Your friend is getting married soon, but they just completed a recovery program for substance abuse/misuse, and you are wondering how to go about planning a reasonably-priced sober event. You know that a bachelorx party free from alcohol or other addictive substances is necessary and will honor your friend’s hard-fought recovery efforts. So, what are some ideas to celebrate your friend’s impending nuptials, and honor their recovery journey? Here, Be BOLD Psychology & Consulting offers some tips when it’s time to celebrate your friend’s upcoming nuptials – sober style!

What to Keep in Mind

Typically parties are planned by someone in the wedding party, but anyone can plan the party if willing and able. If you are a member of the wedding party, you likely will already be spending some money for your role in the wedding, so planning a low-cost party may be important for all involved. Since your friend is in recovery, you will want to include them in the initial planning and let them know the plan after it is complete. Knowing that there is a plan can lessen the stress of a situation.

Talk to your friend first to ascertain what their triggers might be that could potentially cause a relapse. Your friend will likely be aware, and willing to discuss any particular “person, place, or thing” that might cause concern. Sometimes associating with previous friends, acquaintances, or family members can be a trigger for potential relapse, so particular individuals may need to be omitted from the invitation list. Stress and anxiety are common triggers for people living with addiction, so plan activities that encourage relaxation.

Putting It All Together

However you configure the celebration, your friend should not have to spend any money, especially if it is reasonably priced, so make sure and cover their expenses. Invitations to the bachelorx party can be by word of mouth, or with today’s easy and abundant technology, invites can be created via an app and emailed. If you prefer a more formal approach, make your invitations, or buy them. It should state plainly that this is a substance-free party so all attendees are clear.

Some clean party ideas:

  • An old-fashioned sleepover, complete with facials, manicures, pedicures, movies, and popcorn. Make sure your friend gets a good night’s sleep as sleep deprivation can be a trigger, especially in early recovery.
  • Throw a dinner party at someone’s home. Make it as fancy or simple as you want.
  • If your friend enjoys board games, you could have everyone bring their favorite game to play, complete with popcorn and soda. You could also do this with movies.
  • If your friend is comfortable with going to restaurants at this place in their recovery, go out to a restaurant, with each person paying for their own meal and splitting the cost of your friend’s. A restaurant that encourages a group setting such as a fondue restaurant or a local Japanese steakhouse would be perfect. However, be conscientious of seating near the bar and perhaps ask ahead of time to not include cocktail menus on the table.
  • Set up a scavenger hunt (like geocaching or The Amazing Race).
  • If the weather is warm, a pool party could be refreshing and especially enticing if you have access to a free pool. Serve finger food snacks poolside.
  • If your friend is a sports fan, consider an out-of-town trip to take in a Yankees game, or to see any other major league team.
  • There are stores where you can make a craft, do-it-yourself style for a relatively small fee. Going home with a piece of pottery or a painting would be a fun way to remember the night.
  • Escape room type games might be a good bonding experience.

Fun Extras

In addition to planning a fun event, consider extras like having tees printed for everyone, or going wild at the party store and picking up beads, sashes, a crown, and anything else to help your friend feel special. When it comes to party favors, your options are limitless. You can go small with scented candles, picture frames or coffee. If you want something more unique, consider a handmade item for everyone, a luxe key fob or maybe even some interesting jewelry made from crystals or ammolite.

Is a substance-free fun bachelorx party possible? Absolutely! All it takes is a person that is willing to spend the time, be creative, and have a bit of extra energy to ensure that their friend has a clean, sober, party, that is well-planned and orchestrated.

Do you know someone who struggles with substance use, misuse, or abuse? Our clinicians specialize in substance use and addictions counseling and would be glad to help. Reach out to and schedule your free consult today!

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