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Posted at 12:13 PM ET, 09/ 6/2008

Bachelorette Parties: The Possibilities are Endless

By Stephanie Merry
Wedding Week 2008: Click for Special Report

There's generally a pretty simple recipe for planning a bachelorette party: cocktails, dinner and some sort of all-night activity. Of course with so many options, the planning can get daunting. Things get even more difficult when you take into account how different each brides-to-be is. Since the night is really about showing her a good time, it's a good idea to know if she'll be the type who revels in anatomically-correct accoutrements or if she'll shy away from the spotlight.

To help out, we've concocted a party recipe based on five different types of brides. Of course no two women are the same (or fit so conveniently into my cookie cutter designations), so do a little mixing and matching to get the final product just right.

Go-to neighborhood for the night:
Wild Child: Adams Morgan
Aspiring Lady Who Lunches: Downtown
Hipster: U Street
"If You Put a Tiara on Me, You'll Regret It" Girl: Chinatown
Classy Oenophile: All over town

Dress Code:
Wild Child: White T-shirts that can be defaced during the requisite scavenger hunt, candy necklaces, miniskirts
Aspiring Lady Who Lunches: Break out the Diane von Furstenberg and Louis Vuitton
Hipster: Skinny jeans and off-the-wall combos of stripes, plaids and polka dots
"If You Put a Tiara on Me, You'll Regret It" Girl: Anything goes
Classy Oenophile: Snappy casual

Pre-Dinner Locale for Drinks:
Wild Child: Do-it-yourself drinks at Dan's Cafe
Aspiring Lady Who Lunches: High-end cocktails at Rasika
Hipster: Hit up the photo booth and grab a beer at Bar Pilar
"If You Put a Tiara on Me, You'll Regret It" Girl: RFD for a wide selection of beer
Classy Oenophile: Head down to Capitol Hill for some California reds at Sonoma

Dinner:
Wild Child: Lauriol Plaza, because a long wait affords more time for margarita consumption or group-friendly Buca di Beppo for some much-needed carbs to supplement the giant bottles of cheap wine
Aspiring Lady Who Lunches: Brasserie Beck for a little Belgian flavor or Oceanaire for arguably the best seafood in the city.
Hipster: Fried green tomato BLTs at Saint-Ex or dinner with a side of art at U-topia
"If You Put a Tiara on Me, You'll Regret It" Girl: Pizza and mini burgers at Matchbox or tapas at Jaleo
Classy Oenophile: Great food with even better wine at Vinoteca

Activities:
Wild Child: Dancing at Heaven and Hell or Tom Tom followed by karaoke at Peyote Café and a trip to Town for the drag show
Aspiring Lady Who Lunches: Spa day at Mandarin Oriental followed by bottle service at a reserved table at Josephine
Hipster: Black Cat if there's a decent concert, then drinks at Marvin
"If You Put a Tiara on Me, You'll Regret It" Girl: Shuffleboard at Rocket Bar, bowling at Lucky Strike or just hanging out at Fado
Classy Oenophile: Wine tasting at Best Cellars and then weathering an early-evening hangover by drinking more wine at Cork

Other ideas:
Wild Child: Make a stop at Pleasure Place before the big night to pick up some inappropriate party favors. You could also host a pleasure party or pay for private striptease instruction.
Aspiring Lady Who Lunches: Tea and scones at the Ritz
Hipster: Off-beat plays, art exhibitions and concerts
"If You Put a Tiara on Me, You'll Regret It" Girl: Salsa lessons at Habana Village
Classy Oenophile: A day trip to Virginia wineries like Veritas Vineyards in Afton, Prince Michel in Leon and Misty Mountain in Madison.

Of course, as I mentioned, there are many different types of brides. What to do about the hippie or the bachelorette who hates bars? Or, worse, the control freak bridezilla? Well in that case, I might just let her plan her own.

Any other suggestions? Let us know in the comments.

-- Stephanie

By Stephanie Merry  | September 6, 2008; 12:13 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Events  
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Comments

Go to www.bridesnightout.com and let them do all the planning for you.

Posted by: Alyson Dutch | September 7, 2008 2:49 AM | Report abuse

This has some great ideas for the DC area. It could also be a starting point for some parties who live elsewhere. Don't forget some of the fun attire that brides like to wear to get into the spirit.

Sites like www.belllamarieweddings.com could be a good place to get some great stuff to make your night fun.

Great post!

Posted by: Andrea | September 7, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Male Strippers. Old school, but new school. In fact in never went out of style. Ask your mom!

Posted by: Ms. Obvious | September 7, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

My group of friends plans a weekend away based on the bride to be's stated desire or interest. We've gone camping with an 11 mile canoe trip, we've done the Spa Weekend at Berkeley Springs, WV, and we've charted a private 1/2 day sail from Tilghman Island in MD while renting a cute little cottage within walking distance of the marina (and bar/restaurtant).

Posted by: Ann | September 8, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Quick Thoughts-

1. As a general rule they are lame. Not your fault, but like the Bachelor party, the formula is old and unoriginal.

2. Is it a rule that the Bride's friends have to be less attractive than the bride? Without fail, the friends are almost always appreciably less hot than the bride to be.

Posted by: Brandon | September 8, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I am a Independent Consultant for Passion Parties. This is a good event for women to participate in for a bachelorette party. Stephanie 240-305-5837

Posted by: Stephanie | September 9, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Dewey Beach, DL is by the far the best beach for bachelorette parties. The hotels are cheap, especially if you cram several girls in each room, and all bars and restaurants are within walking distance so no transportation issues occur.

Posted by: Kristie | September 12, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

A few weeks ago I went to a bachelorette teeth whitening party! It was a lot of fun, easy & not expensive at all. Everyone had dramatic results. A company called WhiteBrights.com did ours. 202-257-6871. They did the bride & groom for free. The groom had just spent a lot of money at the dentist (cost like 5x as much as what these people charge) so the mother of the bride got hers done for free.

Of course we are going to go out closer to the big day & paint the town red but we have had a few of these mini events that have been a lot of fun. Now we'll all have beautiful white teeth for the big party & the main event!

Posted by: Caroline | September 12, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I can’t believe that you didn’t mention McFadden’s. Every time I reluctantly go there for mechanical bull night, I end up dumbfounded by the sight of a group of very young and very drunk bachelorette party girls all wearing black, dancing on bar, and tossing napkins up into the air like celebratory-global-warming-confetti. It’s quite a scene, like a train wreck.

Posted by: Disbelief | September 17, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. McFadden's seems to be a hotbed of bachelorette parties, and the place seems to activate their mob mentality. They can get vicious, and roaming packs of them strike fear into the hearts of the other patrons. I think the napkin throwing is a trigger. Like a red flag to a bull.

Posted by: roughed up by bride | September 17, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

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