With a martini bar for guests and a few quick appetizers, even the hostess is living it up.

Girls' Night In

Your friend is getting married and there's only one way to celebrate–host a bachelorette party starring martinis and good friends. It's not only her last night out as a single girl, it's also a way to quit worrying about that bridesmaid dress you'll be wearing for the big day. Throw the bride a party and show all your friends a good time to send her off in style!

Martinis are many girls' best friends, especially if diamonds aren't in the budget right now. Fit for toasting and made for drinking, a round of colorful drinks gets any party started off in festive style. With whimsical napkins, a few cocktail shakers, and some trays of finger food, this night will set the tone for a marriage made to last.

The Bar
There are a couple of choices for serving all the girls. You can multiply the number of drinks needed to fit in a pitcher and let the girls top off their own glasses, or let everyone make and shake her own. Setting out various ingredients gives the guests a way to be involved in the kitchen. Plus, they can choose exactly the drink they want. Make it easy by cutting up any fresh ingredients in advance and offering all the correct measuring cups.

Print out our drink recipes, sized for 3 x 5 index cards, and set out on the bar. Or, you can make recipe cards with the couple's photo on them. Because good drink mixing sometimes gets sticky, a pretty, paper-wrapped container of wet wipes is helpful to have at the bar.

The Food
Most bachelorette parties end up with the guests out on the town for a second round. Serve some simple but sophisticated food that will get the evening started without much prep time. The girls won't be too full to party, but will have enough to keep going. To make the most of the time catching up with friends, choose food that's easily eaten without utensils. Finger foods move with the girls as they mingle through the party.

The Music
For a final touch, play upbeat wedding songs while you party:

  • "Wedding Day" by Seal
  • "It's Your Wedding Day" by Stephen Lynch
  • "Peggy Sue Got Married" by Buddy Holly and The Hollies
  • "L O V E" by Michael Bublé

The Party Plan

  • Lay out a few platters, glasses, and serving pieces the day before.
  • Pick up some flowers at the market while grocery shopping.
  • Choose colorful paper napkins. Remember to have some for the bar as well.
  • Count your martini glasses. Borrow from a friend if you need to.
  • Serve the food and drinks right on the kitchen counter. Everyone always ends up in the kitchen, so try starting there too.
  • Prepare as much as possible ahead of time.

Rebecca Lang is a well-known cooking instructor, author, and food writer. She teaches Girls' Night In classes around the country but lives in Athens, Georgia.