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How to plan the perfect bachelorette party

Lori Wilson is a SheKnows.com Home & Living columnist, as well as a freelance writer in Los Angeles, who after a lifetime of enduring harsh Michigan winters, relishes the warmth year round.

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You've been chosen to be your best friend's maid of honor and it truly is an honor, but now you have the daunting task of planning a killer bachelorette party. But don't stress because we've got your back. No matter what kind of bride your friend is, conservative or wild, keeping in mind a few simple things will help you plan a great party that both you and the bride will be able to enjoy.

Bachelorette Party

Brainstorm with the bride

While you don't want her to do the legwork, you might want to get her input as to what she'd like. It is her party after all. So get her thoughts on the guest list, what she might like to do and of course what date works best for her. She's got enough to worry about with the actual wedding, so the rest should be up to you.

Activities

Once you've decided on the guest list and date, the next order of business is the evening's itinerary. If you've decided to hold the bachelorette party activities at someone's house, you'll want to make it festive. Depending on the bride's personality, you can use sexually charged decorations, such as naked men and phallic symbols. On the other hand, you can keep it clean and simply put out photos of the bride and groom all around the house. Games are always popular, such as pin the "male on the macho" or again, if she's more conservative, you can play trivia based on the happy couple. This game can be as tame or racy as you prefer.

You can also hold theme parties by hosting a spa event or hire a tarot card reader to tell everyone's fortune. A stripper is often a staple at bachelorette parties, but you'll have to gauge the bride's personality when it comes to this. Games can be played in between the festivities, so you'll want to plan a couple to keep the momentum going.

Whether you're staying in or going out, a scavenger hunt can be a fun activity for everyone. Divide your guests into teams and give them a list of things they must find or take photos of. You can use Polaroid cameras, ask a couple of people to bring their digital cameras or use cell phones and have the teams take pictures while singing karaoke at a bar, standing in front of a local landmark or kissing a bartender. Arrange to meet back at home or at a bar and share what you've all taken photos of. Of course you should create a scoring system and name a winner, but the real fun will be in the taking of and looking at the photos afterward. 

If none of this is to your bride's liking, a simple dinner out with friends can be just as memorable. Choose a nice restaurant that your friend doesn't often frequent and make an event of it. Engage in drinks, appetizers, dinner and dessert and just enjoy everyone's company.

Food and beverages

Whether staying in or going out, take into consideration everyone's palette. Not everyone eats sushi, for example, so if going out, choose a restaurant that offers meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes. If staying in, make sure there are plenty of hors d'oeuvres that everyone can snack on and offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Get everyone home safely

You'll want to end your fantastic party on a positive note, so if your guests will be drinking, make sure you have designated drivers for everyone. Take cabs, hire a limo or be the DD yourself.

Paying the bill

You may be planning the party, but that doesn't mean you have to pay for it all. As best you can, figure out what the costs will be, including cover charges to bars, the limo, dinner, etc. Inform your guests what they will have to chip in. Getting the money up front on certain things will save you from having to dole out a bunch of unexpected cash throughout the evening. Letting your invited guests know what they are expected to pay will also help them decide what they can and cannot participate in.

It's all about the bride

There are many things you can do for a bachelorette party, and you can't always please everyone. But as long as the bride is happy, you can consider your party a success. There are countless games to play and places to go, so use your imagination and send your friend into married life with a bang!

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