Your best friend is getting married! You’ve known this person nearly their whole life. You’ve been together through ups-and-downs, good times and bad. You’ve laughed with them and cried with them. You know that you’ll always be there no matter what and they know it, too. As evidence, they’ve just done you the significant honor of choosing you to be best man/maid of honor. It’s a title that should not be taken lightly and you are ready to fulfill your duty to the best of your ability. Your friend has taken a big step in their life, choosing to spend it with someone they love, and it should be celebrated both with a proper wedding ceremony and the celebration of friendship that is the bachelor/bachelorette party. You’ve been called on to help make both days special, so where do you start?
The idea of a bachelor/bachelorette party dates back to 5th century B.C. when ancient Spartans celebrated a groom’s last night as a single man with dinner, libations and boisterous toasts made in his honor. Today, the pre-wedding party has grown to become more than a celebration of single life; instead, it has become a celebration of friendship. If thought of in this manner, the occasion can be marked with a wide range of unique and creative activities.
What Makes a Great Party?
A “fun time” is in the eye of the beholder; but every great pre-wedding party includes four key elements:
This is a given – but can be the hardest thing to get right. The default activity involves drinking and a bar crawl with a night at “the club.” If this is your plan, I urge you to rethink. What does your friend love to do? I doubt that it is as simple as “drinking.” This is your time to show them how much they mean to you and how well you know them as a person. What would they enjoy doing that would really make the occasion memorable? Think long and hard about it and start planning early. Off-the-cuff pre-wedding parties rarely work out and are typically a bad look.
More than anything, this is a celebration of friendship. You are showing your friend how much they are loved and appreciated by those they hold most dear. Choosing the right guests is important. Who do you pal around with most? Who do you and your friend turn to when help is needed and get along with the best? If there is any doubt about inviting someone, it’s best to leave them out.
Don’t want to run out of energy halfway through your event, do you? Put careful thought into a meal or two that will make it unique. Nobody remembers the greasy plate they ordered at the local dive – go the extra mile. If cost is an issue, get the other party guests to chip in. Find a place to make your own pizzas. Go get some BBQ and listen to the blues. Stay at home and have a chili cook-off or a potluck. A memorable party doesn’t have to be upscale. You know your friends and you know what they like!
Don’t forget that this is a celebration of your friend and their big life event. Have commemorative mementos made such as T-shirts, coins or mugs. If a night of drinking is part of the plan, supply your friend with a fancy, personalized goblet or drinking horn – anything special they can keep that will evoke fond memories in the future will be appreciated.
10 Outside-the-Box Party Ideas
If you know your friend is tired of the same old party shenanigans, why not give something new a try; especially if they have expressed interest in a certain activity or enjoyed it once before? (These suggestions are suitable for everyone – guys and gals, alike.)
1. Axe Throwing
Bowling? Nah. Batting cages? Been done. Axe throwing? Sign me up! Who amongst your group has the mettle to accurately chuck a whirling death implement? (Well, now you have to throw, right?) Do it for glory and bragging rights, with a bit of stress relief while you’re at it. Genesee County offers a few places for axe-flying fun such as Spymaker in Burton and Destruction Depot in Fenton.
2. Pro Wrestling
Take the group to let loose while watching some elbow drops and body-slams. Get into it! Boo the Heel and cheer the Face. Bonus: If you can arrange it, get the friend of honor into the ring. Talk with management beforehand or even better, take a few classes and really make it look good. To catch a local show, check out Pure Pro Wrestling.
3. Spa Day
A day of calm before the typical wedding day tension may be just what is needed most. The group can get manicures and enjoy a massage while listening to some otherworldly music and simply relaxing before the Big Day. Combine this daytime activity with some upbeat after-dark entertainment for a one-two pre-wedding party punch. Genesee County has multiple quality spa opportunities.
4. Keep It at Home
If your friend isn’t much for nightlife, a fun night in might be best. Start a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, have a vintage video game competition, play some new or classic board games, etc. There are no real rules for what a bachelor/bachelorette party should be. If your friend loves indoor activities, then make it happen!
5. Learn to Dance
Swing, Hip-hop, Salsa, etc – taking dance lessons can be a great time and is an ideal concept for a co-ed party. Make sure everyone gets out on the floor (yes, even those born with two left feet). The worse the dancing gets, the more memorable the party! End it with a self-choreographed competition or learn a routine you can all show off at the reception.
6. Go Skeet Shooting
Does your friend fancy themselves an outdoorsman? Reserve some time at the local range and blow off some steam. Combine it with a catered meal – a hearty brunch, perhaps? Only those with firearm experience/training should take part, so make sure it’s something that most of the group would enjoy. The Genesee Sportsman’s Club, Grand Blanc Sportsman’s Club and Fenton Lakes Sportsman’s Club can help you get set up.
7. Take an Artsy Class
If dancing and firearms aren’t quite your friend’s style, why not sign the group up for a class to learn something they are interested in. Just about anything goes in Genesee County – from painting and cooking to metalsmithing and glass-blowing. You can all leave with your own unique memento of the occasion.
8. Go Kart Racing
Do your friends feel the need for speed? Get that competitive spirit going and have some fast-paced fun on the track. (Maybe let the friend of honor win a few … or not.) Check out Extreme Indoor Kart Racing in Clio and hit the gas.
9. Trampoline Park
Pool your money and rent a trampoline park for a few hours. Make an obstacle course, play some basketball or dodgeball, or just do a few flips. Having a trampoline park all to yourselves offers endless opportunities for fun and laughs. (If you’re over 40, Tylenol is a must-have item in the guest goodie bags.) Check out DEFY Trampoline Park in Flint.
Is your friend a person who cares about their community and loves giving back? Get the group together and make some time to help an organization in need. You will mark the special occasion with a good feeling that can carry you all the way to the ceremony. Greater Flint holds no shortage of volunteer opportunities.
Pro Tip: Hire a photographer to accompany you on your fun-filled day/night. It keeps the party hands-free and provides you with images and memories you’ll be glad you didn’t miss.
When it comes to celebrating your friend’s Big Day, go big or go small, not one-size-fits-all! The options are nearly endless … as long as it will make them feel special, anything goes!