There’s that well-known cliche: the groom and his buddies are heading out to the bachelor party. Uneasily, the bride waits at home, worrying about what her soon-to-be-husband is doing on his “last night of freedom.” So, to even things our, the bride and her friends primp for a night on the town, which will involve plenty of appletinis and handing out their cell numbers to as many guys as they can.
Oh, please. The idea that bachelor and bachelorette parties have to be racy affairs filled with binge drinking, strippers and strangers is so Twentieth Century.
I’ve been involved in just a few bachelorette parties myself, but they’ve each been uniquely fun — in rather tame ways. A sampling:
One was a girls’ night in — an old-fashioned sleepover that we all arrived to in our PJs. For one of the games, we’d stuffed candy, frilly little panties (and, miraculously, even a bottle of massage oil) into balloons and had the blindfolded bride run around the room popping the balloons. Afterward, we let her open her presents — more lingerie, of course — without the blindfold. Meanwhile, the groom and his groomsmen went out for dinner, then chilled on the beach at their hotel.
One started out at an indoor rock climbing gym, Yosemite Fitness in Clovis, California, where we tested our strength (and our phobias). Next, we headed out for teppanyaki, and the night wound down back at the bride’s apartment, where we talked about love and marriage after a couple of games. Meanwhile, the groom and his friends enjoyed a round of golf, then watched a minor league baseball game from prime box seats.
One was a scavenger hunt all around Universal Studios’ CityWalk in Orlando. We donned plastic armor, fake teeth, and even Styrofoam flower bras as we went on our quest to get signatures from couples who had been married over thirty years, take pictures with as many tattooed people as we could, and get random strangers to join impromptu renditions of “Goin’ to the Chapel.” After dinner and dancing at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, and karaoke at the Rising Star, the party finally wound down around 2:00 a.m. Meanwhile, the groom and his crew went to dinner at their regular hangout, then headed home for a night of poker.
The one I attended last night for my friend Julie was in our old college town, St. Augustine, Florida and started off with a great dinner in retro Hollywood-themed Bubble Room. We moved on to a two-hour sunset cruise on the Intracoastal waterway, complete with a dolphin sighting and more photos than would fit in an average scrapbook. The night ended with gelato at Cafe Hidalgo. Meanwhile, the groom and his college buddies hit their favorite restaurant from their college years, then continued their nostalgia by holding a video game tournament.
So, without anything scandalous, we’ve managed to have fun — and keep the spouse-to-be at ease. If you’re looking for some unique and fun ideas for a squeaky-clean (or at least only slightly-smudged) bachelorette party, look no further:
- Hit a theme park decked out in your bride-to-be and bridesmaids-to-be finest.
- Rent a houseboat for a night (or weekend!) on the water.
- Take a cooking class together, and then enjoy the fruits of your labor with plenty of laughter.
- Tour a local vineyard, stemware in hand.
- Hit the rink — on either blades or wheels.
- Relax at an upscale spa and pamper yourselves like you deserve.
- Rock out at a concert in your best groupie garb.
- Cheer your favorite sports team on from the sidelines.
- Stop by a dance studio for a group lesson in salsa, swing, or ballroom — with or without your guys.
- See your city by helicopter on a narrated tour.
- Hike through a nearby forest, pitch a tent, and spend the night around a campfire, roasting marshmellows.
- Rent a limo and just ride around town — stopping whenever and wherever you think would be a great photo op.
- Whip up dinner together at home and enjoy a girls’ night in with classic chick flicks, popcorn, and nail polish.
- Instead of traditional bar hopping, go dessert bar hopping — just don’t count the calories for one night!
- Go to a dinner theater or a Hawaiian luau.
- Gather your girls for a night at a local pottery painting studio. Ask if the studio includes complimentary wine, champagne, or snacks, or if you’re allowed to bring your own.