The Wedding Partiers: Taking Everyone Out Together

by: Michael Kabel

You've heard all about the bridal shower and the bachelor party - they're old traditions that have stood the test of time as much from tradition as from any real enduring popularity. But if you're looking for a fun twist on both, think about taking the bridesmaids and the groomsmen out for the evening together, as one big roving party.

The night out together shouldn't be a formal deal, and it doesn't have to cost a fortune, either. Just like hanging out with friends, keep it simple and carefree.

It's all in the timing.

If your wedding party is coming in from out of town, the right time to pick the group expedition could be the night before the rehearsal dinner. Your friends will be looking for something to do their first night in the new city, anyway, so a jaunt out is just the ticket.

Let everyone know the scheduled date, so they can pack evening clothes appropriately.

The best laid plans of maids and groomsmen

Ever made plans to go out with friends and then nobody could settle on where to go? Don't let this happen as part of your wedding celebration. Take a poll of your wedding party as to where they like to hang out, then plan the excursion so that everyone gets a chance to hit their kind of place. You can also probably find some happy mediums, too, so that for example your "hippie" friend from college doesn't have to sit around the dance club.

Get on the bus.

This suggestion is a safety concern as much as anything. If you're all going out partying, someone needs to be the designated driver. And since everyone is a guest, you're smart to hire a driver to take you all in one conveyance from one place to the next.

Most limousine companies have shuttle buses available for rent on a nightly basis. There's also the luxury stretch- Hummers and SUV's, for the wedding that's got some cash to burn. Just remember to make the reservations well in advance, and to tip the driver at the end of the night for putting up with all your shenanigans.

Buy your friends a round of drinks.

You're the hostess, and your wedding party has come a long way to be with you. So buy the first round of the evening, as a ceremonial start to all the festivities. The party will appreciate it and the drinks will get the evening off to a carefree start.

Have a place to end up.

Like any good night out, you'll probably want to end the evening with a good meal – not necessarily healthy, but comfort food nevertheless. Taking everyone to a late-night diner or coffee shop will let them wind down and also help with any "aftereffects" the next morning. Make sure you remind your groomsmen and bridesmaids about any last-minute business to take care of the next day, too, such as tuxedo and dress fittings or early rehearsal plans.