Wedding Wednesday: Bachelorette etiquette

My best friend and matron of honor Amy texted me last week to inquire about a bachelorette outing on Friday night before the wedding. I don’t want some big drunk thing (I am post-collegiate, grown-up Stephanie these days) with tiaras or strippers; I’d really like to have a low-key night of bowling at a cool place downtown, get home fairly early, and feel well rested for the wedding. 
Amy asked who I wanted to invite, and I’ve been mulling it over for a few days. I obviously want to invite my friends and sorority sisters who are coming from out of town and my local friends (who will probably decline to come because there’s a horse show the day of the wedding). Here’s what I want to know, though: who do I have to invite? Johnny’s sister? My sole female cousin? Johnny’s second cousin who lives in Tulsa and might get kind of weird if she’s excluded? 
I don’t want anyone’s feelings to be hurt, but I also don’t want to spend the evening with people I don’t really like. What do y’all think? Just invite who I genuinely want to spend time with or try to keep the peace?

16 Replies to “Wedding Wednesday: Bachelorette etiquette”

  1. I did my bachelorette about a month before the wedding because I knew even though I wanted low-key some people would get crazy! Doing it earlier let me avoid inviting out of town guests (bonus!). Invite whoever you want, you're the bride!

    I did a night a fancy hotel in the mountains followed by a spa day and it was wonderful! 🙂

    1. I'd love to do the party in advance, but my matron of honor (who is the only person in my bridal party) isn't local- she lives in Tennessee. 🙁

  2. I did my bachelorette party a few weeks before the wedding. To avoid the whole 'who do I invite deal', I did bridal party only. We went to a wine festival. It would probably be nice to invite Johnny's sister, but I wouldn't feel obligated to invite anyone else you don't want there. Just keep the plans quiet.

    1. I think keeping the plans quiet is going to be key. It shouldn't be TOO hard, right? None of the people I'm concerned about will be at the rehearsal or rehearsal dinner, and we're going out after that.

  3. ugh invitations like this are so tricky bc ppl get hurt feelings over the smallest of things. really it's ultimately up to you and is your judgement call. good luck!

    1. I do not understand why people get so sensitive where weddings are concerned!

  4. Etiquette wise, you probably have to invite all female guests of your age range if you're doing it the night before the wedding. It's not worth the butt-hurt and drama that will ensue if you pick and choose. Maybe do a Sunday outing with just friends?

    1. A Sunday outing would be nice, except Johnny and I are flying out of Tulsa at 9 AM on Sunday!

  5. My bachelorette party was girls I liked. Not all were in my (small) wedding party, but certainly no relatives. If you expect an invite to a bachelorette party based on being the cousin of the not-bride, you need to adjust your expectations starting now.

    1. Preach, girl. I do not understand why some people have been offended about random shit.

  6. Invite who you want: your party, your rules. It's not like it's a massive thing. It's as big of a deal as you want to make it and since you're the bride, you get what you want. (Weddings are nice that way.)

  7. We did ours two nights before the wedding as well, and I basically invited any wedding guests since we did a semi-destination wedding. I'd invite who you like!

  8. You are the bride, you get whatever you want!! I picked and choose the people I wanted and who I knew would help set the tone for the night!

  9. I did only my closest friends and family because it was a weekend out of town and we were sharing a hotel room. Since you're doing an evening of low-key bowling, you could invite people you don't like and just spend most of your time chatting with your closer friends. Its not like you're spending several days/overnight with the random cousin. And who knows, maybe you'll come to like her more!

  10. Serious question: do any of these people about whom you're not sure read your blog? Might they read it secretly? No worries about me, because I am too elderly and arthritic to bowl :-), but there may be others…

  11. Totally up to you! It has always been my personal feeling that bachelorettes are the domain of close friends only, whereas wedding showers are for everyone else including moms on both sides, sister-in-laws, rarely seen cousins, work peeps, etc.

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