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Lauryn Nyhoff and fiance Jeremy loaded all their friends on a party bus for a dual bachelor and bachelorette party.

Much of the wedding planning process is bride-centric. A newly engaged bride-to-be will begin dreaming of the details right away — everything from flowers to décor to wedding day itinerary. 

But what about our fellas?

What seems to be the first thing guys talk about when one of their own gets engaged? The bachelor party.

The bachelor party is a major aspect of the wedding planning process before a groom ties the knot. And his buddies would undoubtedly be ready for a guys' weekend.

My fiancé, Jeremy, and I loved the idea of planning our bachelor and bachelorette parties, but we realized that the excitement of the bachelor party for the groom can be matched with anxiety and apprehension from the bride. So we're sharing what worked for us in navigating the festivities with minimal stress and maximum fun!

Keep it true to you

Whether you’re into a posh spa retreat, late-night live music and drinks or even a risqué Magic Mike-themed show, bachelor/bachelorette parties are easy to personalize.

While Jeremy envisioned a Vegas weekend during March Madness, I dreamed of a low-key weekend of hiking, pampering and relaxing with my ladies in the natural beauty of the Colorado mountains.

Allow each of you to explore your own versions of fun with friends, regardless of social norms. It’s important to be able to let loose and connect with your besties before you marry the love of your life!

Communicate the plan and stick to it

Communication is a great marriage skill to practice, so why not start with your party plans? It’s respectful to consider not just you and your future spouse, but also the other relationship-committed party guests you may want to include.

The best way to make sure everyone is comfortable and has a blast is to make a plan. No need for a jam-packed, play-by-play itinerary — but if you're just planning to wing it, people might start to feel uncomfortable and lose interest in participating.

Take the time to have an open, honest and mature conversation together about expectations and non-negotiables for the festivities. Come to a finalized agreement of acceptable activities, then communicate the agenda to all involved in the party planning. If everyone sticks to the plan, it decreases the risk of hurt feelings or potential problems.

Co-ed compromise

If you and your partner share close friends, it makes perfect sense to bring everyone together for a coed party. This is a chance to celebrate with all your favorite people.

It's likely that many of your guests are also members of your bridal party, so this is the perfect opportunity to let them bond in a more relaxed environment than the hustle and bustle of the wedding day.

Jeremy and I loved the idea of a combined party, because we each have really important friends of a different gender and a lot of friends in common. Think bar crawls, tubing down a lazy river or, in our case, a party bus! And you don’t have to commit to only a dual gathering — the two groups can do their own thing, then merge for a big party. There's nothing quite like a celebration with our closest friends before we take the big leap of marriage.

With thoughtfulness, planning and communication, you can plan your perfect party. Plus, it will feel less like a goodbye to freedom and more like a joyful welcome to your upcoming union.

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