Bachelorette Party History
& Fun Pre-Wedding Event Facts

By Pamela Yager

The now infamous bachelorette party is an event honoring a bride-to-be, a rite of passage, celebrating the end of her single life. Not to be confused with the bachelorette party, the bridal shower is usually a bit more low-key, honoring the bride-to-be and the beginning of her role as a wife. The bachelorette parties that we have in the U.S. today came from the UK, Ireland and Canada, what they call Hen or Stagette Parties. For many years, ladies have been getting together in the evening to celebrate with a bride-to-be. It wasn't until the end of the 1990's that the term bachelorette party was coined.

These days, approximately 94% of the brides-to-be have bachelorette parties. The average number of guests at a bachelorette party is 12, but can range from 4 to as many as 200, depending on the bride's style and/or party theme. Not to be outdone by its predecessor, the groom's bachelor party, bachelorette parties tend to have more interactive games and fun costumes.

From the 1960's-1980's, as the bachelorette party was developing, women would go out for drinks after a shower. In the 90's, brides-to-be had kicked it into high-gear and were going to strip clubs and night clubs for cocktails and a night of decadence. In the past 5 years, women have been doing an assortment of activities with only 20% of them hiring a male dancer. It seems we have reached the land of happy medium, with just enough debauchery to be a night to remember, but still ensuring the bride will make it to the alter, integrity intact.

Current trends include destination bachelorette parties and nights on the town with a professional coordinator (BNO Party Guide) who emcees games tailored for the bride. Traditionally it has been the duty of the maid of honor to be the party contact, but we are now seeing the bride, mother of the bride and the duke of honor (a male friend of the bride) stepping in to get things planned with the help of a BNO Party Consultant.

Party guests usually include the immediate wedding party and very close friends of the bride, generally all females around the same age as the bride. People, who are not invited to the wedding, should not be invited to the bachelorette party.

Usually all the guests chip in for the bachelorette party and the host (party contact) pays for a special item. In some cases, the groom or the mother of the bride may also give something toward the event such as a hotel suite or special gift. The most important thing to remember about the bachelorette party is that every guest has a great time and the activities are thoughtfully planned out. The Bachelorette party is not only a send-off for the guest-of-honor, but a celebration of female bonding and treasuring those friendships that got us to where we are today.
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