A few of our friends are getting married this spring and I can’t wait! This past weekend was the wedding shower for our friends Jan & Brooke who are getting hitched in March. Unfortunately it was in Helena, so we missed it – one of the drawbacks of moving.
Weddings are so much fun, as are the pre-wedding celebrations of the bride (and groom). While most weddings are scheduled for this coming spring and summer, now is the time to start planning those showers and bachelorette parties.
My friend Misti is the best party planner I know. Two years ago when I got married, she knew all my bridesmaids were from out of town, so she threw me a little bachelorette party. It was such a fun night, in part because it was so different from the stereotypical bachelorette party spent trolling from bar to bar in skimpy outfits. When it comes down to it, bachelorette parties should be about celebrating friendships; relaxing hanging out with all your favorite girls before life turns into couples’ supper clubs and baby play dates. While shots and strippers can be totally fun, there are lots of other ways to have a girly good time.
Here are some tips from Misti on how to throw a great bachelorette party:
1. Celebrate what the bride loves
I’m not into drinking, so Misti didn’t bother planning any drinking games or a trip to the local bar. Instead, she knew that I love all sugary treats (yes, I’m a child), so she came up with a creative activity based on my favorite foods. We spent the night making edible underwear out of fruit roll-ups, Twizzlers and Starbursts. The girls made me a whole outfit that I actually took with us on our honeymoon, where it was put to good use.
Obviously every bride is different. Know what she loves and incorporate it into the night, or find out if she’s always wanted to do something and see if you can make it happen. Does she pamper herself with frequent manicures and blow-outs? Plan a weekend at a destination spa, which will be perfect if wedding planning is starting to drive her bonkers. Is she a foodie who’s always cooking for friends? Arrange a dinner out at a restaurant she’s been dying to try, so for once she can sit back and just enjoy a meal.
2. Make it relaxing, fun, and funny!
Everyone who knows me well knows I’m not crazy about getting dolled up to go out. I can barely walk in heels and still can’t figure out how to use a curling iron. Knowing this, Misti pulled together a laid back get together at her house – so laid back that I showed up make-up less and in my rattiest pair of jeans (see the above picture for evidence). However, to keep the night from going from relaxed to boring, she made sure to arrange for a fun surprise. She told me that she had arranged for a stripper and had me get ready for him in the living room. I was a little nervous about this, as Helena doesn’t exactly have a wide selection of options in this area. I was expecting some guy with a grill ripping off his clothes from his day job as a mechanic… Fortunately the “stripper” she had arranged for was her dog Clara rolling around the living room to techno in trashy underwear. It was honestly hysterical, and for me it was way better than an actual stripper. “Banana hammocks are hot”…said no one ever.
As a somewhat recent bride, I can tell you that the last thing a bride-to-be wants is additional stress in the months leading up to her wedding. So if a big trip to Vegas gets complicated with everyone’s calendars and arranging for time off, just remember you don’t have to do it! You want her to remember how much fun she had with her girlfriends, not how annoying and expensive it was.
3. Do something creative and nontraditional
The best part of the whole night was the “arts & crafts” activity at the end. It’s fun for a bachelorette to have some sort of “scandalous” activity, whether it involves penis paraphernalia or a list of silly tasks to complete. Misti came up with the most creative idea I have yet to hear of: boob painting. It was exactly what it sounded like – finger painting, only with our lady parts. Needless to say, things got pretty personal that night! Above are a couple pictures of our final masterpieces. When we moved, I made sure to take a couple with me, so I will always remember that night.
While the media typically portrays bachelorette parties as fitting within a pretty narrow concept, just remember that doesn’t mean you have to throw a party that fits within those constraints. Creative ideas and activities (like boob painting) are the parts of the evening the bride and her friends will always remember. I for one particularly love bachelorette/bachelor parties that involve costumes. My husband once attended a bachelor party that involved clown costumes. It was close to ten years ago, and he still talks about it!
Good luck party planning this wedding season! Have you thrown or attended a unique bachelorette party? Share your stories or ideas below!