This is going to be a lot of work, but in the end it is also going to be a lot of fun for everyone involved. We've provided a bachelorette party checklist for you as a quick guide.
To start your checklist off right, three (or more) months before the party, sit down with the bride and ask her what she would like to do. If you bank on the "total surprise factor" you may end up with a hit-or-miss type situation which could end in a bad situation, with feelings hurt (or worse, relationships ruined). You don't have to completely get rid of the surprise factor, but you don't want the entire party to be a surprise either. See what kind of party she wants it to be. Does she want it to be a casual night with friends, dinner and a few drinks at a local hotspot? How about a nice relaxing day at the spa? Or maybe she's ready for a big bachelorette party blow out!! Get a solid idea what the bride has in mind for her party.
Keep in mind that this night is about the bride, so don't forget to keep her included when you're putting together the bachelorette party checklist!
Depending if all the guests are on the wedding guest list or not, you may have to plan the date to be closer to the wedding itself to accommodate those that need to travel and take extra time off work. Try not to have the bachelorette party the night before the wedding! No one looks pretty hung over.
The guests do not need to be part of the bridal party- check with the bride who else she'd like to invite
Best to keep moms and other "authoritative" figures out of the party. This is a night where the bride can let loose and have fun, without her feeling like someone is looming over her shoulder.
You can go formal with a mailer card, or casual with a Google Calendar invite
Set up a Facebook or Google events page, where the party members can receive real-time updates as plans for the bachelorette party continue to take shape
Make sure you talk with the entire party about setting a budget; who will pay for what, or if anyone has a budget on how much they're willing and able to spend on paid activities, travel, etc.
Travel - this will fall under budgeting; will your party be taking a trip together, or will the party be a one-night deal? If the wedding is a destination wedding, it could save a lot of money to have the bachelorette party take place at the same destination as the wedding, since everyone will already be spending the money to travel out there anyway.
Themes may not necessarily mean costumes (though that is not a bad idea either!); It could simply mean the mood of the party- does the bride want a spa day, or a casual date, or something completely off the wall?
This will be almost directly dependent on the group's budget. If the budget is high, there will be more wiggle room for travel and other activities. If the budget is lower, you may have to look around for package deals (like our What Women Want pass), or close-to-home solutions.
Now that you have some general information and a guest list, it is time to start planning out some of the things you are going to do. Get in contact with the other bridesmaids and invitees to brainstorm some ideas as to what should be planned. This should be done without the bride so that you can retain an element of surprise for her! Make all the reservations and order tickets for anything you may need in advance, that way all you have to do is show up. A good idea is to find out the total cost of a lot of the bigger things such as lodging, transportation, and events and have everyone pay in advance. This is a good way to split costs evenly so that one person is not stuck with the entire bill. Once some of the details are hammered out, send out a save the date card, or email to all those on the guest list. Get a general idea of when everyone is available and adjust your plans of needed. Once everyone is confirmed for the big weekend, the hardest parts are over!
Got to keep the energy up to keep the party going! Fine dining? Buffet? Fast food on the go? Don't forget to take down some grub ideas on your bachelorette party check list for available food options in the surrounding areas where the party will be held.
Can't have a fun Bachelorette party without entertainment! Figure out something that the bride has wanted to do but haven't had a chance to, or maybe something she's been dying to do again. Ask the bride about what kind of entertainment she's looking for - does she want her party to be G-Rated or G-String related? Get as many details as you can; who knows, maybe in the midst of it you'll come up with a whole new party idea!
Make calls, figure out the best deals, and check on group rates depending how big the party is (FYI: Our Stripper 101 group rates begin at 8 people). Once you RSVP, contact the rest of the group, so they are aware that the plans are coming into fruition, and not just ideas in the wind.
Aside from shows and concerts, what other places can you girls hang out and show off the bride-to-be? If you're here in Vegas, there is an endless list of options, from clubs to lounges, to roof-top sight-seeing. Whatever you choose, make sure you call ahead of time to check on hours and make a reservation for your group to ensure your party can get in.
And of course, make sure you choose a venue that the bride and the girls can have a good time in! Just because the bride is a huge fan of museums, does not mean museums are fans of a rowdy bachelorette party.
Even with a completed bachelorette party checklist, it will still help to have an itinerary set up so people know when to show up, and roughly how long the party will take. This gives both the party and the planning some structure, making it easier for the group to figure out what's coming next. This also gives a driving force behind the party, instead of being scattered with everyone trying to figure out what should be next.
Keep in mind, even with an itinerary, you as the planner may have to become the driving force to make sure the bride and party goers get where they need to go when they need to be there.
Put together goodie bags with games, toys, and and other supplies to make the most out of the bachelorette party! You can even put in mementos that the ladies can take home to remember the night with.
Don't forget about the bride's gift, you can have one or two gifts: one from you as the host, and one from the group as a whole. Make sure you discuss it with the other ladies in the party what to get the bride!
Matching items for the party: sashes, t-shirts, tiaras, wigs... whatever you and the girls can think of that will bring the group together, or even match the theme of the party!
Have something fun and unique for the bride to wear, like a veil, a different colored sash, something make her stand out. Remember, it's a party for her!
Just like hosting your own house party, you want your guests to have something to munch on. Nothing says bachelorette party like unique sweets and treats for the ladies to enjoy!
These don't have to be anything super fancy - even water bottles with a customized label, or some "funny looking" lollipops will do the trick
As the party gets closer, make sure to double check all reservations, RSVPs and orders. The last thing you want is to plan everything out, have everyone all set to go, and a reservation goes missing or something goes wrong. It will not be the best time. A few days before the party, talk to the bride and let her know what's going on. You don't have to give out any of the big details, but it is always a nice thing to let her know something is happening, so she can plan outfits and make sure she has everything she needs for her big night.
The most important thing to remember is to enjoy the night. Go with the flow and let the night take you wherever it may. The bride will be thankful no matter what happens and you will have created memories that will last a lifetime. You will always have those moments to look back on and the bride will be able to say that she enjoyed the night with some of her closest and best friends.
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