Even though there’s speculation as to the exact origins of the “Bachelor Party” (most hold that it started in Sparta about 1500 years ago), there’s little debate as to the popularity of bachelor – and bachelorette – parties. Venues across the country, from nightclubs to day spas to the Las Vegas Strip, cater to the demands of women seeking a way to celebrate the transition from single-to-married status.
If you’re looking for a fun way to enhance your wedding celebration and want to plan a one-of-a-kind bachelorette party, here are some ideas to help you make it a day, night or weekend to remember.
Girls Gone Wild
Male strippers are sooo ‘80s, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get down and dirty with the opposite sex. If the majority of your wedding guests are couples, why not plan your bachelor and bachelorette parties on the same night?
After you and the girls have had your chance to celebrate solo, plan to meet up with the guys at a pre-determined time and place. The guys will have all had their chance to get wild, too, and by the end of the evening all the couples will be reunited for the culmination of the night’s fun.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
Remember how in the movie Pretty Woman Julia Roberts was given Richard Gere’s credit card and told to go have fun on a shopping spree? If you’ve got a gal pal who will most likely plan a shower for you, ask her to host a bachelorette party instead. Gather up a group of your best friends and arrange to meet at a mall or outlet center. Ahead of time, have each woman sign up for a designated type of gift: for example, kitchen supplies, linens, lingerie, shoes, honeymoon outfits, or bridal accessories. When everyone’s at the shopping center, assign each party-goer to a different store where they can give you a spending limit and let you find a gift.
After the shopping’s done, have everyone gather for lunch (or dinner) and pass around the fabulous finds that you’ll be going home with.
An Old-Fashioned Slumber Party
If the last time you attended a slumber party was when you were a teenager, it’s time to get past thinking they’re just for kids. Invite your girlfriends to spend the night at your place and tell each of them to bring something to sleep on (air mattresses or sleeping bags work great on the floor.) Next, select a theme: for example, you could plan a “Spa Night,” where everyone takes turns getting and giving manicures, pedicures, hand treatments or facials. Just supply the ingredients and let everyone get into the spirit by mixing and matching lotions, potions and nail polish glitz.
Another idea is to ask your guests to bring photos of your favorite people, then provide them with paper, adornments, ribbons, stickers, scissors and glue so they can create a scrap-booking page. After they’re finished crafting their unique contributions, put them all together in an album.
With so many fabulous weekend destinations within easy driving distance, you’ve got plenty of options if you want to plan a bachelorette weekend. Some of the places to consider are Palm Springs – once the playground of the rich-and-famous, and now a relaxing desert destination; the artist colony of Laguna Beach – where summer brings the much-loved “Pageant of the Masters,” a show that recreates works of art using live models; Ensenada – where you can get authentic Mexican food, shop for handicrafts and join in some tequila-tastings; La Jolla – a sleepy alternative to other beach towns that offers great dining with a view, boutique shops and an art house movie theater; or Coronado – where you can enjoy a Sunday brunch at the world-famous Hotel del Coronado, or rent bikes to cruise across the island before settling in for a drink at a local watering hole.
Ahead of the Class
If you’re the type who just loves to learn, why not celebrate your particular obsession by indulging in a class of some kind? Around town there are several cooking schools that offer one-day classes that feature a demonstration of cooking techniques or cuisines, followed by a meal shared by all. Or, you could coordinate a special dance lesson for you and your pals. If you’re into country music, you might learn a series of line dances; or you could show up for an evening Square Dance lesson where instruction is provided prior to the night’s session.
Bachelor Party Ideas
In case the groom-to-be is also looking for fun ways to celebrate with his buddies, here are a few suggestions:
1) A day at the races – even if the ponies aren’t running in Del Mar, there’s satellite wagering available
2) Golfing – a perennial favorite. It can also include time spent at a driving range or taking a lesson with a local pro
3) Poker night – host a tournament at home, or head to a local casino
4) Party before and after – go out with the guys earlier in the evening (the Gaslamp District is a great choice), then hook up afterwards with the girls and dance the night away