Over 2 million people get married per year. That’s a lot of bachelor and bachelorette parties.
You’ve been to enough bachelorette parties at bars where the bride wears a sash and flaunts her soon-to-be-married status. If you’re in charge of planning a friend’s last hurrah, try something different to make it memorable.
A bachelorette party doesn’t have to be a wild night out on the town. Pick something meaningful that fits the bride’s personality.
Here are some creative ideas to get you started.
Grown-up summer camp puts an adult twist on your favorite childhood experience. Many offer traditional summer camp activities during the day with adult options, such as happy hour and parties, at night. Camp No Counselors and Club Getaway are just two examples.
If you can’t find an adult summer camp close enough, create your own camp experience by glamping. Yurts, tents on wooden platforms, and even cabins let you experience nature while having some of the comforts of home. If you don’t mind roughing it, set up traditional tents for the weekend.
Camping lets you connect as a group while enjoying nature. Gathering around the campfire over s’mores and drinks at the end of the day lets you relax before the craziness of the wedding.
Instead of just a short trip to the spa, plan an entire wellness weekend full of pampering and unplugging. Book rooms at a spa resort for the full pampering treatment. Another option is to enjoy a weekend yoga retreat or similar wellness experience with the bride and her best pals.
A group class gives you an organized activity where someone else leads it. The group class concept comes in many different subjects, which makes it easy to find something that fits your group.
Art classes include sip-and-paint-style canvas painting classes, make-your-own-jewelry classes, and pottery classes. Sign up for a cooking class to learn to make sushi, mix cocktails, or decorate a cake. If the bridal party is the active type, take a fun exercise class, such as Zumba, trapeze, or pole dancing.
Who says things like paintball, axe throwing, and gun range experiences are only for bachelor parties? These experiences can bring out the competitive side of the bridesmaids and other guests. They also work well if you’re throwing a joint bachelor and bachelorette party.
One option is to have everyone wear one of the hideous bridesmaids dresses they have in their closet while you paintball. If you don’t already own one, head to the thrift store to find the most unfashionable bridesmaids dress possible. Don’t forget to take before and after photos to see the updated dress designs after they’re splattered with paint.
Forget the cheesy 80s glamour shots. Create your own version by hiring a glam squad to make everyone beautiful and a photographer to capture it all.
Hire hair and makeup professionals to give everyone a mini makeover. Tell everyone to bring a few of their favorite outfits for the shoot.
Then, let the photographer take over. Make sure to get photos of each guest individually, each person with the bride, and a group shot to commemorate the night. Since you’re already dressed up, you can head out for a few drinks to round out the night.
The bride-to-be has a lot to think about leading up to the wedding, so she probably hasn’t done anything for herself lately. Help her check off a few items on her bucket list before she gets hitched.
Sit down with the guest of honor to look at her list. If she doesn’t have a written list, ask her to write down several ideas. Figure out which ones you can make happen, even if it means taking a little road trip.
It doesn’t have to be something huge like backpacking across Europe. It could be as simple as singing karaoke for the first time or finally learning how to pair wine with food.
This option is a memorable one because you’re making it all about the bride. It’s also unique because everyone’s bucket list is different.
Schedule the bachelorette party to coordinate with a music festival for plenty of live entertainment. It’s a relaxed and fun environment for spending time with the girls.
Many festivals offer camping on the grounds. If you prefer more upscale accommodations, consider renting a house nearby. It gives you more space than hotel rooms and gives you a comfortable home base when you need a break from the festival.
For the bride who prefers more excitement, plan a bachelorette party full of thrills. Ziplining is an exciting yet relatively safe option if you don’t want to take too many risks so close to the wedding date. Other options include rock climbing, parasailing, and bungee jumping.
This can be a challenging option if you have a lot of different personalities in the bridal party. Not everyone enjoys thrill-seeking activities. Plan less intense activities for the whole group if you have some people who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground.
Volunteering as a group is a perfect option for the bride who prefers giving over receiving. Look for a charitable opportunity that fits the bride-to-be’s personal missions or things that are close to her heart.
Look for an organized charity event that needs volunteers, such as a fundraiser run or neighborhood clean-up day. Volunteering at a charity ball lets you still dress up for the bachelorette party while doing something good. You can also set up your own volunteer opportunity at a homeless shelter, Habitat for Humanity, animal rescue, or other nonprofit organizations.
Explore your city with a food or drink tour. Many cities have culinary or foodie tours to different restaurants. Or create your own progressive dinner itinerary to enjoy each course at a different restaurant.
Vineyards offer the perfect location for a bachelorette party. You don’t have to go to Napa Valley these days to find one. Line up tours at local wineries with limo or Uber transportation between stops, or plan a weekend road trip to a nearby area with lots of vineyards.
If the bride-to-be prefers other spirits, consider brewery or distillery tours. Most offer free samples and a peek behind the scenes.
What’s your bachelorette party style? Getting creative with the festivities makes it a personal experience and ensures plenty of memories with the group. Grab your gal pals, and start planning your bachelorette party today.
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