For bride Unsa’s bachelorette party, her friends and bridesmaids chose an activity they knew the bride would adore—a trip to the zoo with special access to the animal exhibits! The group traveled to The Good Zoo at Oglebay Resort in West Virginia and worked with an animal trainer to feed and train three different animals: red pandas, ring-tailed lemurs and river otters. Afterward, the ladies headed home for a picnic and mini photo shoot with Courtney of CTG Photography, who also captured their animal encounters. We love this unique zoo bachelorette —the bachelorette party should be tailored to the bride’s personality and interests, just like this one!
This Nashville bachelorette weekend guide has been a long time in coming. When I first visited Nashville in 2014, I saw bachelorette parties on every corner. And it’s not hard to understand why! The city is alive with art, live music on every corner and a signature Southern charm. But I wanted to ask a local expert to pen this guide to the perfect Nashville bachelorette weekend. Enter Lisa and Erin of Bachelorette Boutique. When I first spoke with the co-owners of this Nashville-based bachelorette planning service, I instantly knew we shared the goal of helping women create modern, stylish bachelorette parties that appeal to the bride’s unique personality and tastes. I asked them to share some of their favorite spots in Nashville for a bachelorette bash. Need more help? Bachelorette Boutique offers instant online booking for fun services like flower crown classes, private concerts or a “champagne bathtub.”
Here are Lisa and Erin’s recommendations for the perfect Nashville bachelorette weekend.
Live Music Everywhere
There’s nothing quite like the sun on your face, a drink in your hand and the perfect soundtrack playing through your bachelorette weekend. In Music City the playlist never stops, with live bands in every bar and on every corner. Long known for its host of top country stars, Nashville has become much more than just country music, with all genres from rock to bluegrass and jazz taking center stage.
Where to Visit: Broadway’s honky tonk bars are a must-visit for your bachelorette party. Try Tootsie’s or The Stage for a rooftop vibe and classic country. For a more personal experience, take your group to the renowned Bluebird Cafe, or check out the calendar at Mercy Lounge—they host a ’90s cover band once a month!
Southern History & Charm
Beyond Nashville’s urban vibes, the city is filled with friendly Southerners, historic plantations and some truly Instagramable neighborhoods. For a unique experience, take your bachelorette party over to the historic Belle Meade Plantation for a wine tasting or pairing. This 1820s Southern mansion sits on 34 acres and will make you feel as though you’ve been whisked away to the Old South.
More History to Love: Grab dinner at The Standard at The Smith House, an 1840s townhouse with a hidden champagne cellar in the basement, or for a quick day trip, escape to Lynchburg for a tour of the original Jack Daniel’s distillery. Don’t forget to order a sweet tea!
Incredible Nightlife and Restaurants
From shrimp and grits to freshly baked biscuits, Nashville does Southern food right. On a recent trip, Anthony Bourdain heralded Nashville as a “food haven with the most awesome music in the history of the world, maybe even the universe.” Long story short, Nashville knows how to eat and it knows how to party.
What the Locals Know: Make your group reservations early since restaurants fill up fast. There’s a new restaurant to try every week, but recently we’re loving Le Sel for their brunch punch bowls, Butchertown Hall for shareable tapas and Biscuit Love for some truly amazing fresh biscuits, as the name implies.
For the best bachelorette spots to drink and hang out, grab a cocktail and a bowling ball at Pinewood Social, a rooftop rosé at the Thompson Hotel’s L.A. Jackson, bourbon and music at Skull’s Rainbow Room, or don your best boots and head to Broadway for all-night dancing. For our complete list of restaurant recommendations, check out our Nashville Restaurant Guide.
Bachelorette Insider Tips
With so many guides and reviews on what Nashville has to offer, it can be difficult to know where to start. If you’re interested in planning a bachelorette trip to Nashville, here are a few tips to make your stay unforgettable.
Hotels and AirBnb: Book your accommodations early! Nashville’s rooms book up quickly, so make sure to lock in your favorite spot as soon as you know your bachelorette party dates. Try to stay in Midtown, The Gulch or Germantown for the most convenient proximity to attractions. Many hotel rooms will allow up to four girls in a room and Airbnb houses can accommodate up to 12 or 15 guests. We love the 21c Museum Hotel for its art and design, and the Thompson Hotel for its prime location and amenities. For an indie experience, try East Nashville’s Urban Cowboy Bed & Breakfast, recently featured in Vogue.
Transportation: Nashville is teeming with Ubers and Lyfts and we’ve never actually waited more than 3 minutes for one to arrive at the door. The Nashville airport has a dedicated ride share pick-up area, and a trip to downtown’s core only takes about 15 minutes, sans traffic. If you’d rather skip that trip, groups can always grab a private SUV to transport them around in style. Champagne included.
Filling Your Weekend: Don’t waste a minute. There’s so much to see and do in Nashville that it can be easy to arrive overwhelmed or under-researched. Make a list of your top “must-visits” so you don’t get sucked into tourist traps while you’re here.
ABOUT BACHELORETTE BOUTIQUE
Bachelorette Boutique is a luxury planning company based in Nashville, Tennessee. Launched with a mission to modernize the bachelorette industry, they offer a completely online booking experience to save you stress and time. Let them create a custom weekend tailored around you, or book your own unique services online like flower crown-making classes, a private performance with a Nashville singer-songwriter, or the Champagne Bathtub: a real claw foot bathtub delivered to your door and filled with bottles of champagne. Learn more at www.luxurybachelorette.com.
Image credits from top: Veuve Clicquot, Bachelorette Boutique-Hazardous Taste, Biscuit Love, Pinewood Social, Thompson Nashville, Urban Cowboy B&B
We asked our friend and native of Austin, Texas, Nikki of Fling Before The Ring to share her recommendations for a perfect Austin bachelorette weekend. And Nikki is something of an expert since she started her own personalized planning and design service customizing Austin bachelorette parties. Nikki says, “Although it’s almost impossible to tell you all my favorite things in this city without writing a ten-chapter novel, I was up to the challenge! I’m giving you the lowdown on my favorite iconic sites, posh places and hidden gems that help ‘Keep Austin Weird’. No matter what you envision for your big trip, you’re not going to want to miss this!” Need more help? Contact Nikki for details on personalized party agendas for your Austin bachelorette party.
Where to Stay
Hotel Van Zandt: The chic, modern gothic boutique hotel is within walking distance to the popular bars on Rainey Street. Plus, check out the secret fourth floor where you’ll find Geraldine’s restaurant and a rooftop pool with a roaring fireplace.
Hotel Saint Cecilia: This quaint boutique hotel is every girl’s dream. Grab a cocktail in their pretty garden or snap a pic by their famous neon “SOUL” sign out by the pool.
Airbnb: Snag a cool Austin pad on the East Side for easy access to neighborhood coffee shops and feel like a true Austinite.
Where to Eat
Walton’s Fancy & Staple: A great spot for a lazy Sunday brunch. Get there early though as they often run out of the scrumptious weekend specials as the day goes on!
La Condesa: For a special dinner, try this Tex-Mex institution with a modern flair. Keep the tapas and margs coming!
Josephine House: This picture-perfect neighborhood bungalow-turned-restaurant makes for a quaint lunch spot. Dress up their picnic benches with your own custom tabletop décor.
Wu Chow: Great atmosphere, even better food.
Bangers: Beer, sausages and outdoor live music. Say no more.
Gourdough’s Food Truck: If you can dream it, this place will put it on a donut. The strawberry shortcake and the Fat Elvis (with peanut butter, bananas and bacon) are some of our faves.
Craving something sweet? Check out Austin’s favorite Amy’s Ice Creams, or swing by Moojo for the best ice cream cookie sandwich of your life. Or take it up a notch and have dessert cocktails and tableside s’mores at Halcyon.
What to Do
South Congress: All things weird are found on this strip. Explore funky shops like Kendra Scott’s very first jewelry store, grab an iced turbo at Joe’s Coffee and take a picture in front of the “I Love You So Much” wall with your gals.
Milk & Honey Spa: A local Austin favorite for a day of pampering
Sweat it out at local yoga studio Wanderlust, or find a barre or cycling class (ask about private classes for your group ahead of time!). Or if you feel like being a bit touristy, rent those cute red bikes to ride around the lake.
Up for day drinking? Book a tour out to Deep Eddy Distillery for some delicious flavored vodka cocktails. Or take your pick of local breweries, like Austin Beerworks if you’re trying to pace yourself.
Picture a bunch of cute old houses that have been turned into bars complete with corn hole and live music in the backyard. That’s Rainey Street in a nutshell. Check out the famous Banger’s Sausage House for live music, pop over to Lucille’s and order a Ruby Mule (you’ll thank us later), then be sure to end at Craft Pride for some late-night Food Network-featured pizza at the food truck out back, Via 313.
Austin’s music culture is seriously on point. People travel from all over the world to experience it. If you aren’t lucky enough to travel during the largest music festivals (SXSW in the spring and Austin City Limits in the fall), not to worry! Go catch some good live music any weekend at venues like Stubbs BBQ or go dance the night away anywhere on the “Dirty 6th” strip. Head west on 6th Street for something a bit classier. You might even spot a famous Bachelor who happens to own one of the bars!
An intimate dinner party in a glamorous Chicago apartment was the perfect night out for bride Nancy before her destination wedding in Cancun. The bride’s girlfriends—and one close guy friend—hosted her Chicago bachelorette party at DL Loft, a stylish apartment event space in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood decked out in Parisian chic decor, including twinkling chandeliers and fluffy white throws. The guests arrived early to have their hair and makeup done, and then enjoyed delicious appetizers and dinner prepared by a private chef. The friends shared old stories and their favorite memories of the bride over flutes of champagne, while Angela Garbot Photography captured a few snaps.
You know what really brings a group together? Adorable bachelorette party tanks, that’s what! Here are a few of our favorites from Etsy.
My favorite thing about these Champagne Campaign tanks is that they’ll get plenty of use post-bachelorette. This is your new brunch uniform.
Warning: Bride May Contain Alcohol. These tanks are too funny!
Aloha Beaches! This is another tank that your bridesmaids can wear again. We love the ones that work after the bachelorette party!
For all your fiesta bachelorette party needs, these Fiesta Siesta Tequila Repeat tanks are too perfect.
Perfect for a beach bachelorette: these Bride’s Mermaid and Mermaid of Honor tanks! They’re also available in a huge range of colors to match any theme.
For the Harry Potter loving bride out there, these House Bride tanks are too cute. I should know—I actually bought one for my friend Jae’s bachelorette! So I can tell you first-hand these are really flattering and cute!
This bachelorette packing list isn’t just about what to bring—it’s about how to pack smart so you have everything you need, but aren’t weighed down by tons of luggage. I just took a five-day trip to Belize for a wedding and carried on my luggage (including four pairs of shoes), so let’s just say I know what I’m doing. Carrying on your bag has so many pluses! There’s no risk of losing your luggage and no time spent waiting at the bag carousel. Plus, you’re going to be sharing a hotel room or house with a lot of ladies, so keeping the amount of stuff you are lugging in there to a minimum will be greatly appreciated by all. You’ll stay more organized and keep your temporary roommates happy too.
You can also download a printable PDF of the Ultimate Bridesmaid bachelorette party packing list.
Step 1: Know your itinerary
Before you start packing, it helps to have an idea of what’s planned for the weekend. For example, you may be spending Friday night at your rental house making dinner and playing drinking games, while Saturday will be party night on the town. That makes a difference in what outfits you’ll want to pack. Is there beach time involved? Hiking planned? Yoga class in the mix? Have a basic idea of your itinerary so you can pack smart.
Step 2: Pack neutrals with one accent color
Next, and this tip works for any trip, try to pack neutral colors with one accent color. That way, everything you pack will go together and you’ll have a lot more outfit options. Blue counts as a neutral in this equation because, hi, jeans, so your colors would include blue, black, grey, white, navy, brown and tan. You can safely throw both gold and silver in there too. Then pick your accent color based on what’s in your closet, the season and what you’re loving right now.
Step 3: Pick your travel outfit
Remember to set aside the outfit you’ll be wearing during travel! I always wear my bulkiest shoes on the plane so that I don’t have to waste packing space on them. Wear any jacket you may need to save space as well.
Step 4: Lay out your outfits
Lay out all your clothes on your bed and count through each day. Envision two outfits for each day—it helps to even line them up—one daytime look and one evening look. Remember that might just mean changing your top and shoes, but still wearing your jeans. Factor in bathing suits or special activities. Once you have those outfits laid out, if you still have space, you can add two extra tops and one extra bottom to give yourself a few more options. Be brutal with your choices though. I often end up eliminating a dress or top rather than adding. Packing light is only hard if you aren’t willing to make cuts in your clothing options. Commit to your favorite pieces and be OK with leaving things behind.
Step 5: Roll it up
Make sure to roll your clothing—it both saves space and keeps your clothes from wrinkling.
Wear during travel:
- 1 pair of dark blue jeans
- 1 T-shirt
- The bulkiest shoes you want to bring (tennis shoes, boots)
- A jacket
In your carry-on:
- 1 pair of dark blue or black jeans (if you aren’t wearing them during travel)
- Your favorite pair of shorts or a skirt (2 pairs if you aren’t packing any other bottoms)
- 1–2 going-out dress (I recommend an LBD)
- 1 sundress (especially if there is a shower planned)
- 3 T-shirts or tops you love (2 casual, 1 fancy)
- 1 pair of heels or wedges (choose a pair that can go with both your fancy dress and fancy top + jeans)
- 1 pair sandals or flats
- 1 pair pajamas
- Underwear for each day, and a few extras, just in case
- Bras: Think about your outfits when choosing which bras to bring. Do you need a nude one to go under a semi-sheer shirt? A strapless one for your dress? Wear one of the bras you’ll need and pack one extra in your suitcase.
- Socks and/or tights
Pro tip: Pack your underwear, bras, bathing suits and socks in the top mesh portion of your suitcase. This makes it easy to find these small items during travel.
- Small clutch/purse for going out
- Flight001 travel bags: I love these and always carry one with me when I travel. They are great for wet and sandy beach things. I also put sandy/dirty shoes in them, or fill them with my dirty laundry to keep the other clothes in my suitcase smelling fresh.
- Hair dryer, curling iron and/or straightener: Try to be selective about how many of these you need. I can get by with just a hair dryer. You can also buddy up with a friend. Tell her to bring her curling iron and she can use your straightener.
- Makeup bag + makeup removal wipes or face wash
- Liquid toiletries. You’ll need: Shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, lotion, sunscreen, body wash, face wash, bug spray. If you use a loofah in the shower, put it in the same bag as your liquid toiletries. Now you have all your shower things in one place.
Pro tip: Add all your liquid toiletries to a Ziplock bag, seal it well and place it in the OUTSIDE zip pocket of your suitcase. This way, if something explodes and leaks, it will not get all over your clothes. Make sure to get 3 oz. travel-size items of everything (samples are great for this too—great way to try out those Birchbox items you have lying around).
- Non-liquid toiletries: These go in a separate bag from your liquid toiletries. They include deodorant, toothpaste, floss, nail file, nail scissors/clippers, tweezers, etc.
- Medicine: I always carry a separate ziplock bag filled with medicines I might need while traveling. Mine includes stomach medicine like Tums, a painkiller like Advil, an allergy medication like Claratin and band-aids. If you have prescriptions, be sure you include them as well.
- Jewelry: Accessories are an easy way to jazz up a simple outfit without adding bulk to your suitcase, so you get a little more leeway with this. Find a small jewelry tote (I like this one) and fill it up with your favorites.
- A lint roller and Tide pen
- Any gifts or party favors you need for the weekend
If you’re going to the beach, add:
- 2 bathing suits (they’re small, so you get 2)
- 1 pair flip-flops
- Foldable beach tote
- 1 beach cover-up
- Foldable beach hat (like this one)
In your purse:
Your purse is your second carry-on. Choose a big one for your trip. You’ll need:
- Cell phone
- Cell phone charger, including power cord and TK.
- Portable solar charger: I love these. We use them all the time on trips. When your battery is dying and you’re moving from place to place, these are a life saver.
- Small umbrella
- iPad or Kindle
- Lip gloss or lip balm
- Cash!: I know a lot of people don’t carry cash. But a bachelorette weekend is one time you should make a special trip to the ATM. Cash will come in handy so often when you are trying to split bills, pay some one back for a drink or pay for a taxi. It can’t hurt to have it! I recommend taking out $100. You can always redeposit it after the weekend if you don’t spend it!
- Checkbook: Likewise, if you owe the host a good bit of money for lodging or bachelorette activities, writing a check may be the simplest option. That, or see if the host has Venmo (more about that below).
- Passport or ID: Whichever you need for your destination.
- Small mirror
- Snack: I love Larabars and always have one in my bag. Way better for you than airport food!
- Printouts of your boarding passes and itinerary
Venmo: If you’re not a cash person, Venmo is a great way to pay for things as a group.
Lyft, Uber or another ride-share app: Super handy for getting rides in a city you’re not familiar with.
Enable iCloud Photo Sharing and create a shared album: The best and easiest way to share photos from the weekend with the group instantly.
Etsy is my go-to for bachelorette invitations. These amazing artists are so much more creative than the invitations I see at most wedding stationery retailers. Oh my goodness, bachelorette invites that aren’t black and pink and covered in cheesy illustrations of heels and lipstick?!? It’s a revelation! Here are just a few of my recent favorite finds.
I love the modern graphic design and the contrast of glittery gold and soft pink in this girls weekend invite from Fine and Dandy Paperie. So chic!
The illustrations on this invite from Cake Print Shop are adorable, but what really won me over is the itinerary. Girl, you know I love an itinerary! OK, and the glitter. I do love glitter.
Speaking of itineraries, hi, this one is adorable. Kreativees has designs for tons of popular bachelorette destinations, including the Charleston one seen here, as well as themed invites perfect for a ski weekend or a beach getaway.
Maybe you’ve noticed I’m obsessed with pineapples recently. Maybe you too are obsessed with pineapples. Maybe you have to have this invitation from Boo Bean Design!
I love the beautiful floral patterns on this invitation from Kate and Jane Designs. The watercolor effect and mixed typography makes for a gorgeous statement invitation.
OK, just one more. Because there are so many good ones! But I love the concept of this spa party invitation: Mimosas, Manis and Mischief, Oh My!