When Do You Have a Bachelorette Party? Ask These 5 Questions First

Then mark those calendars.
by Esther Lee

Between the proposal, dress fittings, cake tastings, the bridal shower and the actual wedding date, when do you have a bachelorette party? While the answer is unique to each group, there are ways for both brides and bridesmaids alike to prepare for the event. 

Considering your already-packed pre-wedding checklist, avoid scheduling conflicts and find an optimal time to celebrate by asking yourself these key questions before landing on when to have your bachelorette party. That way, you can ultimately enjoy a seamless and memorable getaway with your girls.

1. When and where is your wedding?

One of the trickiest parts of wedding planning is locking down the venue and a date. Once you've overcome that portion, you can move on to scheduling all of your other wedding-related events, like when to have the bachelorette party. If your wedding happens to be an international getaway, doubling up with a week-long bachelorette party in a foreign country could be a lot to request from your friends. Instead, think about utilizing the time leading up to your wedding day to enjoy a local town or enclave near your already-fabulous destination. A perk of this choice? The Knot editors have seen a resurgence in week-of bachelorette bashes.

If you find that this option is too close to your wedding weekend and you'd prefer more distance from the bachelorette party, brainstorm other easily accessible options with your crew. For example, direct flights to and from travel hubs like Atlanta, New York and Chicago are great meeting spots especially if your bridesmaids are all over the country.

2. How long is your bachelorette party? 

You'll need to designate whether your bachelorette party will be a single day event with your girls or a full weekend extravaganza. If the hope is to party for three days straight in Vegas, Houston or Seattle, consider your friends' schedules by embracing summer Fridays and certain holiday weekends to counteract any additional time off they might need to take off from work or school. 

If you'd prefer to enjoy a night out locally, make it a meaningful evening with your girls. Go to your favorite restaurant and set up an activity you enjoy. (A plus: if they live in the area too, your friends can save on housing costs and you can ensure that the crew wakes up in the comfort of their own homes the next day.)

3. What is the budget and schedule per attendee?

In 2018, the national average cost of a three-day bachelorette party was about $1,400, according to Upgrade Points. Since your wedding party is presumably footing most of your bill along with their own, you can thoughtfully consider their monetary situation and any time constraints when selecting a destination. (For example, if your friends are teachers, opting for a summer bachelorette party is wiser than doing it during parent-teacher conferences during the school year.) 

Also, cities like Milwaukee and Phoenix will trim down several hundreds of dollars from that overall total cost as opposed to metropolitan hotspots like New York City and San Francisco, where the lifestyle costs are generally higher and the price tag per head can amount to close to $2,000 on average. 

And if you really do want to go someplace swanky despite your friends' wishes, paying for dinners, drinks and other activities is a gracious way to thank your besties for their time and energy. After all, a bachelorette party is a bonding opportunity for you and your loved ones. Make it special.

4. Is it a destination bachelorette party?

A destination wedding is considered 200 miles or farther away from where a couple lives, so a destination bachelorette party follows similar guidelines. If you're itching for your bash to be at bachelorette party hotspots like Vegas, Nashville or Austin, you'll want to plan well in advance according to the destination's popularity—especially with other bridal parties. It's likely that the best party houses and hotels will be booked in advance, so you'll want to move quickly with your bridesmaids.

Another hot spot, like Napa or Sonoma where much of the activities are centered around the local food and wine culture, will require significant amounts of advance planning. Certain vineyards and tours can be booked well in advance, so bear that in mind as you secure dates. 

5. What about the climate?

Finally, a word of caution as you address the question of when you have a bachelorette party: be aware of weather patterns. Seasonality is a big factor when scheduling a date. While hotel costs might be further discounted during hurricane season in tropical climates, you and your besties will deal with a higher set of risks that could offset the fun activities you wanted to enjoy with your girls (like sailing or snorkeling with turtles).

Along the New England Coast and Long Island, much of the restaurants and hotels operate on a relaxed schedule during the offseason with some local spots shuttering completely. If you want to have an oceanfront pool party experience in Montauk or you want to partake in après-ski culture in Aspen, schedule your bachelorette weekend during peak seasons local to that destination.

While the ultimate decision of when to have a bachelorette party is up to you, exercise wisdom and maybe rethink hitting the town for your bachelorette party the night before your wedding. After all: beauty rest is a must.

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