Bachelorette Party Tips: How to have the Most Successful Weekend with your Girls
Photos by Kelly Costello Photography
Even typing this next sentence, makes the wedding seem all that more real...AH! This is my last bachelorette party post and it kinda makes me sad, but the fact that it has so many good memories and such, it makes me happy to relive them with you! If you're just now entering this series, you can catch up by reading about My Bachelorette Pool Party, My Bachelorette Party in Austin, TX Itinerary, and Where to Stay in Austin, TX.
So anyway, back to the topic at hand...bachelorette party tips. I may not know everything, but I know a lot about planning and keeping you and your guests happy as a clam. Here are my tips and suggestions of things to think about and/or consider.
Who? This is the first thing to decide! You'll obviously want your bridesmaids there, but what about other girlfriends? I had my bridesmaids and house party, but other people have close friends who they weren't able to ask to be in the wedding, their moms or even a close guy friend!
When? This was my MAJOR question. As soon as I asked everyone, I sent out an email with all of the available weekends in the year and asked people to tell me what weekends they WEREN'T free. I used this to plan not only my bachelorette party date, but my lingerie shower and bridal shower as well. It's rare everyone can come to everything, but you want as many people there as possible. I was able to have everyone but 1 girl and was so happy about that turn out.
Where? Ultimately this is where you want, but it's important to consider others. If you drink wine, but your friends don't, visiting a winery probably isn't a good idea. Additionally, you want to consider literal location. 4/11 girls in my bridal party live out of Texas, so staying in Texas just made sense. I admire destination bachelorette parties (thought of having mine in Costa Rica), but being in a wedding is already so expensive, I wanted to consider how much things would cost...which brings me to my next question!
How Much? Money is such a touchy subject. If I could have, I would have paid for everything, for everyone. I worked it out to where my girls only had to pay a portion of the hotel stay, dinner on Friday night, dinner on Saturday night, and brunch on Sunday. I've been a bridesmaid several times and at the end I have spent upwards of $1k between the dress, shower gifts, bachelorette party, and wedding weekend expenses like hair and makeup, and even lodging. I'm not saying it needs to be your number one concern, but it should definitely be one of the first few things you consider. If your girls are having to buy plane tickets, then an expensive hotel, with expensive food and drink, that probably isn't smart. You also have to think about having to take days off and such - that time = money, too. BUT you know your guests better than I do, so you do you!
What? Don't be bullied into doing something you don't want to do. I mentioned it here, but my ideal bachelorette party was simply what my ideal weekend looked like..relaxing, working out, eating good food, and having fun! Just because you're afraid someone won't like doing something, doesn't mean you shouldn't do it! (within reason, if it's something that goes against their moral standards or beliefs, that's another thing) Your maid of honor should have your back and be able to plan something you want, or you didn't pick your MOH correctly. Believe me, I've seen it happen more than once! I talked about how I asked my bridal party and tips on choosing the right people on this post.
-Be as detailed as possible ASAP. I am that bridesmaid that is like um, okay when is this? I made sure this never happened to my girls, because it annoys me so much when that happens! I sent out detailed wedding weekend information as soon as I had it, with as much information as possible, for planning. As it got closer, I let them know about how much money I thought they'd spend/where they even needed money, too.Whenever I chose my wedding date, Nick thought I was crazy, because I wanted to get it nailed down ASAP. We have family traveling in and the more time to plan ahead, the better! Wedding parties need to be treated the same way. Ultimately, the earlier and the more you tell them, the better the probability that they will be able to make the weekend and make it fit their budget.
-Hire a photographer. If you can budget this DO IT. Even if it's just for an hour on one night. I am obsessed with photos and always have been. Sure you have the memories, but photos allow you to keep them and share them. If you need a photographer in the Austin, TX area, use Kelly Costello Photography. She did all my bachelorette party pics and I am obsessed with them! Using her to capture my weekend was probably my best decision the whole 3 days!
- Plan ahead. Okay, so did I already say plan? Oops. But really. This is more for the MOH, but make sure you have an idea of what is going to occur. You can't just decide on a restaurant and walk in thinking they'll automatically seat a party of 11. If they don't take reservations, at least they'll know you're coming.
-Give Gifts. (or don't!) If you're subsidizing what your girls are paying or covering the weekend entirely, that is gift enough, girl! I considered making cutesy tees or tanks, but in the end, I was like..."do they really want another tee shirt?" My answer was no. My sister gave everyone a hand painted wine glass (you can see them here), a mini bottle of champagne, a fun straw, and a pocket shot of vodka. It was practical things they could use that weekend, but also something they would want to keep, not throw away, in regard to the wine glass. I always like to think about the practicality of a gift, before anything else. Of course, I want it to be cute, but I mean cute doesn't get thrown in the trash ;) (Talked about the art of gift giving here, in regard to hostess gifts. Could apply in this situation, too!) Cheesy, but the real gift is having everyone all together :)
-Have Food and Drinks. I mean, did you SEE this Instagram picture of me? If I don't eat, I get hungry. Having snacks in the room was a total must. My mom made Chex Party Mix, as well as Muddy Buddies (you might call them puppy chow), so we had sweet and salt there. We also brought sweet potato chips (ya know, because they're "healthy" and some other little bites. A huge MUST is bringing water. Everyone needs it and if you are planning on drinking at all, water is even more important. We brought a case of water and it was the perfect amount. I don't have a problem with tap water, but water bottles are just easy and even easier to provide for everyone! I talked about what food and drink we had around the pool here.
-Play Games. The weekend should be fun AND games, so don't forget about the latter! My friend Kami made bridal jeopardy and asked Nick a bunch of questions prior to the trip. It was so fun to be put on the spot, to see what I did and didn't know. There are also other games to play, but let me just tell you, that was our only game and this was a penis-less bachelorette party. Why would I want to wake up and see those type of decorations around, anyway?! (haha) And that rolls right into my next tip!
-Put up Decor. My sister had cute little decor for our room, but ultimately, we really only slept there, so I didn't want anything over the top. If you want cutesy things and themes galore, make sure you communicate that!
-Coordinate Outfits. Girls want to know what to wear. They want to know what you're wearing and what you're not wearing, blah blah blah, so be prepared to dish out that info! I made it easy and just told them to wear black on Saturday night (the night we went out), because it makes for good photos and is just simple, yet chic. For the other parts of the weekend, I just told them the general attire.
Seriously feels like I got engaged AGES ago. The wedding is only 50 days away, tomorrow! If you missed my proposal story, you can read it here.
Do you have any tips or suggestions that I left off? Would love to hear for future bachelorette parties I'm a part of!
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