Not all brides or guests are keen on parading through bars with dildo-shaped straws in their hands or stuffing a dollar down some male stripper's bikini briefs. Yes, the bachelorette party, like its sibling the bachelor party, conjures images of youth, friendship and hope, but it also inevitably pushes the boundaries of decorum and can quickly turn an otherwise civil celebration into a night of debauchery (think Bachelor Party and the more recent The Hangover).
Be warned: Women often wind up being more raucous than men! Why else would 20th Century Fox be releasing The Bachelorette Party, a new feature pitched as the "Female Hangover" starring Anna Farris and Jennifer Garner? Because of the popularity of social networking websites and growing lack of privacy for your behaviors, it's best to let the bachelorette party debauchery stay on the big screen. The best way to do that is with bachelorette party etiquette.
As the bride-to-be, you need to oversee your guest list. Make sure that all attendees of the bachelorette party are actually invited to the wedding. It should be comprised of good friends, the bridal party and other close female relatives. Don't forget to include the mother of the bride and the mother-in-law to be! Even if you plan on pulling an all-nighter with your girlfriends, it is appropriate (and expected) to invite them to join you for a nice dinner or other similar activity beforehand. Bear in mind that an ideal number for a bachelorette party is about 10 to 12 in total. This number is much more manageable for any transportation, dinner or activities you may be planning.
A bachelorette party is typically planned by the bride-to-be's close circle of friends or relatives. If you are involved in the party planning, check in with the happy couple to make sure that the bride and groom are even comfortable with the idea. Once approval is given, the bachelorette party planning may begin. As you are considering dates for the party, ask the bride-to-be if she would prefer having her bachelorette party on the same day as the bachelor party. This is a great idea, especially if schedules are tight before the wedding. Setting a date one month in advance is a practical goal. Whatever you do, do not schedule the bachelorette party the weekend of the wedding. The last thing a bride needs is a massive headache and swollen eyes from a crazy night out with her gal pals.
Typically the bachelorette party is paid for by the attendees, therefore all guests must be taken into consideration, and planning should be arranged for the tightest pocketbook. Don't stress everyone out by arranging an expensive evening complete with chauffeured driven limo and champagne, unless there is a happy hostess willing to treat everyone with her unlimited budget. Use it as an opportunity to get creative. You can still have fun without having to mortgage your home.
Don't assume all attendees are up for a pole dancing lesson or a group tutorial on Tantric sex. This is also not the time to unleash your inner stripper and display your sexual aptitude. Instead, select entertainment with the bride-to-be in mind and make sure it will not humiliate or embarrass her or her guests. Lay down some ground rules in advance! No drugs, no posting unapproved photos on Facebook pages, and no peer pressure of any kind.
If the bachelorette party gets out of hand and there is no emergency plan in place, it can be grounds for disaster. Prepare in advance for safe and reliable transportation to shuttle everyone to and fro. Have a bucket and wipes on hand should one of your wild and crazy guests lose their dinner while in route to the next dance club. Pack a first aid kit, you never know if your girlfriend with seven inch heels is going to accidentally fall off the curb after her third martini and skin her knee. Think of worst case scenarios and have a rescue plan for each one.
Just because bachelorette and bachelor parties are notorious for debauchery and disgust, you don't have to put yourself or the bride-to-be through embarrassing and often unrecoverable faux pas. Keep these bachelorette party etiquette tips in mind and you'll have a great night with memories you actually want to remember.
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