Lauren M.G. Burt: Avoiding bachelor or bachelorette party drama
Perfect Party Practices:
* Know the personal style and respect the wishes of the bride or groom. Don't assume the theme for the party without asking first. If they prefer something low-key, do a dinner party or cocktail hour. If they are a party bus or Vegas-style person, make it big and flashy.
* Ask the bride or groom to create the guest list. The wedding party must be invited. And usually people invited to the party are also invited to the wedding. Try to keep the guest list within 10-20 people.
* Usually the maid of honor or best man and wedding party plan the big bash, but really anyone close to the bride or groom can be involved. Bachelor and bachelorette parties are less formal than engagement parties and bridal showers.
* Be considerate of budget and work schedules when planning. Ask the party-planning committee what they feel comfortable spending. Destination parties are popular right now, but may be tough on the wallet and vacation hours.
* Dress code for the ladies: Just like the wedding day, only the bride should wear white at her bachelorette party unless the invitation states differently.
* Don't host the party the day before the wedding. No one wants to be tired or hungover for their wedding day.
* As the host of the event, don't over-do on the cocktails. You're responsible for making the party about the person getting married, not yourself. Focus the attention on them, not how many shots you can take in 60 seconds.
* The bride and groom shouldn't spend a cent on their own party. The party hosts should have a budget and figure out dollar amounts before the day of the event.
* Just say no to certain plastic party favors if the person of honor doesn't enjoy that type of "accessory."
* Use social media mindfully and carefully; most people don't want their last night of freedom to live online forever.
The No. 1 rule for a bachelor or bachelorette party: Make the party about the guest of honor. And warning: If you're entertaining the idea of hiring exotic dancers — proceed at your own risk.