A bachelorette party can be overwhelming to plan - especially if you aren’t a professional event planner. There are so many moving parts: the guest list, the invitations, the budget, the location, the food, the drinks. It goes on and on. Not to mention, trying to find a date and place that works around everyone’s schedule! Coordinating everything and pulling off the (hopefully) second best night of the bride’s life is a lot of pressure, but it can be done. The key is to be organized and to know what the expectations are as soon as possible.
Typically speaking, one of the Maid of Honor duties is to plan the bachelorette party. In some cases, another bridesmaid will take on the responsibility. Despite who ends up planning the bachelorette party, there are some things to keep in mind that will make the planning process smooth and hassle free.
Bachelorette Party Planning Checklist
As a first time Maid of Honor, an introvert, or just a person who doesn’t usually plan or organize events, the idea of planning a party of this magnitude and significance can seem daunting and even stressful. However, careful planning and clear expectations can make the bachelorette party a lot easier to host. Follow these guidelines to get started in planning the perfect bachelorette party.
1. Talk to the Bride.
The first thing the host should do is ask the bride what she wants. This is all for her afterall. Does she want a destination bachelorette party or to stay close to home? Does she want to know all the details and be involved in making decisions or does she want it to be a surprise? Is it an intimate affair with just the bridesmaids or a big bash with all her girlfriends? Once these questions are answered, the host can get to planning.
2. Get the Guest List.
The next step to making sure everything runs smoothly and is planned appropriately is to ask the bride for a guest list. The guest list should include contact information as well as what each person’s relationship is to the bride. This is important to know because if the bride really wants to invite her grandma, a trip to Las Vegas to see “Thunder From Down Under” may not be an option. Or maybe it will be?
3. Send Invitations and Set a Time & Place.
Sending and receiving endless emails asking for guests’ availability, preferences, and willingness to travel can be a hassle and difficult for guests to follow. Consider using a planning website like FundSocially.com to gather this information and ultimately decide the time and place that works for the greatest number of attendees. Remember to ask the bride for a list of acceptable dates first!
It is important to decide on the date and location as soon as possible. Often the bachelorette party is one to two months before the wedding. This gives the bride time to enjoy the party before she gets too busy with final wedding arrangements.
4. Set the Budget and Collect the Money.
All right, now for the tricky part…setting a budget. It is best to first talk to the bridesmaids about how much they can realistically contribute to the event.
You will need to factor in items like travel expenses (are you flying somewhere?), accommodations (hotel rooms/rental houses), food and drink (eating out/ordering in/cooking?), and other miscellaneous expenses depending on your event (matching t-shirts, decorations, spa treatments, etc.).
Once the budget is decided, all of the guests should be notified of the final anticipated cost. Remember that you do not have to fund the entire party yourself! It is common practice and even expected that attending guests will pay a share of the expenses. Even so, requesting money from friends or even strangers can be an uncomfortable task.
It is beneficial to be very clear on what the cost per person does and does not cover so the guests can prepare for any extra expenses.
5. Get some help!
No one should have to put together an entire party by themselves. Once all of the details are worked out, it’s time to enlist help with getting everything done. It is the host’s job to delegate tasks to bridesmaids and volunteers. Make a list of everything that needs to get done prior to the party and then assign tasks to those willing to help.
The main thing to remember as the host of the bachelorette party is that you are in charge! Also know that it will be impossible to please every single guest and that’s okay. The most important guest is the bride. As long as she has a great time you’ve done your job!