Chances are, you and your fiancée have been hanging out together for a while, which means you share a lot of mutual friends. If you don’t feel like cutting half of your social circle out of your pre-wedding celebration, it’s time to plan a co-ed bachelor/ette party. Unless you were looking forward to a Chippendale dancer (and, who knows, you might still be able to have one), your bachelor/ette party is the perfect excuse for you and your fiancé to catch up with visiting friends without your families competing for attention. Share the fun by planning activities everyone can enjoy.
If you have time the weekend before your wedding, take your party camping or rent a vacation cabin. Once your friends are relaxing in the hot tub or swapping stories around the campfire, they’ll be glad everyone could come along. Bring gourmet snacks like nice wine, crackers, and cheeses for an extra classy touch.
Take your bachelor/ette group out for a silly night of bowling or mini golf. Yes, it’s kitsch, but that’s why you’ll all love it. For starters, everyone looks good in bowling shoes. And if anyone gives you a hard time, remind them it could have been karaoke.
Have a nice dinner at a steakhouse or fancy restaurant with everyone dressed in their finest, or go casual with a backyard BBQ or by ordering pizza and wings. If you’re embracing “casual night,” put on a bad movie and go all the way by asking people to come in their pajamas.
Board games are a great way to include a room-full of friends without any worries of offending anyone. Avoid games with complex rules, since your friends will also want to chat and catch up with each other while playing (unless you’re only inviting your weekly Dungeons and Dragons group; in which case, have at it).
Offer classic games most people already how to play, like Monopoly, as well as easily learned games like Settlers of Catan. If you want to appeal to a group of mixed skill levels, try a game that’s as involved as you make it, like Pictionary or Apples to Apples. Be sure to offer a variety of styles so no one feels left out.
Host a cooking party where everyone has a chance to get creative. You can make cupcakes ahead of time for your guests to decorate, or roll out pizza dough for personal pizzas with a toppings bar. If you’re really ambitious, try rolling your own sushi. Not only will the activity give people something fun to do, but you’ll end up with delicious results at the end. (Or, at the very least, hilarious results).
Will you need a large amount of anything for your wedding reception or décor? If it’s fun to make, harness the power of having all your friends in the same room, and get started, assembly line style. You can amass a collection of origami cranes, decorated cookies, name cards, or a number of other decorative objects surprisingly quickly this way. Plus, you’ll get to look around at your wedding and know that your friends gave you a personal gift.
Many “traditional” bachelor and bachelorette party games can be modified to include both genders. Remember, just because the party’s co-ed doesn’t mean it has to be any less playful. Depending on the level of raciness your friends feel comfortable with, you can have contests for best “lap dance” (fully clothed, with the bride and groom as judges) or “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” where blindfolded guests try to stick Velcro tails on the happy couple. Do your friends dare attempt a game of Twister?
To spice up the evening, pick a word (or words) that can’t be spoken aloud. It can be the names of the couple, the word love, the word wedding, or even something as innocuous as “you’re welcome.” If someone accidentally lets the word slip, the room decides the punishment; it can be anything from taking a sip of a drink to wearing a “hat of shame” to racier consequences.
Hold a “joke tournament,” where everyone has to go around in a circle and tell a joke that involves a certain word. Each round has a different word: it can be anything from “sheep” to “mother-in-law” to “clown nose.” If it’s your turn and you can’t think of a joke, you must make one up on the spot or risk “punishment” (see above).
Want a game with fewer rules? Just go around and have everyone tell a funny story about how they met the bride or groom. You can give prizes for best story.
Whether you opt for a structured night with silly rules and prizes, or a free-form social hour at a fun location, you’ll be able to enjoy your bachelor and bachelorette nights in style with no one excluded. The best part? You won’t have to endure any awkward “what did you do last night” grilling from your fiancée afterwards. Then you can practice your teamwork with your new honeypie as you convince your friends to keep the photos off Facebook together.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.