The Bachelorette Party Industry In Chicago
Everything you need to know about attending a bachelorette bash as the guest of honor.
Tired of standing aside while the guys flaunted their wild last night escapades, the gals are joining in the fun with bachelorette parties often just as raucous as their male counterpoints. But donning a dime-store tiara while a lubed-up dancer named Duke invades your personal space isn’t required if that’s not your thing. So just does a bachelorette bash entail?
What Is a Bachelorette Party?
A bachelorette party, hen(s) party, hen(s) night or hen(s) do, is a party held for a woman who is about to get married. The terms hen party, hen do or hen night are used in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada, while the terms hens party or hens night are common in Australia and New Zealand, and the term bachelorette party is common in the United States. The term stagette is occasionally used in Canada. It may also be referred to as a girls’ night out or kitchen tea (South Africa in particular) or other terms in other English-speaking countries. Other pre-wedding celebrations, such as the bridesmaid’s luncheon, are often held in lieu of bachelorette parties due to the latter’s association with licentiousness in some social circles since the 1980s.
Since this is an informal event, the etiquette surrounding it is pretty flexible. The only requirements are that you enjoy some QT with your best pals.
When Is It
The party can take place any time during your engagement, but it often occurs within the final weeks or months (keeping with the tradition of it being a final send-off). Make sure your girls steer clear of the last weekend before the wedding, however, as things tend to get pretty hectic toward the end. With bridesmaids often spread all over the country, the main determinant in scheduling the event is the time when everyone can get together. Your maid of honor usually gets the ball rolling, coordinating availability with all the ’maids and other attendees, then setting a date that will work with everyone’s schedules.
Your maid of honor and bridesmaids usually do the honors, but really anyone who feels the urge can plan a party (some brides even have multiple bashes). One person can plan the entire event, or a group can collaborate together (i.e. all the bridesmaids or the happy-hour crew). Usually, the host or hosts will tally costs and ask for a donation from all those attending – other than you, as the guest of honor. Keep all budgets in mind, however, before mandating that they plan a big blowout gala. You don’t want your girls to go into debt over this, or you’ll quickly don the bridezilla hat.
Bachelorette party guests are generally the bridesmaids and any of your other close pals, so let your host know if there are specific guests you’d like to invite. Unlike shower guests – who must receive a wedding invite – there’s no hard rule that says bachelorette party attendees must also be wedding guests. Inviting coworkers, neighbors, or other casual acquaintances for a fun evening out is perfectly acceptable, as long as you’re up front about your limited wedding guest list beforehand. For logistical and planning purposes, try to keep the party small – no more than 20 and ideally less than 10.
Where Is It
The party can literally be anywhere. Choice of location usually follows from the style of party. Bars, clubs, restaurants (or a combination of all three – pub crawl anyone?) make obvious locations for a wild send-off. Other options include resorts, spas, beaches, or outdoor activity locations, like parks, trails, rivers, or lakes.
Bachelorette parties can involve pretty much any activity you would enjoy. The most obvious choice is going from bar to bar while donning some attention-grabbing accessories (homemade veils and T-shits, phallic paraphernalia…). But again, that’s not the only way to celebrate; dinner parties, spa retreats, and outdoor excursions, an evening at the show or play – they all make great options, depending on your preference. Unlike the bridal shower, the bachelorette party is not a gift-giving event, but guests may bring gag gifts or gifts deemed too racy for the shower, like lingerie. All that really needs to happen is fun, laughter, and some serious female bonding. And, of course, they may just embarrass you a bit along the way.
Many different kinds of entertainment are selected; depending on what the organizers think will best please their guest of honor. While notions of a bachelorette party as a night of drunken debauchery have persist in some social circles since the 1980s, it is becoming widely seen in America as an opportunity for female bonding. According to etiquette expert Peggy Post, “Whatever entertainment is planned, it should not embarrass, humiliate, or endanger the honoree or any of the guests.”
A common theme of parties is male nudity. In North America, it is common in some social circles to hire a male stripper or attend a male strip club.
A naked butler has become a common theme and a popular hen party idea. The naked butler is often dressed in just a collar, dickie bow, cuffs and a short apron or trunks. He will wait on the hen and her party including serving drinks and food as well as hosting or taking part in hen party games and entertainment. An extension of this concept that has also become popular in the UK is the hiring of a naked chef or exotic male dancers to cater for the guests often accompanied by a naked butler to serve the food and drinks. Life drawing parties featuring a nude male model might also be held. Some of the hottest male strippers in Chicago includes; ‘the Chippendales’ – they are touring dance troupe best known for its male striptease performances and for its dancers’ distinctive upper body costume of a bow tie, collar, shirt cuffs, and abs worn on an otherwise bare torso. Another is the ‘Bad Boy Live’, these handsome men put on an un-forgettable show that causes Hunk-O-Mania!
Bachelorette gift ideas
Wedding gifts and bridal shower gifts tend to be practical, but bachelorette party gifts don’t need to be so serious. And while those practical gifts help her prepare for her new life and home, bachelorette gifts are more about preparing for a memorable honeymoon. If you’re looking for the perfect gift, remember to consider the bride-to-be’s tastes, but you can have fun pushing the boundaries of those tastes. If you think it will get a laugh out of your group of friends without embarrassing the bachelorette too much, then it’s probably the right choice.
Best Bachelorette Gifts:
A sexy outfit for the bride to wear on her honeymoon is a classic bachelorette party gift. If you’re organizing the bachelorette party, consider this game: On the invitation, ask each guest to bring a lingerie gift that’s their own style, but make sure they don’t include a gift tag saying who the gift is from. Then, at the party, the bride will have to guess who the lingerie is from, based on the style. The bride will get lots of cute lingerie, and the group will have fun getting to know each other’s tastes.
Adult games are like drinking games: They make it a little more fun to do what you wanted to do anyway. Give the bride-to-be a sexy game that she can play with her new spouse on the honeymoon. Naughty card games would be easy to pack in her luggage.
Gifts that will help the bride-to-be prepare for her honeymoon include things she needs for travelling. Depending on where the honeymoon will be, she may need a new beach towel and bikini, a passport holder, or a pair of sunglasses.
Celebrate the union of two people with a gift that proclaims the bride’s new status as a “Mrs.” Pillowcases, luggage tags, bath towels, throw pillows, flasks, and many other playful wedding gifts come with the inscription that lets everyone know about the bride’s new title.
A happy bride is naturally beautiful, but new beauty products will enhance her newlywed glow. Consider giving her a bottle of perfume, a set of nail polish and mani/pedi supplies, or some high-end skin care products. You could also put together a gift basket of bath products to really pamper her.
Bachelorette Party Ideas and Trends
OK, so you’re not the table dancing, inflatable phallus-type of bachelorette. Relax; there are plenty of other ways to celebrate your final send-off. Here are some G-rated bachelorette party alternatives:
- Adventure Bachelorette: Go hiking, rafting, sailing, horseback riding, or camping.
- Spa Party: Gather the girls for some serious pampering.
- Fondue Party: Or any other style of intimate dinner party (fondue just seems to make things more fun!).
- Beach Weekend: Enjoy some sun, sand, and plenty of tropical beverages.
- Casino Night: All bets are on! Set up game tables, break out the decks, and test your luck with a roll of the dice.
- Wine Tasting: Hit up Napa Valley (or the nearest winery) for a day – or weekend – filled with good wine, good conversation, and good friends.