As a millennial, I haven’t had too many friends marry before the age of 30. My generation tends to push nuptials back into their thirties and even forties. That being said, I have, at this point, been to a couple of bachelorette parties for brides in their twenties, and some for those in their thirties, and boy are those different animals. Marriage can represent different things to a woman in her twenties versus one in her thirties, which can influence the vibe of the bachelorette party. Furthermore, women in their thirties just can’t party the way those in their twenties can. That includes me! I’m often a little terrified when I receive an invitation to a bachelorette party these days. No matter how old you are, or the bride is, there is some expectation of wildness on these nights, but not everyone can handle it. Here is how bachelorette parties change when the bride is over 30.
You make time for naps
If it’s a multi-day event, in the agenda, you’ll find time for naps. It’s not back-to-back activities and partying. There are real, scheduled gaps in the festivities for “down time” or “nap time.” And everyone participates.
Less people per room
If you’re traveling for the party, you no longer pile four people into a room. Maybe you’ll put two women per room. But it is very important that everyone can sleep well because, after a certain age, sleep becomes more important and harder to come by.
There is a spa day
Rather than a pool party day there might be a spa day. Instead of salted margarita glasses there are salt scrubs and instead of drunken sushi dinners there are seaweed wraps.
Dietary restrictions and takeout
Ordering a meal for a large group is like trying to navigate an obstacle course. This person can’t handle spicy food, this one is a vegan, this one is gluten-free, this one is dairy-free, and this one is cutting back on red meat.
Lots of Advil
You pack recovery items like Advil, coconut water, hot and cool packs, essential oils, and blister ointments for those long nights of dancing. Let’s put it this way: in addition to stopping at the liquor store, you also now stop at the pharmacy.
There is either night or day drinking
You will either day drink or night drink, but you won’t do both. Nobody can. If you day drink, everyone needs a big time nap by four pm. If you’re going to night drink, you need to rest and recuperate all day in preparation.
Everybody is taken
Most people are already in serious relationships, so you don’t come back from the trip with hilarious stories of one of the ladies having some drunken hookup. In fact, when a group of men sees you’re a bachelorette party and tries to approach, they quickly see their efforts will be fruitless.
Some people need babysitters
Some attendees needed to get babysitters for the trip. They’ll call those babysitters to check in on their kids—they’ll call them from the booth at the male strip club with a booty in their face. Hey, it’s bedtime for their babies and they need to say goodnight.
You go for quality over quantity, investing in the high-end bottles of champagne and good tequila. You know your hangover will thank you for it. Plus, your tastes have just evolved and you can’t tolerate that rubbing alcohol vodka anymore.
It’s butter-free popcorn, salt-free almonds, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, bananas. It’s not string cheese and Cheetos and beef jerky anymore.
Overall, there is just much more organization. You know what you’ll be doing on the hour, every hour of the trip. The maid of honor sends out a detailed agenda a week before the trip, with useful details about parking and cover fees.
Lots of talk about jackets
Do you need one? Do you need a light one? Will there be a coat check? Are you going to dance? If so, where will you put your jacket? Who is bringing a jacket?
Precise monetary calculations
It’s not some sloppy mess of everyone tossing their credit cards at every expense. People track their expenses. They use apps after the trip to equally split everything up. You watch your spending more than you did in your twenties.
We leave the place tidier
You don’t leave the hotel or AirBnb in total disarray with plastic party cups and penis straws everywhere. You make the beds. You take out the trash. You didn’t break anything.
Everyone barely survives
Everyone returns from the trip a near ghost of themselves, needing to sleep it off for several days, and not wanting anything to do with alcohol for several weeks. When we get back to our respective places, we’re relieved we no longer have to pretend that we can hang like that.