With 2020 weddings just around the corner, you may already be setting a date for an upcoming bachelorette party. Since every bride is different, there are a lot of reasons why the stereotypical bachelorette party may not be for you or, if you’re the maid of honor, your friend, the bride. Members of the bridal party might have kids at home with early bedtimes, not drink, or just prefer a quiet night in to a big night out. Plus, keeping the bachelorette party low-key can help minimize travel and outing costs for your beloved bridesmaids.
Whatever your reasons, there are plenty of ways to celebrate your female friendships besides hitting the town. Here are some alternative bachelorette party ideas for you and your girlfriends:
Cozy night in
They say home is where the heart is, so why not host your bachelorette party from the comfort of your own home? A sleepover or just an evening party in comfortable clothes can be a stress-free, low-pressure way to get the bridal party together and celebrate.
If you like to keep things simple, go with a movie night and classic comfort foods—pizza, popcorn, and (of course) ice cream. If you want to plan more activities for the evening, wedding-themed games or games focused on the bride can be fun. My favorite game is “who knows the bride best” (here is an example to give you some ideas). Or, you can go the classic board game route—who doesn’t like Bananagrams or Settlers of Catan?
If you and the bridal party are particularly close, doing a round of toasts can be another fun—and surprisingly moving—activity. We did this for one of my best friend’s weddings, and it is one of my most treasured memories! First, all of the members of the bridal party gave a short speech about how they befriended the bride and what they loved most about her. Then we pulled names and everyone gave a speech about one of the other bridesmaids. We had all been friends for years, so we had lots of material. The speeches were both hilarious and heart-warming.
Chill night out
If you still want to go out but would prefer to avoid the bar scene, there are plenty of other unconventional ways to get out of the house at night. For a more laid-back, casual scene, find out when your favorite pub or bar is hosting trivia night and treat the bride to all-you-can-eat appetizers. Other options include karaoke night, a local concert, or going to the theater.
If you live in a city, chances are there are plenty of events going on in your area—some of them might even be free! If you live in a more rural area, check out whether any local colleges are hosting shows or concerts, and do some research on what’s going on in your own backyard—you might be surprised!
The great outdoors
Does the bride love to get outside and be active? Consider getting together to go on a great outdoors adventure! For a more low key day, plan a picnic in a state or national park, rent kayaks or canoes, go horseback riding, or take a leisurely hike. If you prefer something more exciting, check out white water rafting, rock climbing, or zip lining and ropes courses. Outdoor adventures can be such a great way to spend time with someone in a way that breaks up your usual routine.
Some of the more adventurous activities can get expensive, so be sure to inquire about group discounts, and definitely clear the price tag with all members of the bridal party in advance.
Girls’ day out
This is a great option for spending one-on-one time with the bride or sharing some great memories with the whole bridal party. Do something outside of your usual routine together! Check out a natural wonder in your state, grab coffee and browse used bookstores or antique shops, check out the local museum, or take a stroll around a historic neighborhood, zoo, or aquarium.
When my childhood best friend got married, she drove to Washington, D.C. for a visit. We walked around the Hill so she could see the Capitol Building and the Library of Congress before we went to Georgetown to see Shakespeare in the Park. Take advantage of what’s in your area and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
Whatever you decide to do to celebrate, spending time together is a tried and true recipe for success. It’s fun to think outside the box and host a celebration that is as unique as the bridal party!