Maid of Honor Advice
Bachelorette Party Planning Tips
Whether or not you're planning a crazy drunken bash or a movie night with lots of popcorn for the bachelorette party, there are certain things you can do to customize the evening and make it a truly memorable occasion. As a fabulous and responsible maid of honor, it's important to plan out as much as possible ahead of time. You don't want to be worrying about how to get home from the bar at 2:00 in the morning! By figuring out the transportation, food, payment plan, itinerary, and creative flair ahead of time you're likely to find yourself with a more successful bachelorette party and a happier bride-to-be (making you an even happier maid of honor!).
Transportation at the bachelorette party is of utmost importance since drinking often plays a central role. There are several ways to solve the transportation problem. You could get a couple of people to volunteer as designated drivers (which works particularly well if the bride has any friends who don't drink). If that's not a constructive option, taking cabs could also work well. The maid of honor should arrange this with a cab company in advance (depending on where you're planning to go). Also, if you live in an urban area, public transportation is a convenient option which won't destroy your budget!
If money is no object, why not rent a limo for the bachelorette party (anything from a traditional stretch limo to an SUV)? There are also "party buses" which specialize in events like bachelorette parties and often get VIP treatment at certain bars and clubs. This can take a lot of weight off the maid of honor's shoulders!
After transportation, the next thing you need to decide upon is a restaurant. A smart maid of honor knows that the bachelorette party, or at least the morning after, will be much more pleasant if everyone eats something. And hey, it's fun to go out to dinner as a rowdy group of bachelorettes! When choosing a restaurant, look for someplace with a festive environment (where they won't mind a bit of "spirit!"). Also consider: Does the bride have a favorite restaurant or a spot you used to enjoy together?
Now that you have a super cool restaurant lined up, it's time to talk about money. If you want the bachelorette party to be free of stress and awkwardness, it's crucial to get guests to agree on who's paying for what before the big event. The maid of honor is charged with planning the bachelorette party mayhem, but she's not the only one who should be dishing out to pay for it. Instead, try to get guests to agree to donate a fixed amount to you, and then you pay for everything with that money. Some guests may refuse, but most people will understand. Be sure to explain exactly what the money will be spent on. Instead of "for the bachelorette party," let them know the money is for the bride's drinks, meal, limo, cake, decorations, and so forth. The more specific you are, the better received your request for donations will be.
And finally, the fun part: the itinerary. What do you want to do with the bride and company? Are you envisioning bars, dance clubs, or something more extravagant? How about a (ahem!) strip show? When I was a maid of honor, I brought the bride-to-be to a wine bar (as she loves wine) and then to a piano bar where everyone sings along in loud, drunken voices to old school (eighties and nineties) music. Who doesn't love drunken singing?
Don't forget that many places offer discounts, reserved tables, cakes, or free drinks for a bachelorette party. Be sure to ask and make reservations wherever you can. Helpful maid of honor hint: Each place on your itinerary (from restaurants to bars) will take longer than you think! Don't try to squeeze in too many places for only one night!
Finally, the maid of honor may want to add some creative flair. The easiest way to do this is to buy some fun bachelorette party garb for the bride. What's a bachelorette party without a boa, tiara, and veil covered in condoms? If the bride is on the shy side (as was mine when I was maid of honor), you could purchase a flower corsage. It may sound a bit like a prom flashback, but most brides enjoy being identified as the VIP (even if they won't admit it).
Besides costuming, you might choose to add a scavenger hunt or other game to the bachelorette party night. As a maid of honor, I wrote clues to each location we were visiting which all had some sort of meaning for the bride and groom. The bride-to-be had to guess each one as we went along (which became suspiciously more difficult as the night went on!).
Once you've planned the ultimate bachelorette party, sit back and have some wild fun! You deserve it! Do remember though that the last maid of honor duty at the bachelorette party is to look after the bride (and possibly hold her hair back) and to make sure everyone gets home okay. Drink, dance, laugh, and good luck!