One Town Place
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Mike Petrakis
Bachelorette parties are evolving in the wake of COVID-19

Over 80% of wedding parties are turning towards virtual experiences to stay connected and celebrate the bride and groom in 2020
May 27, 2020 - Bachelorette parties are moving online according to a new survey conducted by BACH, the leading bachelor and bachelorette party planning app ( BACH conducted the survey in early May as the global COVID-19 pandemic entered its third month. “In recent years bachelor and bachelorette parties have become destination events,” says BACH co-founder and CEO Mike Petrakis. “So, in many ways the data we’re seeing from this niche can be a proxy for the wider travel industry.”

The BACH survey included feedback from over 5,000 responders, 90% of whom are bachelorette party organizers that were planning a party in 2020. 85% of these respondents had parties originally scheduled in Nashville, Vegas, Miami, Scottsdale, Austin, New Orleans, and Charleston, which are top markets for bachelor and bachelorette parties in the U.S. 70% of all respondents are either the bride or maid of honor who served in the role of event organizer, or "group mom" as BACH defines this persona.

With the current uncertainty of the pandemic, wedding parties are finding unique ways to stay connected and celebrate this special time, resulting in over 80% of respondents turning towards virtual BACH events.
“We launched virtual bachelor and bachelorette parties in early May,” says Petrakis. “So, it is exciting to see that market demand is there.”

BACH’s virtual experiences offer a line-up of game nights, comedy shows, and celebrity-hosted happy hours. The experiences start from $10 per ticket for Game Night, an experience where party participants lob questions at the bride or groom  and have the opportunity to score points that ultimately can lead to prizes such as a serenade from Broadway star Jeremy Jordan. 

As it turns out, BACH sees that both the party-goers and the talent are enjoying these experiences, providing a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with top personalities that would otherwise be seemingly impossible. For instance, Chef Serena Wolf responded to her experience of hosting a cooking class in front of 50 guests with “I’m so thrilled there was such a great response to the class, I had so much fun doing it, and it was such a pleasure to work with the BACH team!” Vicki Gunvalson of Real Housewives, known to stir up quite the memorable experience, has noted that she loves hosting virtual happy hours and is looking forward to the next group. 
Virtual events aside, the BACH team still sees a strong interest in travel from the survey response, posing the below questions for consideration based off the market feedback:

Will most BACH parties be postponed until 2021? 

Survey findings show that 66% of BACH respondents attending parties in 2020 are postponing or rescheduling their trips due to the pandemic. The desire to postpone party dates has increased dramatically from March through the end of the year, with a majority of March and April parties opting for more intimate or virtual gatherings. The results show less confidence in the ability to have an in-person BACH party as 2020 progresses.

Will BACH planners change the location of their event?

BACH respondents expressed interest in changing their travel destinations to a more local origin city, including San Diego, New York, Palm Springs, Kansas City, Chicago, and Philadelphia. 

In addition to these cities, BACH anticipates that groups will prefer destinations with more outdoor activities, including lakes, beaches and national parks. Separately, survey respondents expressed interest in locations that offer activities related to outdoor bars, music, and food. This speaks to the increased interest in Austin, Charleston, Scottsdale and Nashville as a balance between options that have both outdoor and nightlife offerings.
To take the travel plans one step further, data points to the fact that 15-20% of people are staying in the same state for their party, 60% are ready to travel to bordering states, and 20% feel ready to explore other parts of the United States. BACH sees a sharp decline in international travel for bachelor and bachelorette groups. 

Will this pandemic change the dynamics of the BACH Party?

Over 40% of survey respondents noted that they will have lower budgets for planning, group size will be smaller, and they will travel to more modest and budget-friendly destinations for their BACH parties.
In terms of accommodations, 40% of respondents said it is too soon to tell if it is safe to stay in home rentals and hotels, while 30% said they are uncomfortable staying and 20% said they are not concerned. 
Respondents split interest in saying this pandemic will lead to a more casual party, while others say they will party more aggressively. However, one thing is for certain: all respondents are doing everything they can to make sure they have their party when the time is right.