In addition to wearing a less-than-flattering chartreuse bridesmaid’s gown, you’ve been given the thankless task of throwing a bachelorette party (AKA the stagette to us Canadian gals). Make it a memorable one with our must-have tips for planning the ultimate stagette.

Theme
Firstly, decide whether you want to go out or stay at home. Next, decide whether you want to be traditional or more adventurous. The classic bachelorette usually involves a night of bar-hopping, going to a strip club or playing drinking games like “I never.” Consider the bride’s comfort level: most likely, you’re a good friend, so you’ll know whether she’s cool with having a dancer shaking his money-maker in front of her or whether she’d prefer a girls’ gambling night.

If you’re staying in, choose a theme. The options are endless: you could have an at-home spa night, a lingerie party or even take a pole dancing 101 class. Or, you may want to plan an overnight girls’ getaway to Las Vegas. Pool your resources among your fellow bachelorettes and figure out what you can afford (including enough to cover the bride) before you get too far into the planning process.

Invites
Before sending out invites, you might want to ask the bride for input on the guest list. After all, it’s her night. If you haven’t already discussed funds with the ladies, it may be a good idea to mention the cost of the night’s festivities on the invite. When it comes to the actual invite, I know lots of girls who get all Martha Stewart about it and send out fancy stippled-origami-decorative-scroll-motif invites. Phone or email is a totally acceptable, the less labour-intensive option. Paperless Post has plenty of pretty templates to choose from. Plus, most templates are free.

Food
If you’re going out, it’s a good idea to choose places where they serve food, ’cause there will be a lot of boozing going on. Plus, with a large group of girls, somebody’s bound to get peckish and you don’t want to have to deal with someone’s low blood sugar tantrums.

On the other hand, if you’re staying in, why not try tapas? It could be anything from small cubes of meat and cheese to short ribs. Comfort foods are always a no-brainer and a great choice if it’s cold outside. Make it special with a fancy twist like macaroni and cheese with provolone and asiago sauce or a poutine topped with shredded lamb. If you’re no top chef in the kitchen, call a caterer that specializes in event planning to help you create a fun menu.

Drinks
For those of you hosting at home, whip up a signature drink for the evening that plays on your night’s theme. Having a girls’ poker night? Mix up some Kir Royales with champagne and cassis for a James Bond-ish feeling. Or, if you’re having a slumber party, rent classic ’80s flick Pretty in Pink and mix up a pink-hued cocktail like a Pink Lady. And you can’t go wrong with good red wine. Have a selection of drinks on hand in case some take a pass on the girlie drinks.

Games
No stagette is complete without a few cheesy games. If you’re going barhopping, embarrassing the bride in public is par for the course. While at the bar, you could prepare a special scavenger hunt in which the bride has to work for her drinks as she hunts for items like condoms and toilet paper rolls from other bar patrons. Or, you could give her the task of having to beg men for money towards her honeymoon fund.

Meanwhile on the home front, a funny spin on a classic game is Pin the Appendage on the Hoff–and this one gets even funnier the more drinks you have. Make your own game by going to Google images and downloading a classic David Hasselfhoff-in-his-black-Speedos beefcake shot. To get a good poster size, you may want to go to a professional copier place (be prepared for some strange looks when you tell them what you want). Next, all you need is some construction paper, scissors, and a dirty mind and away you go.

If all this makes you cringe but you want to host the party at home, you can up the cool factor by renting a couple of casino tables for a girls’ gambling night. Just look in the yellow pages or online to find party rental places, and they’ll deliver blackjack, roulette or poker tables right to your door.

Decor
Again, let your theme dictate your decor. If it suits a certain colour, such as pink, for example, go with it. And why not buy balloons (phallic or not), candles and feather boas to match? And be sure to have some fun goody bags on-hand for your fellow bachelorettes. Oh, and don’t forget the penis-shaped piñata.

Written by Kristen Vinakmens

What’s your best stagette tip? Leave a comment below or let us know on Facebook and Twitter.