I consider myself very lucky indeed that I’ve gotten to help plan and coordinate not one but two bachelorette parties this past year. But what’s even greater about this is that both brides were very insistent that they didn’t want the “traditional” bachelorette party of lingerie, risqué games where the bride has to reveal all the scintillating details about her past love life, and penis-shaped everything. (Sidenote: I’m not judging traditional bachelorette parties at all. I’ve been to a couple of them and they were fun as hell.)
The first bachelorette party I got to plan was for Savanah, the drummer of The Villettes. All she told me was that she wanted it to be a slumber party and to be fun. She was having a themed wedding—outer space—so I decided to stick with the theme and make it an outer space bachelorette slumber party.
The second one I helped plan was for my cousin Emily. She also didn’t give many pointers except that she wanted to go out to the Denton town square and have a baby-free girls’ night out. Our challenge with this one was that her younger sister, Caroline, is only fifteen so we had to come up with activities that everyone could participate in.
So if you find yourself as a bridesmaid in need of some unique ideas for a bride who eschews convention, here are some ideas for ways to make her bachelorette party ROCK.
Invent a Cocktail in The Bride’s Honor
We didn’t do this for Emily since we were going out on the town for drinks, but for Savanah, we came up with a cocktail just for her. We whipped up a batch of Water-Limoncello (one of Toni’s delicious juice recipes), then added vodka and sparkling coconut water! It’s honestly one of the tastiest cocktails I’ve ever had. In keeping with the theme, we named it Is There Watermelon on Mars? I really recommend going the fresh juice route if possible. To brainstorm ideas, ask your bride-to-be what some of her favorite fruits are and then build your beverage from there. You can always browse through Toni’s vast archive of juice recipes. Every single one of them is delicious! Usually vodka or rum will go super well with a fresh juice cocktail, and I always like to add a bit of fizziness to make it pop.
Put a Unique Twist on Classic (Bachelorette Party) Games
For Savanah’s party, she explicitly stated that she wasn’t into playing lascivious games because her groom’s young sister and cousin would be part of the celebrations. So I came up with three games. Each time I brainstormed ideas, I brought it back to the space theme. So I went to Hobby Lobby and found a Doctor Who poster. Then I printed out these lips on some cardstock and cut them out. I transformed this into a game of “Pin the Lips on the TARDIS.” After we’d all had a couple Is There Watermelon on Mars?, this was hilarrrrious to watch and to participate in.
I also created a version of “What’s in Your Phone?” with questions pertaining to Savanah. Click the banner below for a customizable version of this game!
The possibilities are endless on coming up with bride-centric games. Just think of any classic game and come up with ways to make it relate to the bride and groom. For instance, you could even play bachelorette hangman! Each word you choose would relate to either the bride or the bride and groom. I picked out small space-themed presents to give to the winner of each game, but if you’re on a budget, no need to worry about that. The games are fun enough on their own!
Make a Scrapbook for the Bride
My sister Erin has a Polaroid mini camera. We picked up a bunch of film and a scrapbook then told people to bring over arts and crafts supplies for a special project. Our friends really came through! Our entire living room floor was covered with glitter, sparkles, glue, sequins, markers, and all sorts of other goodies. We picked out a spot in front of our wood walls for everyone to take their pic. Then we asked everyone to decorate a page in the scrapbook with their photo and some words of encouragement. We got all sorts of advice, from sweet to funny to wildly thought-provoking. Savanah told me a couple weeks ago that she gets the scrapbook out every so often and just reads through all the pages when she wants to feel the warm and fuzzies. This is possibly my favorite thing that we did, and it’s super fun for everyone! Especially if there are people at your party from different areas of the bride’s life who might not know each other that well. Crafting is a great way to get the chitchat flowing.
Hire a Tarot Card Reader
For both Emily’s and Savanah’s parties, there were psychics involved. For Savanah’s, since we were having a slumber party, we hired a reader to come and give us a presentation about Tarot. Then she did a meditation reading for Savanah and a three-card read for everyone else. If partygoers wanted more, they could donate money to her tip jar. Our reader was Sarah of Morningstar Tarot. She was amazing, and my friend Kolbe and I paid a bit extra for a friendship reading. It actually ended up helping us talk about an old wound that we hadn’t completely dealt with. Savanah also recorded her session and listens to it every once in a while to revisit the wisdom and advice from her reading.
For Emily’s reading, since she lives in Denton, we zipped over to Dallas to visit MB’s good friend Michelle from SoulTopia! (Definitely check out our interview with her from last year.) First of all, her shop is amazing, so we poked and rifled through all her crystals, jewelry, and card decks. We booked a two-hour slot for the party and they’d set up the bracelet bar for us. We each picked a spot at the table and got to creating! After we’d assembled our beads, Michelle gave us each a mini-reading to help explain the meaning behind each material we’d selected and what it might suggest about our moods or personalities. Then Emily went in for a fifteen-minute reading, followed by me. Once again, Michelle and I got to delve into some deep matters of the heart and I left feeling buoyed and hopeful.
So here are just four ideas for a unique bachelorette party. At the heart of both the parties, I tried to keep in mind who the bride was and what I thought she’d enjoy. Then I shaped our plans around that. It can be stressful and nerve-wracking to plan such a monumental night for your friends, but keep in mind that it’s all to celebrate and have fun. As long as your bride is smiling, you’re doing a good job!