Tradition says that, a few weeks before your wedding, you and your bridal party have a night out. In some versions, there’s lots of drinking, and in others, it’s a relaxing spa day. There’s no wrong way to have a bachelorette party! But as you start planning your wedding, you should ask yourself, “Do I want to have a bachelorette party?”
Sure, it’s part of the wedding tradition—but that doesn’t mean you have to. After all, it’s your wedding, and what matters most is you’re happy. Consider these ten reasons to throw a party—then don’t stop there. Also think about who you would invite. It could be strictly your wedding party. Or you could expand the guest list to close friends. Picturing your friends in each of these situations will make the decision that much easier for you.
1. Because you want to
At the end of the day, if you want a celebratory night out with your BFFs—then have a night out! Maybe you always pictured an epic bachelorette party. Maybe the tradition of it is appealing to you. Or maybe you just need a girl’s night out. The reason doesn’t matter! What matters is that you have fun with your friends, to start this next stage in your life.
2. Because your BFFs are coming into town
Haven’t seen your BFFs in a while? If they’re coming into town to celebrate your engagement, a night out is a must! It can be a low-key night, if you want to keep it simple. But if everyone is traveling to come see you, take advantage and get some quality time with your friends. Show them a special, local place you and your fiancé frequent. And be sure to take them to your favorite spots, too!
3. Because your friends want to
Maybe you’re indifferent to a bachelorette party. Ask your friends if they’d like a night out! Bachelorette parties are just as much for the friends as for the bride. It’s a way to celebrate friendship, love, and growing up together. Just make sure you set any expectations you have—or don’t have—for the evening, so it’s still your party.
4. Because you want matching swag
Between sunglasses, swimwear, sweatshirts, and shot glasses—the possibilities are endless! There is so much fun, customizable swag you can create, it almost seems silly to not have a bachelorette party. Sure, you could use these fun things as gifts for your bridesmaids at the wedding. But it’s way more fun to go out as a group in matching tank tops!
5. Because there’s a special event
Is your favorite band playing nearby? Maybe there’s a festival happening in the next city over? Turn the event into your bachelorette party! Gather all your friends and make a night—or long weekend—out of it. You don’t have to do any of the “traditional” bachelorette party activities if you don’t want to. Just being out with your BFFs counts!
6. Because some friends can’t make the wedding
As the invitations go out, you might find that a close friend or two can’t attend the wedding. They may have another commitment that day, or something out-of-town already booked. Keep them feeling included with a bachelorette party! That way, even if they miss the ceremony, they’re still in on the fun. Plus, you’ll be able to get pictures with them that you couldn’t get at the wedding.
7. Because the wedding isn’t local
Is your wedding out-of-town, even for you? If there’s traveling involved with your wedding, that’s going to limit who can attend—or how long they can stay. Pre-wedding activities might be at a minimum, so having a local bachelorette party is important. It gives everyone time to celebrate, so when the wedding weekend arrives, everyone can focus on arriving on time and any last-minute planning.
8. Because the bridal party needs to bond
Friends come from all phases in life—and if you’ve got friends from elementary school and work, chances are they don’t know each other. A bachelorette party is the perfect opportunity for everyone to bond, so the wedding planning and celebration go smoothly. You don’t have to plan get-to-know-you games; just spending time together will be enough.
9. Because you’re not having a bridal party
You can still have a bachelorette party without a bridal party! All you need is your BFFs and a night—or day!—out. For some brides, this might even be the best of both worlds. You still get to celebrate with your friends, but you don’t have to worry about coordinating everyone around your special day. While bridal parties can be a huge source of support during wedding planning, they can also be costly and take a lot of energy.
10. Because you’re eloping
Or having a really small wedding. Either way, if the guest list is super short, don’t leave out your friends! Your friends should understand if you choose to keep the wedding ceremony small and intimate. But that doesn’t mean they want to be excluded! If your elopement is a secret, plan a bachelorette party after the nuptials, so it becomes a wedding celebration, too!
Choosing whether to have a bachelorette party or not can seem like a big deal—but we promise, it’s not! At the end of the day, if you want some time away from the craze of wedding planning, get your BFFs together and hang out! You don’t need a night of bar hopping; you can just go to dinner, spend the day in a spa, or even just hang out at home in your sweats. What matters is you’re all together!