A bachelor party celebrates a man who is about to get married. The groom-to-be's friends typically throw the party, and usually only men attend. Likewise, a bachelorette party is for a woman who is about to get married, and typically only women attend the event. Wedding showers are frequently held in addition to the bachelor and bachelorette parties, and they often include both members of the happy couple and their respective friends and family.
A Brief History of Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties
Bachelor and bachelorette parties date back to the traditional European celebratory dinner given in honor of a groom-to-be before his marriage. Eventually, this expanded into luncheons for brides-to-be, as well. Elaborate parties were thrown separately for both grooms and brides over the years, leading to what we know today as the modern bachelor and bachelorette parties.
Many contemporary bachelor and bachelorette parties revolve around drinking and exotic dancers. But others consist of some cleaner party games and activities that are a lot of fun for the group.
Bachelor Party Games
The best man is traditionally the person who organizes a groom’s bachelor party, but it’s common for others to step in if he’s not able. Regardless, it’s crucial to plan the event based on the groom’s interests and get his approval for any potentially controversial activities, such as going to a strip club. Surprises can be fun, but the party ultimately will be a disappointment if the groom isn’t happy.
Here are some popular bachelor party games and activities:
- Play some new drinking games: Drinking games always seem to loosen up a group and ramp up the fun. Sure, you could just play beer pong with your buddies for the millionth time. But why not try something new for this special occasion? Bar None Drinking Games offers a variety of drinking games, some of which involve dice, cards, coins, and more. You also could create your own drinking game that revolves around trivia questions about the groom.
- Host a poker night: If the rowdy party scene isn't the groom's style, consider hosting a game night at someone's home instead. Poker is always a favorite for groups to play, and it's fairly easy for inexperienced players to learn. Another option is to offer a selection of board games, and let the group decide what to play.
- Cheer on the groom's favorite team: If the groom-to-be is a sports fan, consider taking the bachelor party group to a game. For instance, plan a day around a football game with some pregame tailgating and a postgame pub crawl. Have guests chip in for tickets and a party bus rental to get the group around safely.
- Take a weekend trip: Some groups choose to make the bachelor party a weekend event, even heading out of town. A popular destination for these weekend bachelor parties is (where else?) Las Vegas. However, another option is to spend the weekend away from the hustle and bustle on a bachelor party camping trip.
Bachelorette Party Games
Pre-wedding parties for the bride have come a long way since the traditional, appliance-oriented bridal shower. Planning the party is usually the job of the maid of honor, though other bridesmaids and friends often help. Just like with the bachelor party, it’s important to consider the bride’s personality and interests when planning her party. Don’t schedule anything too wild unless you know she’ll approve.
Here are some popular bachelorette party games and activities:
- Hire a fortune teller: The bride-to-be is probably thinking a lot about her future. Help her see what’s written in the stars by hiring an astrologer, fortune teller, or tarot card reader for the bachelorette party. Each guest can get a short reading if they wish, with the most time dedicated to the bride. This is a great activity to bring everyone together and get people talking.
- Organize a scavenger hunt: Spice up a bachelorette party by turning the event into a scavenger hunt. There are many options for this game, ranging from tame to wild. For instance, one way to play is for the party organizer to come up with a list of things guests might see during their bachelorette party bar crawl, such as a margarita or a person with a heart tattoo. Hand out the list prior to the bar crawl, and tell guests to take photos of every item they spot. The guest who checks off the most items wins a prize.
- Have a gal pal-only weekend: Many brides are happy to turn their bachelorette party into a weekend away with their close friends. Spending the weekend at a spa or resort is popular for many bachelorette party groups. You’ll also find many groups in Las Vegas, camping in a more natural setting, or simply heading to one of the bride’s favorite getaways.
- Play some wedding-themed games: The bride-to-be might simply want to spend a night out on the town with all of her friends. But before you go out, meet at someone’s house for some wedding-themed games to start the fun and help break the ice among guests. For instance, the toilet paper wedding dress game is often played at bridal showers and bachelorette parties to help connect guests. To play, divide guests into teams, and have each team create a wedding dress made from toilet paper on an appointed model. The bride can award a prize to the team that made her favorite dress.