The bachelorette – more commonly referred to in South Africa as the kitchen tea, but also known as the hens’ party, bridal shower or simply the girls’ night out – is not something every bride buys in to.
In other words: it’s a good idea to sound her out, before organising a raucous evening of panty swopping and and male strippers.
This is a tall order, as a bachelorette is supposed to be a surprise. If you’re going the more low-key route of a day-time kitchen tea, then you’re safe – no bride is going to object to a slice of cake, a bit of fun, and a few presents.
Traditionally it is the bridemaids’ duty to organise. You’ll probably have a good idea of whether or not your bride is, or isn’t, into party, party, party. You’ll also know whether her apparent reservation at the idea is no excuse.
But behind the party aspect, is a more traditional formal element. It’s an occasion for close family and friends of the bride (usually all women, but not absolutely so) to relax and celebrate before the wedding. It’s a time to swop stories, give advice to the bride and for the girls to ‘shower’ their support on her.
It can be held absolutely anywhere. At home, a friend’s house, a restaurant, a bar, another city for the weekend, a spa, the beach, on a winery tour – the possibilities are endless.
There is also the less traditional option of a Jack and Jill party where the couple opt for a joint celebration and are more involved in the process. But it leaves out the ‘surprise’ aspect and means the couple have yet another event to plan.
A few quick pointers:
- Consider including party games – lots of fun and it helps break the ice
- Be careful not to invite guests who aren’t invited to the wedding
- Consider a theme as it can make the event more fun
- Ask for help – let other bridesmaids or guests chip in
- Set a budget or it could get out of hand
- Don’t surprise the bride with something she might hate
- Include personal and thoughtful touches for the bride (make it about her); maybe each guest writes something they love most about her, and then a piece of advice for her to keep)
- Give guests advanced warning
Happy Wedding Planning!