If you are the maid of honor at your best friend’s wedding, you are probably aware that a lot of responsibilities rest on your lovely shoulders. You have to be the bride-to-be’s pillar of support and help her plan her wedding, right from the guest list to the reception menu. Add in the bridal gown fittings and a ton of other wedding duties, and you have a part-time (and unpaid) job in hand.
One of your biggest responsibilities as maid of honor is to organize a befitting bachelorette party for your friend. This serves as an opportunity for the bride-to-be to let her hair down and have a blast before settling down with her new partner. So, ensure that you plan a do that is fun, relaxing, personal and memorable.
The key to organizing a great bachelorette is to plan in advance and have the blueprint ready as to how you are going to get the job done.
If you are a nervous maid of honor grappling with the enormous responsibility of planning the bachelorette, here are a few tips for you:
1. Take the Bride’s Opinion
Bachelorette parties often hold small surprises for would-be brides. But, it is very important that you have an idea of what the perfect bachelorette means for her. If the bride is expecting something simple and sober, do not surprise her with a wild booze-soaked party. If she wants a weekend getaway with a relaxing spa day, try to accommodate that. Also, take into consideration other factors like food restrictions and preferred party destinations.
By involving the bride in the planning process, you can be sure that your friend will be happy with the arrangements you make.
2. Decide on the Theme
You need not get bogged down by the several preconceived notions attached to bachelorette parties. It is not necessary to have strippers or phallic cakes if your bride is not into them. Bachelorette parties need not be wild just because they are ‘supposed’ to be so. Plan a party that suits the temperament, interests and lifestyle of your friend.
Karaoke, wine-tasting sessions, spa retreats, paintball courses, weekend getaways, fashion faux pas parties, or even a cooking class with a celebrity chef are a few ideas you can consider for your do.
3. Plan in Advance
Decide the venue and the time for the bachelorette as soon as your friend is engaged. Ideally, you should zero in on them at least six to eight months in advance. This will give you enough time to get all your friends together.
Planning in advance is all the more important if other bridesmaids and friends live away from the bride’s hometown. With most of them busy with careers and family, an advance notice will help them tweak their schedules to accommodate the dates. Send out the invites a month or two in advance, but the save-the-dates email should go out much earlier.
The venue is important because it sets the tone and the ambiance for your party. So, ensure you choose a place where the bride will have a ton of fun with her gang. If you are opting for the traditional pub crawl, draw out the itinerary as early as possible. Deciding on the list of pubs in advance will help you make reservations at bars, arrange party supplies and props, and net group deals and bachelorette freebies.
4. Know Your Audience
As with any other party, the organizer must know the audience well. The bachelorette party will have attendees of all ages. In many cases, brides are keen to invite mums and mums-in-law as well. Plan the party keeping the age of the invited guests in mind.
Also, it may not be possible to have certain activities or games which can be too risqué for the people involved. Limit the embarrassing questions in party games like His-and-Her game, and ensure that everyone has a gala time.
5. Set a Budget
Weddings are expensive and it is important to not put the financial strain on the friends invited for the bachelorette party. Financial abilities will also depend on the age of the guests. A 24-year old bride is likely to have friends who have just about started their careers, so the budget for the bachelorette will have to be set accordingly. But in the case of older brides, friends may be able to afford more lavish parties.
As the maid of honor, you will have to draw a budget that includes all expenses. Check whether or not everyone is comfortable with it. Give an accurate range; for example, $300- $350 per person, and ensure that others are willing to contribute. Open and effective communication is essential to iron out issues that may crop up here.
Also remember to keep a buffer amount aside to account for unforeseen expenses. If the money does not get used, you can buy a round of drinks for everyone with it. It is necessary you give a breakup of the costs to the invitees so that they know where their money has been spent.
Bachelorette parties are occasions where the bride’s nearest and dearest girls get together for some fun and frolic. It presents an opportunity for friends of the bride, right from childhood buddies to office BFFs, to get to know each other. So, do ensure that you and your guests enjoy the time spent together and ensure the spirits stay high right until the wedding day, when your friend becomes a married woman.