Odds are, at some point in your life you will be asked to stand up at a wedding as the Maid of Honor for one of your best friends or family members – and how lucky you are! Being the Maid of Honor gets you center stage to all the excitement surrounding the wedding and, even better, lets you take over planning of the bride’s bachelorette’s party.

Bachelorette parties are great for getting in some women-only bonding time before the big event, giving the bride a chance to let loose and release some steam however she likes with her best friends. Planning a bachelorette party, though, can take on the same epic stress proportions of a wedding if not done right. Especially if the bride’s besties are spread far and wide, getting everyone in the same place on a budget that doesn’t kill can take what seems to be magical skills to pull off.]

Follow these top ten bachelorette party ideas to make sure your favorite bride’s solo send-off is everything you both have been hoping for:

1. Take over the reigns from the bride

With wedding parties getting bigger and more intricate every year, the stress associated with planning a dream wedding seems to just get worse and worse. Do your best friend a favor by taking over the reigns of planning the bachelorette party as much as you can.

Of course, make sure to consult with her about when the best time is, how much time she would like to dedicate to the event (one night or an entire weekend?) who she would like to invite, etc. You and the rest of the bridal party can handle the rest of the details to allow the bride to truly relax before the wedding.

2. Keep the bride’s tastes in mind

Contrary to popular belief that a proper bachelorette party should have male strippers and penis-shaped cakes, bachelorette parties do not need to follow any sort of plan, itinerary, or theme. The best way to organize a bachelorette party that is a huge success with the bride and her friends is to plan an event or series of events that perfectly reflect the bride’s tastes, and nothing more.

This means that you should make sure to only invite people that the bride actually enjoys spending time with (if she feels uncomfortable around her mother-in-law for example, why create that awkward situation?) and choose activities that are fun for the bride. If the bride loves strippers, than do the typical strip club.

If, on the other hand, the bride would get the most enjoyment out of a wine tasting at a local winery, choose a unique bachelorette party idea like that. This holds true for the theme as well. Just think of the party as an ode to your friend, not to her pending wedding or lack of singledom.

3. Plan ahead

Especially if the bride’s friends are spread far and wide, try to plan the bachelorette party as soon as possible – even up to eight months beforehand depending on your bachelorette party ideas. Less time is often sufficient, but you should give your guests at least a few months to book flights, find accommodation if necessary, and save up the needed cash since, traditionally, bachelorette parties are paid not by the host (lucky for you!) but by the attendees.

Forward planning will get you the best prices on whatever activities or locations you would like to use and help ensure that everyone who needs to be there will be able to make it.

4. Be clear about what you need from guests

Being clear with your guests about your expectations is the best way to avoid any confusion and mishaps. Specify what sort of financial commitment the event will most likely cost them upfront to avoid any awkward money conversations later on. If you would like everyone to dress in a certain theme, let them know in a creative way what you are hoping for.

If you are planning on themed gifts (like a different set of lingerie from every guest), share your thoughts and whatever information they will need to comply (clothes size of the bride, for example).

5. Focus on the details

No matter your budget, the details of the bachelorette party are what is going to make it special. Send out creative invites and event reminders, use decorations that perfectly reflect your bride’s style and personality, and choose bachelorette party ideas, games, and activities that are all fun for her.

Remember, this party is a dedication to your best friend that you know better than anyone else – show off how well you know her by going all out on the details to make it truly special!

6. Organize games and activities

Although there is no need for the bachelorette party to be cliche, organizing a few activities and games is a great way to make guests who may not know one another comfortable and the party more memorable overall.

Bachelorette party ideas and games vary widely, so think about what sorts of games will work best with your theme. Charades, wedding drinking games, and challenges are popular and entertaining bachelorette party game ideas that can really get your party going.

7. Plan for down time

Especially if you have gone all out and planned an entire bachelorette party weekend, schedule in some free down-time for your guests to relax and catch up. For bachelorette party ideas at home, it should be easy to cut out a few slots of time where everyone can shower and sit around the living room for a couple hours in between events.

Even at for more classy bachelorette party ideas at various venues, penciling in some time to just sit in the lounge, bar, or spa with no activities (not even drinking!) will go a long way in keeping your bridal party happy and energetic.

8. Involve the groom

Although traditional bachelorette parties avoid involving the groom at all costs, in reality most brides would like to have their groom participate in at least some of their bachelorette party activities. A fun and non-intrusive way to include the groom is to have him answer questions about the bride before the event, have him show up as a surprise whenever most suitable, and the have the couple quizzed on their separate answers to the same questions.

The bride will love sharing this party, at least in part, with her partner and everyone can enjoy participating in a few fun activities like this.

9. Make a funny photo opp

Some of the best DIY bachelorette party ideas involve photography. Don’t let this important aspect slip through the cracks. You can hire a professional photographer to get those priceless candid shots throughout the event, place kodak disposable cameras throughout the venue, or even set up a funny photo opp that combines the best of both worlds.

These days, popular photo opps for bachelorette parties, include “mug shots” of the guests on the morning after, underwear shots of the bridal party, and mimes of the bride. Get creative and choose the right funny photo opp that matches the theme of your bridal party.

10. Choose a memorable keepsake for the bride

After all the work you have put into this party, you will most certainly want the best moments of it all to be remembered by the pride. Anticipate this be planning some sort of memorable keepsake gift for the pride. A great idea is to have each of the guests secretly design a scrapbook page or two with photos, memories, recipes, etc. that you put together for the big event – then add memorabilia and photos from the actual bachelorette party itself and your bride will have an incredible keepsake of her friends and the party she will undoubtedly love.

Remember these ten tips for a fun and memorable bachelorette party. Dedicate your loved one’s upcoming bachelorette party to the bride by keeping her in mind when choosing timing, location, and activities.

Getting creative and always remembering that the bottomline of this bachelorette party is the enjoyment of the bride and her best friends will ensure that you plan the perfect bachelorette party for her. Share your plans on a bachelorette party ideas blog to get more suggestions from fellow party planners around the world.