tell my clients that the bachelorette party (bachelor too) should be about making memories, not secrets. I’ve seen a lot of bachelorette parties get out of control. I recently sent a client to a chocolate making session in a chocolate boutique. It was fun, full of chocolate, and there were no banana hammocks in sight. Nobody was embarrassed or crazy or out of control.

  12. Johanna says:

    I was so strict about what I don’t want for my bachelorette party that I got to be called a bridezilla for once in my life. It was because one of my more imaginative and outgoing friends had the notion that those parties are supposed to be so horrible that the bride will be scared into staying with the first husband, not wanting to go through that again.

    Of course I didn’t need to worry as everyone else knew better and would have opted for a traditional sauna/spa with yummy foods and drinks. But that is what I think friends should do together even though some might be married, not only because someone is about to be. And I think it would be rude to exclude some friends because of their gender. I ended up not having any parties, though I still dreaded till the end there might be one.

    So no I didn’t want one and NO! that does not appeal to me! 😀

  13. Sarah C. says:

    I had one- my wonderful MOH planned it and she was amazing! The only addition to my usual dress was a sparkly tiara (from Claire’s- we were 30), we went out in a group to a wonderful Cuban restaurant (many drinks were had, but they weren’t the point) and then on to a comedy club. And then we all went to a hotel that was in walking distance and all slumber partied.

    It was perfect.

    My MOH’s bachelorette party started out Xanadu themed at the roller rink and ended with making 80s ribbon barrettes. Original and also a really, really fun idea.

  14. gaga says:

    In two ocassion, i was an attendee in a bachelorete party with others friends. In the first, we were to a cottage in the country, play games, sing in the karaoke we were bring there, and ust have a lost of fun without any stripper, or any sexua reference to a penis.
    In the second one, we were dancing all night long in a bar, singing together, and that afeternoon we were shopping in a big mall with the bride-to-be.
    SO, i agree with you. A bachelorette party has to be something funny, in the bride mood of fun, and is expected to have fun al time long.
    I will be married in 4 months from now, and i know my friends are plotting some kind of bachelorette party for me, but i am sure they don´t end bringing any stripper to the party…..or so i hope!

  15. Emi!y says:

    I have been part of several b’ette parties – I’m at that age when all my friends are getting married, and it’s a pretty common event for us. They’ve been a whole range of events. Usually something in the dinner/dancing range. For my BF’s wedding where I was MOH, we had dinner at a Japanese restaurant in a back room with our own karaoke machine and then went dancing. For another friend’s it was dinner at Chili’s, a comedy show, and then dancing at the country bar. My favorite was for an out-of-town wedding: one of her other bridesmaids was friends with a manager of the “fancy” bar in town, and we got VIP service with our own seating area and champagne toast. That one was co-ed, but most were just girls only nights. Most didn’t have the cheese factor except for special hats or veils (but no penises!!), but the country bar party did involve one of those t-shirts with things to check off like “get a kiss” and “ride a mechanical bull” (which the bar had). That one also did end up in a porn store at 2 am because one of the b’maids couldn’t believe the bride didn’t have her own…um…marital aid. We’re not a stripper kind of crowd.

    One party was supposed to be a Pampered Chef party, but it snowed and the PC consultant cancelled, so we just got together, ate, drank and put together the chuppa, programs and favors. It was totally fun! I think the most important part is the company.

  16. Toni says:

    See, this is where it’s handy for you and your best friend to be getting married within months of each other, because the best course of action is to do what you’d want done yourself in a few months. (Of course, we would have granted each other’s wishes anyway.)

    We didn’t do anything bachelorette, just run-of-the mill (but fun!) wedding showers. I’ll admit to having one game, but it was a homemade Scattegories. The letters used were A-M-Y, and the categories were things like “type of flower” “honeymoon destination” etc… I liked that it made us think, was in no way humiliating or intrusive, and it seemed to go over well.

  17. KTB says:

    I had a bachelorette that was mostly put together by one of my bridesmaids, as my MOH sister lives in LA and we had the party in Seattle. Basically, a big group of us girls got hotel rooms at an inexpensive but trendy place downtown, the girls gave me a wig and little girl’s sparkly ribbon tiara to wear (I love wigs, so this was not a punishment at all!) and we bar-hopped through Belltown before ending up at a cabaret/burlesque show. I had an absolute blast, and as a wedding present, one of my friends collected pictures from all of the girls and gave me a bound book of the evening!

    My friend emailed me before the party and explicitly asked if I felt like I’d be missing out without the “stereotypical” bachelorette crap, and I said I would be absolutely fine, because we both hated that stuff. We both agreed that the night needed to be about girls going out on the town and having fun together, rather than humiliating me with penis paraphernalia.

  18. Leigh says:

    I got married before bachelorette parties were en vogue, but I’m a firearms instructor, and have held a few private instruction/private range time sessions for bachelorette parties. The rule is no cocktails before the class, so they come for instruction, range time, then go out for dinner. Different and fun.

  19. Annie says:

    I remember a bridal shower I went to in my youth that ended with strippers.

    Yes, you read that right. Bridal SHOWER. With Strippers.

    Somebody thought it was a good idea to take all of the bride’s female relatives, future in-laws, family friends, and work colleagues, including 80-year-olds and 5-year-olds, out to a restaurant. After the meal, the strippers came out. Most people, including the bride, were quite uncomfortable.