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Am I overreacting to my bridesmaid?
April 14, 2005 11:56 AM   Subscribe

My fiancé and I are having out bachelor and bachelorette parties on the same night. One of my bridesmaids plans to attend both parties. This really bothers me and I’m not sure why. Am I overreacting?

Some things:
-We can’t change the date because we are traveling from out of town
-No other girls are invited to the bachelor party
-She is friends with both of us, although probably closer to me
posted by chicken nuglet to Human Relations (77 answers total)
 
It sounds like you're a little jealous. Is that possible? If so, just think about whether you have any real reason to be. Probably not, if you're about to marry the guy.
posted by scarabic at 11:59 AM on April 14, 2005


Why don't you just combine the parties? You can all have a great time at the strip club together.
posted by crapulent at 12:00 PM on April 14, 2005


Here's a harsh reality I'm sure everyone else will mention also. It's all about the honesty dude.

I wish I had learned this back in my 20s, but live and learn.

Tell her all the details of your bachelor party. That way you've got nothing to hide. That way it doesn't matter if your/her friend comes.

I'm sure I could think up a few "spy" issues with this friend, which may indicate a lack of trust with your future wife. This would be VERY VERY BAD. On the other hand, you do say she is both of your friends. Maybe she justs wants to support both of you. (Or go to two parties.)

Anyway, I find just spilling the beans about everything eliminates the need for lying, and sort of gets everything out in the open. Better to deal with these issues now, rather than later.

KFJ
posted by kungfujoe at 12:01 PM on April 14, 2005


Was she invited to attend the bachelor party, or did she just invite herself along?

(As a point of reference: It would bother me, too, I think.)
posted by occhiblu at 12:03 PM on April 14, 2005


(OK, now I'm confused -- chicken nuglet, I was assuming you're the bride-to-be in this situation; is that correct?)
posted by occhiblu at 12:04 PM on April 14, 2005


Kungfujoe, this question was posted by the bride.
posted by orange swan at 12:06 PM on April 14, 2005


If the bridesmaid wasn't invited and just invited herself, she might just be a little pushy.

Perhaps you could arrange to have both parties separate until midnight, then combine them.
posted by orange swan at 12:08 PM on April 14, 2005


Is your bridesmaid a man? No? Then she doesn't belong at a bachelor party.
posted by Dean King at 12:09 PM on April 14, 2005


I've had many friends have co-ed bachelor/ette parties; that doesn't seem like an issue. But her being the only woman there does -- while it doesn't mean that she's necessarily going after your fiance, it does somehow seem like she wants the attention she'll get by being surrounded by men at a traditionally testosterone-heavy event.

In other words, she's making it about her rather than about y'all. If she was just "one of the guys," then presumably you'd describe her as being closer to your fiance than to you; since you say it's the opposite, then this sounds like she's being opportunistic ("Single guys! All in one place! All revved up!")

Even if that's not really what she's consciously thinking, the appearance of it would make me uncomfortable if I were in your place. Again, not because you don't trust your fiance, but because her actions seem a bit self-centered. The parties are supposed to be about having "one last blast" with good friends, not about hooking up with other wedding members. (That's what the reception is for!)
posted by occhiblu at 12:14 PM on April 14, 2005


She should not go to the bachelor party; it is likely to make several of the other bachelor party guests uncomfortable. It's just plain not traditional, and frankly, it's not her place and none of her business to got to a bachelor party (whether the party takes place at a strip club or a bowling alley).
posted by Doohickie at 12:15 PM on April 14, 2005


I have been to many a bachelor party and I am also good friends with many girls that my wife is friends with, some of them are cool enough to attend a bachelor party but wouldn't out of respect. A bachelor party is hopefully a one time event for the man and no chicks should be there except for the hired help/show, etc. IMHO.
posted by askmatrix at 12:15 PM on April 14, 2005


(chicken nuglet is named "rebecca", and said "my bridesmaids". It's pretty safe to say we're talking to the bride)
posted by raedyn at 12:16 PM on April 14, 2005


seriously, the only girls at bachelor parties are the strippers. I find it troubling that a female mutual friend wants to go to the bachelor party, unless she's a lesbian and wants in on the stripper action.
posted by puke & cry at 12:18 PM on April 14, 2005


I don't think these parties need to be single-sex, but in this case I think it's odd for a bridesmaid--who is by definition a member of the bride's...entourage, for lack of a better word--to skip out on the bride's party early to join another party (any other party). The pushiness of inviting herself along (if that truly is the case) is another layer of aggravation.

I second the idea of combining the parties at a certain point in the evening, but if that's not possible than I suggest it's the role of the groom (or more likely the best man, or whoever is organizing the bachelor party) to straighten out the errant maid.
posted by handful of rain at 12:18 PM on April 14, 2005


Dean King = best answer!
posted by Witty at 12:19 PM on April 14, 2005


A bachelor party is hopefully a one time event for the man and no chicks should be there except for the hired help/show, etc.

Agreed. A bachelor party almost always results in things that can never be spoken of and I think we all know that women can't be trusted to keep a secret. (I kid!) But really, even if he's just going out and playing darts at the pub, it ought to be a Boys Only event.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:21 PM on April 14, 2005


Is your bridesmaid a man? No? Then she doesn't belong at a bachelor party.

Unless she's part of the entertainment.
posted by jperkins at 12:21 PM on April 14, 2005


Agree with DK and because I see trouble here which will not involve the marring couple, but the attendees. Why? Because she sounds like an attention whore going to an all male party by being the only female present. Can you give me one good reason this is otherwise? Adding, I have heard many women say they will crash a bachelor party for that fact alone, [sigh], thinking that it’s real cool because, who would ask her to leave the party?
posted by thomcatspike at 12:23 PM on April 14, 2005


I've attended one bachelor party in which there was one female guest who was 'one of the guys' and it was fine.

I've also attended a bachelor party in which two female cousins of the bride showed up 'accidentally' and threw everyone for a loop: What The Hell? Who Are Those Girls? How Old Are They? Are We All Going To Jail?

turns out they were 18 and 19, by the way... which here in Canada is A-Okay!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:23 PM on April 14, 2005


I don't think that this decision belongs to the bride; I think it belongs to the groom (or at least a combined decision with both). Talk to your fiance and mention exactly what occhiblu said; he'll (probably) agree and tell your friend that, although it would be really cool to see her there, it's probably best if she didn't come.

As the bride, I wouldn't say anything. It would make your friend uncomfortable and quite possibly have this "thing" lingering during the wedding, which would suck. Take the pressure off of yourself and let the groom handle this. She'd probably take it better from him anyway (it would seem natural for your friend to think that you're jealous, which isn't the case).
posted by SeizeTheDay at 12:23 PM on April 14, 2005


after previewing, DK's was the last comment I saw, slow pushing the post button, whoops.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:28 PM on April 14, 2005


Is your bridesmaid a man? No? Then she doesn't belong at a bachelor party.

Bullshit. I'm a woman who's gone to a bachelor party, and I resent the notion I didn't "belong" there because of my lack of penis. Years ago I flew in to LA (way before I lived here) to attend the wedding of one of my best (male) friends from college. I'd met the bride several times, and while she and I were friendly, we were not close. I went to the bachelor party with the groomsmen because I was essentially one of the guys. And no, there was no drunken carousing with strippers that I was expected to keep "secret." The night consisted pretty much exclusively of beer, cigars, poker, and talking about records -- it wasn't like they were all going to go out and bang a hooker if I wasn't there.

In this case, the female friend of the bride and groom may just feel like she, too, is just one of the guys. If that's the case, chicken nuglet, I strongly advise you not let it bother you, and be cool with her attending both parties. (This is assuming that your fiance actually invited her to his party as well -- and not that she's just "decided" on her own that she wants to go to both.) Friendly attachments between men and women don't have to stop (and I would even argue that they shouldn't stop) just because one of the parties is getting married to someone else.
posted by scody at 12:29 PM on April 14, 2005


DANGER!



What Dean King said. A bachelor party is for the groom, the groomsmen and selected male friends.
PERIOD.
Old-school-haters pile on, but this is a perfect recipe for trouble. Besides, even if said bridesmaid likes girls (per p&k), it will not end well. Especially if she's a drinker.
posted by nj_subgenius at 12:30 PM on April 14, 2005


but this is a perfect recipe for trouble

Yeah, you're right, you got me: I actually gave out blow-jobs to everyone there when I was the lone woman at a bachelor party. It was really weird: we'd all hung out drinking and playing poker for years in college without me fucking a single one of them, but suddenly with the magic words "bachelor party" in the air, I just couldn't help myself!
posted by scody at 12:35 PM on April 14, 2005


Wow - am I terribly liberal or what? I'm shocked that so many of you think a bachelor party is for dudes ONLY. Hell, I've been a groomswoman TWICE at weddings! Most of my friends are guys, what can I say? This is weird.
posted by tristeza at 12:39 PM on April 14, 2005


sorry scody, but you're just plain wrong wrong wrong. Yours is one case that went well where a million others do not.
posted by puke & cry at 12:42 PM on April 14, 2005


Tristeza, I agree. I would say, however, that in this case it does have the advantage of making it easier to brush off the over-eager maid, since the guy organizing the party can just say, "Sorry, guys only, but we're looking forward to hanging out with you at the wedding."
posted by occhiblu at 12:43 PM on April 14, 2005


The bachelor and bachelorette party should be whatever the couple whose parties they are want, provided that the details of each are acceptable to both.

If you're uncomfortable with your bridesmaid being the only woman at your fiance's bachelor party, the one you should be talking to about this is, hmm, I dunno, your future husband, maybe? You know, the one whose party it is.

Don't start off insisting that she not go to the party. Start by saying that the idea makes you uncomfortable, and explain why. Talk about it. You're about to be married to the guy, and a marriage is supposed to be a partnership. Find out how he feels about it, and try to come to a joint decision.
posted by cerebus19 at 12:43 PM on April 14, 2005


This is really the groom's decision. Either he's comfortable with a girl going or he isn't. If he wants it to be men-only to appease you, then fine, but it's still his call. There are WAY too many assumptions in this thread about what a bachelor party is supposed to entail.
posted by GeekAnimator at 12:44 PM on April 14, 2005


It's just my opinion, old-school as it is, scody. Don't get so bent out of shape.
posted by nj_subgenius at 12:44 PM on April 14, 2005


I have to agree with scody and tristeza that, as I said above, there's no reason these events are single-sex only. The make-up of the party depends on the wishes of the bride/groom, who their closest friends are, etc.

I think the real issue is whether the bridesmaid was officially invited to both. If not, she's pushy and should be gently corrected (but no need to call her whore, for god's sake!). If she was, than the bride has some other issues to resolve with her husband-to-be if she truly does not feel comfortable with the situation.
posted by handful of rain at 12:46 PM on April 14, 2005


Scody is right if the scenario is the same: If the bridesmaid was invited to the party, and if she knows many of the attendees.

Otherwise, I agree that the best man / organizer of the party should step in and politely ask her to bow out. It would likely just make too many of the other attendees available.

chicken nuglet, have a talk with your man about it, have him pass on the verdict to the party organizer, but don't get in the middle of this with the woman in question. You have enough stress right now as it is.
posted by vignettist at 12:48 PM on April 14, 2005


chicken nuglet: you say that you don't know why this bothers you. I think the only real solution here is to find out. Your fiance isn't the type to do stupid things at a party, is he? If so, I would've imagined you being glad that your female friend was there-- that might prevent it. So I guess you may be jealous, or think that she might be embarrassing? You probably ought to talk it over with your fiance and think hard about how you feel. It might be very important-- bachelor parties are sometimes landmines-- or it might be nothing.
posted by koeselitz at 12:48 PM on April 14, 2005


Yeah, it's surprising how many traditionalists there are on the issue. The question was presented in a metafilterian way, though, since the poster said she wasn't sure why it upset her, and she wasn't sure if she was overreacting, and that it wasn't specifically that the bridesmaid was attending the party but that she'd leave the bachelorette party early, and would be the only woman at the other event.

To me, it is all quite dependent on all sorts of details.

Was she invited by your fiance? If so, have you spoken to him about this?

How close a friend of your fiance's is she? You say "although probably closer" to you, not definitively your friend and only his by association, so it seems at least possible that she honestly just wants to celebrate his bachelor night...

Do you trust her personally? Obviously she's your friend, but is she a kind of 'life of the party' friend more than a soulmate kinda friend?

I've been to bachelor parties before as 'one of the guys', but I don't think I've ever been "the only woman" there, so that could be something that will change the dynamic. Seems like something that should definitely be discussed with the groom, though.
posted by mdn at 12:53 PM on April 14, 2005


Actually, I'd have to fall into the "men only" camp when it comes to bachelor parties, even though I've never been to one. The whole point is to celebrate your last night of unbridled obnoxious maleness, which would have to involve drunkeness and strippers and possibly light artillery fire. I'm not even sure why a woman would want to be there. So, no estrogen stinkin' up the place.
posted by jonmc at 1:08 PM on April 14, 2005


I'll throw my voice in with the pro-coed-party group here. I (male) have been to several bachelor parties in the past few years, some men-only and some co-ed. I liked the co-ed ones a lot better.

But, a major difference between these and cn's case, is that in the co-ed parties I went to, the women present were friends (and in one case, the sister!) of the groom, not of the bride. I agree it would be weird if someone who was a friend of the bride (or, as you say, friends of both but closer to the bride) went to the bachelor party.

I went to the bachelor party with the groomsmen because I was essentially one of the guys. And no, there was no drunken carousing with strippers that I was expected to keep "secret."

Just for the record, I'd like to note that the fact that a bachelor party is co-ed doesn't mean you can't have, er, traditional bachelor party entertainment.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:08 PM on April 14, 2005


We both had coed parties. We wanted them that way. I would have felt wierd if my guy had had a party with all men and a single woman, but more in a "is that girl dumb? why doesn't she let them be" kind of way than a "oh god she's going after my finace" kind.

If you're having the second kind of thoughts about someone who is your friend, too, then trust alarms are going off in my mind. If the girl was someone who was *his* friend for a long time and you barely knew, it could be chalked up to just not trusting her. But that doesn't seem to be the case here.

(Maybe she's after one of the other groomsmen?)
posted by dpx.mfx at 1:11 PM on April 14, 2005


The whole point is to celebrate your last night of unbridled obnoxious maleness, which would have to involve drunkeness and strippers and possibly light artillery fire. I'm not even sure why a woman would want to be there.

You obviously don't know the right women.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:12 PM on April 14, 2005


I think we need pictures of the bridesmaid, just to be sure.
posted by signal at 1:19 PM on April 14, 2005


It seems to me that the bridesmaids are expected to be part of the bride's "entourage" (as someone said above) for the bachelorette party -- so what would bother me is that she intends to ditch the bride to go off to the other party. She sort of has a responsibility to party with the bride that night, doesn't she? It doesn't matter that the bachelor party might sound like fun to her, she should stay with the bride.

Of course, what do I know -- my bachelorette party never happened because my Maid of Honor got the flu...
posted by litlnemo at 1:24 PM on April 14, 2005


I appreciate everyone advice as it has been quite insightful. Here are some more details.

Was she invited to the bachelor party? Sort of. She has talked about attending the party around the groom and the groomsmen and no one has objected. I guess one could interpret that either way.

How close are you? The bridesmaid and I have been friends for almost 10 years. She befriended the groom when we started dating and has known him for 5 years.

Is she going just for the strippers? Probably not as we will have them at my party too.

Do I trust her? With my life.
posted by chicken nuglet at 1:40 PM on April 14, 2005


It would bother me in that the bridesmaids are traditionally supposed to be supporting the bride, as noted above. Would attending the bachelor/stag party make her miss any part of the hen party? Is she likely to overindulge at both and be badly hungover (in jail? heh.) If it would in any way impinge on your night, then I think you have a reason to be uncomfortable. I wouldn't let it be a big deal though.
posted by theora55 at 1:44 PM on April 14, 2005


If you trust her with your life, then I think you need to really try to figure out what it is about the situation that makes you uncomfortable. If you trust her, and you (I'm assuming) trust your fiance, then there must be something else. Maybe if you talk it out with your fiance it'll help you figure it out. Or maybe if you talk it out with your bridesmaid, since you've known her longer and she's more likely to be able to see the woman's perspective on the situation than your fiance is.
posted by cerebus19 at 1:48 PM on April 14, 2005


I recently had a bachelor party and a number of female friends come with. (Actually, the best man's wife even tagged along, and it wasn't a bad deal). Granted, this was not your average testosterone-fueled outing, although it was heavily boozed up and could have gotten dangerous or nasty if the wrong people were involved. It just depends on the nature of the friendship ... and of the bachelor party, I suppose.
posted by kuperman at 1:55 PM on April 14, 2005


If you trust her with your life, nuglet, let go. Trust is hard to come by. Don't even bother to talk with your fiance about it. Just look your friend in the eyes when she's off to the bachelor party, jokingly tell her to keep your groom honest, and don't cross your fingers. My apologies to scody et al. Trust trumps everything.
posted by nj_subgenius at 1:56 PM on April 14, 2005


Personally, I would be upset if one of my bridesmaids were ditching out on my bachelorette party regardless of whether it was to attend the bachelor party or not. It's just rude. If you're comfortable doing so, maybe you could mention that it's important to you that she not just drop by for a few but actually stay for the whole party?
posted by cali at 2:00 PM on April 14, 2005


My take is that maybe the potential jealousy stems from the friend getting to go to *both* parties, potentially having the most fun of everyone. No one else, not even the bride or groom, gets to go to both! I can see where the bride or the groom might feel wistful/left out when faced with that possibility. I think the only way to defuse the situation, as someone mentioned above, is to combine both parties at a certain point, so that all shared fun is truly shared by everyone.
posted by xo at 2:03 PM on April 14, 2005


It doesn't seem so much a matter of trust as a situation where one of your closest friends is ditching you on a very important night to hang out with a bunch of guys. You are the bride, and as a bridesmaid, her responsibility is to you and your bachelorette party. Yes, she is a friend of your fiance as well, but the time to celebrate with him is at the wedding. This is your night with your girlfriends, and it is totally rude of her to leave your party for another one, especially since she is a close friend of yours. And of course, not asking the groom if it was ok is rude as well, it is probable, since they did not invite any other women, that they had planned on it being males-only, and her presence would be an imposition. The best thing may be to mention it to another friend, preferably another bridesmaid, and have that person discreetly remind her that her duties are to the bride-to-be, and not to herself. That way, it is not you confronting her, nor your fiance disinviting her, but rather is left up to her to make the right call.
posted by orangskye at 2:03 PM on April 14, 2005


My husband and I each had coed parties too -- his bachelor party was probably about 80% female, as that's in line with the gender breakdown of his close friends. Mine was about half-and-half (with most of the guys being gay, but not all). Some lasciviousness all around, but nothing that made anyone uncomfortable, I don't think. And since we share a lot of friends, the breakdown of who went to each party was basically based on who met each friend first. A few people went to both.

Still, it comes down to what makes you comfortable -- but if you can't articulate to your fiance or your friend why you're uncomfortable, it's probably not worth making a big deal about. Just let the night go and have fun. (Maybe the two parties could meet up at the end of the night for a coed afterparty at a third location, for whoever's up for staying out into the wee hours.)
posted by lisa g at 2:20 PM on April 14, 2005


I've heard of people saying they'll do this sort of thing but it's usually just to harvest gossip from both parties. I don't mean that they're gathering blackmail material, just that they want to know absolutely everything that's going on.

I've also noticed that the people who say they're going to do this don't in the end - they just get a bit wrapped up in the excitement and anticipation of the upcoming event and start putting about daft ideas.

There's nothing wrong with a woman at a bachelor party - but if she's already got an invite to the brides party it seems a little greedy!
posted by dodgygeezer at 2:20 PM on April 14, 2005


Was she invited to the bachelor party? Sort of. She has talked about attending the party around the groom and the groomsmen and no one has objected. I guess one could interpret that either way.

See, that bit sets off alarm bells for me. It seems very possible that they haven't objected only because they're trying not to be rude or hurt someone they consider a friend. I think it's easy to tell someone you barely know they're not welcome, and it's easy to tell a very very close friend they're not welcome in a certain situation (because you know it won't do long-term damage to your friendship), but I think there's an intermediate level of friendship where it's difficult to tell them, and that may be where the friendship between your fiance and the bridesmaid is at. (OTOH, I could be over-sensitive here because I recently found myself in a similar situation, having to tell someone I consider a friend but not a super-close friend he wasn't invited to an event he had been assuming he was invited to.) Talk to your fiance and find out if he and the groomsmen really wants he there, or if they just haven't objected because they're trying to be nice.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:22 PM on April 14, 2005


if he and the groomsmen really wants he there

Screwed that up between edits, didn't I? That's "...if he and the groomsmen really want her there..."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:25 PM on April 14, 2005


You are all missing the obvious. Your bridesmaid is the stripper in your fiancee's bachelor party.
posted by edlundart at 2:35 PM on April 14, 2005


No offence Doohickie but the phrase "it's just plain not traditional" has never been a good enough explanation of why a thing should or should not be done. At least not to me.

I have to second most of the advice given here to chicken nuglet advising her to have a chat with the groom about why it bothers you that the bridesmaid wants to go to his party. He may oblige you and bar her from his party but this may turn out to cause secondary damage. Nothing like having a bridesmaid pissed off at you on your wedding day.

Regardless, there is always the chance things could turn ugly even if she isn't there. Strip clubs, bars, bowling alleys and other locations they may frequent have women patrons and you never know. Bachelor party meets group of rowdy girls, trouble ensues!
posted by cm at 2:50 PM on April 14, 2005


If I were to have a bachelor party, I'd simply want my best friends there, whether they were men or women.

Now the fact is that they are mostly men. I don't know exactly how many women I would include, right now, but it's quite possible that the number might wind up being 1.

So what? This doesn't mean that she'd be grasping for attention by coming - it doesn't mean that she'd be ignoring the focus of the wedding or derailing the MANLINESS of the bachelor party.

I would not plan any differently if there were one woman along. I don't care much for strip clubs, and even if I did, women can enjoy them as well.

And I'd certainly never exclude a good friend from my bachelor party just because of her gender. Sure, it might change the dynamic to go from all men to mixed company. But any friend of mine, man or woman, would be able to handle it. I place no value on old traditions that split up the genders into different categories or roles. Fie on all that.
posted by scarabic at 2:52 PM on April 14, 2005


But the issue here isn't just "she'll ruin the bachelor party." She might, she might not. I think the larger issue is that one, as a friend, she's ditching the bride, who she's known twice as long, to go to a party she wasn't even really invited to; and two, as a member of the bride's party, she skipping out on an event that's pretty well considered part of her "duty" in order to, again, go have fun someplace that she wasn't really invited to.

She's blowing off the bride to go have fun with the guys. Regardless of her gender, it's rude. I'd say the same thing of a male member of the bride's party who wanted to ditch the bachelorette party (if he was invited) to go crash the bachelor party.
posted by occhiblu at 3:15 PM on April 14, 2005


Hmm. . .I've not only attended several bachelor parties, but I've thrown two of them (one rowdy, one not). I had no idea that I had flown in the face of God and nature by (a) going and (b) failing to sleep with all of the men there. Cripes.

I agree with occhiblu -- I don't think the problem here is a girl-among-boys problem, it's a ditching the bride problem, as well as an everybody-look-at-meeee problem. If it was a friend who was not a bridesmaid and someone who truly was equally friends with you both, I'd feel differently.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 4:47 PM on April 14, 2005


My advice: cancel the parties. Bachelor/ette parties are disgusting, crude, and have the potential to destroy relationships. They serve no purpose whatsoever other than as an excuse for people to engage in boorish, irresponsible, stupid behavior.

I'm serious: cancel the parties. Have your friends use the money/time/resources to do something a bit more, shall we say, noble or worthwhile: a group ski trip, a movie screening, a trip to the zoo, or something otherwise unique.
posted by davidmsc at 5:19 PM on April 14, 2005


The reason one doesn't attend both parties has nothing to do with gender biases necessarily. Both types of parties are meant to be exclusive, and although the same person should never have been invited to both, she'd still be really rude to accept both invitations. And as a bridesmaid, it would be ruder still to skip your party for his.

Fixing this is actually a job for your maid-of-honor. You should tell her that you find the situation upsetting-- she's upstaging the bride, after all-- and she should convince the bridesmaid to Do the Right Thing, which is to decline the groom's host's invitation (if one was, in fact, extended) and save the drama for her own wedding. And yes, a bridesmaid who is the only female attendant of a bachelor party, when not being paid to jump out of a cake, is, under most circumstances, being a shit-stirrer.

As a wedding guest, one picks a side of the church to sit on; one doesn't switch back and forth just because one can. In this case, she picked her side when she agreed to be your bridesmaid. If your maid-of-honor is not a suitable conduit for subtly getting the point across, you might be able to have a candid chat with the respective hosts of the two parties, asking to keep the guest lists exclusive of each other. Since the parties are on the same day, it's a reasonable request regardless of the bridesmaid situation.
posted by obloquy at 5:31 PM on April 14, 2005


She's blowing off the bride to go have fun with the guys. Regardless of her gender, it's rude.

But it's hard to come to that conclusion without paying regard to her gender. She's friends with both members of the couple. She wants to go to both parties. That's not "ditching" anyone, necessarily. She'll go to both, right? I really don't see the problem, certainly not among friends. Does everyone in this picture like one another?

It would be fair to say "I really want you at the bachelorette party. Please don't leave halfway through."

It's not fair to say "I don't think you should go to the bachelor party, and I don't like the fact that you want to."

So is this about wanting her at the one? Or being prohibitive about her appearing at the other?
posted by scarabic at 5:34 PM on April 14, 2005


I'm with davidmsc. I've been trying to think of a nice way to say this: all of this is exactly why I think bachelor/ette parties are a bad idea. The part where future partners run off separately and hire people to get naked for them is where it gets odd to me; I think this is a stupid tradition.

It sounds like a lot of people here have been to bachelor parties that involved small groups of friends in comfortable settings hanging out-- without nakedness or craziness. Is it too late to make your bachelor/ette parties into such get-togethers? Wouldn't it be easier for all around?

I realize that I'm giving advice here that's somewhat unsolicited, as you didn't ask whether you should have these parties in the first place. But you said you were uncomfortable, and asked if you were overreacting; my answer is 'no.'
posted by koeselitz at 5:36 PM on April 14, 2005


An easy solution might be, on bachelorette night, when the friend gets up to leave, the bride and the partiers earnestly say, "No, don't go! We're having so much fun with you here!"

If she does leave the bachelorettes for the bachelors at some point in the night, what's to stop the rest of the maids from defecting too?
posted by xo at 6:00 PM on April 14, 2005


The part where future partners run off separately and hire people to get naked for them is where it gets odd to me; I think this is a stupid tradition.

communist.
posted by jonmc at 6:26 PM on April 14, 2005


Somewhat off-topic, the term "bachelorette" is so bloody moronic. It's a "hen party" for her, and a "stag" for him.
posted by randomstriker at 6:38 PM on April 14, 2005


I think the biggest problem here is that Miss Manners would have an aneurysm if she read this. A BRIDESMAID is ditching the bachelorette party to attend the bachelor party???? If that girl can't see how rude and classless that is then bless her heart.

Some people might think that the whole separate male/female party thing is silly and outdated.. but you have to remember that some people think its silly to wear a white dress.. or to buy an engagement ring.. or to get married at all!! This is YOUR wedding, and if you want to have the traditional separate parties then that is your prerogative and no one should make you feel bad about it. If your friend wants coed parties, then she can have them for her own wedding. It isn't right for her to force you to have them at yours if that isn't what you want.
posted by gatorae at 6:39 PM on April 14, 2005


But it's hard to come to that conclusion without paying regard to her gender. She's friends with both members of the couple.

Yeah, but she's a bridesmaid. Which means that she stays with the bride on stag night.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 6:46 PM on April 14, 2005 [1 favorite]


Bachelor/ette parties are disgusting, crude, and have the potential to destroy relationships. They serve no purpose whatsoever other than as an excuse for people to engage in boorish, irresponsible, stupid behavior.

Not necessarily. One of the parties that I threw didn't have any nudity or out-of-bounds behavior at all. We wet white-water rafting, followed by an outstanding steak dinner with cigars and good wine. We played poker until about 4 a.m. The other one that I threw was wilder, true, but everything was stuff that was kosher within the bounds of the couple's relationship. The bride is really, really laid back and very sex-positive, and she had no problem with a couple of strippers.

I always am a little baffled when people think that activities at a bachelor party somehow don't "count" in the relationship. If your relationship doesn't allow for visits to strip clubs, for the love of God, don't go to a strip club in the days before your wedding. And I'm not even going to think about the people who thinks that hookers are fair game. I guess that there's a corrolary, though -- if you're the kind of person who wants to go to a strip club, don't marry someone who's not okay with it.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 6:57 PM on April 14, 2005


an excuse for people to engage in boorish, irresponsible, stupid behavior.

In the right doses, boorish irresponsible stupid behavior is good for the soul. heavy drinking, dope smoking, strippers...these things are fun, part of the normal human desire to let loose once in a while. don't knock it till you try it.
posted by jonmc at 7:12 PM on April 14, 2005


I always am a little baffled when people think that activities at a bachelor party somehow don't "count" in the relationship. If your relationship doesn't allow for visits to strip clubs, for the love of God, don't go to a strip club in the days before your wedding.

Well, I think the idea is, the bachelor party is specifically a temporarily lifting of all rules, for one last Bacchanalian revel. It is certainly possible to have the relationships 'rules' be "no strip clubs except on bachelor party night".

As for the whole tradition being pointless, it's up to the individuals to choose what's meaningful to them, but an argument can certainly be made that this is a symbolic celebration of your single self. After the wedding, you'll (theoretically) never be single again; you'll never be just the individual you were born as, but always part of a couple, half of a partnership. That's a gain, in general, but as with any gain, there's a small loss in there too, and the bachelor/ette party can be the chance to recognize that, to pay homage to that complete freedom you're leaving behind... For that reason, separate parties are really central - not gender separate (necessarily) but different parties for the bride and groom, as the whole point is to focus on their own independence. Having some attendees at both parties sort of dilutes that element, too.
posted by mdn at 7:26 PM on April 14, 2005


That's not "ditching" anyone, necessarily.

The way I see it, yes it is. The bridesmaid has a responsibility to the bride to be there with her at the bachelorette party. If she's not there, she's "ditching" the bride.

jonmc.... I agree with you on this thread.
posted by Doohickie at 8:45 PM on April 14, 2005


Well, I think the idea is, the bachelor party is specifically a temporarily lifting of all rules, for one last Bacchanalian revel. It is certainly possible to have the relationships 'rules' be "no strip clubs except on bachelor party night".

Sure, if those are the rules, I think that's entirely reasonable. If both people agree to the lifting of the rules, that's fabulous, but I don't think that's a God-given right.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 9:29 PM on April 14, 2005


To the people begging chicken nuglet to cancel/transform these parties: she hasn't described either one. As the many other parties described here show, you're jumping to conclusions if you're assuming that both feature strippers.

My bachelor party involved hanging out with old friends (3 m + 2 f) watching movies together, which is what we spent a lot of our time living together doing. Good times. Anyway, no strippers, but dammit it was my bachelor party and I'm not going to call it anything different.
posted by Aknaton at 9:49 PM on April 14, 2005


Is she worried that the bride's party won't last as long as the groom's and wants to max out her fun? She may not think she's ditching the bride in the first place and her non-invite invite is just a way of saying "I'll try and catch up with y'all later." Send out your other bridesmaid minions to discover this, and if so, have them get her deeper involved with the hen night so she can be assured that the girls can rock out just as long as the boys can.

My stag party is looming in the next month or so. I have no idea what my groomsmen have planned, but am pretty sure it'll be a boy only event. No strippers, though. The last batch were really, really sketchy. ("Lovely says that twenties make her horny!" says Delicious, Lovely's partner.)
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:34 AM on April 15, 2005


If both people agree to the lifting of the rules, that's fabulous, but I don't think that's a God-given right.

No, but if you follow the tradition, it's kind of a 'culture-given' right. That's the generalized definition of a bachelor party. I think if your fiance is having a bachelor party and for some reason you really don't want him to go to a strip club, you should bring it up, because I do think the 'default' definition is a sort of 'mardi-gras' moment, where restrictions are lifted.

Maybe these days there really aren't well defined traditions, and everyone should just talk to each other about what they want to do and what it means to them, since people may have different assumptions, but I don't find it baffling that people would assume the strip club being okay. The point of the party, traditionally, is to say goodbye to single life, to be able to say, this is the last time I ever get to do this, to enjoy a crazy night partying as if you're still single, before settling into a new kind of life. It's really a symbolic thing, since you've been in a serious relationship with someone for some time, but now you're making it official, so you officially say goodbye to singlehood with one last hurrah.

Obviously lots of people didn't spend much of their single life in a strip club, either, and the change means something different to them, so they'll have a different kind of bachelor/ette party. But the point is the same, to find a way to do those things that you're giving up or leaving behind, for the greater pleasure of being married. In our culture it can also be thought of as a kind of crossing into adulthood, as I think most of us spend our 20s still feeling mostly like extra large teenagers, and getting married is often (not always) a real threshold into becoming a "grown-up."

okay, I think I'm just babbling now. sorry 'bout that :).
posted by mdn at 6:41 AM on April 15, 2005


I'd say you're overreacting, yes.

I've never liked the idea of separate parties for this occasion and I suspect your anxiety about this illustrates my problem. It indicates a lack of trust, at some level. When I got married my fiancee and I had a joint party and it was really, really fun. Many of her friends were male and many of mine were female so the idea of stag and hen parties seemed absurdly sexist and old-fashioned. The underlying notion - that there are dark things you only do with friends of your own sex, that have to be concealed from the "other half", is offensive and retrograde, I think.

But hey, I was divorced after eight years, so what do I know?
posted by Decani at 6:41 AM on April 15, 2005


FWIW I'm getting hitched in the fall (male) and had my own issues surrounding the bachelor/bachelorette parties.

after introspection, i decided i was JEALOUS i couldn't go to the bachelorette party! my fiancee is a hell of a lot of fun, her friends are a hell of a lot of fun (and my friends as well) and the thought of them going out to have a blast without me...

so perhaps it's as simple as that. you're jealous that your friend gets to go to both parties. i would be.

i may invite women to my bachelor party and i my fiancee and i have agreed that we wont keep any secrets.
posted by xz at 4:46 PM on April 15, 2005


Just get her drunk as fuck at the hen party, then don't let 'er leave.
I think it's bogus, but I also realize that each wedding is different and each group of people has different values and traditions.
Both my brother and my pal Andy had boring-ass bachellors' parties, just the way they wanted 'em.
Perhaps your uneasiness is just a bit of vestigial tradition riding up against your modern sensibilities...
posted by klangklangston at 1:02 PM on April 18, 2005


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