If you’re bringing together a group of gals who may not already know each other to stand by your side on your big day, there may be a required getting-to-know-you process. But don’t worry too much. Weddings and all the events that come with them tend to inherently forge friendships and bonds, and everyone’s usually pretty cozy by the end.
You can make sure they’re tight even before the official start of the wedding weekend with the following fun bridal party activities. Remember, there are very few times in your life when all your friends from different corners of your life will be together in one place, so you’ve got to make the most of it!
- Go Shopping for Bridesmaid Dresses — Why not keep it classic? Invite all your ladies to try on bridesmaid dresses in the store — picture it like a try-on movie montage set to an up-beat pop song. Make sure to pick a date where everyone’s free and in town so that you can get input from the whole crew. Make the most of your time together and knock out your bridesmaid accessories and shoes at the same time. Try on, take a vote, and pop the champagne once you’ve said yes to the bridesmaid dress!
- Treat Yourselves to a Spa Day— Nothing unites the bridal party quite like a spa day. Whether you choose the spa in place of the bachelorette party or schedule it as an extra optional event a week or two before the big day, this is one of those activities that everyone will actually be excited about. In the midst of one of the most stressful periods of your life, it can be so wonderful to indulge in a spa treatment (or six) with your girls. Oh, and it’s yet another occasion where you can pop a bottle!
- Plan Something with the Groomsmen— Don’t forget that your ladies will have to get acquainted with the guys at some point, so it might be a good idea to introduce your two crews to one another before the rehearsal dinner. You don’t need to get too deep here; maybe you could plan a simple dinner or brunch to introduce everyone. Another fun idea could be to all go bowling or have a beach day (if you’re close to the water of course!) Just so long as they’re not meeting for the first time on the wedding weekend, you’re in business.
- Do a Scavenger Hunt or an Escape Room— Nothing forges a quick bridesmaid bond quite like a planned activity that requires working together as a team. These days, there are a dozen ways to pull off an elaborate scavenger hunt, whether you hire a pro company or work with your maid of honor to develop something completely unique. If you’re looking for the same level of bonding with half the effort, you can’t go wrong with an escape room that forces everyone to collaborate.
- Go to a Concert or a Comedy Show— Corralling a big group of people who seem to have nothing in common to go to a concert, play or standup show can seem like a big and arguably impossible task. But there are some acts that get everyone excited, so you’ve got to look for those! Perhaps it’s one of your favorite childhood pop stars on a reboot tour or a Broadway show you’ve all been dying to see. Whatever it is, pick something that will get everyone giddy.
- Go Camping or Glamping— Nothing unites a group of strangers quite like sleeping in the woods. If you’ve got a crew who’s up for anything, invite them for a weekend away — or just one night, if you don’t want to scare anyone — of camping. Not too keen on roughing it? You can still soak up all the benefits of being outside and bonding in the fresh air when you skip the typical camping and trade up for luxury with a little glamping.
- Go to a Pro Sports Game— Root, root, root for the home team with your bridal besties! This can be a fantastic coed bridal party idea in the weeks leading up to the wedding, or it can also be an excellent bridesmaid bonding activity, no guys allowed. The fact of the matter is that, even if your girls are not huge on sports, everyone can get into a pro baseball, basketball, soccer or football game, as long as there’s cold one and good snacks.
- Host Your Own Sports Game— Then again, who needs pro sports when your entire bridal party is made up of perfectly capable athletes? Invite the whole crew to compete against one another — bridesmaids versus groomsmen, of course — in a bridal party faceoff. Make sure you pick a sport that’s approachable to all, even if it’s something as non-serious as ping-pong, disc golf, or even kick-ball.
- Attend a Craft or Paint Night —There seems to be no shortage of paint nights these days, and we’re not complaining. These are easy and quick weeknight activities that you can squeeze in when everyone’s got a busy schedule. It doesn’t hurt that most of them include a glass of wine or two.
- Go to a Cooking Class —If you’re big on making every element of your life an opportunity to learn, why not invite all your closest friends to do a cooking class together? Oh, and it’s not 1950, so you can totally invite the guys for this one, too. The same goes for all classes, including ballroom dancing, yoga, ballet, hip-hop, skiing or anything else you’ve always wanted to master. It’s better when you’re learning together!
Taking a Vote and Listening to Feedback
As much as it feels like it at times, your bridal party is not a monarchy with you and your future spouse serving as king and queen. On the contrary, bridal parties are democracies, and the two of you are like co-presidents. One of the most important things you need to remember when planning any and all pre-wedding events is that everyone has their own opinions, budgets and schedules, so you need to take everyone’s perspectives into consideration. As long as you do that, you can bet that your best girls will be as thick as thieves once it’s all said and done!
Author Bio: Jane Davenport is the head marketing manager for The Dessy Group. They are a leading manufacturer of bridesmaid dresses, social occasion, flower girls and destination wedding gowns. Jane oversee all of the marketing operations with her team at the Dessy HQ in Manhattan. When she’s not working and writing wedding articles, you can find her at Soul Cycle or checking out the coolest plant-based restaurants in the city.