Your best friend got engaged and asked you to be the Maid of Honor. Which means she loves you so much and … she knows you’re going to throw her an amazing bachelorette party. Clearly, the kind of bash you throw will depend on her taste and sensibilities; she might want a relaxing weekend getaway or maybe she’s down to get crazy at the club. Whatever you decide, the most important thing, of course, is to make her happy. (Which means if you’re thinking pole dancing lessons and she’s thinking spa treatments, you’ve got some massages to book.)
Read on for 15 things you can do to ensure, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, the bachelorette party is a wild success for everyone involved.
Choose a Location and Set a Date
You should try to set the date about three months (or more) before the festivities so that people can make travel plans and get hotels booked if necessary. Depending on where you’re going and the size of the group, an event planner can help, and even get you a few upgrades along the way. Keep in mind, you’re planning a trip for a group of people, so it’s good to take help where you can get it and be open to suggestions. You might also want to include an estimate of how much it’s all going to cost in the invitations to allow people to budget accordingly or pick and choose which events they’ll be able to attend. (If you’re looking for the most popular destinations for bachelorette parties, start here.)
Distribute an Itinerary
Most people like knowing the plan ahead of time, so it’s a good idea to have a detailed itinerary with all of the details for the entire weekend. Include all events, even if it’s “dinner at the house” or “mimosas by the pool” so people know where to be, at what time, and also what to pack and wear. That being said, you don’t want to overschedule the weekend since downtime is often when the most organic fun happens. Note: even if you’re doing a night out on the town, an itinerary is still helpful if there will be bar hopping since some people may join in on the fun later on in the night.
Rent a Limo – or Party Bus
“Anything goes” during a bachelorette party except drinking and driving. Hire a limousine or a party bus to make sure everyone gets around safely. If things are going to get crazy, make sure everyone has a buddy so that no one gets left behind at any of the spots. Plus, in a party bus, you can drink between bars so the fun never stops!
Go Crazy with Decorations
If you want to go all out, you can hire someone to help, even if you’re not in your hometown. (Thumbtack will find you just the person.) This is the chance to “embarrass” the bride with er, wacky party favors, tiaras, and “Bride to Be” accessories. If the bachelorette party has a theme, go totally over the top with streamers, balloons, and, ahem, other inflatables. If you don’t want to hire help, see if there’s someone in the bridal party who enjoys taking on these kind of tasks. Delegate, delegate, delegate!
Surprise the Bride-to-Be
She’ll want to know what the general plan for the night or weekend is, but that doesn’t mean you can’t surprise her with the exact location of dinner or special treat.
Hire a Photographer
The night/weekend is going to be full of fun moments, a lot of which may be missed if you’re relying on everyone to use her camera phone. Hiring a photographer to come in for all or part of the fun is a great way to make sure everyone goes home with pictures that are worthy of a frame. Plus, it’s a thoughtful extra for the bride-to-be.
Bring in a Personal Chef
If you’re renting a house for a weekend or doing something more low-key, a personal chef is the perfect way to ensure you eat well and that no one’s stuck cooking (or doing the dishes). Dinners out are always fun, but staying in for the evening is a great option, especially if the bachelorette party is more than one night. (Or even if it is; some brides just want to spend time with their friends away from the chaos of a bar or club.) Another idea might be to have a chef come in to give a cooking lesson with the end result being a meal you can all enjoy together.
Hire a Professional Bartender
A chef will ensure you get a great meal; a bartender will ensure you drink amazing cocktails all night long. Again, this is a perfect idea for destination bachelorette parties where you plan to hang out at the house. There’s no reason to be stuck with vodka sodas all night when a professional can make everyone exactly what she wants or even create a signature cocktail for the occasion.
Take a Pole Dancing Lesson
Pole dancing lessons are a great way to get the whole stripper thing in there without actually going to a strip club. Plus, they’re a really good workout. Thumbtack can help you find pole dancing lessons in almost any zip code. Who doesn’t love learning a few new moves?
Make a “Dare/Scavenger Hunt” Checklist for the Bride
Giving the bride a list of silly dares to complete over the course of the night is a great way to ensure the evening is unforgettable. Tasks can include things like “Seranade a stranger” or “dance on a table.” The more ridiculous the better, of course. (Well, for everyone except the bride!)
Have Your Tarot Cards Read
A wedding is a new beginning. Bring a tarot card reader in to tell the bride and her guests all about their future.
Hire a Masseuse
You know what a bride usually is? Stressed. You know what can help with that? A relaxing massage. Bring someone in to give massages by the pool/vineyard/beach, so the group can still hang out while getting their rub down.
Get Your Makeup Professionally Done
If the plan is to go out on the town, everyone is going to want to look her best. Bring in a makeup artist to help everyone get camera ready.
Give Out Favors
Everyone’s already throwing down a lot of cash for the bachelorette, but a little gift is a sweet token to let the guests know you appreciate them making time to be there. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive; it could be a cookie with a picture of the bride’s dog on it, a personalized shot glass, or little mini bottles of booze.
Throw all of your ideas about what a bachelorette party is supposed to be and instead plan the bachelorette party you know the bride will love. That might be a slumber party in a hotel room or it might be a weekend of glamping. Whatever it is, just remember that the point of this party is for the bride to get to hang out with her best friends and for all of her friends to meet each other and form bonds. The important thing is to 1. Tell everyone events start 45 minutes before they do and 2. Have the most fun.
Top image: Snooki at her bachelorette party with JWoww in Miami Beach via People