Yay or Nay: Setting Boundaries for Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

Whether friends call it your “last night of freedom” or your “farewell tour,” we’ve all heard our fair share of stories about what happens in bachelor and bachelorette parties. It’s different for every couple, but sometimes the days leading up to these events leave brides and grooms to-be feeling more anxious and agitated than the wedding day itself. This is why it’s usually a good idea to talk to your significant other before the festivities and put your minds at ease. Don’t wait until after to let your partner know how you feel. Once you’ve have the talk, make sure to share what you discussed with the Maid of Honor and the Best Man. They’re the ones planning the entire thing after all, so don’t forget to keep them in the loop!

Take time to really think about your personal expectations and apprehensions. 
Before raising your concerns with your partner, reflect on why you’re worried or apprehensive in the first place. Are you concerned about cheating? Are you worried that alcohol will lead to gambling away your life savings? Or maybe it’s just general fear of the unknown? It’s important to understand why exactly you feel the way you do so you can better explain how you feel to your partner. Also try and see things from their perspective, so you can properly plan how to tackle the topic.

Be clear and honest when discussing what you’re not comfortable with. 
This is not the time to beat around the bush or expect your partner to decipher all the context clues you’ve strategically left behind. Not okay with a strip club as the venue? Then say so. Not comfortable with uploading snippets of the event for your sneaky relatives to see? Then speak up. An engagement ring and a looming wedding date does not make your partner a mind reader. Be upfront with your “limits,” but also be open to compromise.


Avoid criticizing. 
Criticizing his plans or worse, his friends, will only lead to defensiveness and possibly hurt. It won’t help you get what you want if you attack his boys’ maturity or the ridiculousness of their ideas. Instead, be respectful when commenting on what makes you feel uneasy and focus on what you need from him to feel better about his plans. Remember, this same strategy is very helpful for many of the battles you have waiting ahead of you in marriage!

Agree on expectations for on-the-day communication. 
Even if you’re the type of couple that’s okay with minimal texts and check-ins during the day, bachelor and bachelorette parties somehow have the power to bring out the clingy side of everybody. Check with each other if a phone call to start the day would suffice or if mid-day check-ins and a late night (or early morning) “I’m home” text would be necessary. You don’t want to be a distraction from the festivities, so think quick and comforting texts instead of lengthy FaceTime calls.


Compromise is key. 
It’s important to communicate what you want, but it’s also important to accept you can’t always have exactly that. Just like plans change, so can your feelings. Always communicate these changes with your partner and remember, these parties are planned for fun and bonding with friends. You shouldn’t compromise your own comfort, but also don’t immediately reject any plans or ideas without hearing them out. Trust each other and enjoy your respective celebrations.

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