Bachelorette parties are usually visible from a mile away: most of the time, the entire group is color-coordinated, save for the bride who’s typically clad in a tiara, veil, and/or sash. Considering there isn’t a reliable source for original, alternative party ideas, it’s unsurprising that the average bachelorette has a level of basicness to it: no matter how you frame your online search for inspiration, you’re still served matching shirts that say things like “Drunk in Love/Just Drunk!”

When I was planning my sister’s bachelorette last year, I was conscientious about purchasing items that would be functional long after the weekend was over. It was tempting to go overboard with custom tees, monogrammed sunglasses, and personalized hangover kits, but I knew she didn’t want to look like a walking Pinterest board (and I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on things that would never be used again). If you’re also trying to plan a less cliché—and more reasonably priced—bash, read on: we have a few ideas to help you nav. the process.


The Setting

Depending on the wedding’s scale and bridal party’s financial situation, planning a four-day getaway to New York City or Cancun might not be feasible. Instead of going to the party, why not make your own?

Thanks to Airbnb and HomeAway, it’s easier than ever to find affordable—and quality—lodgings that accommodate your entire group. Rent a cabin or lake house, load up on good food and wine, and plan for 48 hours of face masks and spontaneous dance parties. The remoteness will not only encourage everyone to be present, but it’ll also free your group from having to consider things like noise ordinances and neighbors.

You can also disrupt tradition by having a joint bash. Both parties will get to know one another better, and the betrothed will have a blast celebrating their love (and being debaucherous) together. If you really want to flip gender norms, take a few notes from Katie and Tom’s bachelor/bachelorette on “Vanderpump Rules.”

The Activities

Part of the reason bachelorettes have a bad rep is because they often make it known to everyone within a one-mile radius that their best friend Sara is getting married, and they’re going to make sure she has the BEST. WEEKEND. EVER. In theory, that’s fine—but it can negatively affect the experience of those around them. The solution? Make your party private.

A bachelorette weekend wouldn’t be complete without some phallic undertones or, in the case of The Artful Bachelorette, overtones. The company hosts private, “classy” figure-sketching parties, wherein groups sip bubbly as they attempt to draw a model’s bits. But if you and your guests would rather observe racy art than create it yourselves, Museum Hack operates personalized tours at major museums around the country. In addition to tailoring the experience to your interests, they’ll come up with games and even provide Champagne.

Prefer something a little higher energy? Boost your confidence with a group pole dancing class. Not only will it torch muscles you never knew existed, but the experience is also incredibly empowering. Or, hire your own personal trainer for a rosé-fueled workout, à la Bravo’s “Summer House.”

The Merch

Whether your party plans on staying in or hitting the town, an overarching theme can make it easier to coordinate activities and decor. But that doesn’t mean you need to drop serious money on merchandise to carry it out.

Etsy is an excellent resource for inspiration, as well as reasonably priced, personalized paraphernalia. Instead of opting for tees that’ll undoubtedly become sleeping shirts and other one-and-done swag, opt for things people can easily reuse like tote bags, makeup pouches, and coffee mugs. (Bonus points if you keep the wedding allusions subtle.) The online marketplace is also a great place to pick up decorations, from banners and straws to confetti and even games.

If you want to take your theme a step further, find inspiration in the hen do, the British version of the bachelorette. Hen parties often have a ridiculous theme (and even more ridiculous costumes) to ensure they stand out, like mad tea party or cave women. By choosing a theme that involves an easily DIY-able costume, you’ll save a pretty penny, and wind up with some hilarious photos (and memories).