This is our complete guide to bachelorette party in 2023.
In this all-new guide you will learn:
- The meaning and customs of a bachelorette party
- How to find the perfect bachelorette party ideas
- How to plan bachelorette party travels and activities
- Lots of practical tips, strategies and techniques.
So if you want to make the next bachelorette party the best one ever, this is the guide for you.
Let’s get started together!
Chapter 1: The Bach
So you’ve been tasked with planning a very important bachelorette party for someone you love. Where do you start?
As with any long journey, you start with the first step. In this case, the first step is understanding the bride’s preferences and expectations so you can plan a party that suits her. It’s important to focus on what the bride truly wants her bachelorette party to be rather than what you or others want.
This is our ultimate guide to planning a legendary bachelorette party
Get to know the bride and her preferences
The first step is understanding the bride’s preferences and expectations so you can plan a party that suits her. Always remember, the bachelorette party is her party, not yours or anyone else’s! Start by having an open, honest talk with the bride about what she does and doesn’t want her party to be like.
Here are a few essential questions to ask:
- What does her ideal bachelorette party look like?
- Is there anything in particular she does or doesn’t want?
- What date or time frame should the party be hosted?
- How many partygoers are you planning for? Who should be on that guest list?
- Is there a specific theme or style that she likes?
- Will alcohol be involved? What about dancers or adult entertainment?
Local or Travel Bach Party?
Whether or not to bach abroad, in a new city, or in your bestie’s backyard is an important conversation to have. Travel-oriented bachelorette parties are popular but don’t appeal to every bride or budget. The best way to know what the bride prefers is simply to ask her upfront.
One-night or multi-day trip?
Hurray! Your bride has decided to travel for her bachelorette party! Spend time discussing the length of the trip. Are you going a town over for a wine-tasting day trip? Or are you indulging in an entire bachelorette weekend? Remember, the longer the trip, the higher the financial cost for each guest.
Chapter 2: Essential Questions
What is a bachelorette party, really?
Traditionally, a bachelorette or hen party is held to honor a woman’s upcoming marriage.
The bachelorette party is usually attended by the bride’s closest female friends, the bridesmaids and perhaps, family. In American pop culture, the ongoing joke is that the bachelorette party is the bride’s “final night of freedom.” Less formally, a bachelorette party is a perfect excuse for the bride to gather the closest women in her life and celebrate the rite of passage that is marriage.
Who plans for a bachelorette party?
Usually, the Maid of Honor plans the bachelorette party, with help from the bridesmaids.
However, it’s also perfectly normal for the bride to handle the planning herself if she wants to. The most important thing to remember when it comes to planning is that it’s best to have a designated person in charge with possibly a few helpers. Too many people trying to plan different aspects of the same party can be a disaster!
What happens at bachelorette parties?
If you’ve never been to a bachelorette party and are planning one, you’ve definitely wondered “well, what actually happens at bachelorette parties?.” Many brides choose to celebrate their bachelorette party at a bar or nightclub, but others go for a spa day, a destination trip, a wine tasting, or even an old-fashioned sleepover! The point is for the bride to have a good time with her closest friends.
What should you not do at bachelorette parties?
There are a few written and unwritten rules about how to behave at your bestie’s bachelorette bash. Here are 5 things you don’t want to do at a bachelorette party:
- #1 Don’t Push. Don’t pressure the bride into anything she doesn’t want to do. That includes drinking, clubbing when she wants to hike (or sleep), or anything else that goes against the bride’s idea of a good time. It’s her party!
- #2 Don’t Skip. When clubbing or partying, stick with your group. Don’t wander off on your own or ditch the bride, even if the activities aren’t your favorite.
- #3 Don’t Complain about the Cost. Weddings are expensive, and bachelorette parties can be expensive. Why add further stress and guilt onto the bride’s shoulders by complaining about the costs of the pre-wedding? That said, budget is an important conversation to have during the planning process. But once everyone has agreed and is comfortable, there is never a good time to complain.
- #4 Don’t Lose Focus. Make sure you don’t overindulge in drinking or anything else that affects your decision-making during the party. You don’t want to end up in a situation where the bride is holding your hair back while you reverse bar hop in the toilet.
- #5 Don’t Add. The host’s job is to ensure that anyone the bride wants to attend has been invited. A bachelorette party is not a ‘plus one’ situation unless specially stated, so don’t invite anyone extra!
How many people should attend the bachelorette party?
On average, 8-10 people will attend a bachelorette party, but there is no wrong number! The attendees are usually made up of the bridal party, the bride, and a few close friends of the bride (even potentially a few family members). Depending on the party’s theme, location, and activities, having more or fewer people is totally normal. Modern bachelorette parties sometimes include men close to the bride, like her brother or friends.
Who pays for the bachelorette party?
Here’s an obvious question that many party planners are afraid to ask: who is supposed to pay for what? Money makes many people uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to, especially if you have these conversations during the planning process.
Here’s the short answer: the bridesmaids and attendees pay for the bachelorette party. For a more in-depth answer, check out our helpful bachelorette party payment etiquette guide.
Chapter 3: The Party Idea
Here’s a party planning hack that applies to any situation: every party needs a theme.
A theme is the foundation upon which a party is built. You can plan everything from invites, games, gifts, food, outfits, and even location around the theme.
Here is how you can find your unique bachelorette party idea.
How to pick a theme?
Ok, so you’re sold on having a theme, but now you have to actually pick one, and the party options seem endless.
What themes are trending in 2022?
Wondering what bachelorette themes are hot this year? As always, we got you! These are the top 5 bachelorette party themes trending currently:
- #1 The Classic Girls Night in. There is a reason (well, a few reasons) that rounding up the girls for a night of laughs and games works for a bachelorette party. Firstly, a night at home is more cost-effective than traveling or renting a venue. Secondly, there’s something so warm and familiar about a slumber party with your closest girlfriends!
- #2 Era Bach Parties. The 70s, 80s, and 90s are all trending bachelorette party themes. Nostalgia, fun hair, and classic hits are always a good combo. Pick your favorite era and get ready to bach it up!
- #3 Destination Bachelorette Bashes. Vacation is always trending. From the charming bungalows of Key West to the Caribbean blue waters of Cabo, brides are taking flight for their bachelorette parties.
- #4 Beach or Tropical Themed. You don’t have to spend big to win big with a beachy bach party. This theme will always be a good choice thanks to its flexibility with budget, decor, food, outfits, and activities. Plus, you can either go to the beach or bring the beach vibe to you!
- #5 Bridal White Tie. Go full-on sophistication with a clean, all-white bachelorette theme for your party. Typically, in a bridal white tie party, guests and friends wear different colored outfits while the bride’s bach dress is all-white. Alternatively, the crew can sport painfully plain ‘fits while the bride wears an elaborate dress.
Tips for the party theme
If your bride struggles to pick a theme, show her our list of popular choices below, or look through our favs.
Another option is to have the bride create a Pinterest board of favorite bachelorette party ideas she likes. Then, scroll through with her and look for similarities between the images she saved. Are there specific colors, styles, or patterns you see repeated? Let them point you toward a theme!
Chapter 4: The Travel
Picture this: The bride is crossing dreams off her bucket list in a fabulous location, surrounded by the women she loves the most.
A destination bachelorette party is truly special, and one the bride (and yourself!) will forever look back on with warm hearts. Planning an epic bachelorette trip can be overwhelming, with so many things and people to account for. Here’s how to plan a travel bachelorette trip without totally stressing out, plus answers to a few common questions.
Should you travel for a bachelorette party?
If you’re considering hosting a destination party, note that a traveling bachelorette party has many moving parts.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Budget. Can the bridal party and everyone attending the bachelorette afford the trip without financial strain? Having fun is hard when you feel like you’re spending your last dollar.
- Climate. Hot or cold weather? What will the destination weather be at the time of the year you want to plan your bachelorette party?
- Activity Preferences. Is the bride feeling lots of nightlife or more like a secluded cabin in the woods? Is a beach essential, or is a rooftop bar more important? Certain cities or terrains like beaches can be costly.
Top 5 cities for fabulous parties
Some cities practically define destination bachelorette’ing. These cities are our top choices for planning a fabulous party:
#1 Las Vegas. When you think ‘bachelorette party destinations,’ we’re guessing a legendary Las Vegas weekend crossed your mind at least once. Las Vegas, Nevada, is an iconic city for parties of any kind, and you can easily see why: epic nightlife, an entire strip of clubs, casinos, venues, and craziness that only happens in Vegas. Basically, Las Vegas is an adult playground.
#2 Nashville. You knew Nashville would make this list, right? Vegas is known for parties, but Nashville, Tennessee, is known specifically for bachelorette parties. Nashville is actually the bachelorette capital of the world! If your bride loves western style, country music, or anything that could be considered ‘southern charm,’ this could be the city for her.
#3 Miami. Simply put, Miami has something to suit everyone on the party list. White sand beaches and fabulous weather? Check. Some of the world’s wildest nightlife? Double check. Architecture, luxury shopping, and resorts? Check, check and check. Consider Miami if you want it all.
#4 Austin. Howdy, yall! Austin, Texas, is the live music capital of the world and a fabulous place for a hen party. Everything is bigger in Texas, and for Austin, that goes double on the art, food, and tunes. With a focus on music and cowboy culture, Austin is Nashville’s modern Texan cousin that’s really into tech and food trucks.
#5 Scottsdale. Scottsdale, Arizona, is your go-to for a laidback weekend of drinks, sun, soaking up spa services, or delving into the city’s history and architecture! For the pool-obsessed, desert-loving bride, Scottsdale is a prime bachelorette party destination!
Honorary mentions: Savannah, Palm Springs, New Orleans, Charleston and San Diego are popular options.
General tips for choosing the perfect city
Here are 3 things to consider when choosing the perfect city for the bach party:
#1 Plan transportation ahead of time (see below). You don’t want to wait until you get to your epic Costa Rica bach party to find out that none of the gals feel comfortable driving winding mountain roads.
#2 Check out the city’s weather, events, and flight costs for the party. New Orleans is a fun and affordable bachelorette destination … unless your hen party is in February when Mardi Gras brings the prices of hotels and flights through the roof.
#3 Calculate the costs of different cities. Planning for the popular bach destination of Palm Springs, California, will almost always be more expensive than, say, bach’ing in the southern coastal town of Savannah, Georgia.
Getting around the cities
One often overlooked aspect of group travel is deciding on transportation around the city. Make sure to book rental cars, party buses, or other transportation ahead of time. Here are some ways to get around that you might consider:
- Rideshare services (Lyft, Uber)
- Taxis or shuttles
- Trolleys, cable cars, streetcars, or other historic transport
- Hired car service
Tips for accommodations
Making arrangements for group travel can take time and effort. Here are a few tips:
- Book as early as you can to lock in the best rates and to ensure that your party has rooms near each other
- Many hotels and Airbnbs have a bachelorette party discount, or will offer some kind of party perk. It never hurts to ask!
- Make sure to ask everyone at the party if they need special accommodations before you book anything.
- If anyone is driving to the location, look for an option that includes free parking. Parking fees can add up, and it’s more fun for those costs to go towards the party!
Chapter 5: Things To Do for a Bachelorette Party
Nights out or in? Massive music festival or a hike in the woods? Here are some ideas for fun things to do for a bachelorette party.
For the cities explorer
Here are some things to do with the bach crew who loves big cities:
- History or architecture tour
- A big night on the town
- Instagram worthy photo op
- Party bus through the city
- Rooftop bars or posh pool parties
For the food lovers
Got a bride that loves to taste the finer things in life? Consider these activities:
- Cultural food tours
- Visit a local winery
- Cocktail crawl or bar hop
- Make reservations at the city’s hot spots
For the weekenders
For the bridal party that loves festivals and events, consider planning your bach around any of these:
- Music, art, dance classes, cooking classes or cultural festivals
- Sports games
- Classes, retreats, or speakers
- Pop-up art galleries or selfie museums
For the outdoor adventurers
If you know your girl gang likes to explore the outdoors, you might like:
- Hiking, biking, or jogging trails
- Beaches or watersports
- Float a river
- Natural hot springs
- Camping or glamping
- Book a private jet/boat/yatch.
Chapter 6: Enjoy the party
Finally, the big day(s) you’ve been waiting and planning so hard for is here! The girls are ready, your outfit is on point, and the stage is set for the perfect night. Here’s how to make the most of your bachelorette party.
Bring out your best outfits
It’s vital that you and the whole crew plan your outfits in advance. Bach party clothes should match the chosen theme, and if you don’t have a theme, the bridal party’s outfits should complement the brides.
If you’re unsure, check out our guide on what to wear to the bachelorette party.
It’s game time!
One of the ingredients you need for an unforgettable bachelorette party is a good selection of games! Get the girls laughing and smiling with the right activities, and let the group pics flow naturally (you’ll want our bach hashtag guide for this one).
Tips for a fun (and safe) night
Do you know what can ruin a good time in an instant? Being worried about one of your fellow partygoers! Luckily, you can avoid most shady situations with a little foresight.
Here are our top tips for staying safe at the bach party:
- Buddy Up. Have the crew pair up and share their location with at least one other person in the party, so that no one gets left behind.
- Be Responsible. Feel like you’re overindulging? Take a break, grab a glass of water or a snack and give yourself time to get your bearings.
- Watch Your Drinks. Always keep your drink close by and order a drink in a bottle or can when possible. Any group of girls can become a target for creeps, especially when they’re obviously celebrating.
- Leave the Valuables. Think twice before bringing your diamond earrings and grandma’s best pearl necklace out for a night on the town. This is especially true for destination bachelorette parties because tourists are already targets.
Spice up the night (the naughty list)
Bachelorette parties are known to be a bit naughty. I mean, come on, it’s called the last hurrah for a reason! Here are a few tips for spicing up the bach party:
- Classes. Consider a group pole dance fitness or burlesque class!
Chapter 7: The Planning Checklist
Here comes the fun! Use these checklists to stay prepared as you count down the days ’till the bachelorette party.
3 months out
They say the beginning phase of bachelorette party planning is the busiest, and we’d have to agree. There’s a lot to be done 3-4 months before the party. Start here:
- Have a sit down with the bride
- Establish a destination and timeframe
- Settle on a theme
- Create a guest list
- Discuss budget, outfits, and expectations with the bride and bridesmaids
- Send a save-the-date via email or mail
- Request RSVPs
- Reserve restaurants, classes, tours, or experiences
- Purchase and plan for all decor, games, gift bags, and matching pieces
If you’re traveling:
- Make hotel, flight, rental car, and tour arrangements
- Check-in with all bachelorette party guests to make sure they have booked their transportation
1 month out
At this point, most of your reservations and planning have been finished, and it’s time to send out the first round of party confirmations. Make sure to check in with everyone on the guest list, plus the bride:
- Create a bachelorette party playlist
- Confirm the final itinerary (include addresses and important spots)
- Confirm transportation (including flights if necessary)
- Confirm all entertainment and games
2 weeks out
Eeeek! The party is so close you can practically taste the cocktails! Luckily, there isn’t much to do except for:
- Create your bach party gift bags
- Send out a reminder to all guests on the party list
1 week out
Ok, things are really heating up now! The clock is ticking, and the bachelorette party is just around the corner. With just a week to go, make sure you:
- Send out the final reminders
- Pick up any food, snacks, or last-minute items
- Pack your bags!
Set it in Stone
Planning your first bachelorette party? We got you, girl! Check out our Bachelorette 101 guide to plan the perfect party you’ll remember forever.
We hope we’ve helped answer some burning questions about planning your bachelorette party. We’d love to see pictures from your event – tag @BDR on Instagram for a chance to be featured!