How to Reschedule Your Bach Party and Bridal Shower
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause restrictions regarding travel and group gatherings, summertime—a particularly eventful season for bachelor and bachelorette parties—remains questionable. Along with May through August weddings, The Knot has received multiple questions about upcoming bachelor and bachelorette parties, as well as bridal showers, and how exactly to proceed during this tricky time.
There are multiple ways to see your bridal shower and/or bach parties amid COVID-19. Either you can postpone the bash to a later and safer date—or you could overhaul the traditional event format for something more appropriate for this season of social distancing.
Enter virtual bach parties and bridal showers. Consider it an extension of those group happy hours you've been sharing with loved ones; instead, gather for a digital bach party or bridal shower with your favorite people. Options include having a chef and sommelier walk you through a tasting menu prepared at home by each guest, or throwing a digital dance party by hiring a professional DJ. There are plenty of ways to celebrate over the screen too, and if not, you are encouraged to reschedule with your loved ones. Here, we respond to your biggest questions about how to navigate pushing back a bridal shower or bach party.
What do I do if my bachelorette or bridal shower is in May or June?
Evaluate the ongoing landscape of COVID-19. Most weddings have already been postponed if they're originally intended for April, May and early June. Similar rules apply to bach parties and bridal showers.
The rise of bachelor and bachelorette weekends has resulted in an influx of foot traffic every Thursday through Sunday across hotspots like Vegas, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, L.A. and New York City. Naturally, these metropolitan areas are also hard hit by the coronavirus. Consider this: What makes a city so special for a bach party is the experience of celebrating alongside your favorite people—among a sea of strangers wishing you all the best with your upcoming life milestone. Nights out are different in urban areas. If this is your dream scenario, hold the sash for now—and postpone to a later date.
If you're striving for more of a low-key getaway and your bach is on a remote island off the coast of California or, say, the Caribbean, be mindful of the destination and its inhabitants. Currently, authorities are monitoring travel from New York City and other densely-populated cities given that the pandemic continues to broaden its reach. While there might be very few cases of coronavirus in your chosen destination, you and your crew could unwittingly bring the virus into another region or have to deal with the fallout of hospital availability should the situation escalate.
Stay alert about travel restrictions and other precautions not only to protect your health, but the health of your best friends, and of course, other civilians. Again, if possible, postpone your bach parties and bridal showers considering the sensitivity of May and June events.
How do I communicate a bachelorette has been postponed to guests?
With anything wedding-related: the sooner you communicate, the less you'll have to repeat down the line. By early April, most May and early June bachelorette parties should be postponed or moved to a digital format.
With mid-to-late June events: Talk to your guests, especially those who are flying. Weigh your comfort level with theirs as the ongoing pandemic has caused restrictions with travel in general. Let your guests know you and your wedding party members are looking into next steps.
Furthermore, inquire about homestay and refund options as soon as possible. If you've decided to postpone: finalize such communication with your squad. Encourage your guests to look into transportation credits and refunds too.
After you've made a decision, send a final email to your friends for their time and original commitment. It's not that they don't want to celebrate your bach or bridal shower, it's simply that most cannot given the ongoing circumstances.
What do we do about transportation (flights, trains, cars, etc.)?
Another primary bach party question is related to transportation. You and your squad members may have booked airfare or other modes of transportation to your chosen destination during this time. Some airlines, like Delta, are currently allowing travelers to rebook flights through the end of April or up until May 31. Check your emails as most airlines have been gracious about bookings during this time.
Amtrak has since limited its train services and is waiving change fees for reservations made before May 31, 2020. If you're dealing with a destination bach, you should communicate with your guests given deadlines and other planning expectations that might impact others.
Again, if you're up against a deadline (having to cancel a booking or rental service 30 days in advance), make a decision sooner than later.
What do we do about our stay?
If you've already booked a place to stay, now is the time to take action with inquiries related to bookings. Have the individual(s) who booked the rental home or hotel rooms reach out directly to see about refund policies. Most homestays have a 30 to 60 day cancellation policy, while Airbnb is slightly more flexible about cancellations during this time especially across metropolitan areas.
Hotels: Most hotel chains are offering cancellations or waiving penalties to guests who are prohibited from traveling to the property in accordance with local laws. Most hotels are monitoring cancellation policies through either April 30 or May 31, which could be extended further in the weeks ahead.
Airbnb: The homestay platform is offering refunds to guests travelling to hard-hit pandemic regions such as New York City and San Francisco. Reach out to Airbnb directly for next steps.
VRBO: The homestay platform has encouraged any bookings to be worked out directly with the owner or property manager. If you cancel within 60 days, 50 percent of your deposit will be lost. Therefore, make a decision immediately if you have a June bach party scheduled through this service.
What if the timeline is too tight to even throw a party?
This is the time to be inventive. Again, consider a virtual bach party or bridal shower first and be flexible with the order of your wedding events. It's okay to have a bachelorette party even after you get married. With the pandemic forcing couples and wedding pros to be creative and solution-oriented, our best bet is your loved ones will completely understand that you've flipped the usual wedding event scheduling format on its head.
This writer's best friend, for example, decided to postpone her nature-themed bachelorette party to this fall, which will take place after her summertime destination wedding. With so many wedding-related events remaining precarious in terms of scheduling, we've ultimately landed on the possibility of a post-wedding, joint bach party this fall. (Imagine wine tasting with your S.O. and best friends when a pandemic isn't bubbling over the rest of society.) While the timing is atypical, maybe it's just the solution for you and your loved ones later this year. After all, most are likely counting down the days until they can celebrate you in person.