If you’re getting married soon, congratulations are in order. There’s a lot to plan and you’re probably so excited you don’t know where to start. But, when it comes to planning your bachelor or bachelorette party, a few savvy tips can help you enjoy time with your best friends and family before your big day.
Here are a few ways to plan and enjoy the best bachelor or bachelorette party (and stay safe).
Tips on scheduling your bachelorette or bachelor party
Explore your travel options
Depending on the budget you have for your bachelor or bachelorette party, you might want to stay local or you might want to head abroad. Popular party destinations might include: Remember that famous line from the movie, The Hangover, “Babe, we [messed] up.”? That’s what you don’t want to do.
By planning your party ahead of time and well before the wedding, you won’t have to worry about any last-minute mishaps. And, please, no tigers or excessive partying in the hotel room (your hotel will bill you for damages).
- Las Vegas: Sin City has lots of slots, shows, showgirls - and boys, and they cater to bachelor and bachelorette parties
- New York: Several clubs and lounges and fun bachelorette themed parties like the Sex and the City Tour
- Miami: Plenty of bars, booze and the beach and lots of shopping
- Montreal: Lots of bars to hang out in, plenty of clubs and nightlife
- Quebec City: Tons of clubs and the bar scene is lively
Plan at least four months in advance
Have you ever been to a wedding where the bride-to-be or groom-to-be is standing at the altar and before they get to say, “I do”, they pass out? Or, they’re so hungover they can’t enjoy their big day. Having your party a few weeks in advance means there won’t be any "day-of" mishaps to worry about. A few ideas:
- Plan your party for a few months in advance. This will give people plenty of time to prepare for the trip whether it’s local or a getaway.
- Set the budget. Remember, not everyone may be able to afford to travel overseas or stay for longer than a weekend. If that's the case, consider two parties: one locally and one away.
- Prepare your guest list and give your friends and family plenty of notice if you’re travelling to another province or going overseas. You want them to be able to take time off.
- Consider the time frame. Having your party over a long weekend means everyone should be able to attend. But, don’t plan it over a major holiday weekend like Thanksgiving as people might have familial obligations they can’t get out of.
- Look for group deals on hotels, flights, and clubs. Or, consider a weekend cruise that’s all-inclusive and caters to partiers (booze, DJs, food, and dancing).
- When booking hotels, look for hotels that are close to casinos, nightclubs, restaurants, and lounges.
- Don't forget your favourite playlists. DJs are great and live music is cool, but a backup playlist can always save the day.
- Send reminders about three months in advance, then a few weeks before the date and a few days before the event.
- Make sure your hotel or rental will let you have a party. Some hotels and Airbnb rentals have specific stipulations that no parties are allowed or they set time or sound limits.
Consider the costs
When you plan your party, you might think “the sky’s the limit”. However, your budget might indicate otherwise.
Look for deals online on sites like Groupon or Living Social. Always read the fine print on deals you find online before making purchases and read to see if there are any exclusions. You might also want to check with that particular venue or company offering the deal to see if there are any other incentives or discounts they can offer (get it in writing). Tight on funds? Frozen pizzas, plenty of beer, chips, and dip can work, too.
Have a problem with one of your deals or discount offers? You can always dispute a charge if the offer didn’t live up to your expectations or if you were overcharged. Make sure you review your bill and receipt for any added surcharges. Some shady businesses do this if they think they can fraudulently get more money from you. An example is a company that lets you host your party and they say the open bar is included. But, they charge you for additional wine and spirits saying that they were “extra”. Contact your credit card provider if you need to dispute a charge.
- Limos, stretch limos and SUV limos
- Helicopters, boats and private plane rides
- Massages, mani/pedis and spa day discounts
- Club and lounge offers for parties
- Cakes, catering, and cigars
- Party favours, party equipment rentals, and invitations
- Gifts and gift packages for your besties
- Rental halls if you want a big party (where you can party as much as you want)
Take caution with excursions and activities
If an excursion or adventure activity is part of your plans, you might want to take a few precautions. Maybe you’re thinking about an ATV adventure with the guys. Or, the ladies want to go scuba diving or hang gliding. You’ll want to ensure you don’t have a mishap or accident before your big day as one groom-to-be did.
A young man in Bali ended up in a coma recently after he went on mopeds with friends before his big day. He was wearing a helmet but fell off his bike. The problem the soon-to-be-married couple encountered was that despite having travel insurance, the man didn't have an international driver's licence which voided the policy. To help cover his life-saving surgery, his friends had to come up with $32,000. And, on top of that, his hospital stay is now costing $4,000 a day.
Purchase travel insurance
Travel insurance can include:
- Coverage for hotels and car rentals
- Flight cancellations and trip interruptions
- Lost or stolen baggage
- Coverage for medical costs, hospitalizations, and emergencies
Read the exclusions on any contracts you sign
When you sign up for a rental car, ATV, jet ski or another type of vehicle, it might have certain exclusions. Make sure you read the policy carefully and purchase the proper rental coverage. They may offer separate coverage to you at an extra surcharge. Don't waive this as you might need the additional coverage.
You can also seek out third-party insurance to protect you if there are any accidents or mishaps. Check the exclusions on your travel insurance policy. You might not have coverage if you are injured while participating in a high-risk activity like hang gliding or bungee jumping.
Limit the adventure activities
While mopeds and ATVs can be quite exhilarating, remember, mishaps can happen. Take precautions to ensure your safety. Obey local traffic laws and off-roading regulations, wear a helmet, and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Note: If you have a rental vehicle and you have been drinking or using drugs, you can be arrested. You might also find that you're liable for the damage to the vehicle(s). Hence, having full comprehensive and collision auto insurance is important. Always purchase the collision damage waiver (CDW) and take out separate liability insurance for any rental cars.
Explore other activities
A few ideas can help you have fun and stay safe. That way you and everyone in your bridal party can enjoy your big day. Ideas might include:
- Think about a fishing or all-day boat charter or go hunting and enjoy a few cigars
- Spend the day golfing, at a brewery or winery tour, or at a spa and then head to the casino or a show
- Take a fun tour and then head back to the hotel for food and dancing
Enjoy the time of your lives before the big day
Your bachelorette or bachelor party can be an amazing time with close friends and family. Plan it out a few months in advance to avoid any hiccups. You’ll also want to schedule it a few weeks before your big day.
If you’re heading overseas, safeguard your travel plans by purchasing travel insurance. You don’t want any unexpected hospital bills spoiling your wedding plans.