Bachelor and bachelorette parties are usually characterized by having one last celebration as an unmarried person, and today’s brides-to-be tend to go out with a bang. Celebrating the end of an era as a single person is an integral part of pre-wedding festivities, but the bachelor/bachelorette party as we know it today is more of a modern phenomenon. So what did they look like hundreds of years ago?
The history of bachelorette parties
The history of the bachelorette party actually begins with the history of the bachelor party. The concept of these parties can be traced back to ancient Greece, and bachelor parties have been dated all the way back to the 5th century when Spartans held parties for their soon-to-be-wed friends. These were the first recordings of what we now call a bachelor party.
Moving into the 7th and 8th centuries, we can view the history of ancient pre-wedding rituals that were focused on the bride. These occasions were far removed from the wild and raunchy bachelorette celebrations we’re used to seeing today.
Many of them put a major emphasis on the cleanliness or purity of the bride. Take the proaulia ceremony for example—an ancient Greek tradition where women spent the eve of their wedding day making offerings and sacrifices to the gods.
While pre-wedding rituals have been around for thousands of years, the rise of modern-day bachelorette parties is tied to the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Times were changing, and brides-to-be of this era were now embracing a new sense of freedom and sexuality.
Eventually, traditional bridal showers turned into more rowdy, all-out affairs, closely aligned with the types of bachelorette parties we see today. By the early ’90s, the women-focused bachelorette party became cemented as an official pre-marital tradition.
Bachelorette parties today
Brides and their bridal parties today have no shortage of options when it comes to throwing an unforgettable event. While wild, booze-filled parties are certainly still a staple for many brides, modern bachelorette events today can take on any type of theme. This might look like a relaxing spa retreat weekend, a laid-back night in with the girls, or anything in-between.
Ultimately, bachelorette parties today are rooted in celebrating the bride-to-be while she’s surrounded by her closest friends. Aside from getting a much-needed break from the stresses of wedding planning, the most important part of any modern bachelorette party is rooted in quality bonding time and a weekend to enjoy your final nights of singleness.
When planning a bachelorette party, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what to do. You might be dealing with a large group, varying budget restrictions, and other factors that need to be sorted out.
A few last words
The best thing to do is to focus on the bride and what you know she likes to do, whether that’s a long weekend of bar-hopping in her favorite city or a laid-back pool party in the backyard. What really matters is that you get that quality bonding time together before the big day arrives. So, happy planning and go celebrate!