Weddings come with all sorts of murky situations – who pays for this? Who’s invited to that? Can we really ask people to do that? Bachelorette parties are no different, but time-tested answers to tricky situations can help navigate the difficult without ending up with tearful bridesmaids (or worse – a sobbing bride).
Who must be invited to the bachelorette party? Does the guest list include mothers of the bride or groom?
At minimum, the bride’s bridal party and close friends should be invited to the gathering. The only hard-and-fast rule is that anyone invited to the bachelorette party must also be invited to the wedding. From there, it’s up to the bride who she feels comfortable partying with.
Invitations to family members should be doled out based on the type of bachelorette party you’re hosting, as well as the bride’s relationship with said family members. The mother of the bride or groom may feel just as awkward as the bride at her bash. But, if feelings might be hurt, consider extending an invitation to dinner, and then say goodnight to mom before the bar-hopping begins.
Should the party be held the same night at the bachelor party?
In the past, couples kissed goodbye and split up for a single night to celebrate. In some ways, it makes sense, particularly if one of half of the couple is prone to obsessing over the other’s shenanigans. But these days, it’s all about scheduling. If the timing works out for the parties to be held on the same night, go ahead. If not, then just schedule it for the day that makes the most sense for you and your girls.
Does it have to be the night before the wedding?
No! In fact, please don’t have it the night before the wedding.
Wedding eve is typically dedicated to the rehearsal dinner. And the last thing you (the bride or the maids) want is to be epically hung over the day of the wedding.
Plan the outing anywhere from a week to three months before the actual wedding.
Who pays for the night out?
Oh, boy – this is the big one, as finances are always a tricky topic. The only rule here is that the bride shouldn’t pay for a thing.
Make it easy and evenly split the costs of the bride’s dinner, drinks, hotel room, and so on. But be sure everyone is on board with the planned expenses. Don’t assume everyone is OK paying for the upgraded hot-pink Hummer limo. A polite hostess makes it easy for a guest to confidentially say she’s not in a financial position to contribute to lavish festivities. A bride would rather have all her friends in attendance instead of them skipping to avoid spending too much cash.
If a party guest expresses concern, the hostess has two options: pony up the money herself or find a suitable compromise.
Are there any rules for going out on the town?
Hey, it’s a bachelorette – sometimes the party gets a little wild and crazy. Just don’t leave your dignity at the door. Nobody should have to spend the night babysitting the bride or her bridesmaids. In other words, don’t drink more tequila than you can handle.
And remember that there are other patrons at the bar or nightclub. Just because you think something is hysterical does not mean that the couple at the table next to you agrees.
Finally, stay responsible. Whether you designate a sober driver, hire a limo or party bus, or tuck the number of a taxi in your wallet, the most important etiquette of the night is making sure your guests get home safely. After that, sleep off the booze, giggle over the pictures and get ready for the wedding day itself!
What bachelorette party etiquette rules would you add to our list? Let us know in the comments below.