Gone are the days when brides and grooms—and same-sex couples—would only celebrate their final single days separately with competing bachelorette and bachelor parties. Instead of focusing on a bash for just one person, a combined bachelor/bachelorette party can be inspired by the couple as a whole, along with their shared interests and friends. For some out-of-the-box inspiration that will appease all attendees, check out our 14 favorite ideas for your joint bachelor/bachelorette party below.
Create Friendly Competition
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.
Take a Road Trip
If you and your partner 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 in, but turning the drive into its own road trip adventure will give your joint celebration a totally fun upgrade.
Hit Up an Amusement Park
With plenty of rides, fun games, and all that fried food, a theme park is basically a one-stop shop for joint bachelor/bachelorette 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.
Escape to Adult Sleepaway Camp
Who said sleepaway camp is just for kids? All over the country, there are adults-only summer camps that bring out the kid in you while 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 has 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's too old for space camp.
A trip to the great outdoors may be just what you both need to destress from planning the wedding. As opposed to the wild party that happens at many adult sleepaway 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 have a place to escape to between hiking, fishing, and more mellow outdoor activities. We suggest checking the Kampgrounds of America website to find a camping reservation near you.
Hold a Backyard Barbecue
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 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 youthful party vibe for which bachelor and bachelorette parties are known.
Buy Tickets to a Music Festival
Music lovers, rejoice: We've got a 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.
Make It a Beach Day
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.
Party on a Yacht
The general party rule of thumb is to 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 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.
Throw a Pool Party
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.
Sip at a Group Wine-Tasting
If there's anything more on-theme for a bachelor/bachelorette party than slurping on copious amounts of tasty alcohol with your closest friends, we'd like to know about it. Book an evening with a local winery or hire a professional sommelier for your party.
Take a Retro 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.
Hire a Yoga Instructor for a Private Class
Get everyone in the right headspace for the big day (the bridal party is not without their own day-of pressures!) with a relaxing afternoon of namaste and Shavasana. Yoga is not only a wonderful bonding activity, but it'll also aid in calming those pre-wedding jitters.
Host a Personalized Scavenger Hunt and Themed Dinner
Go all out with a scavenger hunt, Pirates of the Caribbean-style, leading to a fantastic themed dinner (and chest of treasure) fit for none other than Captain Jack Sparrow himself. Pirates don't suit your fancy? Put your own twist on the hunt with a theme that's personal to you and your spouse-to-be.
To keep the wedding event ball rolling, see everything you need to know about planning a Jack and Jill party—ehem, the bridal shower doesn't have to be all bridesmaids.