“My partner and I want to have a joint party, but we have completely different ideas of what we want to do.”
“Some of my loved ones want to attend my party, but they aren’t able to make the time commitment/get enough time off of work/stay out late enough to enjoy the whole party.”
“My partner and I have basically the same friend group, but a joint party seems just as impractical for us as two separate parties.”
Do any of these sound like accurate descriptors of your situation?
Bachelorette/Bachelorx/Bachelor parties aren’t what they used to be. With Millennials killing the gender role industry and assigning more value to travel & experiences, we’re seeing far fewer Strip Club Bachelor Parties™ and Sex Toy & Penis Candy Bachelorette Parties™. Our priorities tend to veer more strongly towards creating memories of new or authentic experiences with our loved ones, so activities like winery or brewery tours, road trips, laser tag, paintball, and boat chartering are slowly becoming more common ways to celebrate an upcoming wedding. And since we’re all working with a budget ranging from $3.50 to $3,500, the concept of a “standard” Bachelorx party is dwindling. And that’s glorious.
Still, this can pose a challenge for some people: Without the guideline of tradition, many may feel overwhelmed or unsure of what to do for their pre-nuptial celebrations. This challenge may be particularly difficult if you have a mixed-gender wedding party, or a keen interest in a joint party with a partner who has different interests than you.
Enter: Hop-On, Hop-Off Pre-Nuptial Parties.
Have you ever been on one of those (potentially double-decker) tour buses? The hop-on, hop-off ones that take the same route all day, where you can get on and off at your leisure?
This is like that.
The idea is, each spouse-to-be selects a few things that they would like to do for their Bachelorx/Bachelor/Bachelorette party. You can pick as many activities as you like, as long as there are at least two. The activities must be separated by a mutual activity (mutual as in, the spouses-to-be and their attendees are all involved), agreed upon by each partner. A meal together is an excellent option… but it definitely isn’t the only way to accomplish this!
From here, everyone attending the party can choose how they would like to participate. For example: They can “Hop On” to join Partner A’s party in the morning, “Hop Off” of Partner A’s party and “On” to Partner B’s party in the afternoon, and “Hop Off” in the evening if they have an early morning the next day.
Still having difficulty understanding? Don’t worry- I’ll give you some examples in a few seconds!
There are SO MANY situations this concept works for. Events can be planned with different budget or time constraints in mind, and this type of party can be stretched out to fill any amount of time.
While I like to believe that I thought of this concept independently, I’d be remiss not to mention that since I originally wrote this piece, I have seen a couple of pre-nuptial parties done this way virtually (because, you know, COVID) on social media. In addition, there may have been examples of this concept used pre-pandemic that I just haven’t had the pleasure of seeing. So, while I would love to play a part in popularizing this idea, I don’t feel it’s fair for me to credit myself with originating it!
Here are a few example itineraries to provide illustration and inspiration. Please note that, while I created these itineraries with only two partners in mind for ease of explanation, this concept can absolutely be adapted to triads, quads, and other polyamorous relationships!
After the example itineraries, you’ll find a few tips to help make your Hop-On, Hop-Off Party enjoyable for everyone.
One-Day Hop-On, Hop-Off Party
Mutual Activity: Brunch at a Local Cafè
Partner A’s Group: Afternoon at the Spa
Partner B’s Group: Brewery Tour + Beer Tasting
Mutual Activity: Dinner at a Restaurant
Partner A’s Group: Video Game Tournament
Partner B’s Group: Walking Ghost Tour
Weekend Hop-On, Hop-Off: Camping/Glamping Edition
Partner A’s Group: Hiking Trails
Partner B’s Group: Goat Yoga
Mutual Activity: Lunch at the Campgrounds/Cabin
Partner A’s Group: Shopping in Town
Partner B’s Group: Afternoon at the Beach
Mutual Activity: Dinner & Evening Spent Around the Campfire
Partner A’s Group: Fishing in the Lake
Partner B’s Group: Horseback Riding
Mutual Activity: Lunch
Partner A’s Group: Orchard Tour
Partner B’s Group: Dungeons & Dragons Game
“Same Day, Different Flavour” Party
Partner A’s Group: Cooking or Cocktail Class
Partner B’s Group: Painting Class
Mutual Activity: Dinner
Partner A’s Group: Horror Movie at Cinema
Partner B’s Group: Action Movie at same Cinema
Partner A’s Group: Drinks at Local Bar with Live Music
Partner B’s Group: Drinks & Dancing at Local Club
Three-Day Pre-Nuptial Getaway Party
*Everyone stays at the same hotel/B&B/rental
Partner A’s Group: Museum-Hopping
Partner B’s Group: Winery Tour + Day in the Vineyards
Partner A’s Group: Yoga & Meditation Retreat
Partner B’s Group: Axe-Throwing and Athletic Activities
Mutual Activity: Shopping Downtown
Partner A’s Group: Afternoon Tea for a late Lunch
Partner B’s Group: Lunch at a Craft Brewery/Microbrewery
Mutual Activity: Drag or Burlesque Show
Tips for Planning a Hop-On, Hop-Off Party:
– Keep your attendees’ interests in mind. You want everyone to enjoy themselves!
– Keep everyone’s budgets in mind. Some of your attendees may be working with a smaller budget… You don’t want that to bar them from participating in your party!
– Keep everyone’s abilities in mind. Will your activities be accessible to your disabled loved ones? Accessibility is important!
– Who is friends with whom? If your friend group is shared, you may want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to spend time with each partner!