The History Behind Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

The History Behind Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

Bachelorette and bachelor parties are the time for the couple to celebrate with friends before tying the knot. Usually, it’s a night of enjoying some drinks and partying the night away. Now is the time to let loose and get wild before settling down. Ever wonder where it all began? We’ll get into the history behind bachelor and bachelorette parties, including:

  • Where it all began
  • Ideas for bachelor and bachelorette parties
  • Tips for planning these parties

Check out the information below to learn more about these parties. You may even want to incorporate some history into your fun day!

The History Behind Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

Where It Began

The bachelorette and bachelor parties are two of the main festivities before the wedding, and these parties were sometimes wilder than most are today. Although it may sound surprising, couples have celebrated their final days of unwed life for centuries. This tradition goes all the way back to ancient Greece, the fifth century. Historians explain that friends of the groom would host a dinner for him so everyone could celebrate with food and alcohol.

Early Bachelor Parties

The first parties weren’t much like the ones we recognize today, but at their core, they held the same concept—marking the end of this life chapter. Things cranked up for stag parties in the 1800s, and by the mid-1900s, men celebrated much closer to the way we see today. They’d drink heavily and party as hard as they could. The problem? For a long time, this was the night before the wedding, which meant a heavily hungover groom and groomsmen.

Early Bachelorette Parties

So, what about bachelorette parties? Well, the women didn’t get to celebrate as the men did. There was no drinking, going to the bar, or wearing a “bride” tiara. Sometimes, friends would plan a wedding shower for the bride-to-be, but that didn’t compare to the thrill of a stag party.

Many could argue that women got the short end of the stick here, and it’s because society expected ladies to always behave in a well-mannered way. Heavy drinking and staying up all night went against this societal norm.

Things Finally Changed

The ’60s were all about challenging society and expressing individuality. This was the ladies’ chance to break free and finally celebrate with dancing and drinking to party as the men did. By the ’80s, society officially dubbed these “bachelorette parties,” and women had the same freedom to celebrate as men did, including clubbing and other exhilarating activities.

The History Behind Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties Today

Now that we’ve covered the history behind bachelor and bachelorette parties, let’s get into modern celebrations. Nowadays, stag and doe parties are more extravagant and sometimes become an entire weekend getaway with friends.

Ideas for Bachelor Parties

Bachelor parties can include just about any event the man wants to do. Sometimes, he and his groomsmen go gambling, but other times, they rent an Airbnb. During the day, they may adventure around a town, and then they spend their night drinking and playing video games. Other activities include:

  • Planning a camping trip
  • Going on a hunting trip
  • Touring a brewery
  • Enjoying a night of bar crawling

Some fun time with his groomsmen is a great way for the man of the hour to calm his nerves before saying “I do” to his one true love.

Ideas for Bachelorette Parties

Similar to bachelor parties, bachelorette celebrations come in all sorts of styles. Many women enjoy having a theme for the party to revolve around and decorate to create a party atmosphere. Some of the best ideas for a bachelorette party include:

  • Renting a house
  • Planning a group hike
  • Going wine tasting
  • Having a spa day
  • Going clubbing
  • Planning a girls’ trip

The activities you choose are up to you, but the most important thing is that the bride wants to do them. This is her last party before the wedding, so she gets to bask in the limelight!

Planning a Combined Party

Sometimes, couples don’t like going to Vegas or clubs to celebrate and prefer to share the spotlight. In this instance, planning a stag and doe party is ideal since it allows everyone to celebrate together.

There are various fun games; the ideal one depends on the party size and age group. Still trying to decide what to play? Pinterest is a great place to gather inspiration for games and ways to decorate; search “games for stag and doe parties” to get started.

Planning Tip

Games with mature themes aren’t appropriate if it’s a family affair. However, if it’s just the adults, enjoy some shots, a champagne toast, and all the games you’d like to play! You can make games like Twister family-friendly or hilarious and fun for a group of adults.

Deciding on the Ideal Party

Before any planning, the couple should sit down and discuss what they want to do. Sometimes, there’s an agreement that certain things aren’t allowed, such as going to specific clubs or partaking in debauchery. They may also decide that they’d prefer to share the event to celebrate as a unit.

When deciding on what activities to do, think about what they consider the most fun. For example, although we listed hunting as a bachelor party idea, it works just as well for a bachelorette party. Similarly, the men could go on a guys’ trip or relax—the ideal party centers around the bride or groom’s interests.

Tips for Planning Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

Planning any party can feel stressful, and there’s an extra layer of angst when it comes to wedding festivities. This is a significant life experience, and when you host any celebrations leading up to the big day, you want to ensure everything is perfect. After all, they will hold fond memories of this time, and a disappointing party could lead to hurt feelings.

The History Behind Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

Who Plans the Party?

So, who plans the party anyway? Back in the day, a “bachelor” party was sometimes a formal event hosted by the groom’s father, and this was for the couple, not just the main man. Over the years, things have changed quite a bit.

One key aspect of bachelor party etiquette is that the best man handles all the planning. Similarly, the maid of honor plans the bachelorette party and talks with the other bridesmaids about what she has in mind. The goal is to ensure the bride and groom don’t have to worry about an event on top of their wedding.

Who Attends the Party?

The guest count depends on what the bride or groom wants. If they prefer a smaller celebration, you’d typically invite corresponding members of the wedding party—bridesmaids for the bachelorette party and groomsmen for the bachelor party. Other times, there may be a few other close friends or relatives joining in on the celebration.

To make sure you invite all the right people, sit down with the guest of honor and ask who they’d like to see at the event. Jot down a list of all the people so you have it handy once you send out those invitations.

Who Pays for the Party?

Most of the time, the attending wedding party members pay for themselves and split the bill for the guest of honor. So at a bachelorette party, the maid of honor and bridesmaids will cover the fee of themselves plus the bride’s fee. These parties are all about letting the bride or groom celebrate their final days of singlehood. The bridesmaid will split the cost for the bride, and the groomsmen do the same for the groom.

How Long Does the Party Last?

The party’s length depends on what works best for the bride or groom and those attending the event. It can go anywhere from a few hours to a long weekend. Keep in mind that the longer the party is, the more expensive it will become. Plus, if the party lasts several days, guests may need more notice about when it is so they can take off work or make other essential arrangements.

Do You Need Gifts at the Party?

Although you don’t have to bring gifts, it is customary to give the bride- or groom-to-be a gift. This offers guests a chance to present something that will give the groom- or bride-to-be a good laugh or something they’ll treasure for years.

Gifts for Bachelor Parties

Deciding on the perfect gift is a challenge, so to ease the process, we’ve listed a few great ideas for you below:

  • Personalized flask
  • Barbecue cooking set
  • Couples dice
  • Cufflinks for the wedding

All the groomsmen should talk among themselves to see who’s giving what to prevent duplicate gifts.

Gifts for Bachelorette Parties

Your options for the perfect gift are endless, but some top ideas include the following:

  • Lingerie
  • Personalized hanger
  • Cozy robe
  • Home spa kit

You could present her a raunchy gift that will give everyone a good laugh or a cute tote packed with everything she needs to relax the week of the wedding. Now’s the time to spoil your bestie!

The History Behind Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

A Closing Note

Variations of bachelor and bachelorette parties have existed for centuries, and when you host, it’s your job to throw an amazing party. As you begin planning, remember to talk with the groom- or bride-to-be about who they want there and a list of ideas for what they’d like to do. With all the key information, you can host the best stag or doe party where everyone lets loose!

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Everyday Bride

Freelance Writer
December 6, 2022

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