Your best friend has just got engaged, and you've been asked to organise the Bachelorette Party. Where to begin?
1. The Bride
You may think you know your best friend so well that you can plan this with your eyes closed. But just as she surprised you with her wedding dress choice, date or venue, or even Groom (joking) she may also have been thinking something different for this.
Before you start the planning, have a drink with the Bride and find out what she's thinking. Does she want a big soiree, something abroad, or a pampering weekend retreat? Of course, keep something as a surprise, but it's great to clarify her hopes and dreams, especially if you're the one who is going to try and deliver them. No pressure.
This isn't a Stag; the aim here is not to embarrass or humiliate the Bride. The objective is to make it an incredible, unforgettable weekend amongst great friends.
2. The Group
First things first you need to decide who is going to be invited to this special event. Do you invite all the school friends, is the Bride particularly close with someone she works with and what are the rules on mothers and mothers-in-law?
It's hard, but keeping the group small(ish) is the best advice. When we say "small", we still mean 8-12 people. Logistically it just works better; 8 people can fit into two cabs, 12 people is often how many a large villa sleeps, an even number of people means double rooms. These details may not seem important at the beginning, but being 1 extra person left out the car rental situation can be a bit of a nightmare. The other benefit of keeping it small is that the Bride can really spend time with everyone. Often when you are a group of 20+ people stay in their 2s and 3s, and it's hard for the Bride to get to spend time with everyone. It's essential to include those closest to the Bride but don't feel the need to invite anyone just for the sake of it, if it's a bore for you it's probably a bore for them too, and no one wants that.
Mothers. This is a trickier subject, everyone is different, so you have to figure that out from the Bride. We think it's about Itinerary choice: If your Bride wants a relaxed gorgeous lunch, flowers, food, champagne and cake, this sounds like something that a Mother may love. But if your Bride wants to go to Ibiza, drink the night away while friends retell stories of yesteryears with the aim for your head to hit your pillow at dawn, perhaps leave Mum at home. (Sorry) Lastly, don't forget - someone always drops out or can't go. Always.
No you can't invite anyone on the Hen that isn't invited to the wedding.
3. The Budget
This is the least fun topic, but to ensure the best Bachelorette Party this is a crucial factor. Everyone has different budgets, they earn different salaries, have different expenses and ultimately everyone has a different opinion on what a weekend like this should cost. The answer of how much to spend depends entirely on your relationship with the Bride. If the Bride is your sister or best friend, no expense is spared, but if you're invited to a friend's Hen do who you haven't seen in 5 years that budget is immediately halved and then halved again.
Be upfront with the group with how much you are estimating it will all cost. Value for money is the most important thing. Having everyone in a good mood and excited for the event is so much better than having whispers of annoyance because someone wasn't told about the cab fare from the airport. It's also absolutely fine to have a few optional add ons that people can partake or not in, such as extra pampering. Should the Bride contribute? Although it's lovely to be treated like the Queen that you are for the weekend, we also think that if you're asking your closest friends to come on a weekend away to celebrate you, then you can definitely buy everyone a drink to say cheers and thank you. A round of tequila's to start the weekend or a little gift such as Carry On Cocktail Kits for everyone as they board the plane will do wonders for the vibe, and let's be honest you can’t buy the vibe.
Don't assume everyone is on the same budget.
4. The Itinerary
How do you choose when to organise the Hen and how close to the wedding should it be? We know the Bride wants to go abroad, but how do you choose a location?
Having an Itinerary of the weekend will really help when organising everything. It doesn't have to be filled with endless activities, it's just great to have a plan that people can follow. Our favourite Bachelorette weekends revolve around eating and drinking and being in whichever city you're in. But remember to put in a few key surprises for the Bride such as a dive bar for Karaoke if she's a fan or gin tasting if she is a G&T lover.
To get everyone super excited sending out an Itinerary before the weekend or having it on people's beds for when they arrive will help the hype. Be clear on dress codes or themes, no one wants to turn up unprepared or underdressed. There isn't a set time of exactly when you should have the Bachelorette Party. It is fun to have it close-ish to the wedding, but we would advise at least 2 months prior. Your Bride might be on a strict diet, or she may not want to feel really hungover close to the wedding. Try to avoid asking the whole group what dates they can do and instead pick 2 weekends that work and then put it to the group.
Don't overpack the weekend. People get tired and want to relax. The best times can come from hanging out with a few sundowners or a bottle of rosé.
5. Gifting & Merchandise
You want to find something unique, or something bespoke, something most definitely classy and memorable and not something tacky and throw away. You want to have some sort of theme but for it to be done in a beautiful and amazing way.
We’ve got you. We are you. This is what we do at Gigi and Olive. We offer a curated edit of bridal party gifting; based on the principles of friendship, sisterhood, confidence, originality and kindness. Out platform is a fun and beautiful bridal boutique where you can buy a luxury, personalised and stylish edit for Bachelorette Parties and other bridal occasions that will last past the party. If your Bride wants a bespoke handmade veil and you want matching scrunchies we've got that. If you are thinking you want to be in matching swimwear that is beautiful, excellent quality and that you'll wear again and again, we’ve got you. Shop our Bachelorette Boutique.
Our mission is to make the bridal party feel included, excited and supported, and that’s the last bit of advice.