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It is difficult to judge whether people you don't know very well will be enthusiastic participants in a costume theme for a party. When organizing a bachelorette party, there is a high likelihood that the guest list will be a mix of people from different areas of the bride's life, most of whom an organizer has never met. This is a tricky situation, especially when the bride may want to behave herself in front of some of the guests instead of being the wild party girl you know and love.
One way to handle the situation is to plan a party that involves a few soft options for shy guests. Plan a theme that can be kept to without going crazy – this might mean that your plans for a Rocky Horror Picture Show theme have to be put aside, but it doesn't mean that you have to have the party at your local knitting club. Simply choose a theme that can have a broad interpretation and might be provided for by creative use of the average wardrobe (see the tip 'Dressing Up' for some ideas).
Another option available to you is providing some party favors or bachelorette accessories for guests. Handing each guest a tiara, name tag or pair of devil horns will make them feel a part of the fun even if they haven't got all dressed up.
If you make it easy for guests to join in, you also make it harder for them not to.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|