Whether you're the bride or the bridesmaid, planning a bachelorette party isn't always easy. As a bride, you want to give your girls the freedom to plan a surprise for you — while still setting boundaries to make sure that you have a great time. And as a bridesmaid, you not only need to worry about making the bride happy, but you need to make sure you're keeping the party within a budget that everyone can afford, you're choosing a date that works for everyone, and you're inviting (and not inviting) the right guests. We checked in with Joanne Barken, founder of The Bach, an online platform that makes planning a bachelorette party so much easier, for the top dos and don'ts when it comes to planning your ladies' night out.
For the Bride:
Do discuss with your bridesmaids any concerns you have about the bachelorette party. If you want it to stay within a certain price range so that everyone can attend, or you want to avoid having a stripper show up, be sure to let them know so that you are comfortable with the event.
Don't take over all of the planning or micro-manage the festivities. Your friends likely want to include some fun surprises to make the bachelorette party feel special, and you don’t want to miss out on that!
Do think carefully about the guest list and invite your best girl friends who you are excited to celebrate with. Be sure to provide your bridesmaids with the contact information for your invitees rather than have them guess about whom to invite.
Don't feel obligated to invite every woman on the wedding guest list. The bachelorette party should be a more intimate event, giving you the chance to spend quality time with just your closest friends.
For the Bridesmaids:
Photo Credit: The D Spot
Do plan the event far enough in advance that you can take advantage of lower airfare and have time to
negotiate group deals. Share the date with the invitees early on so that they can make arrangements to attend.
Don't send out cryptic emails to the bachelorette party invitees. Try to be as clear and upfront about activities and costs as possible. The Bach allows you to send itineraries as part of an electronic invitation and will help you streamline communications with guests.
Do have a discussion with the bride about what type of bachelorette party she wants — and respect her wishes.
Don't ignore the bride’s requests and take matters completely into your own hands. If she asks for a low-key affair, then look for fun bonding activities rather than surprising her with VIP table service at a packed dance club.
Do take tons of photos throughout the bachelorette party weekend. You can turn them into a cute scrapbook and give it to the bride to look through while getting ready on the big day!
Don't automatically post all of the photos to your social media outlets. Be sure to check with the bride and other guests before sharing, especially if the celebration got rowdy. The bride may also want to respect those she did not invite by keeping the photos private.
Tell us: What are you doing for your bachelorette party? How involved are you with the plans?
—Kristen O'Gorman Klein
Joanne Barken is the CEO of The Bach, the first online platform for planning bachelorette parties. Joanne, who lives in New York City — one of the country’s top choices for a special night out with the girls — has helped plan over a dozen bachelorette parties before launching The Bach.