How to Plan A Bachelorette Party: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Planning The Best Bachelorette Party Girls Weekend
Whether you’re a bride-to-be or a maid of honor, planning your bachelorette party (or your best friend’s) is one of the most exciting and fun parts of the wedding planning process. It’s important to remember that not every bride’s ideal bachelorette party involves penis straws, strippers, shot glass necklaces, and rhinestoned tees emblazoned with #BRIDESQUAD. But, not every bride’s dream bach is a lame night at the movies either. The best bachelorette party weekends fall somewhere in between— a little debauchery, a lot of quality girl-time — here’s how to get that beautiful balancing act just right and plan the perfect bachelorette party weekend.
From how to plan a bachelorette party, to who pays for what at a bachelorette party, to what you should get the girls for bachelorette party favors, to how far in advance you should plan the party (and invite everyone), I’ve got you covered. Here are all the steps to take to plan the perfect bachelorette party, and all of your bachelorette party planning questions answered.
Step 1: Decide on a bachelorette party destination
TIMELINE: As soon as you know the wedding date & venue.
You’ll want to wait until you know these two things because the destination will heavily depend on the venue and date! For example, I knew as a bride-to-be that I wanted to do either Tulum or Miami, but I was looking into Mexico for my wedding. Obviously if we did Mexico for the wedding, we wouldn’t have done it for the bachelorette party, etc. Also timing is really important with the bachelorette party and the wedding
The most important part of planning a bachelorette party is of course deciding where to do the bachelorette party! With amazing bachelorette party destinations like Cabo, Austin, Miami, Scottsdale, Vegas, Palm Springs, and more to choose from, you really can’t go wrong. But every bride is looking for something different from her ideal bach weekend, and it’s on you as her MOH to figure out what that is! If your bride knows exactly where she wants to do it – awesome. If she needs a little help deciding or brainstorming locations, first take a look at my 10 Best Bachelorette Party Destinations, then get a feel from the bride a few of her ideal destinations from the list. Once you have a few options, do your research! I recommend starting a spreadsheet breaking down each of her favorite destination’s general breakdown of costs (including flights to get there, accommodation, etc) and have her look it over and decide on what she wants to do.
Step 2: Organize the guest list
Get a list from your bride as well as each girl’s email and get firm commitments so you know how many girls to count on for the weekend.
Step 3: Create the perfect bachelorette weekend itinerary
Think about what goes into the ideal bachelorette party weekend itinerary for your bride, your group, and your destination! This should be ALL about the bride and what she wants – whether that’s clubbing all night long in a novelty wedding veil and sipping out of a penis straw, doing nothing and relaxing on the beach, heading to a luxury spa, a pool party, or anything in-between. The bach weekend itinerary is so personal to every bride-to-be, but here’s a basic breakdown of what I thought of as the necessary requirements for my bachelorette party weekend:
- Find an awesome house with a private pool that no one would want to leave
- Have time to relax poolside / spend quality time with all of my favorite girls
- Pool party. Given that my bachelorette is in Miami, I wanted to make sure we got to a pool party – like Hyde Beach – on one of the days
- Games! I definitely wanted to do a lingerie shower, and my MOH’s are working on the other bachelorette party games
- Special dinners & a couple fun nights out – I wanted to do a couple nights out in Miami, and one night in
- Outfits and goodie bags! I knew I was going to be gifting my girls some Watercolors one pieces and Kenny Flowers sarongs for the beach-themed bachelorette party, and I started researching some other best bachelorette party favors to get them.
Step 4: Create a bachelorette party hashtag!
One that’s fun, easy to remember, and that all the girls can use while instagramming all weekend! It’s also a good idea to chat social media with the bride and get a good feel for what she’d like to keep private vs public during her big weekend – ask the bride what she is and is not cool with having posted during the weekend, and pass that intel onto the rest of the party—before everyone’s on their fifth round of margaritas.
Step 5: Organize the bachelorette party favors for all the girls
Probably the most fun part of planning the bachelorette party – deciding what to gift your girls for your bachelorette! Some cute gifts are a great way to say ‘Thank You’ to all your girls for making the trip & celebrating with you! Here are some of my favorites:
Custom bachelorette party Koozies
Cute bachelorette party tees
Matching beach cover ups for bachelorette party
Our group was obsessed with these pineapple print sarongs for Cabo. There’s also so many different prints and they’re 20% off of 8+ sarongs with the code BACHPARTY
Step 6: Think about bachelorette party decor for the house or hotel
You’ll want to add a little extra personality and decor to any house or hotel you rent for a bachelorette party weekend. Think about things like printed photos of the bride and groom, balloons, strung banners, photo props, or funny things like fat heads of the groom.
FAQ about bachelorette parties:
When should you plan the bachelorette party?
You should let the girls know about 6-9 months in advance, if possible. This helps the girls plan their schedule as well as budget so they can make sure they’re there for your big weekend!
Who pays for what at the bachelorette party? Does the bride pay for her accommodation at the bachelorette party?
A bachelorette party is by far the most fun of the bridal party’s duties, but it can also be one of the priciest, and, as a bride (or a MOH) it’s important to be cognizant of this! I think it’s SO important that everyone in the group is on the same page in terms of expenses.
While traditionally, the bride-to-be was the only person who didn’t pay for the bachelorette party, these days, with so much travel involved in any destination bachelorette weekend, the bride should 100% pay for her own flights and accommodation. Also, while the bridal party may choose to cover certain expenses for the bride, it should never be expected. Since there’s so much travel and lodging involved in a destination bachelorette party, plus activities and multiple meals and drinks out, the bride should be ready and willing to help contribute to the group’s expenses.
Like any party that you’re throwing, etiquette says the bulk of the expenses should fall on the hosts, not on the guests. While everyone’s of course willing to pitch in for ubers, nights out, and bach weekend activities, the hosts (the MOH and the bride to be) should help cover some of the fringe expenses wherever they can to make the expense less on the entire group, and the cost of anything like decorations, fun bachelorette party games, goodie bags, etc. should absolutely be footed by the hosts. For my bachelorette party, I’m paying a significant portion of the accommodation myself to make it more affordable for everyone. I have another friend who is treating to one big part of the weekend to make it doable for her bridesmaids, and another who is subsidizing one of the nights out with a bar tab on her bill. I don’t think as a bride you should expect everyone else to pay for your party! If you can afford to help out and make it more reasonable for your best friends, you absolutely should.
What do you do if some people in the bachelorette party have higher budgets than others?
Make any pricier bachelorette party activities (like a massage at a luxury spa) completely optional, and have low-cost or free choices (like a hike) that everyone can participate in. It’s all about balance!
How much should people expect to pay for a bachelorette party weekend?
Speaking from experience having attended many (very different) bachelorette parties, from Cabo, to Austin, to Charleston, it is usually all-in around or under $1K, including flights, accommodation, and all weekend expenses. Usually, I’ve found the breakdown to be roughly about $300 spent on accommodation, $300 on flights, and the rest on activities, food, and drinks. Obviously, these costs depend greatly on the level of accommodation, the price of flights from your airport, and what kinds of activities you’re getting into.
I think as a bachelorette party attendee, you can safely assume it to be around $800-$1K. If it is looking to be over $1K, I think the bride to be or MOH’s need to be very upfront about that when asking people to commit for the weekend. I definitely don’t expect my bachelorette to be over $1K for anyone attending, but even so, my maids of honor made it very clear to my bridal party and bachelorette party attendees that the wedding was 100% priority #1, and the bachelorette party was completely optional to attend. It’s great if everyone can join, but the last thing I wanted was someone attending who was stressed about money the whole time and unable to have a good time.
If you’re worried that your bridal party and friends won’t be able to afford the bachelorette party of your dreams, but you can’t imagine it without every single one of them, it may be time to think about some cheaper destination alternatives.
What are the cheapest bachelorette party destinations?
For the best bang for your buck, I’d look into Scottsdale, Austin or Vegas for great budget bachelorette party destinations.
Is it weird to plan your own bachelorette party?
NO! Not at all! If your MOH wants to be the one to plan it, that’s great. But I’ve been to plenty of bach parties that were planned by the bride herself, and it’s awesome!
photo via Brides
What should you wear to your bachelorette party as the bride to be?
It depends on the destination, but here are some of my favorite outfits for a bride to be on her bachelorette.
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