Bachelorette, stagette, hen do, hen party. Whatever you call it, it’s a great deal of fun, albeit a great deal of planning! This year, I’ve been tasked with the wonderful (yet challenging) task of planning two bachelorette parties. You may have even read my recent bachelorette party in Whistler post. I thought it would be helpful to you guys for me to share some tips on the planning process. This will cover everything from deciding when, how, and where to ensure you give the bride-to-be the best possible send-off. So, here are my top tips on how to plan a bachelorette party.
Establish a date
This is pretty much the most important stage of your planning. Firstly, when is the wedding? When will the bride-to-be be available? How long before the wedding would she like to have the bachelorette party? Where would you all ideally like to go? If it’s a trip based around the weather, e.g. skiing or sunbathing, that will make a difference. It’s also good to check which of the bridal party will be around. Perhaps some live overseas, and therefore you may need to tie the date a little around them. Make sure you’re not too ambitious in terms of timing, as even the smallest of bachelorette parties will most likely involve more planning and organization than you think!
Work out who’s coming
Once you have a date for the bachelorette party fully established, it’s a case of working out how many of you there will be. Who is actually available for that date, and who would actually like to come? If people have other commitments or children, they may not want to be away for a number of days or a week. Don’t take this personally. At this stage, it’s also helpful to reach out to the bride-to-be and see what kind of bachelorette party she has in mind. Maybe she wants a crazy party or a more refined weekend away. Knowing this, you can figure out logistics, and whether a weekend or several days for the party may be best. As soon as you have confirmation from everybody, starting a WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger group is a great way to keep everyone in the loop.
Figure out a bachelorette party budget
This is most often the trickiest part of the entire process. It’s often difficult to establish a budget given that everybody has different incomes and financial situations. Here, it’s best to use your discretion and see people’s responses. The bride-to-be will often help to indicate a rough estimate of budget, given that often the bachelorette party planner may not always know all members of the party.
Allowing everyone to be open and honest about their situation and preferences discretely is usually the best path to take in working out the budget situation for the party. Another consideration is whether or not as a party, you’ll be covering the bride-to-be’s costs. If so, this will need to be factored into the individual cost. A really important point is to try not to underestimate the cost. No one likes to keep shelling out for activities or dining throughout the bachelorette, so ensure everyone is aware of the cost.
Decide where the budget can take you
Based on the budget you’ve all managed to allocate, now the bachelorette party planning process gets a little more fun. Perhaps you’ve all decided on a wild trip to Las Vegas or Ibiza. Maybe it’s something a little more low key, like a spa weekend or hiring a huge house near the bachelorette’s home town. Make sure to look up top lists, and find a place inspired by your bride-to-be. What are her interests? Does she love to party? Perhaps there’s a city she’s loved for as long as she can remember, or a new city she’s dying to visit. Choose somewhere with plenty of appropriate activities and take a look at accommodation costs to ensure it’s well within budget. Some low cost activities never go amiss to keep the costs down. No one wants any nasty surprises along the way!
Book the accommodation
Once you’ve established a bachelorette party location, it’s important to get accommodation booked as soon as possible. This will give you more choice, and most importantly, give you maximum time to work out logistics and allow for any issues. Typically, it’s good to find around 2 or 3 options to present to the guests of the bachelorette and see where they think is best. This helps everybody to feel included and to see what their hard-earned money is actually going towards. Also ensure any ‘musts’ are covered – this may include a pool, hot tub, sufficient bathrooms and bedrooms, or simply location. For larger parties, AirBnB is always a great bet.
Establish transportation logistics
If your bachelorette party is set to be a flight away, you’ll want to get tickets booked as soon as you can to guarantee the best rates. Otherwise, is it possible for you to drive to the location? How many vehicles do you need? Is public transport easier? Or is hiring a minivan to your destination best? Transportation is always an important consideration early on in your bachelorette party planning. It will vary depending on how many are in the party. Making travel plans as soon as possible will make everything a lot less stressful in the long run. Always, always have a back up plan. Anticipate for any delays or cancellations, and try to run with your plan B as best as you possibly can.
Plan bachelorette party activities
Getting activities arranged is always a good stage to get the wider bachelorette party guests involved. People love to be asked their opinions, and to provide suggestions and contributions. Try to consider the bigger costs first. Is there a particular event you’ll be going to? Or some activities you need to get to? Maybe you’ll be going to a particular venue, or hiring people in to make cocktails. It might not just be cocktails – you may have a Butler in the Buff, entertainment visiting your accommodation, or a chef. Be sure to get the more expensive items booked first, then see how much budget you have left over for everything else.
Consider food and drink for the bachelorette party
No one likes to go hungry! If you can, try to ensure food and drink are factored into the budget where possible. Perhaps you’ll go all out and dine at a bunch of fancy restaurants on the bachelorette party. In which case you’ll want to make reservations ahead of time. Maybe you’ll strike a good balance of dining in and out. One great way to keep costs down is to order a huge group grocery order to your accommodation, as well as liquor. This way you can affordably order a bunch of food and drink to keep everyone happy. You can make cooking dinner or brunch a fun and fancy activity for everyone. Consider setting up an adorable decorated mimosa bar, or an impressive cheese board with wine pairings. Pinterest has a bunch of great ideas – check out my Pinterest board if you’re in need of some inspiration.
Think about the little things
Considering some of the finer details is one of the most fun aspects of planning a bachelorette party. This often includes decorations. Perhaps you’re going for a theme, or just outrageous tackiness. Maybe you’ll be a little more thoughtful and spend ages poring over old photographs of the bride-to-be and her bachelorettes to place around the accommodation. Creating itineraries, cute signs, and goodie bags another lovely touch. Either way, the details make all the difference.
A bachelorette party guestbook is a great way to capture memories and moments. A Polaroid camera to immediately grab snaps of the bachelorette party is another fun idea. Think about any accessories you’ll have the bride wear for the party too. This is a great opportunity to make the bachelorette party personal. Consider things she loves and try and include them in any ways you can, from gifts to games. Plan any activities and games for the accommodation ahead of time – maybe you’ll need her fiance for them!
Last minute logistics
These include key details like working out who can go and decorate the accommodation before the bride gets there. Who will be around to let in any people you’ve hired for activities? Where can a mixologist set up their drinks? Is there enough cutlery and crockery in the accommodation? Consider finer details like planning outfits – maybe the bride will wear white while everyone else wears black? Will you have to do much walking? Ensure all members of the bachelorette party know what to pack. At the same time, one thing to remember is to try not to overplan. Nobody likes a tight schedule to follow on what is meant to be a fun occasion. Allow plenty of time to simply relax and enjoy one another’s company.
Have a blast at the bachelorette party!
Finally, the most important part after all that planning – actually enjoy it! All the hard work is complete and it’s time to party.
What are your tips for planning the perfect bachelorette party? Let me know your tips and advice in the comments!