The Rules of Planning a Bachelorette Party

Discover who hosts, who pays, and more.

The bachelorette party is a chance to unwind and let loose. Even though it may not be as structured as the wedding or bridal shower, there are still etiquette guidelines to follow.

Showers & Parties
Photo: Paige Jones

The bachelorette party is a great way to celebrate with friends before walking down the aisle. Though bridal showers can be lovely and are a wonderful way to bond with the ladies in your life, they can sometimes come off as too formal and stuffy. The bachelorette party, on the other hand, is a chance to unwind and let loose. However, even though it may not be as structured as the wedding or shower, there are still etiquette guidelines to follow.

Typically, the maid of honor is the one who plans the bachelorette party, though any bridesmaid or loved one is welcome to offer to host the fête. Though it is generally considered improper for the bride to throw her own bachelorette party, she should still have a say in the activities. If she’s a reserved homebody, a wild weekend in Las Vegas in unlikely to be how she wants to celebrate. The host should also check in with the bride regarding the guest list. Some people simply include the bridal party, but that doesn’t need to be the case, especially if there are only a few bridesmaids. The prospective attendees should be kept to people who are invited to the actual wedding, though exceptions can be considered for very small destination weddings and elopements.

Formal invitations are not necessary, though it is always nice to match the level of the event. A weekend getaway justifies mailed invitations, a spa day is great for an e-vite, and a casual night of barhopping is easily done via phone call. As a guest, you should always RSVP. Even a low-key night might feature goodies from the maid of honor, so it’s helpful for her to know who is coming. Gifts are usually not required, but a lingerie shower is a common activity. 

Either the host or the guests collectively tend to pay for the bride, or at least cover some aspects of the celebration. The person planning the bachelorette party should make sure to check with everyone’s budget before landing on any final decisions. In this day and age, another one of the most important things is to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding social media. The best course of action is to get approval from participants before posting online.

For more tips and inspiration, discover delicious recipes for pre-wedding events, learn who to invite to these fêtes, and gather a wedding planner's advice on daytime and nighttime activities for bachelor and bachelorette parties in Las Vegas.

Opening photo by Paige Jones; Planning & Design by Bluebell Events