Today I’m sharing 10 tips for a successful bachelorette party and the sources for the party I recently threw. These tips can be used for other events, like birthday parties, especially special birthday parties like someone’s 21st or 30th.
Make It about the Bride
This is pretty obvious, but I figured it needed to be said. Keep in mind that it’s okay to ask the bride if there’s something specific she wants to have and wants to do. I feel like there tends to be secrecy in bachelorette parties because people want to have surprises for the bride-to-be, but you can still ask her questions. Find out if she wants a low key party that involves lounging around a pool or beach with umbrella drinks. Or maybe she’d rather go to a drag show instead of seeing a live band one night.
I also asked Melissa random questions like what are her favorite drinks, snacks, candies, etc. so I could have her favorites on hand at the party. When asked, she said she wanted to go to a winery. So I arranged for a tour and tasting at a local winery, which also happens to make her favorite wine. I initially planned on us going to a drag show, but the bar closed down a few weeks before the party. So for Plan B, I chose the biergarten because she likes live music and a rock band happened to be playing the night we went. She said she didn’t want an over the top bachelorette get-up so I went with the understated black sash with gold writing. And I told her she didn’t have to wear the crown out in public if she didn’t want to.
Use Discount Stores & Websites for Decorations & Tableware
One of my favorite websites is AliExpress. It’s the retail side of Alibaba, where you can buy small quantities of items. There are things I wouldn’t buy from AliExpress, but I’m comfortable shelling out $1 for a balloon. Most of the items on AliExpress ship from China so you need to assume it will take at least 2-4 weeks to receive the goods you purchase. I bought the letter balloons for $.32 each (that’s 32 cents), the ring balloons for $.92 each, and champagne bottle and flute for $.82 each. I also got the hot pink tinsel curtain for $5.50, which was draped over a $1.35 black tablecloth. Seriously, you can’t beat those prices.
A tip about the letter balloons: Since they’re so cheap and some of the balloons can have issues, I’d double up on the letters. So if you want to spell ‘YAY’, I’d get four Ys and two As. If the first set of letters work, you can always save the extra balloons or sell them.
I also love decorations from Oriental Trading Company. Yes, I may be a little biased because I’m a contributor to their blog, but I really do love their stuff (I wouldn’t work for or with a brand if I didn’t like their products). I’ve always had good luck with their hanging fans. They come 12 to a package in three different sizes for $11.99, and they can easily be reused with a little double-sided tape.
And don’t forget about the dollar store! All of the big hot pink buckets and bowls I used for the bachelorette party were from Dollar Tree.
DIY Some of the Decorations
There are so many free blog tutorials and YouTube videos out there that anyone can utilize when it comes to making your own decorations– from tissue paper pom-poms to tassels (tutorial coming!). Yes, this makes things more time-consuming but it’s projects you can complete while watching TV or listening to your favorite podcast.
Balloons Are Your Friends (Unless Someone is Allergic to Latex)
I feel like people overlook balloons, but they really are awesome. If your party is in a main room like how ours was, the balloons helped to add color to the floor. They also helped with the party atmosphere because people would have to walk through them, and the balloons would get kicked about. It also helps that they’re inexpensive.
Imagine the suite without the balloons. It would look less festive, wouldn’t it?
Sell Decorations and Any Unused Items After the Event
To recoup some of the money you spent, sell the decorations and any unopened/unused items after the party. A lot of decorations have plenty of life left in them after being used once so instead of throwing them away, sell them. I did this with our gender reveal and Owen’s birthday party by listing the items here on the blog or in Facebook groups. Just remember to make the transaction in a public place and bring a buddy along with you.
It’s Possible to Have a Classy Affair
For this bachelorette party, I decided to lean more toward PG-13 than R/NC-17 since the mother and aunts of the bride (one of which was my mother-in-law) were in attendance. So there was no penis-shaped cake or Pin the Junk on the Hunk game, both of which were involved in the amazing bachelorette party my friends threw for me. And there’s nothing wrong with those things. But they aren’t necessary in order to have a good time. Although I did include a gag gift (*ahem* a flogger *ahem*) with the lingerie I gave Melissa because I couldn’t help myself. It was all in good fun, and I knew she would get a laugh out of it– if you saw my snap, she did.
Budget-Appropriate Location, Meals, & Activities
Initially, we were going to have the bachelorette party in Nashville, TN. But after pricing hotels, we decided that it was more budget-friendly to have the party in Indianapolis. We did activities that cost little to no money– window shopping was free (unless someone wanted to buy something they saw), wine tour was free, wine tasting was $5, cover to get into the biergarten was $5. On Saturday, I planned for brunch and dinner as our main meals in order to stretch people’s money. And I chose restaurants that were nicer but offered food in a range of prices, so if someone ordered a pizza for dinner, but chose to drink only water, their bill was $12 plus tax.
It’s Okay to Play Some Games
I know I dread the kitschy games at bridal and baby showers, so I tried to keep the games at a minimum. We did the underwear game where everyone brings an unwrapped pair of underwear for the bride, and the bride guesses who gave her which pair. The other game was played by Melissa. I sent her fiancé a list of questions to answer (I used most of these questions). I’d ask Melissa what she thought he answered. If she got it correct, she could open one of her gifts. If she got it wrong, she had to take a drink. If you don’t have alcohol at your bachelorette party, you can have the bride do something else like a truth or dare.
Create a Facebook Event
In order to keep everything organized, we created a secret Facebook event with all the attendees. This made communicating so much easier. I posted everything on the event page– ideas, cost of the hotel, parking information, weekend itinerary, etc.
The other ladies attending the party volunteered to pitch in monetarily since I was organizing everything, buying food and drinks, buying decorations, making decorations, setting everything up, etc. So I saved my receipts, totaled everything, divided by 10, and let everyone know how much they owed. I did everything because I didn’t want people having to cram it into their cars. And to be honest, I wanted to be able to take photos before it was completely dark outside (everyone arrived when it was dark). But people can always pitch in by bringing food, drinks, tableware, etc. Since most people attending a bachelorette party are the closest to the bride, I don’t think it should be an issue with them wanting to contribute to the party.
Here are the sources for the bachelorette party!
If you want to go directly to the product, click on the source’s name next to the specific product.
hotel suite … JW Marriott Indianapolis
gold letter balloons … AliExpress
ring balloons … AliExpress
champagne bottle and champagne flute balloons … AliExpress
tissue paper tassels … made by me
hot pink tissue paper for tassels … Oriental Trading Company
gold mylar for tassels … Oriental Trading Company
black hanging fans … Oriental Trading Company
hot pink hanging fans … Oriental Trading Company
gold metallic hanging fans … Oriental Trading Company
hot pink bowl … Dollar Tree
hot pink and gold latex balloons … Party City
black and light pink balloons … Walmart and Target
gold curling ribbon … Target
hot pink washi tape … JoAnn Fabric
hot pink gift bags … Oriental Trading Company
black tissue paper for gift bags and to make tassels … Oriental Trading Company
gift bag tags … Target
large black latex balloons … AliExpress
balloon weights … Dollar Tree
black tablecloths … Oriental Trading Company
hot pink fringe curtain … AliExpress
hot pink tubs and buckets … Dollar Tree
white and silver champagne buckets … belonged to the JW Marriott Indianapolis
DRINK signage … made by me– tutorial to come
black cups … Oriental Trading Company
gold cups … Oriental Trading Company
paper straws … Oriental Trading Company
hot pink plastic shot glasses … Dollar Tree
bottle opener … Dollar Tree
hot pink bowls … Dollar Tree
hot pink plates … Oriental Trading Company
bachelorette party dessert plates … Oriental Trading Company
bachelorette party napkins … Oriental Trading Company
black luncheon napkins … Oriental Trading Company
silver forks … Oriental Trading Company
cake … Taylor’s Bakery
Barbie … Amazon
Barbie’s dress and shoes … Amazon
mini Malibu bottle … Big Red Liquors
cake stand … already owned (similar)
hot pink mylar … Dollar Tree
crown … Party City
sash … Black Label Decor
koozie … Double H Designs
hair ties … Elastic Hair Bandz
light-up ring … Oriental Trading Company
Shout out to the JW Marriott Indianapolis, Oriental Trading Company, Double H Designs, Elastic Hair Bandz, and Black Label Decor for working with me on this project.