Bachelor and bachelorette parties are a special opportunity for close friends to get together to celebrate a bride or groom’s last days of being single.If you're planning a party for a bride and groom for whom food is the way to their heart, why not focus the theme of the party around food? We’re not talking about going wine tasting in Napa or a opting for a multi-hour long meal at Per Se in New York City, but hosting a special celebration that you and your fellow bridesmaids/groomsmen can tailor specifically to the bride or groom’s culinary preferences and level of adventure. Here are six of our favorite food-focused bachelor and bachelorette party ideas.
For the Groom:
1. Fishing Trip
When the weather is warm, nothing beats spending the day on the open ocean, long spinning rod in one hand and your favorite brew in the other, surrounded by warm sunshine and your best buds. For the groom with the soul of a fisherman, head to the nearest sunny shore, or one of five places to catch sustainable fish. After a day of fishing (and a catered lunch to suit the groom’s tastes), head back to land along with the day’s catch for a down-home-style grill out, complete with a fresh green salad, a fruity salsa with a kick, roasted potatoes, and lots of wine and beer.
2. Dinner Party at Home
Dining out with a crew can be both difficult (reserving a large table on a weekend can be trying) to do and costly (with or without the showgirls). Instead of a night out at the local hot restaurant, why not ask the groom’s favorite chef or a local star chef to come and cook a restaurant-style, multi-course meal complete with wine pairings in the comfort of your or another groomsman’s home? For entertainment — in the event that a group of 15 grown men gathering to send off one of their own into wedded bliss isn’t enough — recruit your fellow groomsmen to help put together a embarrassing presentation for the groom, and have everyone bring a couple of toasts and roasts to share. Thankfully, no censoring is needed in the comfort of one’s home…
3. Cooking Classes
For the gourmet food-loving groom who doesn’t know the difference between a saucepan and a sauté pan, get all your buddies together for a manly cooking class. Now, we’re not talking about fine French bistro food here (unless that’s his favorite); think culinary basics with a masculine twist. Check out one of these 10 DIY culinary classes, where you can get a how-to on braising short ribs and making mashed potatoes, or an intensive class on making pizza and pasta from scratch. If the weather is warm, you can also get an instructor to give an advanced grilling course (assuming all the men there are always well-acquainted with their home grill) and explore how to use the grill to cook things other than steak and burgers, and how to also add more flavor to plain old steaks. Then, after a couple hours of laboring in the kitchen, bonding over knife-handling tutorials and the inevitable kitchen mishaps, sit down to your homemade man-friendly meal (and beverages, to boot).
For the Bride:
1. Weekend Getaway with a Private Chef
Ladies weekends at the spa are a thing of the past. For the bride who loves good food and wine with a dose of adventure, rent a cabin in the mountains or house by the beach, complete with a private chef, for a recharging (and bonding) bridal party weekend getaway. Fill your days with outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or skiing (OK, sunbathing, too, but remember the bride is trying to fit into her wedding dress!). At night, relax in the hot tub and a glass of wine before sitting down to multi-course meals that have been planned around your tastes (no cleaning up the kitchen afterwards required). And if your feet are in need of some TLC after that four-hour hike, you can still have your pedicure, too; just call a local spa or hotel to see if they have an esthetician (or two) who is able to make house calls.
2. Ladies Luncheon
Come spring, when the temperatures rise and people start to once again spend the afternoons in the park under the flowering cherry trees, there is no better time to host a leisurely (and bubbly-filled) afternoon picnic in the park. Think proper ladies luncheon meets parasols, bare feet, and grass. Have each bridesmaid bring a pre-determined dish so that you have a complete assortment of salads and such that are all packable and perfect for serving at room temperature. If your local liquor laws allow it, have each guest bring a bottle or two of bubbly (you can also have a picnic in the spacious backyard of a friend or family member). The Maid of Honor is in in charge of coordinating the equipment needed, including blankets, umbrellas, plates, utensils, games, and gag gifts. Clear your afternoon and hope for sunny skies (you can always move your picnic inside, if need be, but yes, it won’t be the same). Opening risqué bridal shower gifts outdoors in a public park is completely optional.
3. Dinner Crawl
Inspired by both the traditional pub crawl and the progressive dinner party, organize an evening out on the town in the bride's favorite city for her and her ladies where each course takes you to a different restaurant. Hire a limousine for the night and make sure each lady has a feather boa, for fun (and a sparkly tiara for the bride, of course). Start off the night with champagne at a formal, old-world style or hotel bar. Then, move on finger food appetizers and more bubbly at a tapas or wine bar. Move on to yet a third location, choosing the place based on possibly the bride’s favorite dish or international cuisine. Conclude the evening at a lounge or bar where you can indulge in dessert then spend the rest of the night talking over after-dinner drinks and dancing.