CLOSE
Original image

13 Geeky Bachelor and Bachelorette Party Ideas

Original image

We’ve covered a variety of aspects of geeky wedding planning, from cake toppers to dresses to rings, so now it’s time to look at some geek bachelor and bachelorette party ideas. This time we won’t be focusing on what other brides- and grooms-to-be have actually done because let’s face it: what happens at a bachelor party stays at a bachelor party—even if it's a nerdy one.

While most of these ideas are Safe For Work, there is a sexy Pinocchio further down, so if you don't want to be caught reading that at the office, you might want to save this article for when you're at home.

Unisex Ideas

Some party plans work for both sexes, even if you want to keep the bride's and groom's parties separate.

1. Go on a Scavenger Hunt


Image courtesy of @heylovedc's Flickr stream.

Who doesn't love a scavenger hunt? The great thing about this game is that it can be as raunchy or as modest as suits the bride or groom—so your list of tasks can include anything from kissing a stranger and getting someone to give you their underwear to getting a stranger to buy you a drink and rubbing the name off of a tombstone. You also have the opportunity to document everything with pictures, both for task verification and for the memories.

2. Roast 'Em

Be warned: This option is only good for those with thick skin. But if the soon-to-be bride or groom has a good sense of humor and doesn’t mind being the butt of everyone’s jokes, roasting them can lead to some unforgettable and touching memories. Make sure everyone writes their jokes far ahead of time, as the guests aren’t comedians and you want to ensure everything is funny—not pointlessly mean or plain old boring. And of course, make sure everyone has plenty of booze in hand, just like they would at a real Friars Club roast.

3. Enjoy Naughty Reading Time

Image courtesy of Tiffy-doodle's Flickr stream.

If the party vibe you're going for is just slightly scandalous, have a bad erotica reading night. While you can always read your friends selected sections from some of the Worst Sex Writing of the Year champions, if you really want to geek things up, have everyone find some bad erotic fan fiction online instead. You’ll certainly get a great laugh out of it together.

Male-centric

Here are a few ideas best suited to satisfy male urges.

4. Ogle at Geeky Burlesque Shows

Image courtesy of The OC Weekly

Instead of a strip club, take the bachelor to a nerdy burlesque act. These shows take on fun subjects such as great sci-fi classics like Star Trek, childhood favorites like The Muppets and cult classics like Quentin Tarantino films. For those that have always wanted to see the sexy side of Harvey Dent, Jabba the Hutt, or Pikachu, there’s no better option than one of these specialty shows.

5. Challenge the Groom’s Honor


Image courtesy of KingArthur10's Flickr Stream.

Enroll in a medieval swordplay class or other form of Western martial arts education. Learn to joust, fence and otherwise battle in the classic medieval fashion. Then just imagine the bride’s surprise when the groom sweeps her off her feet with all of his new historical battle skills. There’s no more chivalrous bachelor party option than this!

Just For the Ladies

These ideas are mostly for groups of gal pals, but some dudes still might enjoy tagging along.

6. Go on the Flying Trapeze


Image courtesy of asterix611's Flickr stream.

Has the gal getting married always wanted to run away and join the circus? Give her a taste of flying with a trapeze class. Many major cities have at least one acrobat school; the classes are performed with all kinds of safety equipment, so even those who aren’t very coordinated or who have too little upper arm strength to stay on the bars will still have fun falling into a cushy net. Classes run around $60 per person, which is cheaper than many bachelorette parties that take place at a club.

It should be noted that most schools have a weight limit, so keep that in mind when planning.

7. Host a Shoe Decorating Party


The great thing about geek fashion is that DIY is considered infinitely cooler than designer labels. To that end, get a group of your gal pals together and design your own shoes with geeky decorations of your choice—like the Rebel insignia from Star Wars, pages from your favorite comic books, or the emblem of your favorite house in Game of Thrones. The possibilities are endless—and if you need a little idea of how much fun this can be and how great the shoes can turn out, then don’t miss this post on Geek Femme, which is where I got the image above.

8. Throw A Slumber Party

If the bride isn’t the type who enjoys excessive alcohol consumption and strippers, then kick it old school—like, fifth grade old school. Grab some sleeping bags and a few air mattresses and enjoy a classic sleepover complete with pillow fights, pizza, popcorn, truth or dare, cheesy movies and, if you can find them, lame board games like Mystery Date and Mall Madness.

Of course, you can always add in a few adult touches like booze and classic bachelorette party games.

Co-Ed Fun:

These days it’s becoming more and more common for couples to throw their stag and hen parties together. This decision really makes sense when you’re both doing something super geeky instead of something sexy.

9. Dress Up for a Vintage Movie Party

Image courtesy of BADam's Flickr stream.

Find out if your local theaters have any good classic movies playing as part of their midnight movies selection, and then dress to impress for that era. Eat a themed dinner at home, talk in time-appropriate lingo, and then go out to the movies. For example, if they’re playing Back to the Future, wear terrible 80s clothes, enjoy Pepsi and Pizza Hut, and be sure to say “heavy” a lot. On the other hand, if they’re playing the 1959 classic House on Haunted Hill, don your best late-50s ensemble, enjoy a potluck filled with casseroles, and call each other “baby” and “daddy-o.” And if none of your local theaters play classics like these, you can always enjoy a big viewing party at home as well.

10. Treat Yourselves to Foodie Fun


Image courtesy of gak's Flickr stream.

Have a fondue party or go to a cooking class. While this can be a lot of fun for a party consisting of only one gender, it can be a great romantic treat for the bride and groom, who can learn about great dishes they can cook together. If you want to help the bride and groom save some money, you can even take a baking class scheduled the night before the wedding and make cupcakes for the reception.

11. Survive a Zombie Apocalypse


Image courtesy of Adobe of Chaos' Flickr stream.

Simulated zombie attack experiences are becoming more and more common these days, and what better way to test the bride and groom’s dedication to one another than have them compete in a zombie survival situation? If you really want to give them a challenge and some harassment, make them each compete with a ball and chain.

12. Get Gaming


Image courtesy of heath bar's Flickr stream.

If your group of friends is into video games, then borrow as many consoles, PCs, TVs, and power splitters as you can and have an epic gaming night. If your buddies are into competition, then make it a championship event complete with prizes.

Alternatively, if you’re into old school RPGs, get everyone together for a major gaming session build around the bride and groom’s favorite game. Even those that think things like Dungeons and Dragons are lame will still go along with it for the sake of the wedding celebration and who knows, they might even enjoy it and join your regular gaming night.

13. Play a Custom Made Game Show

Set up a trivia show based around the bride and groom and have their friends guess the answers. You can help everyone learn more about the couple by sharing some of their odd quirks, strange fears, and hilarious stories about their past. Of course, this only works if the people planning the party actually know the bride and the groom really well, but since this role is historically filled by the maid of honor and the best man, hopefully this shouldn’t be a problem.

Got any other ideas for geeky bachelor/bachelorette parties or tips on what not to do? Or have you attended a nerdtastic hen or stag party? Tell us about it!

Original image
iStock
arrow
Lists
11 Brilliant Wedding Gifts That Won't Cost You Anything
Original image
iStock

Most modern couples make it easy for you to pick out a wedding gift (thank you, wedding registries). But if you're going to disregard the preferred gift list, what you give has to be good. And you're in luck—because some of those gifts won't cost you a thing.

1. BONUS GIFT CARDS

Gift cards and cash are great gifts because they let couples enjoy a nice dinner out or pick up household needs that didn't make it onto the registry. But how do you get them without doling out greenbacks? Look for gift card deals and bonuses at places you already shop or dine (so long as it's a place the couple might also enjoy). In many cases, restaurants and stores will run promotions that give you free gift cards when you buy a pre-determined amount of gift cards. Stores such as Kohl's, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond have all run similar promotions (and are also popular wedding registry destinations). If it's a store you already visit frequently, you can purchase gift cards to shop for everyday expenses, then wrap up the free bonus gift cards as wedding gifts.

2. FAMILY HEIRLOOMS

Weddings are the perfect time to pass on a family treasure. In most cases, these gifts don't cost a thing (except if it is in need of repair, restoration, or cleaning), but that doesn't make them cheap. In fact, marketing professor Utpal Dholakia suggests that heirlooms, like grandma's wedding ring, have more worth than a pricey crystal picture frame or kitchen appliance because of the emotional connection and significance that the item holds.

3. THE CLASSIC REGIFT

Single present wrapped in red on table.
iStock

Regifting is never quite ideal, but in the right scenario, it’s not such a faux pas, especially if it’s an item the couple really needs or wants. But before you go digging through your closet or basement for the "perfect" wedding regift, you'll need to consider Emily Post's rules for appropriately passing on a present. The recycled gift shouldn't be personalized or handmade, should be brand new in original packaging, and something that the couple really would like. Oh, and don’t rewrap a gift that they gave you in the first place. That's just tacky.

4. WEDDING PREPARATION HELP

If you have useful wedding-prep skills, it might be worth exchanging some hard work in place of a wedding gift. In most cases, brides and grooms are stressed about the final cost of their big day (the national average came in around $35,000 last year) , but if your skills—such as floral design, dress alterations, or invitation design—can lower the cost, they'll likely be happier getting your help instead of a coffee maker. Of course, you'll have to work out the details in advance, but then again, that's one less gift you'll have to haul to the reception.

5. THE GIFT OF TRAVEL

Honeymoon registries have become a popular alternative to dishtowels and potholders. If you want to go for Guest of the Year, you can one-up the cash gift with airline miles. Instead of cashing in your unused miles or points for magazines, opt for gift flights or hotel stays instead. With some airlines, it’s cheaper to purchase tickets for the couple outright (avoiding mile transfer fees), so confer with them before the big day to make this gift come true. And don’t forget the important travel rule for the newly married: always use given names on tickets and any bookings that require matching ID, since any potential name-change paperwork won't be filed until after the happy couple gets home.

6. PET SITTING

Small dog sitting in a packed suitcase.
iStock

Wedding planning is hectic and expensive, so help your favorite couple stress (and spend) a little less when it comes to making all of their final arrangements for their pets. Well in advance of the big day, offer to pet-sit when they leave town for their honeymoon—they're sure to stress less if they know the daily dog walking, mealtimes, and kitty cuddles are being attended to by a friend. But before you jump in, make sure you're a good match with the couple's beloved pet; putting high-energy pets in a low-energy environment, for example, won't make for a compatible (or enjoyable) experience.

7. CASH-BACK GIFT BUYING

You can use this hack to purchase something the couple has their hearts set on, and it still won’t cost you a dime. If your bank account or credit card offers cash-back on purchases, plan in advance to save up the rewards from everyday purchases to put toward a wedding gift. While you're technically exchanging money for a gift here, it's the equivalent of using a free gift card to pick up that wedding present. Some credit card companies even offer the option to put cash-back rewards toward discounted gift cards, which also works for stores the couple frequents.

8. HONEYMOON HOUSESITTING

Being away from home for an extended period of time can make anyone nervous, so ease the couple’s worries by offering to housesit while they drink margaritas on a tropical beach. Depending on their digs, you may be in charge of everything from picking up the mail on a daily stop-in to actually spending the night while caring for pets and plants. While this gift is free for you, it’s a big budget saver for brides and grooms: on average, housesitting can cost between $25 and $50 per day.

9. PRO-BONO SERVICES

If you're an accountant, lawyer, or have some other kind of professional specialty or skill, consider giving free services as a wedding gift. You can offer to help the couple through the name change process, write their joint will or prenup, give them financial advice, or even just give them a couple of months worth of haircuts (but only if you're a professional stylist—we don't recommend this for just anyone with a pair of scissors and a trimmer!). You can create a gift certificate and deliver it with a card on the wedding day, and follow up afterward to see when they'd like to schedule an appointment (but note: if they decline your services because they already have a financial advisor, for example, then you need to graciously congratulate them again and send a gift).

10. SOMETHING GREEN

Large colorful potted plant.
iStock

Thinking of a gift for a green-thumbed couple? Consider sharing your favorite plant or a starter garden kit. If you're already a gardener, you can compile seeds from your existing stash, get seedlings growing, or transplant a portion of your favorite plant into a new pot. Just remember that this gift needs to be delivered after the wedding, avoiding the chance that the couple comes home to dead plants.

11. POST-HONEYMOON MEALS

Getting back into the flow of everyday life is a little strange after such a big event, so help the couple out by stocking their freezer with post-honeymoon meals. You can host a meal-making shower in lieu of a bridal shower, getting other friends and family (and their specialty recipes) in on the gift. Even better, consider coordinating with their honeymoon housesitter to drop off some early freezer meals that the couple will have ready for when they get home jetlagged. Chances are, they'll really appreciate the thoughtfulness of your gift—which is really the best kind of gift to give, regardless of cost.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Lists
11 Wedding Superstitions From Around the World
Original image
iStock

You’ve likely heard that before a bride can wed she requires something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue (representing her past, her future, and the hope of “borrowing” good fortune from a happily married woman and fidelity, respectively) or that the husband- and wife-to-be shouldn’t see each other pre-vows. (That one dates back to the time of arranged marriages when matchmakers feared the future spouses might run if they didn’t like their mate.)

But Americans aren’t the only ones with detailed wedding day rituals. Read on to discover the steps brides and grooms around the globe take to ensure they’ll last ’til death does them part.

1. IN GREECE, THE BRIDE AND GROOM GO NUTS WITH SNACKS.

The Mediterranean country is home to a sweet tradition. The happy couple hand out sugar-coated almonds, called koufeta, to their guests. As one Greek Orthodox bride explained to Manhattan Bride magazine, the white of the almond symbolizes purity, the egg shape is a sign of fertility, the hardness represents the endurance of marriage, and the sugar is meant to show the sweetness of married life. Together, they’re meant to wish the newly married duo "happiness, health, wealth, children, and a long life." And should a single girl take one of the blessed snacks and sleep with it under her pillow for three nights, tradition states she’ll somehow see her future husband!

2. IN SWEDEN, THE PARENTS OF THE BRIDE SHARE THE WEALTH.

Brides in the Nordic country add some heavy metal to their footwear. According to Stockholm website Your Living City, the father of the bride gives his daughter a silver coin to go in her left shoe, while Mom offers up a gold coin for her right. It’s meant to ensure she will never go without.

3. IN POLAND, BRIDES DON'T SKIMP ON THE SHOES.

Future wives in Poland must also pay close attention to their footwear. Tradition dictates that if they wear open-toed heels their future wealth and fortune would fly right through the opening. Fortunately, they have a shot to scoop up some extra cash. When the new Mr. and Mrs. exit the church, the guests shower them with coins they must scoop up to ensure a prosperous future.

4. IN SCOTLAND, FUTURE WIVES GET SAUCED.

Before a Scottish bride can be dressed in white, she must first be doused in slime. Pre-nuptials, the bride’s friends slather her—and sometimes her groom—in smelly foods like rotten eggs, curdled milk, and fish sauces. The tradition is said to prepare couples for the hardships of married life or to throw evil spirits off the trail of the upcoming big day.

5. IN FRANCE, WEDDING GUESTS PREPARE AN UNUSUAL FEAST FOR THE COUPLE.

French newlyweds flush away bad luck with a unique tradition called La Soupe: Guests gather the leftovers from the reception—or tasty treats like champagne and chocolate—and place them into a toilet or toilet-like bowl for the bride and groom to eat.

6. IN KENYA, THE FATHER OF THE BRIDE DOESN'T HOLD BACK.

The Maasai people in this African country douse newlyweds with good fortune. The father of the bride will spit on her head and chest as she leaves the village with her new husband. The thought is that by acting disrespectfully, rather than heaping them with praise, they avoid tempting fate and bringing bad luck to the new union.

7. IN NICARAGUA, BRIDES SKIP THE PEARLS.

In some ancient cultures, pearls are thought to symbolize wealth and love, but Nicaraguan brides won’t touch ‘em. In many Latin cultures, pearls mean “tears of the sea” and wearing them on your wedding day is a sign sadness is likely to show up in your marriage.

8. FUTURE WIVES IN MEXICO GET COLORFUL.

Mexican brides aren’t all dressed in white. Many will sew three colorful ribbons to their undergarments. A yellow strand symbolizes the blessing of food, blue is meant to bring financial luck, and red is believed to ensure a passionate relationship.

9. IN INDIA, BRIDES GET INKED.

As part of their pre-wedding celebrations, Indian brides have henna tattoos applied to their hands and feet in an hours-long ceremony. Often, the groom’s initials are included in the elaborate designs. If he’s able to locate them on the wedding night, the couple is thought to have good luck. And if he’s unsuccessful? He owes his new bride a present, which is somewhat lucky for her.

10. IN CHINA, SOME BRIDES GET TEARY, WHILE OTHERS CAREFULLY VET THEIR GUEST LISTS.

Betrothed couples in China have many key rituals to follow. In one province, brides must spend an hour a day crying in the month leading up to the nuptials day. In another, couples have to slaughter a chicken to discover the perfect wedding date. And some duos won’t attend another wedding, a funeral, or visit a woman who’s just given birth in the three months before their big day to avoid a clash of good fortune.

11. IN ITALY, COUPLES HAVE A SMASHING GOOD TIME.

To ensure a long marriage, some Italian couples will attempt to demolish a vase or glass during their wedding. Tradition states that however many pieces they manage to smash the glass into determines how many years they will be happily wed.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios