With great honors must come greater responsibilities. That holds particularly true when you are the Maid of Honor to your best friend’s special day. It is your job to make things run as smoothly as possible, including the infamous “final night of freedom”.
Like any group activity, bachelorette parties can quickly get out of hands. That is why every good event planner lives by the checklist. Whether you use an app like Evernote for it or — in case of group travel — Travefy, your aim is to stay organized so that your guests can loosen up.
We do not all have a memory like an elephant and the foresight of Merlin. That is why we put together this quick bachelorette planning checklist to guide you through the process.
1. Set the date
Sit the bride down and have her agree on the best time to have that final showdown with the girls. It is common to set the date close to the wedding date itself — but not the night before, in case things get way too wild.
You will want to accommodate your guests’ travel arrangements. No matter how much everyone loves the bride-to-be, who wants to get off work or fly twice for the same marriage?
2. Create an invitation list
Do not make it an open event: avoid relatives, chaperons, and other authoritative figures who will just stress the guests. The bachelorette party should be a private fun-time among excellent friends where everyone can get loose.
Instead, have the bride-to-be decide on the people she wants to spend her last time with. It is OK to include some surprise guests on your list as long as you know their presence will be welcome.
3. Set up a budget
The whole party should agree on how much everyone is willing to put into the party. That includes travel, lodging, and — of course — entertainment. It is courtesy not to force expenses on people; it is hard to have a great time while dealing with resentments.
Learn how to navigate awkward money talks related to group travel costs. Hint: Frank communication is always key.
4. Set a location
The budget will greatly influence the city you choose to host the bachelorette party. Having less in the kitty means you will have to pick among close-to-home destinations while a bigger war chest gives ample room for fantasies. Of course, you want the location to be in one of the best bachelorette party destinations around, although, you could and should innovate.
5. Set up a discussion board
For organization sake, you need a discussion board, as a way to get the conversation flowing and keep everyone in the loop. Choose one platform and stick to it. Google + or Facebook group and event pages are great to get real-time notifications as the event changes and takes shape.
Though these tools are great in general, they fall short compared to dedicated travel planning platforms. if you want to organize your discussions in one place and automatically pull up restaurants, hotels, and other locations, Travefy has a discussion board embedded into its travel planner. Check it out!
6. Pick a theme
It is important to have a theme for your bachelorette party. The theme determines not only the attire but also the general mood and the array of activities that will take place: spa retreat, beach getaway, bar crawl.
Regardless of the theme, it is always awesome to have matching attire and party accessories as well as special goodies that could serve as mementos of your ultimate epic night.
7. Build an itinerary
We call it ‘itinerary’, others call it ‘agenda’, ‘roadmap’, ‘event plans’, etc. Basically, you need to have a precise idea of the things to do within your set budget. Having an itinerary will ensure you make reservations in time and that your party stays together all the time. You will need reservations to get into the hottest venues and finest restaurants.
Among things to focus on:
- Lodging: Where you want to stay. From individual rooms to penthouse suites, figure it out and book ahead of time to get the best fares.
- Transportation: Limo, car rental, horse carriage, city bikes — some destinations almost dictate the transport means for you. Others let you choose which ever suits your party best.
- Food and drinks: From fine wine tasting to crawling local watering holes, it is a good idea to have a rough idea of the places you want to visit.
- Entertainment: Whatever you are into, plan things out before the big day. Focus your search on city passes, group discounts, etc.
This quick bachelorette party planning checklist is meant to get things started and guide you on the right path to an epic final night of freedom with the girls. Of course you should customize every item on this planning checklist while making sure the party remains all about the bride-to-be and not you the organizer.
And one final point: Don’t forget gifts — for the special girl herself and for everyone who attended the party. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy but it will surely have a long lasting effect.
Is there anything missing in this bachelorette party planning checklist? Tell us all about it in the comments.
Travefy is a free, all-in-one travel planner that makes it easy to plan trips with friends and split travel costs. Discover 8+ million fun trip ideas, discuss and plan together. To learn more, visit Travefy and follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.