As couples are changing their wedding plans due to the COVID pandemic, many are also rethinking their pre-wedding events, particularly bachelor and bachelorette parties. According to a new WeddingWire study, half of couples are rescheduling their bachelor and bachelorette parties, while one-quarter are keeping their plans in place for now. Aside from changing the dates, couples are also revising their parties’ agendas, from accommodations to activities, even the guest list. If you are considering hosting a bach party amid COVID-19, it’s essential to follow state and federal guidelines (and use common sense). Your and your loved ones’ safety should always come first, which may mean you’ll need to put your plans on pause for the time being.
Here’s how couples are reimagining bachelor and bachelorette parties in the time of COVID-19.
Yup, flings after the ring are totally a thing now.
We know, bachelor and bachelorette parties are traditionally called “flings before the ring,” but during these strange times, it’s totally okay to throw tradition out the window. According to the WeddingWire study, 20% of couples are opting to throw their bach parties after the wedding ceremony. While it’s still unknown when classic bach party activities (bar hopping, hitting the clubs) will be safe again, pushing your event to a later date at least allows you and your crew to come up with alternatives.
Bach parties are staying in the U.S.
As in the past, most bachelor and bachelorette parties are taking place in the States—few groups are planning to celebrate abroad. And, for the most part, the top states for bach parties remained the same as last year’s—California (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Napa Valley), Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Orlando), Texas (Austin, Houston, and Dallas), and New York. The study did indicate, however, that fewer groups are heading to Las Vegas for their bachelor and bachelorette parties—Tennessee is gaining in popularity as an alternative.
Crews are choosing house rentals over hotels.
Just last year, 44% of bach party groups opted to stay at a hotel or at a resort. In 2020, however, 50% of our respondents are choosing a house rental (a significant increase from just 17% in 2019). By renting a home, partygoers are hoping for a more contained, intimate environment with fewer opportunities to encounter others. Says one bach party planner: “We are renting a house so we don’t have to leave it.”
A casual night in is the new clubbing.
As expected, bachelor and bachelorette parties in 2020 are more low-key affairs. While “dinner and drinks” is still the number-one activity, more groups are opting for casual nights in, relaxed brunches, and outdoor activities, like visiting wineries. This is a major shift from last year’s most popular activities, which included dancing and clubbing, bar crawls, and renting a party bus. But just because you’re staying in doesn’t mean you can’t be creative—there are endless possibilities for fun bachelor and bachelorette party themes, decorations, favors, and activities.
One-night bach parties are on the decline.
A vast majority of bachelor and bachelorette parties last between one and three days. However, there has been a drop on parties lasting only one day/night (42% in 2019, 23% this year), which indicates that many are choosing not to host a night of bar hopping or clubbing, but rather stay as a contained group for a weekend.
Bach parties are keeping guest lists small.
More than 60% of respondents said there will be between five and 10 attendees to their bach party (up from 50% last year). To contrast, only 10% of bach parties will have 15 or more guests, as compared to 25% just last year. Keeping your bach party’s guest list as tight as possible has safety benefits, and can also make planning your event easier logistically. Also, your loved ones who live far away may not be able to travel to attend your event, so consider offering a virtual component to your bachelor or bachelorette party.