Engaged and pregnant? Don’t skip your bachelorette night! The bachelorette party is about celebrating friendships and that certainly doesn’t require alcohol. Pregnant bride Justyna’s friends organized a surprise hen night for her, and asked photographer Nadine Jayaraj to tag along. After a quick photo session with the bride, the ladies headed to a belly dancing class (what a perfect way for pregnant Justyna to get in touch with her belly and what’s inside!). The group ended the night with dinner at Zurich’s Maison Blunt and toasted the bride with a touching video tribute. I’m so inspired by Justyna’s choice to celebrate and fully embrace two life-changing experiences at once—marriage and the arrival of her baby!
Forget what you think a bachelorette party should be. Your bachelorette party should reflect your tastes and interests. It should include the kinds of things you love to do. Here, a list of 33 bachelorette party ideas. Some are themes that could carry an entire party, others are activities to incorporate in a long bachelorette weekend. Whatever you decide to do, make sure your bachelorette party reflects who you are—and please, no penises.
1. Weekend in the City
Bachelorette weekends have become de rigueur as many women have groups of friends spread out across the country (or the world). Very few people can gather their nearest and dearest from even a 50-mile radius, so it makes sense to spend a weekend together to maximize time and fun. Check out our planning guide for advice on putting together a bachelorette weekend, especially from afar. More from this Bachelorette Shoot in Baltimore’s Little Italy.
2. Glitter and glamour
Pile on the sparkle and sequins for a glitsy night out. Don’t own a sequined dress? Rent one! Rent the Runway carries tons of sequined styles and one can be yours for the night for as low as $30 (we particularly love this deep burgundy number from Badgley Mischka—stunning!). More from this Glitter Bachelorette Shoot.
Starting your day with a yoga class will make the bride feel good about herself and allow her to let loose with her friends as well. After the class, head to brunch, then complete your mind/body refresh with manicures…and maybe toss some mimosas in there somewhere. Image via Bridal Musings.
4. Art class
If the idea of a stripper makes you feel icky, but you still want to incorporate something a bit risque at your bachelorette, this is so the party for you. An instructor at The Artful Bachelorette will lead you through a study of the male nude, while a charming topless waiter serves you champagne and appetizers. Image via Stone Fox Tales.
5. Weekend at the beach
Pack your sunnies and your swimsuit, it’s beach time! More from this Breezy, Beachy Bachelorette in Provence.
Challenge yourself to look outside of Victoria’s Secret—which I have nothing against. Honestly, I buy most of my undies there. But this is a special occasion and it’s an opportunity for you to gift the bride something fun and different. Try Honeydew Intimates for colorful, cute pieces, L’Agent by Agent Provocateur for something sexy or Wildfox for adorable vintage-inspired PJ sets. More from this Rustic Vintage Shower.
Take to the seas for a cruise with your favorite ladies. Enjoy signature cocktails while lounging on the pool deck, or book a shore excursion to add a bit of adventure. Zip lining, anyone?
8. Wine tasting
Spend the afternoon at a winery and enjoy both a tasting and a meal, or book transportation to take you and your group to multiple spots in one afternoon. You don’t have to go to Napa to throw a wine tasting party—you’ll be surprised to find how many local vineyards there are all over the country. More from this Sunshine and Wine Bridal Party Luncheon.
Not a wine girl? No problem! The craft brewery industry is booming and many offer tours and tasting—or host a beer tasting party of your own! Order in artisanal pizzas (because seriously, nothing goes better with beer than pizza), or look for a class on pairing beer with food. Image via Glitter Guide.
10. Dance class
Isn’t dancing more fun without those pesky boys anyway? They just get in the way of your sweet moves. Image via Style Me Pretty.
11. Cocktail party
Serve the bride’s favorite cocktails along with a few nibbles. To add an element of fun, teach your guests how to make a more advanced cocktail, or one they may not have ever tried before—does everyone know how to flame an orange?! More from this Love is in the Air Bachelorette.
12. Cooking class
Prepare a gourmet meal with your besties. You can learn a new skill, like pasta making, and then enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor. More from this Cooking Classy Bachelorette.
13. Spa party
Or just plain camping—the glamor part is totally optional. Park an Airstream, rent a cabin or set up tents, then get the fire going. Be adventurous with your cooking. You’d be surprised what you can create on an open flame (try some of these!). Image via Zipporah K Photography.
15. Blow Dry Bar
A blow dry bar is the perfect stop to kick off a bachelorette weekend before a fun night out. Salons like Drybar offer party packages and cocktails to sip while you get pretty. Order your hair mai tai–style for a beachy, breezy look. Image via Style Me Pretty.
16. Road trip
Like camping, only mobile! Cadillac optional. Plan a few destinations and quirky roadside stops, but be sure to explore a bit off the beaten path. Check out this app that will help you plan your route and find cool stops along the way. Image via Roadtrippers.
17. Lake house
Rent a house at the lake (or make puppy eyes at a friend who has access to one) and enjoy hours of sun and fun. Just lounging on the dock together will be a perfect relaxation before her big day. Barbecue on the patio and serve up Moscow mules. Image via Jay Adores.
18. Lawn party
Before we had barbecues, we had “lawn parties.” Just think of it as a classed up outdoor gathering. Wear a sundress, break out the croquet set and serve a picnic lunch. Image via Style Me Pretty.
19. Flea market
A perfect outing for a crafty bride. Browse the stalls of antiques and handcrafted objects from local vendors, then be sure to hit up the ubiquitous food trucks. More from this LA Renegade Art Fair Bachelorette.
20. Belly dancing
Set the mood with candlelight and sequined pillows and hire a bellydance instructor for the night. It’s a little sensual, a lot fun and a pretty good workout to boot! More from this Bellydance Bachelorette in South Africa.
21. Ghost Tour
Get everyone good and freaked out with a ghost tour, a great activity to add to your agenda, especially in some of the older cities in the South, like Savannah, Charleston or New Orleans. I particularly enjoyed the ghost tour/bar crawl I took with Tara’s Tours in Savannah. Or check out this New Orleans Bachelorette.
Want something out of the box? This is it! Zombie bride and her zombie bridesmaids hit the town. If you happen to be in Minneapolis, make sure to schedule a stop at the zombie-themed bar, Donny Dirk’s Zombie Den. More from this Zombie Bachelorette.
23. Museum tour
Ok, this is not just any museum tour. Museum Hack offers a bachelorette-themed tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. The guides are open to thematic direction from you, but we love this suggestion: Butts of the Met. Image via Museum Hack.
Don’t Stop Believing? I never have. Power up your vocal cords with a night of karaoke. I personally love places that offer private rooms for large parties. You won’t have to wait for hours for your turn and the more timid girls may work up the nerve to hop onstage since you’re just among friends. It is nonstop fun. Image via J. Michelle Photography.
25. Rock climbing
Whether your an avid climber or just want to try something new, doing something active at your bachelorette party will make you feel great—especially if it’s followed by a night of cocktails and 3am pizza orders. These lovely ladies went way beyond the rock wall, with a dodgeball game and even a romp in a grown-up ball pit. Image via Brave Bird Photography.
26. Amusement park
Forget wedding planning. Embrace your inner Disney princess, leave your Muggle friends behind or feed your roller coaster habit with a day at an amusement park. Prepare for plenty of photo ops and just plain silly fun. Image via Merevin.
27. Ladies Who Brunch
I’ve always thought of brunch as an excuse to eat eggs late and drink champagne early. And I will gladly celebrate that excuse. More from this New Orleans Bachelorette.
28. Food Tour
Food tours are a great way to sample the local cuisine and see a bit of a new city. I’ve personally enjoyed the Gourmet Walks tour in San Francisco and the Music City Bites and Sites tour in Nashville. Pro tip: Do not eat before a food tour. Seriously, you will regret it. Check out our NYC Dining Guide here.
There’s something really relaxing and intimate about cycling with friends. You feel the breeze in your hair and find yourself talking about this, that and everything as the scenery passes. Bike rentals can be great for city tours or more scenic country outings. Image via Wedding Chicks.
30. 1920s Speakeasy
Decadence, glamor, candlelight and alcohol—what more do you need for a classy bachelorette party? Channel the Roaring 20s with a speakeasy vibe, strong cocktails and tiny canapés. Fancy yourself up with feathered hats, drop-waist dresses and kitten heels and indulge in parlor games of old—maybe a tarot reading is in order. Image via Ruffled.
Find yourself a lazy river, rent some tubes and enjoy floating on the water and laughing with your pals. Rent an extra tube as your floating bar—just load a cooler with ice and beverages and tie it to your rafts. Image via Dashboard Diary.
32. Flower Arranging Class
If you’ve ever bought a bouquet from the local grocery and tried to arrange your own flowers, you know that it truly is an art. Book a class to learn to create simple and gorgeous arrangements—the DIY bride could use this time to concept wedding bouquets or centerpieces. Image via Style Me Pretty.
33. Fruit Picking
A perfect daytime diversion for the summer or fall, fruit picking is inexpensive and yields delicious edibles. Don’t just think pies and tarts though. Transform whatever you pick into a cocktail that evening. Apples = sangria. Peaches = bellinis. Berries = just about anything! Image via Extra Petite.
Did you plan a unique activity for your or a friend’s bachelorette? Leave suggestions in the comments!
I very rarely get to share real bachelorette photos, so imagine my joy when I saw these colorful, sassy images from an Arabian Nights theme bachelorette party held for twins Aa’isha and Aneesa by their older sister Raihana at her Cape Town home. The twins’ weddings are only two months apart, so she decided to combine the parties for double the fun. Candlelight and sequined pillows set off the gorgeous jewel-tone scarves and carpets draped into a hideaway to enjoy cakes and a hookah. The best part? For me, it’s a toss-up between the bellydance lesson and those silly and surprisingly sexy fake boobs. Those girls know how to rock a look!
Host Raihana dreamed up the Arabian Nights theme for her sisters and pulled it together with the help of her whole family:
We wanted the theme to be very sensual and sexy—my bachelorette party’s theme was “sexy exotic dancers” and we had a pole-dancing tutorial. We wanted the twins’ party to be as fun and it only made sense to have a belly dancing tutorial. My husband, father and uncle helped me decorate our living room area, and our cousins brought along some sweet treats. I found the fake boobs at a party shop in Kenilworth Centre, Cape Town.
Photographer and friend Shafeeqa captured all the action during the bellydance session…and the surprise dancer who showed up later:
The bellydancer was performer and teacher Tenille Lindeque (Feminine Divine Studios), one of the finest in Cape Town. I did photography for her previously and also joined her dance studio for a while so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Raihana had asked her for the evening. Tenille gave us a memorable performance followed by a tutorial, having us collapsing in laughter, pain, and breathlessness from her difficult moves! Snake arms, shimmies, hip circles, and more. About an hour later when everyone finally recovered, there was a knock at the door. Surprise, twins! It’s the next dancer, and he means business…
Photographer: Shafeeqa Effendi | Bellydancing Performer and Teacher: Tenille Lindeque, Feminine Divine Studios | Catering: Alhambra Caterers | Decor: Rosy’s Event Design and Decor, and host’s own pieces