Couples increasingly are choosing to combine their bachelor and bachelorette parties to enable them to spend more time together with their favorite people. Like all aspects of wedding planning, there are important things to take into consideration when planning a bachelor/bachelorette event.
1. Make a Guest List
Both of your bridal parties should be first on the invite list. In recent years, it has become popular to include close friends or family who are invited to the wedding, but aren’t in the bridal party, possibly because you’re keeping your bridal party small, it’s already too large or you’re choosing not to have one at all. Do keep in mind that combined groups can be large and depending on your destination and activities, you may or may not be able to add additional friends.
2. Destination & Date
Decide what the ideal bachelor/bachelorette party looks like for you both. Maybe it’s a low-key backyard barbecue with with beverages and lawn games. Or a weekend trip to a convenient destination with a rented cabin, bar crawls and dinner in. It could be an exotic locale with zip lining, dinners out and beachside activities. Decide on the destination that tempts you the most. Then, take into account factors including weather and timing. Typically, bachelor/bachelorette parties occur between one and four months before the wedding.
3. Book Accommodations
Decide if it makes the sense to book a shared space such as a beach house rental or Airbnb cabin in the mountains. Or, you might prefer the separate quarters that hotels provide. You could provide options with varying price points to be voted on by the group. Be sure to give the group time to budget for the accommodations cost as well as any travel expenses such as flights or gas.
4. Plan & Book Activities
You know the who and the where, now it’s time to decide on what you want to do. Look at what’s available and popular at your destination. Maybe the resort offers excursions that can be booked or classes that can be taken. Reserve any wine tastings, golf games, dinner spots, classes or spa services well in advance. Reach out to tour services such as catamarans or pedal tours to see how many guests can be accommodated. If you plan on a low-key weekend at a rental, you’ll still need to plan out the shopping list and activities such as a game night or at-home wine tasting. Try to aim for a mix of activity and connection. Balance the rock climbing with a casual night in to please all and allow for optimal time together. Aim for activities that everyone can enjoy.
5. Figure Out Payment
Whether you as a couple are the point people or you designate a member of the bridal party, someone should be in charge of the bookings and collecting the money. Typically, this duty is assigned to the best man and maid of honor. It might help to keep this system in play even for a joint party. Come up with a payment schedule, offer payment plans and make it clear how guests should pay.
Decide what works for your group whether that’s a group text, Facebook event page or email chain. Do try to be respectful of how much you’re communicating, especially when merging groups. An itinerary sent out two weeks to a month before the party will be appreciated by all. Create a shared Google doc where people can suggest ideas.
Should you have a Joint Bachelor/Bachelorette party?
More Time With All Your People
Typically, the first time all your friends meet is at the rehearsal dinner. There can be many positives to meeting sooner. Why wouldn’t you want all the people you and your fiancé love most in the same room as many times as possible? It’s a rare and special time that typically only occurs with weddings. The party will give people to form or strengthen friendships that will last long beyond the wedding weekend. It’s a great way to spend more time with your significant other’s friends.
Close Friend Groups
Do you and your fiancé have all the same friends? Maybe you all attended college together or met when you moved to a new city years ago. If you find that your bridal party is always hanging out together anyway, a joint party is ideal Everyone knows and likes everyone already.
The more people you share costs with, the smaller an individual share gets. Many hotels and event venues offer discounted rates for large groups.
Can be difficult to organize with large groups
It’s no secret that the more people you invite, the harder it is to keep tabs and ensure everyone is happy. There can be too many cooks in the kitchen when it comes to decision making.
Gender specific decor, themes or outfits could potentially make some members of the party feel uncomfortable or unwelcome.