The wedding date is approaching, and everything is falling into place. The planning could not be going better. Now it is time for the grandest of traditions. This event will produce stories for the rest of your married lives. I am of course talking about how to plan a bachelorette or bachelor party. Today we explore the art of planning and talk about tips for a great one. Read on and check out the podcasts for expert advice on planning the perfect ladies’ or guys weekend.
How To Plan A Bachelorette or Bachelor Party
What Makes a Good One?
Both conversations offered the same high-level advice: personalize for the guest of honor and plan thoroughly. Here are some considerations when planning:
- A good party has a personality, and ideally, this one matches the friend getting married.
- There is going to be a tendency to go big with grand ideas, which is a good thing. This results in being truly memorable.
- There is also a tendency to accommodate everyone in a large, diverse group. Be flexible and mindful, but also realistic about the number of different activities that can fit into the time frame allotted for the celebration.
- Do not be afraid to segment the day(s) to break up the intensity of events or manage the guest list.
- It is also good to consider that very few attendees will know everyone. Getting past this social awkwardness is a great primer for the epic wedding on the horizon, and also one of the best “hidden” benefits. Make a plan to facilitate this.
- Be mindful of the guest of honor and the level of involvement. Some soon-to-be-married friends are the planner of the group, and will really want to be involved in the process. Others will have a more passive approach and go with the flow. There will also be the possibility of the bachelor(ette) wanting to be in a position to sit back and have the event come to them completely. It is important to establish this dynamic early.
Now we can dig more into the who, where, what, and when of the events in more detail. We all know the why is to have fun!!
Who: The Bachelor and Bachelorette
The guest of honor is the reason for the party and should be top of mind. Amy, Amanda, and Adam all said essentially the same thing: think about what this person likes, things that make them happy, and what has always been on their list of potential fun activities. A great way to capture the vibe is a good theme for the festivities. Setting the theme upfront will work as a directive to the building plan. This will result in a happy friend, and also lasting memories of a weekend on point.
The Other Who: The Guest List
The next step after getting the high-level theme is to start putting together the guest’s list. This is the most difficult part to establish, but also a key foundation. Here is a good personnel list to consider when building:
- Wedding party
- Friends from school and/or work
The list when from obvious to not pretty quickly. However, know that everyone on it has the potential to expect an invite. The parents and aunts/uncles can be tricky as they introduce new dynamics, but they could also be hurt if not included. There is also a possibility of them helping pay for the wedding, which means that can expect inclusion. More on how to manage this in the what.
Where: Picking the Perfect Location
This is the first place to be careful, and have a long initial reflection. It is important to think about the bachelor(ette), the above-assembled guest list, and everyone’s resources. There are some very obvious destinations (Vegas, Napa, Nashville, Montreal) to consider. But as Adam mentions these places are “very good at separating people from their money.” Amy specifically mentioned that this includes a flight for most. It is also important to consider another piece of context with the group, and that was directly mentioned by Amanda: she has 5 bachelorette parties this year. There is a strong possibility that an expensive and/or destination event could drastically cut the guest list. Consider the bachelor(ette) and this context, and be mindful in planning.
What: The Schedule of Events
We have the guest list and theme set, so let’s lay out the events. At this point, the general direction should be obvious and the events should be loosely planned. The main focus here is getting to an organized schedule that is both possible and purposeful. Being possible means making sure there is allocated time for rest and downtime, and being realistic about how long each thing will take. Make sure to consider transportation and getting ready time as well. There are only 24 hours in a day.
The art of planning comes from the purposeful part. Remember all the notes above regarding the diverse guest list. Build the schedule in a way that the intensity of the events starts low and builds over the timing of the event. Set a meal as an early event. This is a starting point to break the ice and involve older family members. The crazy stuff happens in the evening.
When: Timing and Duration
Take a step back and look at everything on the list of events. It should be obvious if it can happen in one day, or if it needs to span multiple. Hopefully, all of the contexts regarding timing was considered, and the guest list is on board. If a destination was selected there is an expectation among attendees that a weekend is in order. The real remaining timing question is when relative to the wedding. Avoid being too close to the wedding. Shoot to be at least 6 weeks before the wedding, and make sure to consider if this is making wedding party members or family travel twice in a short period of time. Don’t be afraid to have a longer amount of time before the wedding if it is a seasonal type of activity list. Mostly focus on avoiding being too close.
Why: HAVE FUN!!
Check out these podcast episodes for the full conversations:
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