You’ve helped lick envelopes, showered her with gifts, and listened to meltdowns; now it’s time for you both to have some fun with the perfect bachelorette party. We’ve got 12 tips for you to check off the list when planning the ultimate bachelorette party!

bachelorette party planning tips

1. Talk to the bride

She might be your bestie, but are you sure you have a complete grasp on her idea of the perfect bachelorette party? Your typically wild and crazy friend might be begging for a relaxing spa weekend before she goes bridezilla on you. Ask her about the overall setting for the day without putting the decision-making on her. Everyone likes to be surprised a bit!

2. It’s not your party … don’t cry if you want to

Suck it up buttercup. Whether it’s inviting someone you don’t like, skipping your favorite bar, or staying away from decorations of a certain variety [you know what we’re talking about…] you should respect your bride’s wishes. Stick to what you’re sure she’ll like, and everyone will enjoy the night that much more.

3. It’s all about the money…err, budget

Ask your guests how much they’re comfortable spending. You can avoid awkwardness by asking anonymously with free sites like this and this. Then you can realistically plan whether you’re staying local with a night of glamping or going all out with weekend in Vegas. Breaking up the party into stages might allow the tight budgets in the group to skip the mani/pedis and join for dinner games and drinks later. And remember to save up your own dollars because you’re footing the bill for decorations, down payments, etc.

4. Spread the word

Weekends book up quickly, especially in the summer. Send a simple save-the-date email or Facebook message 2 to 3 months in advance. Send a fun, more formal invite 6 to 8 weeks before the party and include details. Let your girls know what to expect, what to bring and if there is a dress code. You’re free to hunt down anyone who doesn’t R.S.V.P. on time–you’ve got things to book.

5. Dress up

LBDs , sparkly and sequined, or giant derby hats, your guests should be all-in to make this day extra special. Plus, the more your group stands out from the crowd the more likely you are to get some free drinks.

6. Break it down

If you’re asking people to spend money, they should know what it’s going toward. Break down the costs for a limo, dinner, hotel and anything else you expect to split. Remind everyone to bring cash in order to avoid the awkward credit card shuffle when the bill comes.

7. Be accommodating

Bachelorette parties can bring out a random mix of girls. Entertaining family, coworkers, friends and roommates means that you’ll have a variety of people to please. Give everyone the option to come for certain parts of the party and make it convenient for them to leave. There’s no reason your pregnant friend should have to stay out ‘til bar time (unless she’s the coolest mom-to-be ever and will be your DD).

8. Stock up

Ahh, the fun stuff! Get out the Pinot and your guys Jack, Jim and Jose. Play amateur bartender and make the bride feel special with a custom cocktail. Doll her up with bachelorette sashes, boas, and tiaras if that’s her thing. If you’re hoping to throw in a few “naughty” touches, choose subtle additions like ice cube molds or confetti.

9. Game time

They’re not everyone’s favorite, but a game or two can help keep the party going. Have guests tell their funniest memory with the bride or play the fan favorite Cards Against Humanity. Make a game out of the gifts and have everyone bring a pair of panties to the party and have the bride guess who brought which ones. Games should help everyone get to know each other a little more so the group is comfortable the rest of the evening.

10. Presents!

Your guests could get something small on their own or go in on something special for your bride’s first night as a newlywed. Get the bride’s sizes and offer to purchase the gift yourself. Something sexy is always a winner, but a spa day of pampering is just as great without crossing boundaries if family/co-workers are involved.

11. Don’t be “that girl”

You’re in charge of the show here. Don’t drink too much or get lost in conversation with the hot “man bun” guy across the bar. This night is all about the bride–and that goes for everyone. Make sure people aren’t drinking too much or getting out of line because nothing ruins a party faster than a crying drunk girl.

12. Make it memorable

Rule of thumb: the bride has final say on what gets posted. Snap tons of group pictures and candids throughout the day. Tell your group to use a creative hashtag when sharing their pics. Tags that are personalized are all the better. Try using the bride’s last name like #SayByeToSmith or #SmithsLastFling, but get the okay from everyone before those late night pictures end up on everyone’s newsfeed.

 

What other tips do you have? We’d love to hear your favorite bachelorette party moments (or horror stories) in the comment below!