Pandemic Prompts Changes to Bachelor, Bachelorette Parties

Pandemic Prompts Changes to Bachelor, Bachelorette Parties

Couples planning smaller, more casual events to allow social distancing
Champagne at a bachelorette party

For engaged couples, the pandemic is not only wreaking havoc on their plans for their wedding day, but it’s causing many to rethink the celebrations that typically come before.

WeddingWire, a marketplace that connects engaged couples with wedding planning resources, surveyed couples who had weddings scheduled between May and September 2020 to find out if they were still moving forward with their plans for bachelor and bachelorette parties amidst the rising coronavirus cases across the country.

While 73% of respondents said the party will go on, many are making adjustments to ensure that it is held in a safer way.

Pushing the fling to after the ring

Throughout the pandemic, consumers have delayed milestones such as weddings and graduation ceremonies because of stay-at-home orders and safety concerns.

When it comes to bachelor and bachelorette parties, half — 50% — of respondent couples are rescheduling their big nights out with friends and family because of concerns about COVID-19. Among those rescheduling:

  • 14% are planning to have the parties in the fall of 2020
  • 23% are rescheduling them for the spring of 2021

Nearly 20% report being unsure of when their postponed events will take place.

Traditionally, engaged couples hold their bachelor and bachelorette parties before the wedding, giving them one last night to celebrate as a single person. However, among respondents who have rescheduled their parties, 20% said they have decided to hold those events after the wedding.

Activities planned to promote safety

In addition to moving the date, couples are making adjustments to the types of activities planned and where events will be held.

Nearly half of respondents — 44% — said they were making changes to the to-do list, with 68% saying they preferred more casual activities where they could maintain social distance, such as dinner and drinks. In comparison, only 51% of couples chose a casual night out in 2019. Other ideas respondents have for their bachelor and bachelorette parties include:

  • A casual night in (49%)
  • Brunch (40%)
  • Visiting a winery or brewery (35%)

Couples are less likely in 2020 to go clubbing or dancing, with 23% planning to do so this year, down from 39% who planned to do so last year.

Couples are also inviting fewer people to their bachelor and bachelorette events, perhaps because smaller gatherings are advised in the age of COVID-19. Among respondents, 63% said their parties will have between 5 to 10 attendees, compared to 50% who had parties that size in 2019. On the flip side, only 10% of respondents said they would host 15 or more attendees at their parties this year, compared to 25% who had 15 or more attendees in their parties in 2019.

The quest for safe accommodations

A recent ValuePenguin survey found that consumers were anxious to visit with family and friends, as stay-at-home orders have been lifted in different parts of the country. However, for those planning to attend an overnight bachelor or bachelorette party, the lodging accommodations may be impacted by the pandemic.

Last year, 44% of groups attending bachelor and bachelorette parties stayed at hotels or resorts, according to WeddingWire. However, this year 50% said they would rent a house where attendees would be able to stay together. Doing so helps in keeping the party attendees from having to mingle with others outside of the group.

Attendees of bachelor and bachelorette parties are also more likely to take their personal cars to the events this year than in years past. More than half — 54% — said they would travel to the event in their personal vehicle, up from 45% in 2019. In addition, fewer parties will transport attendees around in a party bus, with only 3% planning to do so, down from 17% in 2019.

Methodology: WeddingWire surveyed 569 engaged couples with plans to marry between May and September of 2020 who provided email addresses to The Knot Worldwide; this survey was conducted in 2020. WeddingWire also included data from a 2019 survey of 1,030 attendees of bachelor or bachelorette parties.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.