Wedding Etiquette Forum

I'm planning the Bachelorette Party -- But the Bride doesn't want one!

I'm a bridesmaid for my friend's wedding in January and just found out that she has serious bachelorette party doubts.  She's very conservative and Christian (her father is a baptist minister), so her doubts aren't entirely unexpected.  However, she says she disliked the bachelorette party I planned for our mutual friend a year ago -- which featured a toilet paper lingerie contest, pin the "lips" on the "hot guy" cutout, honeymoon advice, and lingerie presents.  I thought that bach party was pretty PG-rated, but my friend says it made her feel uncomfortable.  She's even mentioned not having a bachelorette party at all!

So I guess I have a few questions:  Should I respect her wishes and cancel the bachelorette party altogether?  Or should I try to find a compromise?

I feel like she deserves a bachelorette party, since she's getting married immediately after graduating and this would be a kind of "last hurrah" for her--and this is likely the only time she will ever get married.  But at the same time, I don't want her unhappy with the party--Or with me!!

That being said:  Does anyone have any ideas for a conservative bachelorette party that doesn't make you feel like you're at a five-year old's birthday party?

Re: I'm planning the Bachelorette Party -- But the Bride doesn't want one!

  • You could always just have a bachelorette dinner or tea.  It doesn't have to be "sexy" and that should make her feel better.  Or perhaps just go for mani/pedi's... something like that.  You should definitely respect her wishes on things that make her feel uncomfortable.  If you can't come to a compromise on something like the above, then I would just let it slide. 
  • I would do something like a 'high tea' style afternoon tea party, to keep it G rated.
  • You don't have to do the traditional bach. party stuff. Just plan a fun day doing things she really enjoys with her girlfriends. For example, for my sister's we spent the day at a waterpark. The only thing that was different was that she wore a little veil I made from a piece of tulle and a white headband. So she got a little special attention, but there was nothing overtly sexual about the day.
  • I'm just doing a wine tasting/winery tour day with some of my girlfriends for mine.  Just make it a fun "girl only" activity to celebrate with her nearest and dearest.  

  • Yeah, I don't want a sex-themed bachelorette party either.  I would forego the sexy stuff (anything with penises or strippers on it) and go with a tea or a dinner and drinks on the town, something like that.
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  • ya that kind of stuff makes me feel uncomfortable too, to be honest. my gilfriends know this and we all went for a spa day instead. i would have had a miserable time at what you are describing.
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  • Invite a bunch of girls to your house for a chick flick and home mani/pedis/facials, whatever

    Go to a place for manicures/pedicures together and then have some lunch

    Early dinner and a round of mini-golf with all the ladies.

    If she's really conservative/shy - then it sounds like even though your last BP was pretty conservative, it might still make her uncomfortable- so find something she does love doing, and just do that! :)

  • it sounds like the two of you have very different ideas of what a bachelorette party should entail (e.g., i doubt she's thinking of this as a "last hurrah") so i think you should  just flat out ask her what she wants and what she doesnt want.  she definitely sounds like the type who wouldn't mind having a party and enjoy it more if she's not apprehensive about being uncomfortable and if you can figure out what type of party she'd enjoy, it would definitely help you to not feel unappreciated later.  like op said, a lunch or tea might be a good place to start.
  • Bachelorette parties aren't required, and if you know the party you have planned would make her uncomfortable, you shouldn't go through with it. You could do something like a spa day or wine tasting (if she drinks). Your idea of a "last hurrah" can be different from hers, and that's fine. Personally, if I'd known what my bachelorette party entailed, I wouldn't have shown up, because it wasnt my style at all.
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  • topcatiomtopcatiom member
    500 Comments
    edited July 2010
    very popular amongst my friends is a spa weekend; mud wraps, facials at a high end hotel with lunch and dinner about town, i would die if there was a stripper at mine!
  • You're friends, so I'd assume you know what she likes?  Do that.  Is it spa stuff, is it a game night, is it a sporting event, is it chick flicks with ice cream?  We adults do a billion things a day that aren't stereotypical "bachelorette party" things, but also do not fall into the "five year old's birthday party" realm. 

    It doesn't have to be so black and white. 

    If it really comes down to her NOT wanting one, yes, you should respect her wishes.  Ultimately this is about her, not anyone else.
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  • My husband and I had a joint Bachelor/Bachelorette party that was almost similar to an engagement party, but a bunch of the family just went to a bowling alley and had fun.  I loved it.
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  • Like PP said, you know her best, but perhaps she would be comfortable with a tea, spa day, or some other G-rated activity. That way you could still have a time for the girls to get together before her wedding, but without the worry of mortifying the bride.
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  • One of the best "bachelorette parties" I have attended was going to a Saints game, being picked up in a limo and driven to a nice restaurant for after game drinks and dessert. It wasn't typical at all, but it suited the bride perfectly, and she still talks about how much fun she had that night nearly two years later.

    So my point is, if she would be uncomfortable with penises and strippers, then find something that you know she would love and come to a compromise that way. She will probably just enjoy a fun night out with her hearest and dearest more than anything else, and will appreciate that you really thought about what would make her happy.
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  • For mine we'll be spending the day shopping and maybe getting pedicures,, then dinner and going out.  If she doesn't want to go out and play the silly games, that's fine but I'm sure there's still something fun you could figure out like a spa day, a day of shopping and eating too much with her closest girlfriends, or even a weekend trip somewhere if that's an option financially.

    If I were you, I'd talk to her and say "Ok I understand you didn't like the last party I planned, and that's totally cool.  But I'd love to plan something fun for a day with the girls.  I was thinking (insert ideas here).  Do any of those things sound fun?  I promise not to shower you with penis paraphernalia or have people give you lingerie!"  If she still doesn't want to do anything, then I'd let it go.

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  • What I hear is that you want her to have one last hurrah, but it is likely that she didn't have a first hurrah. She doesn't want to discuss sex with her friends, and you should respect that. A girls night of spa stuff, dinner, drinks downtown, dancing, etc, can all be done without being raunchy at all.

    I think sex-themed b-parties went out about the same time virgin brides did. Neither are very popular anymore, in my circle anyway. 
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  • I don't like "penis parties" either, so my MOH and BMs are taking me to dinner, Cirque du Soleil, and then out for drinks. No stupid games, no sex talk. Just a fun night with the girls.
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  • I would plan it like any other "hurrah" that isn't wedding-related.

    For my one friend, her 16 year-old cousin (Who has a very strict mother) was in the wedding, so we had to keep it "appropriate" for everybody. We wound up all going to the movies, then dinner at Olive Garden, followed by Cosmic Bowling. We all had a blast, and the bride loved it.

    Don't do anything that will make your friend uncomfortable. I tend to think whenever a bride or groom gets humiliated on purpose at their bach party, that their friends are kind of huge jerks.

    Some of the ladies suggested spa days, wine tastings and teas. These are all perfectly good ideas for something that's not a little kids' birthday party, but still keeps the bride in her comfort zone. Good luck!



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  • There are alot of bachelorette party ideas that would be appropriate for this situation. I would be fine with anything other than male strippers but my bridesmaids are just taking me out to dinner for my bachelorette party. I originally wanted a spa day for mine so thats another idea if its in your budget. You could just take her to do something you know she likes or just plan a party at your home that would include drinks, hors douvres, some G-rated games, mani and pedis and maybe a movie.
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  • edited July 2010
    I wouldn't want any of that ridiculous stuff at my bachelorette party either.  Its juvenille and a cheap excuse for humor.  Maybe it's that I'm older than a lot of first time brides, but I don't see the appeal in that kind of thing at all.  It's just so childish.  OMG, a penis!!   The straw is shaped like a penis.  lol lol!   

    Like others have said, there are tons of things you an do that don't involve behaving like you are all in junior high.   Nice dinners, spa weekends, camping trips,  shopping excursions, pedicures and a wine bar, cooking a nice meal at someone's house, ect ect ect.   Think outside the box.  Think what a really fun weekend would be if you took away the bridal theme, and then just do that. 

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  • My Christian circle normally has a bridal shower where most of the gifts are lingerie.  It is very uncommon for us to have a bachelorette party.  After all, in most cases it is not one last harrah, it is still prior to your first harrah and you are very embarrassed about talking about sexual things in public.

    With the shower, she can get some nice things for her to wear and you can have a little fun while keeping it sweet and harmless.
  • I think your best bet is to just talk to the bride and see what she wants to do.  If she's unsure of what she wants, throw her some of the suggestions from PPs (spa day, shopping trip, wine bar, cosmic bowling, etc.).  I personally do not want a "penis party" either.  I'm not a big drinker so the idea of bar hopping and getting wasted is just not appealing to me.  I would hope that if my MOH/BMs planned a bachelorette party for me that they would check with me beforehand to see the type of party I wanted.
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  • I went to one a few weeks ago where we met up at the MOH's house for some light dinner snacks and then went to the bride's favorite hang out spot (a local brewery). The only bachelorette gear she had was a headband with white streamers resembling a veil - it was really nice, and everyone had a great time.
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  • I spent over a year of my life sailing tall ships during high school.  I all but stopped when I went to university but all of my girlfriends know how much I loved sailing (the decor in my rez room was a clear give-away).  We decided to have my bachelorette party in Kingston since it was midway between the friends in Ottawa and those in Toronto and it's also where many of us went to school together. 

    They chartered a sailboat for the day.  I had the best time of my life!  It was so much fun showing them how the boat worked.  They had my favourite deli/bakery provide a catered lunch and we drank champagne all afternoon.  Amazing. 

    Afterwards we went into town, did a bit of shopping, and then a nice dinner out at a restaurant.  That in and of itself was the best day ever.  They did make me a penis cake but that was the most of it.  I really appreciated their tact, and when we did go pub crawling at night they didn't make me wear anything stupid (I had a bachelorette sash) and I didn't have to play any games.  we just danced together and had a great time. Think outside the box - my girls read me perfectly.
  • You should respect her wishes.  I don't want really want a bachelorette party.  It's just not my style.


  • I just wanted a girls night for my bachelorette party and told my friends if a stripper showed up I would just leave. I didn't view it as "my last hurrah" because I hadn't been single in a while so why would I? I wouldn't go to a strip club when I was single, or dating so why would I go to one just because I was getting married?

    It started out with dinner on a river cruise boat, then just gossiping in the hotel. We gave each other facials, mani/pedi's and gossiped.

    Then my cousin pulled out the penis lollipops and my gifts consisted of sex related things, so the talk turned a bit dirtier. Then again, when my girlfriends and I get together this tends to be the norm so yeah.

    Just treat it as a girls night out, verses a bachelorette party.
  • What about a bridal spa day-- where you and the bridal party go for a day at the spa-- very conservative and you can still talk girl stuff
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  • edited July 2010
    my uberconservative best friend had a bachelorette party the night before in her hotel room. we gossped, ate junk food, and watched movies. it was basically a slumber party, but it was what she wanted.

    I know that you know she wants g-rated, but have you asked if SHE had any ideas? the girl who planned my bachelorette party sought my input and I was glad she did. mine was also pretty PG--I banned penises and strippers too. we just saw an improv show and got drunk.
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  • If she doesn't want a party don't throw her one.  It's really that simple. You may find that other party you planned to be tame but she obviously doesn't.  So if you subjected her to that in her honor what would it do to your friendship?
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