Photo: Next Exit Photography
Now that same-sex marriage has been legalized (yay!) brides-to-be may want to start planning joint bachelorette parties in the lead-up to their big day. These celebrations are more likely to be mixed-gender gatherings (compared to all-female bachelorette and all-male bachelor parties), according to Tisha Vaidya and Lauren Raouf of My Best Friend's Weekend. So it's key to plan something that will appeal to both women and men. With twice the guests of honor and potentially twice as many friends attending, here's how to have twice the fun.
Take a group class.
Think about something you've always wanted to do as a couple but haven't yet tried, says Kiss the Planner founder Aviva Samuels. Maybe it's a gourmet cooking class, belly dancing, or even sky diving. Gather all your closest friends and sign up for the experience as a group. "You will all have a great time learning something new together," Samuels says. And it doesn't have to be something totally out of the ordinary. Even a group fitness class, like the bootcamp-style offerings at the recently opened Drill Fitness in New York City, can jump-start your night. And see if you can arrange for there to be champagne and blow-outs in the locker room after you all cool down.
Paint the town rainbow.
Make a night on the town a memorable (and photographable!) experience by having all your attendees dress in rainbow attire as you hit your favorite bars and nightclubs, Samuels suggests. You're bound to run into well-wishers who will instantly know what you're celebrating. For bar crawls, Vaidya and Raouf advise choosing venues that are close to each other, printing out maps for everyone to follow, and starting a group text chain. "Even in rainbow gear, it can be easy to get lost!" Or research your local pride week and coordinate your bachelorette party for that weekend. The celebratory atmosphere will be heightened and you can feed off the natural energy of the crowds.
See More: Same-Sex Wedding Décor Ideas
Stay in and play.
For low-key couples, Samuel recommends a festive night at home with some delicious barbeque and competitive board or backyard games. To make the dinner extra special (and stress-free), Vaidya and Raouf point to local chef services (like Kitchit or Kitchensurfing for NYC dwellers), which work better for small groups as opposed to traditional catering companies. Plus, a gathering at home can feel more personal and you can include as many people as you want without worrying about overwhelming a bar or restaurant.
And maybe go with a theme.
"I love the idea of a throwback theme for a bachelorette party," says lifestyle and entertainment expert Theodore Leaf, who can be seen on Logo TV's Secret Guide to Fabulous. His idea for a motif? Something along the lines of "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" with a late 90s/early 2000s theme could be fun. Leaf says to have everyone dress in themed-attire, serve iconic cocktails of the time (like Cosmopolitans), and make a playlist of throwback favorites for dancing.
Brides who enjoy the outdoors should consider camping with all of their closest friends as a pre-wedding party. "Choose a picturesque camping spot that is also close to a fun daytime destination, like a beach or small town and share cocktails and funny stories around the campfire by night," Samuels says. Just make sure your guests know what they're signing up for, and bring extra blankets and gear in case some friends arrive unprepared.
Have a surprise wedding.
If you and your fiancée want to shock the socks off your guests, invite them to a bachelorette party and have it be the wedding, says Samuels. This is best for women who would rather avoid some of the stress of planning a big soiree. "Nobody will be expecting you and your bride to get hitched that night and chances are they will talk about it for many years to come," Samuels adds.