There are no rules about bachelorette parties.
This is great and terrible.
(Warning: Profanity from this point forward!)
One of the biggest trends in bachelorette party land is a trend away from a single-night last hurrah, to a destination getaway.
According to a Brides Magazine survey from 2016, 44% of brides plan to host their bachelorette party out of town.
This could be a one-night sleepover. Or a whole weekend. Or a long weekend. Or even week. Yes, a week. Bachelorette parties can now last longer than some honeymoons.
Why is this?
Oh, there could be a zillion reasons.
My personal guess is it’s a combination of the pressure for epic social media posts for every single wedding-related thing, and the trend toward friend groups being spread far and wide across the world due to jobs, schools, general globalization, etc.
I think this trend toward out-of-town getaways gives an opportunity for lots of awesomeness.
And hey, if you want a destination bachelorette party but don’t have time to plan it, there’s a whole bachelorette industry at your service (including me!) to help out.
I’m about to get salty with y’all.
The idea that you have to have an out-of-town bachelorette party?
Lies and flim-flam.
All of which is gleefully encouraged by industry forces like The Knot and Brides Magazine and Martha Stewart (who includes photos of very-expensive bachelorette parties next to an insidious combination of reasonable planning suggestions with non-existent “rules”) the tourism industry who stand to profit from more spending on bachelorette parties.
Because if you reeeeeally love the bride, won’t you want to upgrade and splurge on everything for every single wedding-related thing?
And sure enough, that same Brides Magazine article states that attendees spend an average of $137 on food and $116 on alcohol for each. and. every. bachelorette. party.
That’s a lot of money for someone already attending a wedding!
And that’s not including travel! Gas money! Booking flights! Party supplies! Matching t-shirts or whatever the hell!
Don’t get me wrong – there’s no budget-shaming here, in either direction. One of the core values of Where Is The Damn Corkscrew is that you’re allowed to want what you want.
But using a bachelorette party as an excuse to proclaim that your friends and family only love you if they shell out for a getaway weekend that they themselves may or may not even enjoy?
DON’T GIVE IN! It’s capitalism, I tell ya! The most insidious form of consumerism! Advertising lies!
I might be offending some of my industry colleagues here.
We provide services and products that people want, and sometimes even services they need to keep their sanity.
In my opinion being a maid of honor is an unpaid part-time job and y’all working 80-hour weeks deserve some planning help just as much as brides do with wedding planners.
But this is all entirely, 100% optional.
Hell, a bachelorette party in itself is 100% optional!
Dare I say ONE THOUSAND PERCENT OPTIONAL.
Still, I love bachelorette parties for so many reasons.
I think they’re an excellent opportunity for quality time, a fabulous way to mark the end of an important chapter in a lady’s life, a retreat to celebrate friendships and forge new friendships, a pop-up community to support a bride as she jumps into a huge new adventure…
Plus, I mean, wine tastings and pole dancing classes are totally valid party plans. Clubbing in Vegas is not the only option anymore. What’s not to love?
Quality time is free.
Girl time is free.
Friendship is free.
Hey, parties can be almost-free if you just hang out in someone’s apartment and drink whatever’s in the fridge and play board games that someone already has lying around.
Destinations are awesome. And I’m all for having adventures and trying something new and even splurging on something you wouldn’t normally do for a bachelorette. It’s a special time. You’re allowed to celebrate.
But if you don’t get that group picture in front of that famous mural in Nashville with everyone wearing matching tank tops and trucker hats?
It’s totally fine.
A real bachelorette party can happen anywhere. With any amount of people. With activities, or not. With wedding-specific party decor, or not. With coordinating outfits, or not. With or without whatever you want.
Trust your gut. Lower your expectations. Ignore Instagram. Maids of Honor – take a deep breath. And brides – let your friends and family love you, whatever way they can.
Happy partying, y’all. May the Force of Sanity be with you.