When Visions For A Bachelorette Party Clash

by admin on November 5, 2012

It’s my second time writing to you and the other lovely hellions. Would like to say a big THANK YOU to the advice I received the first time I wrote in. The comments were also very thought-provoking and supportive; I’m grateful to everyone who took the time to write. I have two questions and both has to do with my bachelorette night.

Here’s the background. One of my bridesmaids (let’s call her Sandy) has offered to host my bachelorette. I have known Sandy since high school and we have been close despite our different personalities. (One important example: she loves surprise while I don’t like them. Once she surprised a group of friends with tickets to a house of horrors, but two of our friends were totally against the idea… However Sandy insisted they go and brushed aside their concerns with an airy “it’s FUN, TRUST ME…’. I was one of those who vetoed her idea and afterwards I told her, in private, that surprises always carry such a risk and she could be more sensitive in the future, instead of forcing her opinions on others.)

Anyway. I was very excited and thanked her profusely. Upon her request, I gave her the contacts of the short guest-list I decided on – six ladies in total, including myself and Sandy. My wedding is end of November (less than four weeks to go, phew!), and Sandy made her offer in the end September. I provided her the contacts a couple days after, about 9 weeks before the wedding. Besides the guest list, I told Sandy the bachelorette would have to be a couple of weeks before the wedding, as I would have lots to do as the big day draws closer (this is important for later). I didn’t hear anything about it after that, though Sandy and I continued to remain in contact.

Last week, which is about a month before the wedding, I contacted Sandy to ask about the bachelorette party. I wanted to know the date so that I could keep myself free day. To my surprise, she said she was going to contact the others next week (i.e. beginning of November, leas than four weeks to the wedding) and will let me know the date later. I asked her for the dates she was looking at so I can write it down anyway, and she told me two: (I) the Friday before the wedding (which I already told her I would prefer not to have it so close to the wedding!); or (2) a Wednesday in mid Nov. I hold a full time job myself and most of the other ladies did too; only Sandy worked shift work. I told her the Friday before the weekend was out, and that Wednesday may not be a good idea since there’s work the next day. Plus, it only gave everyone two weeks notice which I felt was a little inadequate – I mentioned this to Sandy whose response was, “It’s a two whole weeks! What’s the problem!?”

And so there’s my first question – how far in advance should one give notice for something like a bachelorette party? Personally I think it should be three or four weeks, and that two weeks is too short. For what’s it worth, I starting planning with my bridesmaids about six months before the wedding. I thought I should give everyone more time to shop for their dresses and make any arrangements necessary, rather than push them to finish stuff in a rushed manner.

Moving on… Sandy and I managed to work out the dates – I conceded and agreed to the Friday before the wedding, though I had to change around some appointments. I was wary of Sandy’s love for surprises, so I asked her what she was planning. Not all the details, mind, just general stuff like what type of places we are going and what we are doing, in case advance preparation is needed like wearing pants and sporty shoes for an amusement park. She said she wanted everyone to go home after work to change clothes, have dinner (on our own, separately) then go to this bar she had in mind by 7pm. Note that Sandy wasn’t working that day. Considering the others and myself finished work around 5pm, I told her her plan was impossible.. It took me a whole hour just to get home! I also told her I didn’t like bars with loud music and people smoking. And Sandy said, “Oh but I need the crowd so I can make you do dares and wear funny stuff!” By this time I was properly horrified. I am a very private person and announcing to a bar full of strangers that I was getting married is NOT my idea of a fun time! And to do dares?!? Woahhhhh!!!

So I told Sandy I’m really not comfortable involving strangers into the bachelorette party.  I would rather just spend time with my girlfriends over a nice dinner and maybe a drink or two afterward. But I would do their dares as long as they aren’t too extreme. Sandy grumbled but conceded to change the location to a more quiet one. I was relieved until she told me I  “had better do everything they asked me to, you cannot say no”. She also said that a bachelorette must involve the bride-to-be doing funny stuff with strangers. My eyes positively popped out of my sockets then. I mean, I’m all for having a fun night out, but to do things I don’t want to do and not have being able to say no? And didn’t I say I would rather not involve strangers?

I stiffened my spine, and asked Sandy – which is more important about this party? That we girls get to enjoy ourselves, or she gets to do what she thinks is fun? Sandy’s reply was quintessentially Sandy, “BOTH! trust me, everything I think of WILL be fun!!! Plus you’ll just talk to those strangers once in your life anyway so what’s the problem?” I was so stumbled by her reply that I could only say, “Sorry but you don’t get to decide what is fun for the rest of us! Please understand I would really feel uncomfortable if you got strangers involved!” Sandy has stopped speaking to me since.

Here’s my second question – did I commit a faux pas by trying to dedicate the “tone” of the party? Was I wrong to tell Sandy my preferences.. Should I have just accepted whatever Sandy planned? After all she was nice enough to offer to host it (though my other friends also offered, Sandy was the first to offer so I told the others no – after thanking them, of course!), I should not make demands of her?

Your advice will be much appreciated, everyone! Thank you and have a good week ahead :):):) 1104-12

In the basics of hospitality, a bachelorette party is no different than any other party one plans and hosts.  Guests need to be given their invitations far enough in advance that they can arrange their schedules and have time to RSVP.  The risk of delaying the sending of invitations is that possible guests may decline due to a schedule conflict.  Most hourly jobs require a 2 week notice to get specific time off so those working in those types of jobs are not as likely to attend. I consider three weeks the absolute minimum deadline prior to the event to issue invitations.

The question for Sandy is, “Who is being served by doing this?”   Her plans to put you through embarrassing antics with strangers (and I know what some of those will probably be) with little regard for your preferences in this indicates that Sandy is serving herself and catering to her own definition of “fun”.   She is planning on placing the guest of honor in awkward situations because it amuses her.   This isn’t being a gracious, kind hostess or friend for that matter.

Having already accepted the honor of being the guest of honor at Sandy’s party, you must, I believe, honor that commitment to attend.  That does not mean you must cave to Sandy’s demands that you embarrass yourself by participating in degrading, awkward “fun” she wants you to do.   Politely decline to wear skanky attire or engage strangers in stupid antics.  No one can make you do what you do not want to do.   You very well may encounter the extremely awkward situation where you firmly but quietly refuse to do what you are being commanded to do  and the immediate effect is that Sandy gets thwarted publicly. None of this sounds fun for you at all and it is quite unfortunate that Sandy has placed you in this mess.   But Sandy does not get to manipulate you into doing what you are not comfortable doing and by doing so, she creates the awkwardness which you may have to further compound by reversing the tables on her.    So, if Sandy corrals strangers to approach you to do something you’d rather not do, you look at the stranger and say, “No, thank you. I prefer not to,”  or, “That crosses a line and I will not do that.”  Look straight at the stranger, in the eyes, when saying this.   Do not appeal to Sandy because she has already proven that appeals to her are pointless.

Good luck and let us know how it worked out.



{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Lo November 5, 2012 at 8:06 am

As a bridesmaid who has hosted a bachelorette party, my advice is to take charge of it yourself in this situation. The bridesmaid or maid of honour who hosts the event is generous to offer to do so but should have an idea of what the bride would actually enjoy. Sandy no doubt thinksshe’s doing you a favor by pushing you out of her comfort zone because it’s something she thinks this sort of thing is fun. Because you have such conflicting ideas of what this party is going to be about it would be better to have a talk with Sandy saying that you know she means well and you’re sorry you two are at odds about what will be fun but you’d prefer that the evening be about the girls and not about any wild shenanigans. Offer to take away the hosting obligation from her and have everyone meet for dinner instead– an easy out. You don’t have to give in to her just because she’s hosting. In this case it IS about the bride.

Also, two weeks is definitely too soon. I sent invites out about a month in advance. The bride I planned for gave me a list of invitees and we had a party at my house with some games and then we went out to a show. All the girls bought their tickets in advance, we helped to cover the bride, bought her drinks, etc, it was a lot of fun. For my own bachelorette party it was just myself, my best man, and my bridesmaid doing something I really enjoyed. They knew ahead of time what I wanted and they made the night happen. It didn’t even feel like a party as much as three best friends having a great time. I’m not a fan of embarrassing myself in public either. Don’t give in to the hype.


Melanie November 16, 2012 at 1:56 am

I love all your suggestions.


Mary November 5, 2012 at 8:07 am

The OP has already proven she has more backbone than I had with my bachelorette party. I was 23 and at the time had yet to hear of a bachelorette party that didn’t involve going out to the bars, usually following dinner at a restaurant. Looking back, fifteen years later I wish I had just suggested dinner and a play or comedy club which would have been more my style since I have never been one to drink.
At least I did state to everyone beforehand that I wouldn’t do anything with strangers and I would not wear or hold anything with a penis on it. I’ve seen earrings, necklaces, water bottles etc. fortunately my friends limited my accessories to a condom corsage. It actually was fairly tasteful with a condom still in the wrapper and flowers.


June First November 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Condom corsage? Ick.


ShellyLynne2611 November 5, 2012 at 8:20 am

Because of the personality differences and her previous record of not taking other people’s feelings into consideration, I would NEVER have accepted her offer in the first place. And, though it would be rude, I would get out of it. If she hasn’t sent invites yet, I would tell her “I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’ll be comfortable at this party and I think it would be better for someone else to host.” I would mention the cancellation casually to one of your other friends that offered and see if they offer to step in as hostess. I know it’s not proper etiquette to do so, but after that many red flags, I’d rather not risk the drama and embarrassment. After all, aren’t “Trust me!” famous last words for a reason?


Elizabeth November 5, 2012 at 8:27 am

I disagree that the OP is beholden to attend Sandy’s ‘event.’ Apparently they have stopped speaking – who knows if it will even happen? My advice to the OP would be to pick the evening you want to celebrate, choose a decent restaurant, ask your 5 other friends if they want to join you for dinner and drinks, and make a reservation. If you can afford to treat the girls, do it. If not, just make it clear that everyone will be paying their own way. Sandy clearly cares for no one else other than herself. She cannot apparently differentiate her own desires from those of others, and feels criticized when one has a different opinion or even perception. With friends like these…


bloo November 5, 2012 at 8:37 am

I don’t know how long ago the LW sent this to Hell’s Bells but was it a coincidence or a Freudian slip that the LW gave her friend the name ‘Sandy’.

Sandy sounds like a mess. I foresee that friendship cooling off if Sandy doesn’t mature. I don’t see anything wrong with telling Sandy, “You know I don’t like surprises. So you are running the risk of me simply leaving if the surprise you’ve planned for me is as unpleasant at what you’re hinting at.” LW can see how she responds and then decide on taking control by hosting a girls’ nite at her own place on that same night with the gals if Sandy decides to continue to be self-serving in her response.


Coralreef November 5, 2012 at 8:57 am

What is it with embarassing or humiliating people for “fun” at bachelor/bachelorette parties? I never undestood that part and never will.

OP, don’t let Sandy push you into things you are not comfortable doing. If she is unhappy about your lack of participation, that’s her problem, not yours.


Kendo_Bunny November 5, 2012 at 8:59 am

I think with a bachelorette party, the bride-to-be’s preferences should be taken under strong advisement. I’ve been a bridesmaid several times, but the upcoming wedding of one of my closest friends is my first chance to be an MOH and hostess a bachelorette party. My friend has informed me of some things she would really, REALLY not like to happen (she does not want lingerie or toys, she does not want to do mock sexual acts in front of strangers, she does not want the atmosphere to be sex-laden). Since she is one of my closest friends and I have known her and her preferences for years, none of those things had occurred to me as possibilities.

While, say, Elliot in Scrubs was a total control freak Bridezilla about her bachelorette party, I think it’s the duty of the MOH to take the bride’s personality and preferences into account, and the bride has a reasonable request veto. It sounds like the bride here has been perfectly upfront with what she does not want to do and does not want to happen, and the MOH is the one being a control freak by trying to insist that the bride must do it her way.


Cat November 5, 2012 at 9:13 am

In reading this, I did not get the impression that Sandy wants you to have an enjoyable night out. She does want an opportunity to make you go to a place you dislike and then publically humilitate you. She does not even try to disguise her plans and tells you frankly that this is what she intends to do.
I disagree with the OP. You agreed to a a ladies’ night out, not to being the butt of her jokes. If she cannot honor your wishes and honor your right to dignity and respect, she cannot expect you to submit to a sadist who wants to enjoy your pain.
I suggest a dinner at a restaurant you enjoy and then going home, making popcorn, and watching a dvd of “The Father of the Bride” with Liz Taylor and Spencer Tracy- with friends who want to be with you.


Bint November 6, 2012 at 4:13 am

I so agree with you. There seems a whiff of hostility in Sandy’s behaviour that makes me wonder if she is envious and wants to humiliate the OP.


Cat November 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm

I thought it got past whiff and was well into reek. Sandy made no bones about what she intended to do and the enjoyment she expected to get from it.


June First November 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Indeed. I wonder why she’s even a bridesmaid.


Ellen December 4, 2012 at 10:50 am

I agree – I feel there are a lot of vulgar “traditions”, such as cake-smashing, baby shower games that mock the mother-to-be’s size, and embarassing the bride, that are really just public expressions of hostility and resentment.


Rae November 5, 2012 at 9:30 am

OP, you and I seem to have the same preferences when it comes to bachelorette parties. I cringe at the though of some of the things your friend wants. Stay strong!


--Lia November 5, 2012 at 10:23 am

I think this is going to turn into one of those lessons we learn when we’re young. There’s no doubt that Sandy is wrong for trying to turn this party into something that feeds some weird need in her rather than is actually kind to the person she’s supposed to be honoring, but I also want to ask why the bride would choose her for a hostess when she states several times that she knows what Sandy is like. This is a bad situation that you’re walking into with your eyes wide open. At this point, I’d ask myself how important it was to have a bachelorette party at all. Why not say that you’d like to get together with your friends at a convenient moment after the wedding, some time when you’re not so rushed?


Bint November 5, 2012 at 10:59 am

I cannot understand people who do this. Nor do I understand the ‘fun’ of a hen party involving total strangers and inappropriate behaviour. And that’s coming from me, a total extrovert. I wouldn’t be caught dead doing what Sandy suggested either and her grasp of logistics is awful.

I don’t think you did anything wrong. Well done for sticking up for yourself. My husband didn’t and he ended up drunk and tied naked to a chair on stage in a Budapest nightclub with strippers gyrating around him. Seriously. He didn’t enjoy it but to a lot of blokes his age at the time (25) this was hiiiiiilarious and SO MUCH FUN and once they’d started with that attitude the night just spiralled out of control.

My friends took me quad-biking and canoeing. I felt really sorry for him!


PM November 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Oh, my gosh! OK, while “drunk and tied naked to a chair on stage in a Budapest nightclub” may be one of the most interesting sentences I’ve ever read, I’m horrified on your husband’s behalf. Did the evening get worse from there? Does your husband still speak to these people? What jerks!?


Bint November 8, 2012 at 8:16 am

Yeah, they’re still his friends. It’s partly his fault – he should have told them where his boundaries were and they would have stuck to them, which he admitted afterwards. They are all rugby players – if you don’t draw the lines at the start of a rugby stag do then mass drunkeness, nudity and being tied to a chair on stage in a strip club are pretty much par for the course. In their eyes by this point this honestly was a great idea and I strongly suspect my husband said, “argh argh no, oh all right then” then regretted it enormously about five seconds later.

On the plus side, he didn’t end up being tied naked to a lamp post with cling film. Truly, there was no malice in this whatsoever. Rugby players are notorious for this kind of thing and they’re not shy – he agreed to a stag do with them knowing this could well happen!

Ironically, by their standards Sandy’s party would be seen as disrespectful to the groom. Tied to a chair, yes. Allowed even to touch another woman, no way.


DowagerDutchess November 5, 2012 at 11:40 am

I think it’s entirely appropriate to have a discussion about the bachelorette party, and in my experience that discussion involves the bride, bridesmaids, and likely guests to see what will be feasible for them. Odd that you agreed to Sally hosting when you know you don’t like her skills in that area but I think it’s better to shut things down now than to go along with it and wind up in a fight the evening of.


Silverlily November 5, 2012 at 11:42 am

You already know Sandy’s history of forcing people into awkward situations (which speaks loads about her lack of maturity, lack of empathy, and lack of general regard for other people’s feelings), so why are you still permitting her to push you around? She’s already manipulated you into having the bachelorette party the Friday before the wedding, which you really didn’t want to do to start with. She’s dragged her feet about issuing invitations (which, according to the letter, she hasn’t even done yet), and so you’ll be lucky if everyone can even attend your party at this point. She clearly doesn’t care that you – you, the guest of honour! – and the other guests work 9 to 5 jobs, and that you and the other guests cannot just take off work at a whim; nor can you feasibly attend a party on a Wednesday night without having to curtail it early to prepare for work the next day. Further, she appears to be centering the bachelorette party around stupid antics that she knows full well will result not only in the discomfort of you, but everyone around you. IMO, you should tell Sandy that she is no longer the hostess of your bachelorette party (and if I were you, I would also tell her she is no longer invited). You should then host a small party at your home or whatever venue pleases you, and let the other guests know that Sandy’s party is no longer happening. If they are truly your friends, they will understand. Sandy is refusing to understand your point of view. She doesn’t sound at all like a friend.

A side note that is nonetheless important: If you go to Sandy’s party and strangers are asked to participate in embarrassing antics with you, and you firmly decline, you will be just as culpable for these strangers’ discomfort as Sandy, because you’ll have known going in that this would happen, whereas said strangers will have had no idea.

You’re an adult. Stand up to Sandy. If you don’t like what is happening, then put an end to it.


TylerBelle November 5, 2012 at 11:49 am

This is a mind boggler how after being told how much a certain situation will be uncomfortable and disliked, the person with the idea still continues to insist on it. I totally agree with the Admin’s advice. This type of party is for Sandy’s enjoyment, period. And if everything’s still on, you can go and have a good time doing what you want to do. If she pushes the wearing of silly outfits and interacting with strangers, then tell her to be your guest, and she can go for it herself. Also, yes, update please.


--Lia November 5, 2012 at 11:55 am

One more comment– Speaking as person who sometimes likes to drink in bar (or more likely, listen to music or dance there), I HATE HATE HATE to be engaged in some stranger’s antics and jokes. I don’t even want to sing happy birthday. It’s your party, and I’m fine with listening to the laughter coming from your table. I don’t want to know what you’re laughing about or be drawn in in any way. I don’t know if my comment will make any difference to Sandy, but you’re welcome to pass on this news if you think it might.


slappie jones November 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I once went to the bachelorette party of someone I worked with. She was (and still is) a very lovely, quiet girl. The loud mouth of the office arranged a night out at a local, low key pub. The bride, Cindy, begged her to please not to put herself out too much with the planning and was appropriately thankful for her efforts. Well, no sooner does Cindy arrive, and a large penis hat is shoved on her head. Into Cindy ‘s hands was thrust (no pun intended) a cocktail with….you guessed it…a large penis straw. We all thought poor Cindy was going to crawl under the table!!! She was extremely uncomfortable the entire evening and any subtle efforts to remove the hat or straw was met with “HEY! Don’t you DARE take that off!” The kicker was a few weeks later, Cindy walked into the office to find pictures of her posted on the office bulletin board wearing the hat and drinking from the straw. I guess that was the straw that broke the camels back because Cindy marched up to the board, ripped the photos off and handed them to loudmouth in her cubicle saying “The party is over…you may keep these. I don’t want them. Thank you.” Don’t be forced or cajoled into doing anything which makes you uneasy, OP, no one has the right to force their idea of a “good time ” on anyone. Good Luck to you, dear…I wish you every happiness!!!


Snarkastic November 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Oh. Dear. I just couldn’t refrain from commenting. Even weeks later. This is my nightmare. Well, one of my many (even though I’m pretty easy-going and generally a “good sport”). I hate stupid bachelorette B.S. and this story gives me the shivers on poor Cindy’s behalf.

Good for her for tearing the photos down and making it clear that type of humor was not appreciated or in good taste an the office setting.


Melinda November 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Can you talk to the other ladies and get their help in reining in Sandy? Sandy sounds like a stressful nightmare, and worrying about what she was going to spring on me would take a LOT of the fun out of that night for me… My party took me to Chippendales, NOT somewhere I’d have gone of my own volition, but I was expected and allowed to be passive and sit back and laugh and drink, not actively putting money in anybody’s G-string… Made a HUGE difference in my enjoyment of it all. Nor did we get plastered, and we knew that going in, so that was a reassurance to me.

I might want to give talking to Sandy about this one more time, reminding her that while she’s ‘hosting’ the party, you’re the honoree, and she should not be planning on doing things that will make you squirm just because she thinks they’re funny and amusing and ‘the best thing EVAR!’… Warn her that you will refuse point blank to DO them, making HER look stupid, and that if she pushes you too hard, you may push back in a way she won’t enjoy, and that your friendship will take a permanent dent. Does she want to risk that? Does she KNOW how upset you’re getting? Is this her last best chance to MC An Event…?

I really hope this gets resolved happily for you!


Angel November 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Stuff like this is EXACTLY why I planned my own bachelorette party. I know that it’s not proper etiquette but it was the only way I would make sure I would enjoy the party. I presented my ideas to my bridesmaids and a few close friends. We went to an interactive off Broadway show in NYC, and a cute little Italian restaurant. I treated everyone to a nice limo ride there and back, but we all paid for our show tickets and the girls bought my dinner, and we took turns buying rounds of drinks. (I think most of mine were paid for though). A couple of my bridesmaids who chose not to join us actually came to me later and said they wish they would have gone, it sounded like a great time! Paying for transportation was huge but I figured it was the least I could do, since I was the one who wanted to go into the city. I gave everyone about a month’s notice and we did the party about 3 weeks before the wedding–which also coincided with my birthday so it worked out awesome!

I would have no problem with someone else planning the party for me, as long as they actually LISTENED to what I like. It sounds as though Sandy didn’t seem to care what you like. That’s a shame. Good choice of name by the way. I probably would just tell her I’m busy that evening. And then just plan something else yourself. Seriously it’s your party. Why should YOU be made to feel uncomfortable?


Audra November 5, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I understand Admin’s answer regarding going through with the party since you accepted, but I disagree with it this time.

Sandy is trying to bully you into something that is going to cause extreme discomfort and try to embarrass you. This isn’t about celebrating *with you*, it’s about making her (Sandy) the center of attention. She did not respect your request for invitations to be sent in a timely manner, your request of dates, that you & the other ladies have jobs that require notice to be off, or your request to keep it private instead of being a public spectacle. In short, she wants to use your discomfort as a source of amusement.

I think I would contact Sandy and say that I appreciated the offer but since you two could not agree on aspects of the party, you would prefer to just cancel it.

Anyone who tried to bully me into doing something I didn’t want to do, would not be a friend of mine much longer.


travestine November 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I believe, knowing now what Sandy has planned and given that she is giving you the ‘silent treatment’ because you won’t give in to her idea of ‘fun’, it’s time to thank Sandy for her offer to host the bachlorette and perhaps draft two of your other attendants to take over. Yes, it’s late in the process, but it’s clear that, if you follow the mod’s advice, it will be an awkward, uncomfortable evening for all of you. Better to thank Sandy for her efforts, explain that clearly the two of you are on different pages about what would be ‘fun’ at a bachlorette party and to avoid an uncomfortable scene for everyone, it’s best if a whole different evening is planned. Be prepared to lose Sandy from your wedding.

The big lesson to be learned is that the OP KNEW that Sandy had a different idea of ‘fun’ from the beginning. Just because Sandy was first to offer shouldn’t give her the golden ticket to host the bachlorette. Perhaps another attendant who knew the OP’s style should have been assigned to rein Sandy in, but I don’t think sucking up an awkward and uncomfortable evening should be the result. Either way, it would have been okay to ‘bean dip’ Sandy and to have another attendant with taste closer to the OP’s host the bachlorette in order to avoid exactly this situation.


Allie November 6, 2012 at 11:42 am

I agree OP should have known better, although I’m sorry to have to blame the victim (at least in part) here. Sandy’s behaviour is immature, as others have pointed out, but people don’t change and she had a history of such behaviour. Although it is late in the process, it sounds like the kind of evening the OP would enjoy could take place on a weeknight, so that opens up a lot more potential dates.


Jena R. November 5, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I had something similar happen, but not nearly to this extreme. I sympathize. It’s hard to say no to some folks who are headstrong, and continually don’t hear you or respect your boundaries. I ultimately had my MOH cancel an event because it just did not align with my comfort level. She was miffed, but it didn’t kill her, and it cost her nothing, so no harm, no foul. I’m sure my wedding and ancillary events did not live up to her expectations, but then again, it wasn’t her day to begin with.


Pam November 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm

This is where my personal attendant stepped up to the plate for me. My bridesmaids wanted to haul me around our small town the night before my wedding playing a game going house to house to ask for different items. I didn’t like the idea and was also just. plain. worn. out. I told my personal attendant and she make the announcement “Bride is tired and needs to go home and go to bed!” I was so grateful. She spared me from having to be the “spoiler of the fun”. I don’t know how common the “personal attendant” position is anymore, but she saved the day in more ways than one. I think now brides look to their bridesmaid’s to do that job, but having a trusted friend whose responsibility is to run after things, remembers things, keep the car keys safe etc. is worth her weight in gold. 🙂


Miss Raven November 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm

It sounds like Sandy has a lot of growing up to do. It’s not immature to work a shift job. It is immature to forget or not care that others work early on weekdays. It is immature to blindly insist that your idea of fun is everyone’s idea of fun, and if it’s not, well, it should be. It is immature to offer to host an event that traditionally celebrates the bride, and then ignore the bride’s input.

Sandy wants the whole party to be about Sandy. And considering the immaturity she’s shown so far, and lack of consideration for the OP and the other party guests, I’m guessing even if the party does happen, it’s going to be a bit of a disaster. Think unprepared, lack of research, poor planning.

“What do you mean this bar has a $15 cover and a 2-drink minimum after 10 pm??” “What do you mean tonight is ‘GRINDCORE NIGHT’ and the bar is filled with metal-heads and ear-piercing screeching?” “What do you mean the invitations just went out three days ago and you don’t know who’s coming?”

I have a feeling that this was an endeavor Sandy should never have taken on on her own. OP, time to hop this train before it derails. Maybe ask your other BM’s to step in on your behalf (have them leave your name out of it if you wish) and clean up the mess a bit.


acr November 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

I don’t think that the OP is obliged to attend Sandy’s event. I think she’d be totally okay to call Sandy and say, “I think we have very different ideas of a fun bachelorette party, so I’ve decided to plan this myself. We’re meeting at X place at Y o’clock for dinner.” Or whatever. Sandy is not going to accept the OP’s refusal to “have fun” correctly gracefully.


Ann November 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Sandy doesn’t sound like much of a friend, and this doesn’t sound like “any other occasion” to me. It sounds like a hazing. And, anyone with enough maturity to get married should have enough maturity to bow out.


Shoebox November 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Seems to me like all that’s been accomplished here re: party plans is to establish Sandy as a colossally immature jerk, and the current version of the party is dead in the water regardless. (Frankly, count me in with those who’re baffled as to how she ended up with the job in the first place. Excitement can only explain so much.)

But in the spirit of Admin’s notes re: honouring commitment, to clear your own conscience, perhaps give her one more chance. Sit her down, face-to-face, and tell her plainly and with conviction that either she listens to your preferences and drops the dumb stunts, or she will not be hosting anything.

Then, if she does anything other than sincerely apologise and agree to a quiet, productive discussion of your preferences — and I do mean *anything* — inform her that you’re sorry she feels that way, leave, and proceed to plan your own celebration with perhaps help from more sympathetic friends. You will probably want to discreetly explain the situation to said friends anyway, prior to this convo, as Sandy strikes me as very much the type to go sulking to the crowd with her ‘grievances’.)


OP-VisionClash November 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Hi everyone! OP here and thanks for everybody’s kind thoughts and advice. I’m still digesting everything but I see a few hellions wondering why I accepted Sandy’s offer in the first place. Would like to clarify that in all the years we have known each other, our ideas of fun usually DID coincide.. I Woolf daresay that our disagreement about surprises aside, much more often then not we enjoyed doing the same things – high-teas, movie marathons, kite-flying… I even love horror houses (I vetoed because I didn’t think it was fair forcing our friends to go through with it). Plus, while I have witnessed Sandy making people uncomfortable before (loudly insisting on her opinion, say), she has never dragged in strangers or made it a public scene… I have never even seen or heard Sandy into a bar before, since she is ultra-religious! So, it really came as a BIG surprise that Sansy wanted to plan a wild night’s out.. She usually organizes girly stuff like PJ sleepovers and spa days!

To give a quick update – one of my other bridesmaids (let’s call her Angel), bless her, has privately updated me that Sandy has invited the ladies to the Friday party. Angel commented that what Sandy has planned doesn’t sound like what I would like and so she decided to come chat with me about it. After reading some of the comments, I think I’ll be asking Angel to rein things in.. And in failing that, I’ll probably take over the plans totally – just dinner & drinks!

And to the Admin and all who echoed her views: thank you, I’ll certainly not let myself be bullied to do what I do not want. Especially now that I know what to say! Cheers!


Libby November 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I don’t think you need to honor the commitment to be the guest of honor at a party that is designed to embarrass and humiliate you. Etiquette does not dictate that you let people walk all over you, nor does it mean you have to go along with rude, inconsiderate behavior. Frankly, I think you are lucky Sandy isn’t speaking to you any more.


essie November 6, 2012 at 7:30 am

@ Pam: your “personal attendant” is what I’d consider the MOH (Maid/Matron of Honor)


Mary November 6, 2012 at 10:07 am

“@ Pam: your “personal attendant” is what I’d consider the MOH (Maid/Matron of Honor”

In my area of the country (Upper Midwest), a personal attendant is separate from the position of MOH. My personal attendant had duties such as gathering up my personal items from the brides’ room at the church and making sure that they made it to the reception site and into our car. Simple things like that to make sure the bride doesn’t have to worry about the little things.


Pam November 9, 2012 at 7:55 am

I wondered if it was a regional kind of thing. I just know that I highly recommend the idea! The MOH has a lot of things to take care of just for themselves in getting ready etc. The Personal attendant sees her sole responsibility for the day as helping the bride.


Asian Bride November 6, 2012 at 10:50 am

I agree with attending the event, and I see nothing wrong with refusing to do anything you’re not comfortable with. I think these types of bachelorette parties are tacky, and this is coming from someone who loves to be the centre of attention, has no problems approaching strangers, and isn’t bothered by occasional skanky attire or the waving around of latex penises. In fact, I decided not to have a bachelorette party at all when I got married 7 years ago at age 25. Good luck, and please let us know how it goes!


Allie November 6, 2012 at 11:36 am

The whole “institution” of the bachelor and bachelorette party has become so ridiculously overblown, with everyone trying to outdo each other, I think it should be discontinued. What’s wrong with a nice quiet dinner out with a few close friends? For a long time, it seemed the whole goal was to get as drunk and stupid as possible (which sounds like what this girl has in mind). And now the “destination” party (to some far-flung and expensive locale) seems to be the trend. I say no more! Put your foot down and tell your friend absolutely and unequivocally NO.


sv November 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Check with one of the other girls and see if they have heard from Sandy. If they have, contact Sandy and state firmly but politely that although you appreciate the thought behind her gesture you are not comfortable with that type of thing, and you would rather have a quiet intimate evening with friends. If she agrees, great. If not, be prepared to stand your ground. If your girlfriends have NOT heard from Sandy, I would plan it yourself and as a gesture of goodwill, invite her along. Whether she comes in up to her.


Enna November 7, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I like the way the OP said she liked the house of horrors but pointed out that others may not, sounds like she has got her head screwed on properly and that her firend “Angel” has helped by regining in Sandy, that may ruin the surprise a bit but it hopefully won’t become a nasty shock instead.

Admin I do agree with you on the whole but I do disagree on one aspect: guests, including the guest of honour are under no obligation to go to an event or party etc if they know they won’t enjoy and have voiced such opinions to the host (politely of course) and the requests have fallen on the host’s deaf ears. IWhats the point in the OP putting herself in that postiion and going? The last thing she would want is to have strangers egging her on or the DJ if it was in a club.

If I went to a party I would be shocked if I saw a stripper there – male or female and if I knew in advance I would consider not going – if I was the guest of honour at my own hen night I would say “no strippers” – if my firend chose to ignore that then I would say as it wouldn’t be enjoyable for me I wouldn’t be going. If it was kept as a sneaky “surprise” I would make a hasty excit and leave when the stripper turned up.


PM November 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I have a serious problem with anyone who tries to take away my right to say “no.” It brings out my natural hinky-meter and it’s highly likely I will find a way to get out of whatever you have planned.


Katana November 8, 2012 at 3:40 am

Did Sandy even realise that the Hen Night is for the bride?

My own is coming up, and I gave a guest list and quite a few ideas of what I wanted to do and that I wanted a surprise. As far as I know, we’re having an afternoon tea with the older ladies first (Mum, my Aunt and my grandma) and then going out after.


Wedding Belle UK November 8, 2012 at 10:34 am

My Hen organisers have already sent out the emails asking if people have the date free and it’s in March next year – if I was invited to a Hen Night less than 2 months in advance, it’s highly likely I would have something already on that night! I’ve also been strict with my organisers as I didn’t want anyone to spend loads of money, nor did I want to make chocolate, go bungee jumping or have to leave town. And hells no to anything penis shaped!

It’s about the only thing I’ve gotten ‘Bridezilla’ on, but as I asked nicely and stated my reasons, I don’t think I was controlling. And they seem to understand, which is crucially the point that Sandy is missing – she’s planning a wild Hen Night that some people might love but not you. I reckon she’s got a bit carried away with the depiction of such nights in the media and has forgotten that you are at the heart of it. I’m sure she’ll come to her senses a few months down the line and be properly remorseful.

I’ve noticed a lot of Batchelorette parties are small in the US – is this because you guys have showers? Here in the UK, a Hen Night is a biggish deal and I have about 20 people on my invitee list (partly due to FH having 5 female close relatives who are all now my firends).


Katja December 19, 2014 at 12:30 pm

I had a surprise bachlorette party. Not like it came out of the blue or anything, but that I was to be kept in the dark as to the activities. My sister, who was my MOH, and niece and a friend, emailed one another to plan it. I was expecting maybe going to a dinner followed by either a rock show or a burlesque performance. At most a crazy, teen comedy style slumber party at a friend’s or at least a night at a karaoke bar with no more than 6 people. Turns out it was an 80s dance party at a dance club. The problem with that? I hate dancing and dance clubs. So. Much. I was genuinely surprised that my sister made that plan. I felt so awkward and danced a little to Billy Idol but I really feel uncomfortable with that kind of stuff. It was while I attended my niece’s own bachlorette party a few months later and was sitting out at the bar (while she was dancing with her friends) that she came up to me and asked “Hey? Not dancing?” I explained I never liked dancing or these scenes. She just nodded and was like “I know! I tried getting everyone on board to take you to an alternative side show for your party but everyone poo-pooed it.”

I missed an alternative, punk rock influenced performance art sideshow for an 80’s dance party? Clearly my sister and friends no nothing about me.


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