How to Plan a Dry Bachelorette Party for a Recovering Bride

When you think of a bachelorette party, what is the first thing that comes to mind? If you’ve ever been to one, you know there is booze, and lots of it. However, you’ve been tasked with planning a bachelorette party for a bride that is in recovery for alcohol addiction. Fret not, as there are several options for a dry bachelorette party that will be a blast!

Talk it Over First

Before you approach the bride, it is important that you understand what alcoholism is and isn’t. First and foremost, the term alcoholism is used to describe someone with an alcohol use disorder, and is much more than simply drinking too much one night. Your friend may find it difficult to control her drinking, which may cause problems with her professional and social relationships. Maybe you’ve noticed that your friend doesn’t know when to stop, or commonly says, “just one more.” The good news is that the bride-to-be has sought help, but this doesn’t mean she doesn’t still need you. It can be difficult to stay sober, especially in tempting situations such as a bachelorette party. The bride is likely fighting an internal battle between wanting to stay sober and experiencing this important life moment to its fullest.

Talk with her about the coping strategies she learned in treatment and meetings, and set up a secret signal she can give you if she starts to feel uncomfortable. Create a list of places that should be avoided, such as potential triggers or party spots that could lead to a relapse. As the one in charge, make sure the party location you choose is free of alcohol so that the bride doesn’t feel pressured to encourage everyone else to drink while she has to sit back and watch.

Keep it Relaxed

Who said a bachelorette party has to include a night out on the town? You can have an epic bash in the comfort of your own home to create a stress-free environment for the bride while staying on budget. Avoid even the slightest possible trigger by having a spa party, complete with facials, manicures, pedicures, and makeovers. Make it the ultimate, extravagant experience with fondue and cheeses, as well as a toast to the bride with mocktails, which are mixed drinks sans alcohol. The money you save by staying in can be used to create a theme for the party, complete with matching decorations.

If you prefer to shake things up a bit and get out of the house, plan an adventure with the girls such as a hike with a picnic under the stars. Take things back to your childhood with a trip to the zoo, aquarium, amusement park, or movies. Keep the bride focused on having fun with a scavenger hunt using clues based on the bride and groom’s relationship. The final clue can send her to the final destination, whether it is her favorite restaurant or a spa treatment. If you still aren’t sure what idea to go with, ask the main source – the bride. While you might think going to her favorite spa would be an excellent treat, she might gently remind you that they serve complimentary champagne, and being forced to be around alcohol is an unnecessary hardship.

Be Helpful, Not Harmful

The biggest piece of advice is to make sure everyone in attendance is aware of the bride’s recovery to avoid an awkward situation where a well-meaning friend brings a bottle of expensive wine. Well in advance of the party, speak with each attendee directly so that everyone is on the same page and has the same agenda – giving the bride a day or night she’ll never forget. This party is about celebrating the new chapter the bride will soon embark on, and it doesn’t take alcohol to make her feel special and loved.


Author: Aimee Lyons (