One tradition common in Western culture is to throw a bachelor party (for a groom) or a bachelorette party (for a bride) the night before the wedding. Usually hosted by the best man or the maid of honor, bachelor/bachelorette parties are a chance for close friends to have one last get-together before the “single” status changes to “married.” The idea of a girls-only or guys-only event to celebrate a marriage is neither good nor bad in itself. It is what occurs at the parties that determines whether a Christian should host or attend a bachelor or bachelorette party.
Traditional bachelor parties are often excuses to indulge in immorality and drunkenness. Strippers, prostitutes, and beer-chugging contests are the norm in many circles. Unfortunately, many times the drunken groom ends up sleeping with another girl the night before his own wedding and shows up for the ceremony hung over. Clearly, this kind of party is unacceptable for a Christian to either host or attend (1 Peter 4:3). Bachelorette parties are little better when the friends of the bride provide their own forms of debauchery: male strippers, drinking contests, and foul, sexual conversation (see Ephesians 5:4; Colossians 3:8). Any bride or groom who desires to keep a pure heart and honor the future spouse would not enjoy this kind of party.
However, bachelor parties and bachelorette parties do not have to be nights of degradation. Many Christian brides and grooms enjoy fun evenings with their friends and parties the night before the wedding. They plan activities, schedule movies, and have guys-only and girls-only events that don’t devalue the next day’s celebration. Christian brides and grooms see no need to indulge in sin simply because they are getting married. In fact, they see this last get-together with their single friends as a way to celebrate the years of friendship. They may watch old videos of their times together or schedule some of the things they used to do together as a way of bidding farewell to an era. They often spend time praying for each other and the new family about to be formed. Some soon-to-be brides and grooms even invite parents and grandparents to be part of this unique celebratory evening, taking the opportunity to gain last-minute advice from the wise (Proverbs 13:20).
Whether a Christian should have a bachelor or bachelorette party depends entirely upon the types of friends and activities such parties will include. A Christian who wants to avoid the traditional evening of debauchery needs to make that stipulation clear to the party planners. The maid of honor or best man needs to be someone who can be trusted to heed the wishes of the friend who entrusted him or her with such an honor. A bachelor party or bachelorette party does not have to belong to Satan. Christians have come up with many creative ways to redeem the tradition and add even more joy to the celebration of marriage.