Party Rock: Your Guide to Pre-Wedding Festivities

Here's the scoop on engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and more!

The Bachelorette & Bachelor Partiesbridal shower bride bridesmaids

Photo credit: The D Spot

What it is: Girl bonding. “Some people see the bachelorette party as a time for the bride to get ‘wild’ with her bridal party and maybe a couple other close friends,” says Longacre. But they don’t necessarily need to go all out. For some, it’s an excuse to get together with girlfriends for some female-only fun. Some groups go on a weekend getaway to somewhere exciting like Napa or Las Vegas. Others just plan a classic girls’ night out.

Who hosts: “The maid or matron of honor is responsible for planning and organizing the bachelorette party,” says Bussen. “All the bridal attendants are ex- pected to help with the planning.”

Who attends: Usually the bridesmaids, and maybe some other close girlfriends of the bride. “Destination bachelorette parties can mean a smaller group, since there will be travel costs,” says Bussen.

Why have it: To let loose a little and have fun! Here you are spending time and energy planning your wedding. Isn’t it a great idea to chill out with your BFFs?

When to have it: It’s a big no-no to have your bachelorette party within two weeks of your wedding. Your plate will be filled with to-dos at that point, and you don’t want to risk any partied-out bridal-party members on the big day. One to three months beforehand is a better idea.

Good to know: “The key here is to design a party that suits the honoree,” says Bussen. “Not everyone wants a wild experience.” And take note: “I recommend not posting bachelorette-party photos to Facebook or other social-sharing sites where work colleagues, for example, could see them.” And make sure your partygoers know not to, as well. 

Bachelor Parties That Aren't Tacky

Your guy may not want the typical night of male debauchery. If he’s looking for more ideas, how about suggesting some of these?

Concert: He and his friends can go see a favorite band—and even tailgate beforehand.

Karaoke: Some karaoke places have private rooms you can rent out for parties, so anyone who sings only has to do it in front of friends.

Oktoberfest: In the fall, plenty of restaurants and organizations put together these rollicking festivals with lots of beer and food tasting.

Sporting events: A group trip to a favorite baseball, football or basketball team’s game is a perfect idea for a sports fan.

Golf outing, fishing adventure or camping: He can pick whatever outdoor activity he and his buddies are most into.

Next: The Rehearsal Dinner >>