Non-traditional Bachelorette Party Ideas

No strippers. Minimal penis straws.

Non-traditional Bachelorette Party Ideas

“I don’t want a bachelorette party.” That’s what my best friend, N, said to me last year, right after she asked me to be her maid of honor. Turns out, she didn’t really think she “qualified” to have a bachelorette: she only had a handful of truly close gals (and one’s her sister), she not excited by the idea of strange strippers (she has enough stripper friends, thanks), getting wasted at an overpriced club sounds boring, and… to put it bluntly, “I don’t see the point.”

That’s when I told her about a bachelorette I’d been to a few months prior, where five of us went to a cabin in the woods, meditated, gossiped about marriage fears, swapped embarrassing stories about the lady of the evening (because, obviously this happens when your college and childhood pals collide), drank champagne, and soaked in a hot tub. It wasn’t an empty excuse to act a fool (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). But this, this was a getaway with people my friend hand-picked to join her on the next phase of her journey. I was honored to be part of it.

Needless to say, I’m very persua-suave (can that be a word, please?) and N rescinded her bachelorette moratorium. We had a blast: started with her favorite latte spot, headed out for some sweaty sauna time at the Russian baths, had a wine tasting and photoshoot in a vineyard, grabbed some adult milkshakes, and topped it off with dinner at her favorite BYOB hole-in-the-wall Italian spot. Partway through, she gave me a huge (wine enhanced) hug and thanked me for talking her into spending the day together.

So yes: some wedding sites still tell you that a bachelorette party needs to be yet another thing that requires extensive penis, pomp, and circumstance. If that’s what makes you happy, go for it. But the truth is: a bachelorette is just an opportunity to have someone else plan a situation where most of your best friends go to one place and do an awesome activity together. Do you know how often I wish friend X from city Y could meet friend B from city C? That’s what this is about. And not just friends. It can be your favorite sister, aunt, mom, teacher, cousin, uncle (who said it had to be girls-only?)—all of the people you want to get silly with before you jump into the great unknown.

A quick survey of APW staff’s favorite bachelorette party ideas included:

  • An evening of pizza and burlesque
  • Doing karaoke in a room full of hand-decorated balloons
  • A night of beer and boozy bowling
  • A sleepover spa day with a bagel brunch
  • Going country line dancing
  • Epic paintball adventure day

But then, obviously, Meg came along with her unbeatable bachelorette activity:

Clay Pigeon shooting. It was this crazy town in this weird spot in Northern California that seemed like it was out of a spooky Hitchcock movie. I think I’d told them I just wanted to shoot a gun. –Meg

Although, on that note, archery or capture the flag or indoor soccer or you know, anything with games could be fun. What about a Cards Against Humanity and Star Wars marathon? Clearly, I just want to plan alt bachelorettes forever. Nerd-party aspirations aside, the most important element isn’t what you do, it’s the company you keep (awwww).

So, Tell us, what did you do for your bachelorette? What’s the best bachelorette you’ve attended? What are some tips you have for all those maids of honor/best pals out there trying plan something super special? 

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