Bachelorette: an almost married woman experiencing the conflict of I want to have fun tonight and I don’t want to have too much fun tonight. Bachelorette Party: a group of women giving the bachelorette a prime opportunity to potentially have too much fun. Fortunately for me, my bridesmaids had my best in mind all night long, so I didn’t have to worry too much about it.

My bachelorette party was two nights before my wedding rather than the night before. This schedule gave me 24 hours to fully recover from anything that might have occurred. They threw me a lingerie shower first, and the party followed. Luckily my friends were aware that I gave up drinking after college. Not completely, just the shameful kind. So they planned a perfectly mild night out just for me in downtown San Antonio.

Bachelorette Party Guidelines

On our way downtown, My friend Katelin and I got stuck in traffic, so we had some time alone. We laughed, danced and dreamt together the whole way there, and it will forever be one of my favorite memories. Fortunately we made it in time to enjoy a Champagne toast with the others before heading to the Riverwalk.

Each of my bridesmaids wore all black with bright colored boas, and I became the walking bridal ornament. They gave me a white boa, a giant necklace, a tiara, and several other out-of-hand pieces to indicate that I was the one getting married. My gifted attire was both hysterical and humiliating, but now I can see it as the rite of passage that it was.

The night was full of congratulations, don’t do its, and “can I buy you a shot?” I probably took one or two of them, but thankfully my sister-in-law played the martyr and took the rest. I made sure to thank her the following morning. My name was written on walls, songs were sung to me, and I was even asked to dance on a bar—all in the name of my upcoming marriage. The insanity that ensued made for an unforgettable night with my closest friends, which is really what it’s all about.

My bridesmaids put a great deal of effort into making this night extraordinary, and I am forever grateful to them. So whether you’re the bride or a bridesmaid in an upcoming wedding, keep these 5 bachelorette party guidelines in mind. A bachelorette party should be memorable, not a haunting memory.

5 Bachelorette Party Guidelines for Bridesmaids:

1. Respect her wishes. This could mean renting movies and ordering pizza, going to the beach for the weekend, or going out for a night on the town. Make this night completely about her and what she enjoys. Each bridesmaid will have an opinion, but the bride’s preference should trump all.

2. Avoid disagreements. Fellow bridesmaids, don’t argue with one another or talk bad about each other. Planning this event can get stressful for the party planners, but nothing will make a bachelorette party less fun to plan or attend than conflict. Plus it causes unnecessary stress for the bride, a huge no-no in wedding party etiquette.

3. Have a plan. Don’t just show up and hope everything falls into place. Odds are, with that many different opinions floating around, you will spend most of your time discussing the night instead of enjoying it. While it’s usually the maid-of-honor’s job to organize the party, don’t be afraid to ask questions or make suggestions. Spontaneity is for less-significant nights out.

4. Get creative. If you’re a friend of the bride and she asked you to be a part of her big day, then you owe it to her to come up with something spectacular for her bachelorette party. Choose a theme, host a lingerie shower, or do all of her favorite things in one night. The options are endless. Put your brilliant minds together and come up with a special way for her to spend her final night out as a single woman.

5. Remind yourself that this is her night. If the bride is enjoying herself, everyone else should be- not the other way around. Be supportive of whatever the bride decides and do your best to enjoy what she has planned. Be sure to check in on her and adjust your plans accordingly. Maybe she’s feeling like heading home early or switching things up, be flexible and accommodating. And remember, this isn’t a night for bad moods or negativity. Put your best foot forward so that your friend will only have sweet memories of her final night as a single woman.