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Bachelorette Etiquette

Prepare to throw the rules out and bring the booyahs in! Hup! Hup! This is no ordinary tea party, ladies. We're talking about the hottest, sexiest, wildest, glamour bash on the planet!

The Bride-to-Be's Bachelorette Party (aka The Bachelorette) is a rite of passage -- it's the bride's last night out on the town as a single woman. It's also a major stress buster generally timed just before the wedding and is guaranteed to bring a major emotional release.

No matter what the Bride's Bachelorette dream and theme turns out to be (barring a staid tea party that is!), the code of bachelorette conduct begins -- and ends -- with a vow of strict confidence!

Sisters, let's get it straight from the gate. The Bachelorette is THE party where no matter what happens it remains a Sacred Trust between sisters. Forever!

So pop the champagne cork! Fill the flutes! Let's take the Bachelorette Oath of Trust together, right now:

"I, (state your name) do solemnly swear that as a woman of the world I will respect and honor my sisters. I will not reveal the secrets of the evening. I understand that violating this treatment will spread bad karma upon my being and may result in increased bloating and cramping.

If asked about the happenings of the evening I shall reply:

'Oh, you know, girl stuff, like opening presents and decorating the party with streamers. The bride's grandmother was there'"

Amen! Yeah! Clink!

That last sentence in the Oath of Trust, where you tell the groom's guys about the decorating, the presents and the streamers is a time-tested girl strategy! The minute the guys hear the first word -- decorating -- they're tuning out. The eyes glaze over. The hand automatically reaches out for another beer. Remember those magic words: "decorating", "streamers" and "gifts." Put them together in one sentence and you've got a perfect bachelorette alibi!

Okay, we've got the Woman Code down. Now it's time for Diva Darling Bachelorette Etiquette!

Who Throws the Bachelorette?

Anyone so long as she's close friends with the bride. It could be her Maid-of-Honor, one of her bridesmaids, college sorority sister, favorite cousin, or out of town gal pal who is flying in before the wedding to pop for the bachelorette bop!

What's the Theme?

Sleuth it out! Go one-to-one with the bride and tease out her fantasies. Ask her questions that get her creative fires lit. "If you could have one wish in the world fulfilled just before your wedding, what would it be?" Does that sound far fetched? Not necessarily! Listen closely to what she says. If it's something unlikely to happen within a few days' time -- like ending all hunger on earth forever -- there's a symbolic way to make this happen while doing some real good.

Perhaps you'll want to ask each bachelorette to make a financial contribution to OXFAM or CARE or to the U.N. World Food Programme in the bride's name! Present her with a plaque or scroll and a small statuette at her Bachelorette and name her "Person of the Year." There are as many creative ways to make "out of this world" fantasies come true than you might realize. It just takes imagination!

Perhaps the bride's fantasies are linked to exotic islands and plush spas. If none of you can afford a Destination Bachelorette in the Bahamas or spa such as The Villa del Parco hotel in Santa Margherita, Italy you can fulfill that fantasy by booking time at a local, affordable spa. Check out online to find one near you if you don't know of one already.

By now you should have the idea. Above all, get it clear from the beginning what her levels of "wild and crazy" are. Not all bachelorettes want evenings on the town that involve dirty dancing, male strippers, attention from guys and heavy drinking. If your bride pal is on the more conservative side, plan an event that matches her personality and honors her values.

Who Gets Invited?

The usual suspects, Chica! The bridesmaids, closest gal pals, favorite co-workers or business partners, dear cousins, step-sisters, sorority sisters, you name it! Just so long as the bride agrees ahead of time that the guest list is filled with those who are emotionally close.

Diva Rule -- Never invite anyone to the Bachelorette who isn't also invited to the wedding. That would be tacky beyond belief!

Note: If the Bachelorette is anything other than a sedate high tea or evening where you sit around singing hymns, you might want to lose the maiden aunt, grandmother or -- heaven forbid -- her Mom or Mother-in-Law to be! If you're planning a sexy lingerie and sex toys style Bachelorette, would you want your staid maiden aunt -- or first grade teacher -- sitting in a front row seat? I think NOT! We're just talking common sense here.

Bachelorettes usually don't go over about 10-12 people. Ten or less is ideal. It's easier to accommodate the crowd in restaurants, bars, spas, hotel party suites (such as those in Las Vegas), wineries for wine tastings, cooking classes, even at Extreme Boot Camp (a new craze) if your Bride-to-Be wants a day of workin' it hard under military style pressure! Yeah, yeah, I know! There really are people who like that sort of thing.

Who Not to Invite

None of the groom's ex-girl friends, no matter how close you happen to be to them. Alcohol and emotions running high could to lead to upsets and (possibly) fights that I don't even want to think about.

Find out from the bride if there is anyone she is dead set against inviting to her party. For example, the bride's parents may have social favors to pay off which forces them into inviting the dreaded you-know-who to the wedding -- someone like the boss's witchy daughter. But if the bride can't stand the sight of her, she's not to set foot anywhere near the bride or her bachelorettes!

When do you hold the Bachelorette?

Please don't tell me you're thinking of throwing the Bachelorette the night before the ceremony! It's way too close to the biggest day of her life -- her wedding! She needs to be rested, sober, centered and looking like a million bucks. So do her bridesmaids! Her wedding photo is going to shine all revealing lights on her and her wedding party. The very last thing the bride would want is to be photographed with dark circles under her eyes and looking green around the edges. No way! Sure, there's Photoshop for those imperfections, but let's try to remember that there's not a software program in the world that can eliminate how she feels. If she feels sick at her wedding, not even a Renoir or Monet could reach inside and paint away memories of a migraine headache!

Strive to hold the Bachelorette anywhere from a week to two days before the wedding. If the party needs to come down to the last minute, try and start early so you can (fingers crossed!) get home earlier. Coordinating the Bachelorette to coincide with the timing of the groom's Bachelor Party is a great idea. That way both bride and groom are freed up to attend other events where they both need to be present.

Yes, there are co-ed bachelorette/bachelor parties too! That's a special theme which we'll take up elsewhere on The Shower Diva.

Save-the-Dates, Invitations and RSVPs

Time is premium the closer the bride gets to her wedding day. The same is true for her attendants! Make sure you clear the party date well in advance with the bride, then send out those ever famous Save-the-Date cards. The same rules apply for the planning phase for the Bachelorette as for wedding shower planning.

Diva Rule -- Dont let invitees try to switch dates and plans on you. The Bachelorette may be a girls night out, but this time the party isn't about "them." It's about the Bride-to-Be. Good manners means everyone falls in line. You bet your booty when it comes to be one of their turns, all the girlfriends are going to step up to the plate for her too! This is the Woman's Code of Honor!

What About Gifts?

Optional! Since the bachelorettes generally chip in a pre-set amount to cover most expenses -- including that all important sober limo driver -- no additional shower-type gift is required. However, jokes, favors, sexy nighties, sex toys and the like are always welcomed -- yeah! The more the merrier.

Budget -- Who Pays?

As stated above, the Bachelorette is usually a shared expense divided among all the invitees. By the time the Bachelorette rolls around, the Maid-of-Honor (the lady who gave the bride her bridal shower) is most likely to be tapped out financially. Even if all the bride's attendants chipped in for her shower, too. The more expenses you can pool, the easier it is on all concerned. Share, share, and share some more! You're bound to have a glorious experience!

Here's a partial list of the typical expenses bachelorettes usually spring for. Remember: The Bride-to-Be never, ever pays for a thing!

  • Transportation (Limos, Taxis, Trains)
  • Food and Drinks
  • Entertainment, such as a comedy club, Vegas headliner act
  • Exotic entertainment (strippers)
  • Overnight accommodations
  • Favors (they're a must for memories!)
  • Gifts, if desired, for the bride such as lingerie, sex toys, etc.
  • Entrance fees -- amusements parks, museums, etc.
  • Party incidentals -- See's Chocolate! (Forget Godiva, See's is the best!)

If you're hanging out in a hotel suite or weekending at an upscale spa, or even chilling at someone's house, here are some other expense considerations

  • Sexy videos
  • Champagne and gorgeous champagne glasses
  • Romantic CDs of the Bride-to-Be's favorite music
  • Body Paints
  • Whipped Cream
  • Romantic poetry
  • A sex manual!
  • Props -- Pull Out All The Stops!

If you're going out on the town or even if you're staying in, check out a great tutorial at The Knot on The 7 Things You Must Have at a Bachelorette Party. Keep in mind before you click on the link that this is not for the prude or faint of heart - it's very racy stuff. If it's not appropriate for the kind of Bachelorette the bride wants, skip it. Unless you're curious of course!

The camera rule is all-important. Digital and disposable cameras ONLY. The Maid-of-Honor is in charge of confiscating all disposable cameras at the end of the evening! And all digital images must be approved before leaving the room. That way no unflattering pictures get printed and circulated at the wedding. Tacky beyond belief -- but you know WHAT? Things like that do happen.

But not on our watch here at The Shower Diva!

Yahoo! I wish I was going out with you!

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