No need to try to emulate the guys with a bar-crawl-and-stripper combo. Get creative and offer your gal pals a better bonding experience—anything from a night of beauty to a road trip. Read on! One of these alternatives should fit you and your maids perfectly.
Break out the marshmallows and sleeping bags and set your sights on the great outdoors, whether you're barely roughing it in a fully-stocked cabin or getting out the old Girl-Scout tent and sitting around the campfire.
"My camping bachelorette party was so much fun," says Sherry R. in San Francisco. "We had the best-looking campsite around—everyone brought tons of candles to make it festive and beautiful. We hiked, talked around the fire—and everyone offered to take on wedding tasks for me. I came home feeling so connected to my friends and with a great sense of relief that I didn't have to do everything myself!"
If all-out pampering blisses you out, get the girls together and hit the local spa for all the seaweed wraps, facials, and massages you can handle. There'll be plenty of time to chat in the hot tub!
Black Magic Woman
Hire a tarot card reader or psychic to give everyone a glimpse into their fabulous futures.
For your party, give everyone a chance to dig way, way, back into their closets and finally rewear that fuchsia taffeta bridesmaid gown (or prom dress) with the bubble skirt and jumbo-sized bow in the back. (Serve plenty of cheese to complement the cheese factor of the party fashion statements.)
Your gals can come up with a list of daring feats for you to accomplish by the end of the evening, from kissing a bald man's head to getting seven men's phone numbers. The quickest way to throw this party together is with "Bachelor-Et-A-Kit," which includes a scavenger-hunt list along with a bridal T-shirt, veil, and garter for the guest of honor. Call 888-4-FUN-KIT for more info.
It wouldn't be a bachelorette party without a little embarrassment for the guest of honor. Your bridesmaids can deck you out in a standout ensemble, whether it's a hand-decorated T-shirt with pens for all the guests to sign their well-wishes, or a swath of tulle pinned to your head. Or maybe they'll come up with a more interesting accessory. "At one bachelorette party, the bride paraded around with a life-size photo of her future hubby's head on a stake," says Lauren C. from Washington, D.C. "She had to introduce her 'husband' to the other bar patrons." See below for more real-life "best and worst" bachelorette party memories.
Get a blast from the past when you dig out the old college and high-school yearbooks. Stop off at your hangouts of yore, and make a killer mix of those '80s tunes you loved—though you might want to stop at recreating your big '80s hairstyle.
Take to the road (or the air) for a weekend adventure to the beach, the mountains, or even Las Vegas—wherever the mood (and the budget) takes you.
Throw an old-fashioned sleepover. Hang out in your comfiest pajamas and munch on Oreos and Ben & Jerry's while you give each other manicures, braid one another's hair, and giggle over boys.
If you and your friends thrive on adrenaline, get them together for your adventure of choice—learn to scuba dive or sail, or take the leap and try skydiving. Or just head out for an all-day hike followed by a picnic.
Create an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet, filled with everything from tortes to tarts (and don't forget the chocolate fondue). Just one caveat—host this party at least a few weeks before the wedding so no one splits a seam come wedding day.