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bachelorette handbook

Readers' Bachelorette Party Tips

Here are your stories and suggestions, both practical and offbeat, for how to maximize the bachelorette-party fun. (One unprintable submission is the first cake that's made us blush!)

If the shoe fits
I'm still close with a group of girls from high school, and we've had several fun bachelorette parties. We've rented buses for bar crawls and dressed up in old prom or bridesmaid dresses. I'm getting married this May, and for my bachelorette party, we're incorporating a flip-flop theme, so all the girls get to wear the sexiest or silliest flip-flops they can find. —Trish Welsing

Bag of tricks
I bought a satchel that was cheap and easy to carry around. I printed and cut out a bunch of small tasks and put them into the satchel for easy grabbing. Whenever someone yawned, needed a break from dancing, or was waiting for a drink at the bar, we took turns reaching in and grabbing a task. Some were easy (buy a guy a drink), and others were more risqué (bite a button off a guy's shirt, get a pair of men's boxers, do a body shot). —Katie Harris

It's a tease
For my 37th birthday in December, we took a pole-dancing lesson, which would be great for a bachelorette party. Eight girls got together, rented a limo, and reserved a dance studio for a two-hour lesson from professional dancers. We brought food and lots of wine, and the instructors taught us all kinds of moves on the pole. We ranged in age from 26 to 46, and all of us felt it was a good time. —Sarah M.

Pool your resources
Once the numbers for a bachelorette party are confirmed, I ask the ladies to bring an additional $200 in cash (amount can vary), and we put it in one pot to use for the weekend. So, during dinners out, there's no back-and-forth about who ordered a salad or a steak when the check comes. We use money from the "party pot" for groceries, drinks out on the town, gas money, admission prices, and so on. The best part? We divide the remaining money at the end of the weekend. —Helen Ames

The more, the merrier
Why not combine parties? I had my bachelorette party on a Friday night, and we rented a beach house for the weekend. We started at the house around 3 p.m., went for dinner at 7 p.m., and then went on to a club to dance awhile. We ended up back at the house early Saturday morning, when the guys from the bachelor party joined us. My husband and I have been married for 19 years, and we loved having our separate parties and then combining them for a fabulous weekend with our friends and family. —Angela Johnston

Do your homework
I work at a day spa, where every spring and summer we get a few bachelorette parties. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind. Do your research: To find out if a particular spa is right for your party, ask if you can have a tour before booking, or in the case of destination spas, ask specific questions about the space and services. Packaged services aren't necessarily the cheapest, so price out each service individually and compare it with the bundled package rate. —Christine Roderick

Pass the veil
I went to Saratoga, N.Y., in August for a friend's bachelorette party, and there were a lot of other people celebrating on Caroline Street. My friend, the bachelorette, gave her veil to a guy who was celebrating his bachelor party. He was a good sport and wore it all night long! —Cindy Zapata

 
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