Congratulations! You're getting married! But before you walk down the aisle, it's customary to celebrate with the women who mean the most to you at your bachelorette party. The maid of honor traditionally is responsible for planning the small soiree or large get together; it's up to the bride how large she wants to make the party. Keeping etiquette rules in mind will give you the freedom to enjoy this extra-special event, whether you want to dance the night away or relax at an afternoon tea.
If the bachelorette party is a luncheon or tea, it is appropriate to invite the bride-to-be's mother, soon-to-be mother in law, grandmothers, sisters, favorite cousins, nieces and future sisters-in-law. These people likely all will attend the wedding ceremony; it is improper etiquette to invite someone to the bachelorette party who isn't invited to the wedding. Also, a mild party is more fitting if the future bride's mother, grandmothers and mother-in-law are in attendance. If the future bride prefers a wild party including racy lingerie gifts, alcohol and club hopping, the guest list should include the guest of honor's closest friends and family members who are similar in age.
The bride's friends from past and present who are invited to the wedding also can be invited to the bachelorette party. For instance, her bridesmaids and hostesses, her best friend from elementary school and her roommates from college should make it on the bachelorette party guest list, with the bride's approval. Other important friends from school that the bride-to-be wants to celebrate with, and family friends whom she also has a close relationship with, should receive invitations to the bachelorette party, too.
The maid or matron of honor, or close friend of the bride organizing the bachelorette party, should include a few co-workers on the event guest list if the bride desires. These individuals should be colleagues the bride is particularly close to, such as a legal partner she's been working with for years, or the professional team that helped her start her own business. If the guest of honor has a favorable relationship with her boss or supervisor, or knows the corporate head of her company personally, it is also proper etiquette to invite these individuals to the bachelorette party if these individuals are also invited to the wedding. However, the bride-to-be's colleagues should only receive an invitation to the event if the activities will be low key and somewhat modest. For instance, a night of drunken club-hopping may give the bachelorette's professional associates a negative impression of her.
At the bride's discretion, male guests can be invited to the bachelorette party. Some couples choose to have a coed celebration instead of a separate bachelor and bachelorette party. And, in some cases, the bride may have close male loved ones and long-time friends whom she wants to share the celebration with. In these instances, it is acceptable for men to attend the event. Or, the bachelorette party coordinator can get in touch with the man planning the groom's bachelor party to arrange for guests from both celebrations to meet up with each other at the end of the night at a bar or someone's home for a brief, festive joint celebration.
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