In recent years, it's become acceptable to make the wedding shower a co-ed affair, but the bachelorette party is still ladies-only hullabaloo. Despite their racy reputation, bachelorette parties don't have to include strippers, penis-shaped party favors and ridiculous amounts of alcohol -- but they can and often do. However, keep in mind that there is an infinite number of ways to celebrate the bride-to-be's last hurrah, so why not make it as creative and unique as possible?
Here are a few general things to consider when planning a bachelorette party:
- The bachelorette party is usually planned by the maid-of-honor, and it is perfectly acceptable, if not expected, that the other "maids" -- and even girlfriends not in the wedding party -- help out with planning and costs.
- Try not to involve the bride in the planning or the expenses -- she has enough of both on her platter, but discuss possible dates and ideas. Overall, does she want a large event, or a more intimate soiree? Does she want the party to revolve around dinner, a sporting event, spa retreat or the afore-mentioned liquor and g-strings? As for the details, don't assume she wants to wear the "suck for a buck" T-shirt or the "Goose Me, I'm Gettin' Hitched" button. Also, ask her whom she wants to invite. After all, if she wants her mother, mother-in-law or female boss included in the fun, your plans might be a bit tamer .
- If you really want to plan a surprise bachelorette party, talk it over with a couple of people who are very close to the bride -- and perhaps even the groom -- to make certain this is a good idea and not going to over-stress or freak out the potentially frazzled pre-bride.
- Tailor the party to fit the bride-to-be's personality. Even if you're going for the classic limo-and-Water-Street-bars bachelorette party, try to think of a few ways to personalize the evening just for her. Play her favorite Cds in the limo, or present her with a meaningful or funny trinket at some point in the evening. Perhaps email or call guests ahead of time and ask them to plan on making toasts in the bride's honor.
- Estimate costs ahead of time and convey them to the women pitching in. Keeping things affordable, in most cases, is the way to go, because weddings are expensive enough for everyone involved. Remember, it's okay for people to decline your invite. Bachelorette parties, especially of the lampshade-on-the-head nature, are not every gal's cup of tea.
- Don't skimp on transportation. If you're not into the limo thing, consider either taxis, a designated driver within your group or asking a friend to drive you around. (The right male friend might just love the opportunity.) Or, try to plan all the festivities within a few square blocks so you and the group just have to get dropped off and picked up.
- Consider meeting up with the groom-to-be, or coordinate his bachelor party so the two groups merge at the end of the evening. This way, the lovebirds can go home together and there is less chance of things getting too weepy or out-of-hand at the way end.
- Dance 'til ya drop at the Mad Planet, 533 E. Center St.; Club Belize, 788 N. Jackson St., or Cage, 801 S. Second St. (Note: Cage is a gay club.)
- Spend an afternoon at the spa. Try Neroli Aveda Salon & Spa, 325 S. Chicago St. or Actaea Works, 4001 N. Oakland Ave.
- Bring plenty of singles to the strip clubs. Silk, 11400 W. Silver Spring Dr., has male strippers on the weekends.
- Keep it mellow with dinner. Buca di Beppo, 1233 N. Van Buren St., is festive and foody; Barossa, 235 S. Second St. is great for the low-key celebration (and they have a bar upstairs); or maybe a fondue party at The Melting Pot, 19850 W. Bluemound Rd.
Specific suggestions and destinations for your Brew City bachelorette bash:
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.