Bachelorette parties are popular get-togethers in the English-speaking world. Versions of all-female gatherings have existed for ages, but they became particularly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The bachelorette party as we now know it did not become known until the 1960s, and it was still uncommon then. There was a resurgence in the late 1990s, perhaps because the future bride and her friends relished the chance to have bachelorette party games.
What Is a Bachelorette Party?
Bachelorette parties are not quite the phenomenon in American culture as that they are in other English-speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These parties have been known by various names, and the term "bachelorette party" is actually not common outside of the United States.
Instead, terms like hen party, hen night, hen do and stag-ette are more frequently encountered in places like the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. In fact, the term "hen party" when used in the United States once referred to all-female get-togethers, although this term would likely be considered antiquated and ill-advised today.
The long and short of it is that bachelorette parties are not specific to the United States alone. The sexual aspect that some have come to associate with these gatherings, however, does owe something to the practice as it is observed in the 50 states. Thanks to America, the bachelorette party was not merely a hen party with a particular purpose in mind, but it was also an exercise in sexual freedom (given rise to in the 1960s) and changing social norms. Perhaps the bachelorette party was meant to be an attempt at equality with the bachelor party. Since then, however, these gatherings have taken on a life for their own.
What that means for a woman getting married is that a bachelorette party is no longer merely an opportunity to have tea and eat crumpets, but now you (or the person planning this shindig) also have to think about which all-important bachelorette party games to include.
Bachelorette party games are an opportunity for the honoree to celebrate her marriage by giving her bridesmaids and friends a chance to celebrate their own freedom during this life-changing period.
Before we dive into sorts of activities associated with the infamous American bachelorette party, let us take a moment to examine what this get-together actually is. The bachelorette party is a ladies-only gathering designed to celebrate the end of a bride's life as a single woman as she begins her journey into marriage.
Like the bachelor party, the bachelorette party is designed to remind the individual just what she'll be giving up when she walks down the aisle and enters into the bonds of matrimony. Although the idea may seem a little cruel, this is an opportunity for the bride and her friends to make one last shout of freedom in the form of a girls’ night out.
Bachelorette Party Activities
One of the aspects of bachelorette parties that makes them so much fun to plan (and participate in) is that they do not have to take the same form every time. It's not boot camp, which means that you can decide just what bachelorette party games or activities you would like to have at your gathering. This is a perfect opportunity for the bride to enjoy the company of the hostess planning her bachelorette party games as they work together to figure just what would be most entertaining for the bride and her friends.
If the bride only wants a simple dinner with friends, but with the dishes served by shirtless, oiled-up men in bow ties, then she certainly can have that. If she would like to watch a marathon of her favorite tear-jerker "chick flick" movies with finger foods and plenty of snacks to go around, then she can do that, too. A bachelorette party can be whatever the future bride wants it to be.
With that said, most people have a creative streak and these parties are a convenient opportunity to display that to your friends. To provide a little inspiration to get the hostess and bride started on their planning, we've come up with 10 ideas for bachelorette party games designed to create a lasting impression among friends.
10 Ideas for Bachelorette Party Games
The reality is that there are lots of great ideas for bachelorette party games. Here we have focused on 10 games that are fun, humorous, creative, get the whole group involved and generally allow the bride and her friends to engage in activities that will build good memories for years to come. You may choose to run with these ideas as they are described or modify them to best suit your needs and tastes.
Drop Your Panties Game
The Drop Your Panties Game is so simple it is brilliant. This game is an opportunity to play "Where’s Waldo" with your friends’ panties and figure out just how well you know them. Notify each party attendee in advance that they should bring a pair of panties that they feel best represents herself. Each person brings a pair and challenges the bride to match each pair of panties with its rightful owner. Yes, this is a little risqué, but it is the bride’s last night of freedom so she should not expect anything less.
Bachelorette Ring Toss
As far as bachelorette party games go, this one is a perennial favorite. Ring toss sets can be bought online or you can opt to do-it-yourself and make one with the help of your bridesmaids. The idea is to set up the ring toss, perhaps in a backyard where there's plenty of booze. Of course, you can also set it up indoors if there's a large enough space. This activity made our list of best bachelorette party games because it allows the participants to get a little physical exertion in during the party, while also maybe getting a little rowdy, too.
This is another classic on the list of bachelorette party games simply because it can take so many forms and can be so adaptive to the bride's personality or the theme of the party itself. Party planners can choose to have a scavenger hunt in the prospective bride’s home, wherever the party is held or on a map that really stretches the boundaries, such as in the form of a bar crawl.
As many bachelorette party goers consider alcohol to be an important part of the time-honored celebration, a bar crawl scavenger hunt is an opportunity to drink at different locales and celebrate just as one might in their college days. For added flair, scavenger hunters can snap selfies as evidence!
The Groom Quiz
Perhaps a more traditional activity, although no less entertaining, the Groom Quiz tests the prospective bride's knowledge about her future spouse. Have the groom fill out the answers in advance of the party and then have the bride-to-be answer them in front of her friends at the bachelorette party. It may be best to do this while sober, although if done while intoxicated, the chances for fun times are endless.
This is another traditional and comparatively tame activity, but one that appeals to the adventuress qualities in any bride and her group of friends. Party planners hide rings and guests are tasked with finding them. They're clocked and, whenever time's up, the guest who has found the most rings wins! The rings used for this hunt can be toy rings, ring pops, inexpensive costume jewelry the guests can take home as party favor keepsakes of the big night — really anything your heart desires!
Pin-the-Kiss-on Ryan Gosling
A variation of the old classic Pin-the-Tail-on the Donkey game, this activity involves something (or someone) certainly more visually appealing (and kissable) than a donkey! Of course, it doesn't have to be Ryan Gosling as the subject, but he actually is a favorite at bachelorette party games. (You cannot go wrong with Ryan!) Still, pick a person of adoration, print out a large poster, pin it up on a wall, blindfold and lipstick-up your contestants and let each one take her turn at putting a visible kiss on the poster. The person whose lip smack is closest to the subject's lips wins! The proceedings make for a hilarious time and laughter surely will ensue.
The Bachelorette Quiz
Quizzes are popular bachelorette party games, because they are opportunities for group participation and the chance to embarrass (playfully) the prospective bride. In this variation, the guests’ knowledge of the bride is tested. Have your party attendees fill out quiz sheets about the bride and then have the bride-to-be read the answers aloud. The more creative your guests get, the more the bride will blush!
Bachelorette Photo Challenge
Photo challenges have been popular on television for a long time and this version is great to add to your list of bachelorette party games. Guests are tasked with completing a number of challenges, that may involve traveling around town. They snap photos as proof that they found/completed a challenge in the riddle. The guest with the most completed challenges wins!
Drink If (drinking game)
Drinking games are popular for parties. If you and the gals like to tie one on, then the Drink If game might be for your group. It involves guests taking a drink or a shot if an item on a list of items applies to them. Hilarity ensues as you get shocked or just surprised by certain guests' actions at the prompts.
Draw Your Dream BAE
This is an opportunity for guests to depict their perfect husband or significant other in a fun fashion. Guests are provided with sheets and are tasked with visualizing their dream BAEs. (The bride-to-be should make sure to review these to make sure none of them depicts the groom!)
Bachelorette party games are intended to celebrate and mark the milestone of a future bride’s last night of freedom. What better way to spend it than surrounded by the laughs and well-wishes of her friends as they enjoy a great deal of memorable fun together. Good ideas for bachelorette party games are ones that are interesting, get everyone involved, that inject a great deal of humor into the setting and allow the bride to get a little closer to her female support network as she enters a new era in her life.