Bachelorette parties are a type of pre-wedding party held in honor of a woman’s upcoming wedding. She gathers her closest friends and relatives to celebrate their friendship and have fun. In the past, it was only attended by women; however, modern bachelorette parties can include men and nonbinary people as well.
What happens at bachelorette parties? People often have stereotypical and misconstrued ideas as to what happens at a bachelorette party. While some are true, we must remember that every bride-to-be is different, as each of them has different preferences and boundaries. Things you can expect to happen at a bachelorette party include lots of games, bottomless drinks, and girl talk.
More things to expect at a bachelorette party are explained below. Common misconceptions surrounding bachelorette parties are then debunked, followed by some reminders for anyone planning on holding a bachelorette party.
Things to Expect at a Bachelorette Party
1. Naughty and Dirty Items
Bachelorette parties are full of phallic imagery — cakes, balloons, straws, and anything else you can think of are probably in the shape of a male genital. The planner of the party can even get creative and incorporate the aforementioned imagery into the games they will play; examples include pin the junk on the hunk, dildo relay, and so on.
2. Lots of Games
On the topic of games, bachelorette parties are not complete without a few games. There are infinite options when it comes to bachelorette party games: firstly, you can opt for traditional card games and board games then add mature twists to their mechanics; you can also modify popular bridal shower games, such as bridal jeopardy and bride and groom trivia, to be more fit for a bachelorette party.
3. Risqué Gifts
In the same vein as the expectation above, what happens at a bachelorette party is the bride-to-be receives a wide variety of gifts. Some of them are helpful and valuable for the upcoming wedding and married life in general. However, some gifts are suggestive, risqué, or downright kinky: card games to play in the bedroom, lingerie, toys for her to use either alone or with her partner, and so on.
4. Matching Outfits or Keepsakes
A popular trend in bachelorette parties is having coordinating outfits or props. This includes tank tops, baseball caps, sunglasses, bags, and so on. These items are typically personalized to have “bride” and “bridesmaids” — or more creative and lovely alternatives — written on them. The bride-to-be may also choose to distribute favors at the end of the party, such as glassware, photo books, and so on.
5. Sentimental Hours
If you gather a close group of people in one location to celebrate someone’s achievement or milestone, odds are they are going to feel sentimental. This is especially true for bachelorette parties; the guests, which most likely consists of sisters, bridesmaids, and other close friends, will reminisce on their memories with the bride-to-be. These memories may be emotional, funny, or embarrassing. Regardless, you can expect heaps of laughter and tears throughout the party.
6. Dancing the Night Away
Regardless of whether the bachelorette party is held at a packed club in Vegas or in a rented Airbnb, hours of the party will be spent just dancing and jamming to the music. In the beginning, everyone might feel stiff, awkward, or shy. However, as the hours go by and more alcohol is consumed, people will start to flock to the dance floor to show off their moves.
7. Everyone Is Very Drunk
Much like bachelor parties, what happens at a bachelorette party is that most of the guests will drink more than they can tolerate. Whereas most people know their alcohol tolerance, more people overestimate it and end up being dysfunctional because of how drunk they get. As long as everyone is safe, though, it is all part of the fun.
8. Lots of Shouting and Screaming
Because it is a party, one can expect the bachelorette party to have nonstop screaming and shouting. The itinerary of the party contains many activities, such as games, that will hype everyone up in the room; the energy is heightened, and the noise is exacerbated, by everyone’s drunkenness.
While this is harmless when done in naturally loud environments, such as a nightclub or a bar, the party may receive some noise complaints if done in quiet areas. However, that is part of the bachelorette party experience. No one will be spoiling the fun once it is in full force.
9. Pillow War Free-for-All
Certain things become stereotypes because they are a common experience. This is the case with pillow fights; when people think of a girls’ sleepover or get-together, one of the first images to pop up is a pillow fight. This is accurate. What happens at a bachelorette party is one guest innocuously hits another with a pillow, who then retaliates and perhaps accidentally hits another guest. This cycle continues until everyone is involved.
The next day, there will be feathers everywhere — on the floor, on tabletops, and tangled in everyone’s hair. However, a pillow fight makes for some good memories you can fondly look back on in the years to come.
10. Some Moments of Weirdness and Tension
The guests of a bachelorette party are all close to the bride-to-be in one way or another. However, the guests themselves might not know each other very well; in rare cases, some of them might even have some bad blood. Though they may put effort into being friendly for the bride-to-be’s sake, things do not always go smoothly.
Just as everyone has a different alcohol tolerance, everyone is also a different type of drunk. Some are emotional, some are clingy, some are talkative, and some are aggressive. Moreover, people’s tongues become looser with alcohol in their system. Depending on the guest list, this might be a recipe for disaster; a fight or argument might break out, or someone might start crying about some personal drama.
11. Some Jealousy Arises
The guest list is likely composed of a mix of single, committed, and married people. While they are all happy for and proud of the bride-to-be, some may feel envy because of the fact that they themselves are not yet engaged. There have been cases where a guest called their partner and not-so-subtly asked why they are not getting married yet. Similarly, some guests may consistently moan about their singleness.
12. Girl Talk
As everyone becomes drunker and more comfortable with each other’s presence, they may start engaging in girl talk, whose definition varies within every girl and every party. Some topics may be mundane, such as their favorite piece of media, their work, their pets, and more. However, the conversation may eventually shift into juicier topics: family gossip, boy troubles, complaints surrounding their current or ex-partners, and even their sex life. The guests might even try to coax some anecdotes from the bride-to-be that involves her soon-to-be spouse.
13. Munch Until They Drop
The food served at a bachelorette party will vary vastly, depending on a bride-to-be’s preferences, dietary restrictions, and other considerations. Despite that, what happens at a bachelorette party is that everyone eats some of everything and, ultimately, eats too much.
However, if there is one day you should stop thinking about calories, a bachelorette party is that day. In the first place, a night of unrestricted eating will not affect your physique too much. Moreover, everyone deserves to relax and destress, as planning events as massive as a wedding is a draining task.
If it does make you gain some weight, do not worry. The fact that bachelorette parties are held one to three months before the wedding means you have plenty of time to shed those extra pounds with exercise.
14. Self-Care Day
Bachelorette parties are not entirely dedicated to drinking, eating, and dancing. A good and well-deserved self-care day is just as fun, and it helps everyone relax after the stress and exhaustion from wedding planning. They can go for a manicure and pedicure, a hair treatment, or a whole-body massage. Similarly, they can partake in retail therapy and buy new clothes, accessories, and knickknacks.
15. No One Remembers Most of Last Night’s Events
Much of what happens at a bachelorette party is often forgotten by its attendees simply because they were too drunk for most of the night. They can recall bits and pieces as the following day progresses; similarly, they can view their social media platforms and bachelorette party hashtags for messages and posts sent while they were intoxicated.
If you do not remember most of what happened at a bachelorette party you attended, that is probably a good thing. In fact, it might indicate that the party was a huge success.
16. Last-Minute Nerves Are Eased
Despite all the romance that surrounds it, marriage is also a daunting and intimidating commitment. With that said, the bride-to-be is bound to have some anxieties and doubts regarding the next chapter of her life. This includes insecurities about her wedding dress, her overall appearance, their finances, the timing of the event, and so on.
The bridesmaids, and everyone else who are invited to the bachelorette party, form the bride-to-be’s support system. They must comfort, reassure, and help the bride empower herself; listen to her, give her space to vent about her concerns, and give advice whenever she asks for it.
Common Myths About Bachelorette Parties
The Bride-to-Be Will Surely Cheat
Another stereotype associated with bachelorette parties is that the bride-to-be, along with the rest of the attendees, will cheat on their partners. This is due to the image in the public’s mind that in bachelor and bachelorette parties, there are always escorts and strippers involved. While this may be true for some parties, not all brides-to-be participate in such activities.
However, that is not to say that this has never happened before. It may be through the bride-to-be’s own volition, or some of her guests may have encouraged or pressured her to do so. Regardless, cheating is never acceptable, even if it is during a bachelorette party.
What Happens in a Bachelorette Party Stays in a Bachelorette Party
For the most part, this is not a myth — whatever is spilled during girl talk at a bachelorette party should remain among the attendees. This includes funny or embarrassing stories, complaints about ex-partners and other people, and so on. Although some of these anecdotes may have been shared while intoxicated, it is an unwritten rule to keep it to yourself once the party has concluded.
However, if keeping the secret comes at the expense of another person, that is an entirely different case. If the secret itself is harmful, deceitful, and poses a threat to someone, it is your responsibility to inform the other people directly involved.
Bachelorette Parties Are Highly Expensive
There is a common misconception that for bachelorette parties — or any party for that matter — to be fun, they have to be expensive and elaborate. That is simply not true; a simple sleepover with your guests, where everyone brings a snack or two to share with the party, and you have movies lined up to watch through the night, is more than enough.
Every bride-to-be has her own definition of “fun.” For some, that is hopping from one bar to another and dancing with her closest friends in a packed club. For others, it is staying inside with a glass of good-quality wine and watching her favorite TV show with her friends. The cost of the entire bachelorette party is contingent on the bride-to-be’s preferences.
“Last Fling Before the Ring”
Many believe that a bachelorette party is the bride-to-be’s last chance to have some fun outside of her relationship. As a result, some of her friends may encourage her to flirt with a stranger at a bar or even tell her to mess around with a stripper. The notion that what happens in a bachelorette party does not affect the bride-to-be’s overall fidelity is simply false.
The bride-to-be has not been free and ready to mingle since she started her relationship with her fiancé. Therefore, it is harmful and toxic to encourage her to cheat on her partner, especially during a bachelorette party.
Reminders Before Holding Your Bachelorette Party
Choose Your Guests Wisely
As mentioned above, the guest list of a bachelorette party is often the foundation of the bride-to-be’s support system. Thus, it is important that the guests are chosen wisely. Besides being fun to have around, they must also be respectful, kind, and responsible. This minimizes the risk of someone doing something stupid or toxic during the party.
Oppositely, if a guest is disrespectful, unkind, and irresponsible, they may end up ruining the night with their behavior. They might encourage the bride to cheat, start a fight, or complain all night.
Surrounding yourself with the right people means that you can be the best version of yourself.
Everyone Should Be Clear About Their Boundaries
During the planning process for a bachelorette party, it is essential that both the bride-to-be and her partner talk about their boundaries. What are they okay with, and what are they not comfortable with? What does the bride-to-be want to include in the itinerary of her bachelorette party, who does she want to be included in the guest list, and what kind of activities will they be doing?
The maid of honor, or whoever is in charge of planning, must be aware of these boundaries and adhere to them. Although uncommon, bachelorette parties have caused weddings to fall through. To not let this happen, mutual respect must be attained.
Assign Someone to Keep an Eye on the Bride-to-Be
Again, what happens at a bachelorette party is that everyone drinks to the point where they are barely functional. It is important that one of the guests, such as the maid of honor, pays close attention to the bride and what she is doing. There have been instances where, because of how drunk she was, the bride-to-be injured herself. As a result, she either had to walk down the aisle with a cast or pair of crutches, or the wedding had to be postponed altogether.
Maybe someone on your guest list does not drink alcohol for medical, religious, or personal reasons. Tell them that you would appreciate it if they would keep an eye on the bride during the bachelorette party and ensure that she stays safe through the night.
Prepare Hangover Kits for Everyone
As mentioned above, everyone at the bachelorette party is bound to get drunk. Nursing a hangover unprepared is tough, so it is best to have hangover kits for everyone on-hand so that you can get through the day mostly okay. Here are some things you should include in the hangover kit:
- Makeup removers
- Skincare, such as cleansers and moisturizers
- Oral care, such as toothpaste, a toothbrush, floss, or mouthwash
- Medicine for headaches
- Medicine for stomach aches
- Medicine for nausea
- Snacks, especially those rich in fiber
- Barf bags