What is the Etiquette for Bachelorette Parties

Bachelorette parties are a great time for the bride to spend time with her friends and family members before the wedding. Before she goes off to build a new life with her partner, the party serves as her great send-off, her last stand as an unmarried woman.

The first bachelorette party etiquette rule is that the bachelorette should not be planning the event. This is a time for her to relax. Instead, planning a bachelorette party falls to the bridesmaid, maid-of-honor and best friends forever. If you plan on going to dinner or to a bar or club, make sure the bachelorette doesn't pay a thing: This is her night, and she should play the night away without worrying about the tab.

The invitation list should include the bride's nearest and dearest friends, people with whom the bride feels comfortable. Do not invite the bride's partner, as the whole point of this party is to celebrate her marriage without him. This party represents the end of her bachelorette status. The party is sometimes kept to one gender, but the times are changing: If the bride has some close friends who are not of the same gender, feel free to invite them.

Don't be afraid to discuss plans with the bride-to-be. If she doesn't like bar-hopping, choose an event that is more her style. For example, if the bachelorette loves to swim, why not set-up a beachside party complete with coolers, music and umbrellas?

As for guests, lay down some basic rules. Guests should promise to keep their lips sealed about anything that happens at the party. The bride should not have to worry about any bachelorette party stories getting back to the groom. Even if you are planning the tamest night imaginable, all guests should respect the bride's privacy. The same policy will likely be carried out over at the bachelor party. Guests should also realize that it is the bride's time, and they shouldn't do anything to wreck the party, like getting too rowdy at a restaurant or bar.

If there is a theme, make sure everyone knows about it so they can pitch in. For example, if you plan a spa night, ask people to bring necessary supplies or theme-oriented presents. If the theme was something more specific, like Hawaiian nights, telling guests will help them dress for the event. Also ask a friend to take pictures and keep a record of bachelorette party gifts the bride receives. That way, she can mention the gifts in thank-you notes.

If you can coordinate with the bachelor's friends, try to schedule the bachelor and bachelorette parties on the same night. This will make things easier for everyone and will keep each loved one from obsessing about the other.

Make sure to arrange transportation, especially if drinking is expected. You want the party to be fun but also safe. Try hiring a driver, renting a limo, getting a bachelorette party bus or using public transportation.

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