They say getting married is one of the best days of your life, and if you have found the person you wish to be with to the end of your days, then making a vow to be together is a precious and joyful experience. One of the traditional parts of tying the knot is the pre-wedding parties held separately for the bride and groom – bachelor and bachelorette parties, or as the British call them stag and hen dos. It’s a time when the couple getting married can let their hair down in one last, no-holds-barred evening of high jinks and inappropriate behavior, often accompanied by large quantities of alcohol and a stripper. If that’s your idea of a good time, no problem – but what if you want to do something special with your friends that don’t involve drinking to excess and watching a stranger disrobe?
Traditions are changing
The stereotypical bachelor/bachelorette party has been taken by the scruff of the neck and given a good shake up in recent years. One popular option is taking a weekend vacation, doing some sightseeing during the day and going out on the town at night. It makes it more of an adventure, and you get to hang out with your closest friends having a good time without heading straight into the high jinks. Far more people are also living together before they get married, and people are getting married for the first time at a later age when the appeal of a raucous night out has diminished somewhat. You still want to celebrate, but in a more rewarding way and minus the hangover.
Make it whatever you want it to be
If a bachelorette party is supposed to be a fun event for you and your friends, then there’s nothing to stop you doing whatever you enjoy. That could mean going for a weekend’s shopping in New York, a meal in a fabulous restaurant and a stay in a five-star hotel, or maybe a spa weekend. As long as it’s something you and your friends would all enjoy, there are no limits. There are a few things to be mindful when planning your event
- Make sure you’re aware of any health issues that your friends could have and avoid activities that wouldn’t be suitable for them; if all is well, one fun option would be a tour of Hershey’s Chocolate World.
- If you’ve invited different age groups to the party, ensure the activities you have planned will be suitable for all the guests, whatever their age
- Don’t feel like you have to spend large sums of money to create the perfect occasion. If you’re with your closest friends, you can have fun just by being together, and if you overspend you’ll only be worrying about it, which will ruin the day
- Make sure you’re not going to run into the bachelor party! It’s not the most likely of coincidences, but it’s always possible that two people from the same area having a party on the same night could cross paths. It wouldn’t be the end of the world, but isn’t really in the spirit of the occasion
The great outdoors
The wilderness is the quintessential setting for having adventures and getting away from civilization for a few days can be both restorative and a time for contemplation – as well as chance to have a lot of fun. You could rent a cabin in the woods and go walking together, or go camping in a national park, for example, Yosemite, where you could see the bears and watch the famous geysers shoot boiling water into the air. How about a cowboy (or rather a cowgirl) vacation, where you can help round up the vast herds of cattle on the prairies of the mid-west and drive them to their seasonal pasture. Not something you could do without knowing how to handle a horse, but if you and your friends grew up riding ponies together, it could be a perfect way to say goodbye to that era of your life. If you all love water, how about a snorkeling weekend, a river cruise or a couple of days learning to water-ski? If there’s a connection to your childhood or things you did together, it will make the experience all the more significant.
The fast and the curious
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to solve a crime or foil a kidnap plot, then a real-life action adventure like the Boston Escape Room could be right up your street. Or how about taking everyone to a performance of the Cirque de Soleil, have a laser quest battle, or hire a minibus and go on a road trip? If you all have a passion for the theatre, go and see a Broadway production. If you are a group of daredevils, organize a joint skydive or climb a mountain together.
Have a real adventure
The purpose of bachelorette parties is to mark the end of one chapter in your life, the chapter of carefree singleton, and celebrate the start of a new life as part of a married couple. The occasion has a specific somewhat indefinable aspect to it that is partly saying goodbye to the old life and the advantages of being free and single, and the reality of the commitment of marriage; the sense of adventure, even risk, can be a fundamental part of the event. If you want to retain that feeling, you’ll need to come up with something a bit more inventive than a meal and a swanky hotel for the night, or having a stone treatment at the spa. To capture the spirit of adventure without the bawdiness of the night on the town scenario, you will need to come up with an idea for activity all the partygoers can and would want to, participate in.
The day of your wedding should indeed be one of the happiest of your life. Make sure your bachelorette party comes a close second by taking the time to choose an adventure of a lifetime.