Gone are the days when brides and grooms would celebrate their final single days separately with competing bachelorette and bachelor parties. For brides and grooms—and same-sex couples—that share a lot of the same friends, hosting two separate parties may seem like kind of a waste of time—and a missed opportunity to celebrate with all their loved ones before the big day. To combat this dilemma, a new trend in pre-wedding parties has popped up: The bachelor/bachelorette party hybrid, which brings all friends together for a crazy good time. Instead of focusing on a bash for just the bride or just the groom, this joint party can be inspired by who the bride and groom are as a couple, along with their shared interests and friends.
Instead of the typical rowdy club scene, challenge your wedding party to a friendly bridesmaids vs. groomsmen sports showdown. Rent out some field or gym space, get some team T-shirts, and the possibilities are endless—dodgeball, flag football, even a series of Olympic-style relay games could be a total trip. Encouraging some competitive play can help bond your wedding party. And let's not forget: Drinking games are also competitive sports.
When the games are over, keep the fun going at a sports bar, where the losing team can pick up the bar tab.
If you and your fiancé are looking to participate in the typical bachelor/bachelorette party activities (night clubs, a stripper or two, and partying into the wee hours of the morning), consider renting a van or bus and driving to Vegas, NOLA, or another nearby city as a group instead of just the bridesmaids or just the groomsmen. It's like a field trip for adults, but instead of ending up on a boring walking tour, your final destination is an epic bash. Obviously major fun will be had at whichever city you end up, but turning the drive into its own coed road trip adventure will give your joint celebration a totally fun upgrade.
Adult Sleep Away Camp
Who said that sleep away camp is just for kids? All over the country, there are adults-only summer camps that bring out the kid in you while still offering up adult perks like no curfew and plenty of booze. Couples looking for a more authentic camp experience should consider Camp No Counselors, where the day is filled with fun camp activities and the night is filled with open bars and all-night themed parties. Camp Grounded is more akin to the camp experience you remember as a kid, full of games, fireside s'mores, and crafting, but without any adult distractions, like alcohol or technology—there are even programs like Adult Space Academy, for everyone that might be too old for space camp but would still jump at the chance to learn about being a real-life astronaut.
Good Ol' Fashioned Camping
A trip to the great outdoors may be just what you and your fiancé need to destress from planning the wedding. As opposed to the wild party that happens at some adult sleep away camps, a wedding party camping trip is all about enjoying the great outdoors. You can opt for the authentic camping trip experience and head to a nearby campground to set up tents, build a fire, and really rough it in the wilderness, or rent a cabin so that you can spend more time hiking, fishing, and enjoying more mellow outdoor activities. We suggest checking the Kampgrounds of America website to find a camping reservation near you.
The best thing about throwing an easy backyard party is that it's, well, easy. There typically isn't a whole lot of planning and coordinating involved, and it is way cheaper than planning a huge destination bachelor/bachelorette bash, so the wedding party doesn't have to worry about emptying their wallets for yet another wedding expense. Creating a theme, finding fun decorations, setting up outdoor games, and customizing an out-of-the-ordinary barbecue menu can give your celebration the playful, youthful party vibe for which bachelor parties are typically known.
Hit Up an Amusement Park
With plenty of rides, fun games, and all that carnival food, a theme park is basically a one-stop-shop for coed bachelor party fun. You can either incorporate this into a road trip, or hit up a local park for a full day of excitement. Everyone can let their inner kid run wild while celebrating the coolest couple they know.
Music lovers, rejoice: We've got a coed bachelor/bachelorette party idea that's sure to make you scream. Have the whole gang attend a music festival together and allow everyone to let loose to some great beats. You'll surely come out with some unforgettable memories all to the tune of your very own, shared soundtrack. Check out the event schedules for Stagecoach, Lollapalooza, Afropunk, or Coachella to find an event that fits your dates and musical preferences.
The general party rule of thumb is add water and they will come, right? So why not up the ante and take this bach bash to the sea? Charter a yacht or boat and enjoy a day with your coed squad on whichever body of water you prefer. You can choose to have it be an intimate affair with your besties, or join a full-fledged floating festival like Yacht Week, Catalina Island, or Lake Havasu.
If you haven't quite gotten your sea legs, a day at the beach is just as great. Have the crew meet at a local beach, or plan a destination trip, and enjoy some laid-back sun, sand, and surf. Pack a picnic and play volleyball during the day, then build a fire as the sun wanes and share laughs and beers by the campfire. If you want to add a bit more of a party atmosphere, you can kick things up a notch at a beach club.
No one can resist a pool party. So why not rent out an awesome pad and spend the weekend hanging out poolside? Throw some floaties around, ice the rosé, and get the burgers on the grill for the most chill bachelor/bachelorette party.
Retro Family Lake Holiday
Remember those old-school family summer trips to the lake from your childhood (or those quintessential, coming-of-age TV shows)? You can reenact the experience for an ultra retro bach party with the whole gang. Rent out a lakeside cabin and let all your worries melt away as you spend your days fishing, kayaking, grilling, jet skiing, and playing lawn games. Bonus points if you arrive in a station wagon.