How to throw the best bachelorette party ever
Have a heart-to-heart
It’s her party, and she’ll rock a rhinestone-studded “bride” top if she wants to.
Once upon a time, it was poor etiquette to involve the bride in planning. Not anymore, says JoJo Sikuade, editor of party blog SwanSoSweet. She recommends sitting down with your friend and finding out how she wants to celebrate. Is she uncomfortable with attention or is she dying to dance on the bar? Is a spa weekend, a fancy dinner, or a wine tasting party more her style? You can plan a fab event, but if she won't enjoy it? Fail.
Delegate, delegate, delegate
Just because you're the Maid of Honor doesn't mean you have to do it all yourself. Designate a deputy (or two) to co-plan the whole thing, or take care of the big stuff yourself (hotel and dinner reservations, for example) and spread the other tasks among bridesmaids. Have one bring booze to the hotel room, another pick up the tiara, and another handle late-night snacks.
Budget (but don't skimp)
Poll guests to get a sense of what they can afford, but don't stress about pleasing everyone. Just be sure to follow the golden rule of bachelorette budgeting: Calculate costs months ahead of time and be crystal clear about how much everyone will owe. There'll be no surprises (or complaints), and you can ask for Paypal payments ahead of time to avoid chasing people down for checks or cash.
Dial back a destination party
A three-day Vegas romp isn't your only option. To keep costs down, consider planning a one-night getaway somewhere nearby instead of a whole weekend's festivities, says personal finance expert Andrea Woroch.
Another tip: Rent a big house on Airbnb or VRBO rather than a slew of hotel rooms.
Make multiple reservations
As soon as you have a rough idea how many guests you're dealing with, start working the phones for hotel, dinner and club reservations. Reserve two or three options for each; you can always cancel later, though make sure you've noted cancellation policies, and it gives you wiggle room as you adjust the budget and deal with inevitable last-minute changes.
Smooth group dynamics
New best friends meeting old best friends can be tricky (remember Kristen Wiig and Rose Byrne in Bridesmaids?). Make everyone feel welcome, and connected, by having the bride introduce each friend to the others in the group and share a funny story or sweet memory from their friendship.
Ask for discounts
Don't be shy about looking into group rates, whether it's for a hotel, a restaurant, a mani/pedi salon or a cooking class. Some restaurants will create special, limited menus for big parties. Hotels in party destinations such as Las Vegas or Miami often have bachelorette discounts, which can include meals and no-waiting-in-line club entry in one flat rate.
Organize, but don't go nuts
Plan the big stufftransportation, hotel and foodbut don't stress about scheduling every minute. The event should be relaxed enough for people to chill out and just hang together; plus, the funniest moments always happen when you're least expecting them.
Shine a spotlight on the bride
If she's not the penis paraphernalia type, don't force it, she'll just be uncomfortable all night. But it's nice to have something that signals she's the guest of honor. Try a classy tiara, a subtle award ribbon, or searching for a vintage veil or fascinator on Etsy.
Share pictures (selectively)
Instead of posting pics to multiple Instagram accounts, encourage guests to download a picture-sharing app such as Flock ahead of time. The service keeps everyone's shots from the event in one (discreet) place, and creates a complete party album for the bride once it's over.