Is it even possible to have a "night on the town" with ~20 women without going crazy?
December 26, 2012 5:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm currently a maid of honor in NYC. My bride wants to invite 24 ladies to a night on the town for her bachelorette party. Please help us not kill each other.

Bachelorette party is in March. I need to get a move on, but I'm stumped -- how do I accomplish this with such a large group?

Bride and I are the only NYC residents of the bridal party, and only a few of the other potential invitees are from the area... So it needs to be something relatively accessible, but I will not abide any Times Square shenanigans. Bride (and I) will get grumpy if things are too loosey goosey, and she has a low tolerance for tackiness but has requested a "night on the town" and definitely wants a reason to dress up.

- Aimless bar crawling is simply not possible with 20 people
- No club hopping, No male revue, No Lucky Chengs
- No women-only activities - there will be at least one man in attendance
- Bridal Shower is being held in suburban New Jersey in the afternoon, and attendees of both will likely take NJT into Penn

The bride
- Loves to dress up and flirt
- Will "kill us" if we make her give/get a lapdance
- Has fairly mainstream but classic/classy taste
- Has lived in Brooklyn for several years and won't be impressed by supertrendy places
- Is in her mid-twenties, with friends the same age. We don't have a million bucks to spend

Thank you in advance for your recommendations of activities/venues/strategies!
posted by thirdletter to Human Relations (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You'll definitely want to check out places in advance and make reservations somewhere with a private room/table/nook. How does the Bride feel about karaoke? We've had some lovely, comfortable, raucous private group gatherings in the big private room at Karaoke One 7.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:21 PM on December 26, 2012

This is not exactly an answer to your question but when a good friend was getting married, I ended up organizing a bachelorette party on short notice. I ended up hosting a sex toy party. It was easy because the organizers just come and set everything up and they actually put on a decent show too showing off their wares. They even did a thing where we could add a few bucks on to our purchases to go towards our friend's bill at the end of the night. They also sold lingerie so it wasn't just vibrators and dildos. I think they knocked a small percentage off of the lingerie sales if you modeled the apparel for your friends.

Two annoying things with this idea: they needed a lot of room because there was a mixing and mingling going on in my living room while sales needed to take place in a smaller, quieter area so they were literally selling sex toys in my bedroom. It was fine but I was surprised by how much space they needed. Also, the day of, they informed me that they would absolutely not allow any males in attendance. That said, um, this was not my first time hosting a sex toy party and when we had had one with a different company, men were welcome.

After the party, we took the bride to one of my favorite bars for drinking and dancing. They have a small weekly dance party with good music, we had been there before so she was comfortable with it, people bought her drinks, a good time was had by all.

Now, as for your specific predicament: I would plan for 24 people to show but appreciate that more likely, you're looking at 12-18. Not a small number but that makes things a little easier and even if you ask people now, things come up, people get sick, etc. You might also have the problem of 20 women coming and half of them bringing a friend, so try to be flexible.

I'm kind of not sure what you mean by a few things. With a lot of people, I'd be inclined to say, we will be at X restaurant at 8 p.m., Y bar at 10 p.m., and Z club at 11:30 p.m. but I can't tell if that counts as club-hopping or bar crawling. It's a plan and it gives people the opportunity to say, I'm not into clubs but I want to buy her a drink at a bar or I have dinner plans but I'll catch up with you guys at the club.

I also don't know what you mean by "won't be impressed by a supertrendy places." I don't think you have to impress her, she already asked you to be her maid of honor :) I would look more into taking her some places where she hasn't been before. Think about her current tastes and where she usually goes and then maybe look for places that are just a step above that price-wise.

She doesn't sound like the type to walk around wearing a veil, a sash, and a shot glass around her neck. That's fine but that means that you and her friends have to be able to go up to people and say, "girl is getting hitched soon, buy her a drink!" to strangers. Or not, if that's not what she wants. Maybe plan on having one extrovert friend who does that once, sees how it goes, and acts accordingly.

I would also look on a site like to see if any bands/acts she likes will be performing the weekend that you're thinking about. That would make it relatively easy.

It's been a while for me but I think that you can find clubs that will give you a break on cover with a big group if you get there like, before 12 a.m. Those might not be places that interest her but it's worth checking out with that many people - then you have more money for drinks. What about a club where you could get a table and bottle service? It's not cheap but spread out across several people, it's not crazy expensive.

In general, chill out and have fun but pay attention to the bride. I assume you know her well enough to know when she's not having fun, when she doesn't want to drink anymore, etc. so just plan to put that knowledge to use. And make sure people know how they are getting home, especially the bride. The faux pas I committed as a bachelorette party planner was letting the bride take the bus home while I walked home. This was a place that was familiar to us and it was fine but I think the groom would have preferred I put her and myself in a cab.
posted by kat518 at 6:36 PM on December 26, 2012

Wise words, kat518. Thanks so much for your thought. Just some clarifications:

- I definitely do not have space to host anything.
- Re: bar crawling/club hopping - I mean that suggestions like "Walk around [neighborhood with lots of bars]" wouldn't be useful. Bride ended up doing that at a bachelorette she recently attended and did not enjoy it.
- She is absolutely an extrovert, with extrovert friends, so asking for "donations" will be no problem. It's only ritualized public embarrassment that's the no-no.
- Bride's drink of choice is a dirty martini. Any recommendations for a great place to do that will earn bonus points!
posted by thirdletter at 6:44 PM on December 26, 2012

You 're holding the bachelorette party the same day as the shower?

I realize there may be reasons for this, but this does NOT sound like fun.

Where will 24 ladies get showered and changed between the afternoon and evening events? Where will 24 ladies stay after they party all night in NYC? Can you get everyone home safely if they are heading back to NJ?

Please clarify. This sounds like a lot of travel, face-time, and trouble. Is there some other option??
posted by jbenben at 6:57 PM on December 26, 2012

I guess it might be a bachelorette/bridal weekend with friends from out of town? Hopefully? Otherwise I do agree with jbenben.

Every large scale/out at night bachelorette party I've done in NYC was karaoke. It's a... certain kind of fun. If she wants to flirt you could opt for one of the more mingly lounges in K-Town, which would be close to Penn but not the dreaded Times Square.
posted by telegraph at 7:02 PM on December 26, 2012

The best bachelorette party I ever attended consisted of an afternoon of salsa dance lessons followed by tapas & sangria at a place with great salsa dancing. Turns out that one lesson + plenty of sangria + charming men who can dance well = fun for even the most uncoordinated lady. It was fun and flirty and sexy without the sort of stupid fake-sexy things like penis-shaped straws and such that bachelorette parties can wind up being.
posted by judith at 7:33 PM on December 26, 2012 [6 favorites]

24 people and busy places where everyone can flirt, party and go from place to place is going to be difficult. With that many people it's going to be much easier to have one or two places. Maybe plan a place for pre cocktails, place for dinner, and place for final drinks, such as karaoke. Keep it simple and close (a block from each other, max), and tell everyone the hours you will be at one place, then the next, etc. With printed directions with names of the places, phone #s etc. Have people buddy up so no one gets lost but you are not responsible for everyone.
posted by Vaike at 7:52 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm not from NYC but wanted to throw in the idea of table service at a dance club/lounge.

Since you're in one place, you don't have to worry about people getting lost, but the entire venue is your oyster so your guests can split off and mingle yet still come back to "home base." There'll be lots of people about so lots of opportunities for flirting.

Not sure what the rates are in that city so not sure if thats within your price range.
posted by p1nkdaisy at 1:20 AM on December 27, 2012

Unfortunately moving the bachelorette to another day is not possible. There are members of the bridal party from out of state and still in school so this is the only weekend we have available. I will keep some of these issues - freshening up, sticking together - in mind. Fortunately the shower will be taking place near bride's mothers home so I will see if she is willing to let some of the out of towners stop in.

Salsa lessons and tapas, as well as karaoke, are definitely a possibility... I will bring that to the group.
posted by thirdletter at 6:21 AM on December 27, 2012

Easy - get a hotel room. A suite, to be specific.

You can go out to dinner and one or two pre-arranged places where you have reserved space, and then head back to the hotel and continue the party there (just make sure you've already brought alcohol and kept it chilled, as well as snacks/dessert). The suite also solves the issue that jbenben mentioned - where will all the out of towners get ready for the evening between the shower and bachelorette party.

Note - this is what we did for my bachelorette party and it was a huge success.
posted by echo0720 at 1:53 PM on December 28, 2012

The Awesome 80s Prom was specifically designed to solve this problem.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:54 AM on January 1, 2013

I ran into a similar problem planning a bachelorette for a friend in NYC this summer. We finally settled on a burlesque show - there are a few options in the city which do dinner, drinks & a show, and then the bar stays open for continued drinking after.

My friend was very anti-male revue, but I think the general decision was that burlesque shows were 'classy' enough that the nudity was acceptable.

Memail if you want any specific suggestions - I'm sure I could dig up the options we had considered...
posted by CharlieSue at 1:05 PM on January 2, 2013

I just thought I'd follow up:
We ended up with getting a hotel for out of towners and as a "home base" to get set up, a dinner reservation at Malatesta, a 2 hour art lesson with a hunky nude man at The Artful Bachelorette and reserving a table at a bar for the rest of the evening. It was well received by the majority of women and I survived intact!
posted by thirdletter at 6:36 PM on March 12, 2013

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