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Bachelor party, bachelorette party, “Polterabend” – what is actually the difference?

If you trace the polterabend back to its history, it is understandable that questions can arise. But what is the difference between a bachelor party, a bachelorette party and a “Polterabend”?

Wedding reception – alone or together?

So quite actually the Polterabend itself, as a celebration, was intended for the couple. At the same time, however, celebrating the bride or groom in an individual setting is becoming more and more fashionable, and if truth be told, these celebrations can definitely “rumble” (“poltern”) as well.

In the German-speaking area an increasing overlapping of these celebrations takes place. Oftentimes parties, which are not celebrated by the couple together, are also called “Polterabend”. From this point of view, the difference between a bachelor party, a bachelorette party and a “Potlerabend” is not so easy to define.

Language development is fluid and wedding customs in particular are constantly evolving.

Even websites and companies that offer “polter packages” – such as or even Casinos Austria often don’t take it too seriously anymore.

The important thing is to have fun.

Who do you invite to the Bachelor Party?

Wedding reception worldwide: cover for a rehearsal dinner
Table setting for a traditional US rehearsal dinner

Especially when it comes to “inviting properly”, some people do care about the difference. After all, you want to give your own friends and family the right idea of what’s in store for them.

But as is the case with customs of all kinds, the secret lies in communication.

Primarily, a polterabend is a celebration before marriage in which the farewell to singledom is celebrated as well as the future togetherness between the spouses. This can include the bachelor party or bachelorette party as much as it can include the U.S. tradition of the “rehearsal dinner.”

So if you like to party with your friends away from home life, you can consider yourself just as much a bachelor party crew as a couple who would like to invite friends and family to celebrate together in a very traditional way.

Wedding reception – worldwide differences

The word “bachelor party” and its bridal counterpart are far from being the only names for such celebrations. There would be the in the Anglo-Saxon area usual “Stag” or “Hen Night” just as much, as the Lower Rhine “Letsch”, with which no dishes are usually broken, but a there’s drinks for friends and family.

No matter where you are, there will be differences and every custom started somewhere once.

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