For this tropical bachelorette bash, the ladies headed to Wekiva Island, a riverside oasis just outside of Orlando, Florida. With kayak rentals, private cabanas, a sandy beach and a waterfront bar, this location is the perfect place to spend an afternoon with your girlfriends. Heart and Arrow Event Planning decorated this cabana with pineapples and flamingos and served the ladies refreshing watermelon popsicles and pineapple mango salsa. We love the laid-back vibe of this tropical beach party and the gorgeous moments captured by Tara Libby Photography.
I recently celebrated my bachelorette weekend in Charleston with my best girls and I am still buzzing with excitement. It was absolutely the perfect bachelorette for me, full of relaxing beach walks, classy specialty cocktails, delicious Southern cuisine, a little bit of dancing and hours talking and laughing with the ladies I love most. You can find my complete list of recommendations for a Charleston bachelorette at the bottom of this post.
I met up with my MOH Meryl and bridesmaid Michele at the Charleston airport Thursday evening and we headed straight to dinner at Leon’s Oyster Shop, a cool, eclectic space downtown that specializes in oysters and fried chicken. After a delicious meal, we made a pit stop at the grocery store to stock up on the essentials—aka copious amounts of wine, an entire watermelon, and breakfast foods—while we waited for the rest of the ladies to arrive. (Side note: We ran into what was clearly a bachelor party on the boy version of our grocery trip, filling one cart with beer and a second with canned chili.) Our home for the weekend was the Wild Dunes resort on the Isle of Palms. Meryl’s aunt and uncle own a three-bedroom beach cottage there and were so, so generous to offer to let us use it. It was absolutely perfect—gorgeously decorated in beach-chic blues and whites and the perfect size for our group. They even had party cups and a stuffed shark to act as our weekend mascot!
Meryl put together adorable Charleston-themed gift bags for all the guests and Michele was almost instantly dubbed art director for the weekend when I found her artfully arranging the items for a photo. And she did an amazing job styling our photos for the rest of the weekend! Personalized cup in the sand? Her idea. Constantly shifting us around to get good light? She was on it. Though assistant art director Lexy is responsible for the sand writing 🙂
Friday morning, after sleeping off way too much wine, the girls made an amazing breakfast at home and we headed out to the beach for a stroll, followed by pool drinks and snacks at the Wild Dunes Grand Pavilion. It was just a little bit too chilly for sunbathing or swimming, but it was still lovely and the perfect time to catch up, which is just one of the best parts of a bachelorette weekend. Fellow bride Jae and I got to compare notes on our upcoming weddings. I’m pretty in awe of her—she planned her wedding in four months whereas I will be coming up on a year of planning! Definitely more to come from her summer wedding soon!
After a very important power nap (what, we’re old!), we started the evening at Poogan’s Porch, which serves modern twists on Southern classics (I had the crab and shrimp linguini because, hi, learned my lesson from wine on night one: carbs needed!). All of Meryl’s restaurant choices and the schedule she planned for the weekend were amazing and spot-on me. This is probably the only vacation I’ve ever taken in my life where I haven’t planned one thing, Yelped one restaurant or pulled up Google Maps once in a fit of “where the heck do we go next.” It was heaven! Next, we had drinks on the roof of the Vendue and then headed to Trio for some dancing, where the DJ was spinning 90s jams as if he knew we’d be there (plus, JT’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” because I’m obsessed right now).
Saturday was my bridal shower brunch, and beforehand my friends planned a scavenger hunt for me in our beach house. Each clue was written by my bridesmaid Amanda, who is the queen of cute poetry and emoji usage—she created the poems for our popular wine basket shower gift. The clues led me to the shower gifts, which were all travel-themed, referencing places Andrew and I have visited together. The last clue led to my shower, hosted by my amazingly generous friend Nichole, in the back garden of Eli’s Table in Charleston, where we enjoyed a hearty brunch and some much-needed mimosas in the Charleston sunshine. I was so touched by the thought that everyone put into the shower—it was so personalized to Andrew and I and resulted in me making many silly faces while opening my gifts!
After our outdoor brunch, we were in need of a little AC time. Luckily, Nichole had wisely made a midday reservation at The Gin Joint. Because what’s the best thing to do after you finish two pitchers of mimosas? Have a specialty cocktail, duh! The Gin Joint makes cocktails for you based on a selection of words on the menu, so I asked for a “fizzy and refreshing” drink and received an awesome combo of gin, muddled strawberries, lime and ginger beer. Maybe one of my favorite spots we stopped in Charleston!
Next, we took a stroll along the waterfront of downtown Charleston and through the historic quarter to get a look at Charleston’s rainbow-colored homes. The city really has so much charm and there’s a gorgeous garden or wrought-iron gate around every corner. To end our weekend, we headed over to nearby Sullivan Island for a dinner of wood-fired pizzas and on-tap cocktails at the Obstinate Daughter. I cannot believe how fast the weekend flew by, and I already miss my girls. But I’m even more excited for my wedding this October!
My Bachelorette Guide to Charleston
Wild Dunes: We were lucky enough to have access to a house, but Wild Dunes has tons of vacation rental properties as well. The beachfront community has tons of pools, a golf course, tennis, dining—it’s a really wonderful home base with a lot of Charleston charm.
Eat & Drink
There are so many amazing restaurants in Charleston—you can hardly go wrong. We loved:
- Modern twists on Southern classics in a historic Charleston home at Poogan’s Porch. Try the shrimp and grits and the fried green tomatoes.
- Brunch in the back garden of Eli’s Table. Their hearty meals and pitchers of mimosas are perfect the day after a night out.
- Fresh oysters and fried chicken at Leon’s Oyster Shop. We loved the eclectic vibe of this joint.
- Wood-fired pizzas at Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island. Try the Old Danger pizza topped with pancetta, mozzarella, a white sauce and a farm egg and one of their cocktails on tap.
- With creative cocktails like The Studmuffin and The Debutante, The Gin Joint makes for a perfect happy hour stop. We especially loved the “bartender’s choice” option.
Thank you a thousand times…
Meryl Dann: COO/Team Captain | Michele Fogel: Art Director | Amanda Leith: Creative Director | Jae Haley: Stylist | Lexy Harrison: Medical Advisor/Asst. Art Director | Nichole “If You Won’t Do It, I Will” Burnap: Chief Instigator
Bright colors, a pretty garden setting, lots of laughter, a candy-covered cake…what’s not to love about this thoroughly modern London tea party shower, captured by Ronnie and Rose Photography? The formal table set in the vibrant green back garden gave the occasion a Mad Hatter feel, as the ladies enjoyed tea and cake and mugged it up a bit with tiny hats and neon sunglasses. And though the toilet paper wedding dress tradition can be a bit silly, sometimes silliness must be embraced! Bride Nicky and her friends took paper fashion to a whole new level, creating flowy designs to model on their makeshift runway.
I have to admit that I’m totally guilty of spending way too much time on my cell phone. When I go on vacation, I intentionally “cell phone detox,” which means no email, no social media, no texting—and it’s awesome. That said, why not put all our obsessive Instagramming to good use? I’ve updated the traditional “What’s in your purse” bridal shower game for the smartphone generation. Ultimate Bridesmaid presents the What’s in Your Cell Phone game
I’ve created two free printable games for you. One is appropriate for a bridal shower with mixed age groups (i.e., even your mom should be able to play). The second one is designed for a bachelorette party, with questions geared toward the younger crowd that include a few racier requests. I’ve also give you the full list of questions after the jump in case you want to select the questions that you like most and create your own printout.
Don’t just pass out the sheets and let people fill in their scores though. Have the host read each question aloud and then ask guests to share their answers when appropriate. Guests can use their sheet to record their score, but make sure you keep everyone engaged and talking. Share the photos you have to hunt down, make them admit if they have Candy Crush and find out who scores the highest on rounds that award multiple points.
Make sure to download the PDF versions from the links below for the best printing results:
So guys, I have a confession. I’m afraid of HTML. All those <‘s and aref=WHAT? Scary. Terrifying. Thank God that WordPress makes blogging so easy. But, for awhile I have been really dissatisfied with my Real Parties page. The continuous scroll just wasn’t user friendly and it really wasn’t showcasing the parties. It was burying them. I especially felt bad for the parties I published a long time ago as they were basically lost in the void. And there are some gems back there! Like this gorgeous Linens and Lace party. Or this super creative bachelorette at LA’s Renegade Craft Fair. So I made you this page.
I really wanted readers to be able to quickly scan all the parties we’ve featured and then dig into ones that fit their aesthetic. For awhile I thought about doing categories, like Tea Party, Lingerie, etc., but I realized that the parties are all so varied and unique that they really reject being simply categorized. This tea party has a totally different vibe from this one! The design I decided on highlights one image that captures the spirit of the party and brings you to the full post with a click.
Caitlin, coding novice
We’re already enumerated the many benefits of Savannah as a bachelorette destination, but I wanted to share some of the specifics of our weekend for those who might be planning a trip. You can find details from our bridal shower in Forsyth Park here, including our shower theme and catering info. This time I’ll focus on our nighttime activities.
For our first night, Alyssa scheduled a ghost tour/bar crawl with Tara’s Tours, which turned out to be an awesome idea. It’s called Boos and Brews (though can I suggest Boos and Booze?) and it was easy to schedule a private tour just for our group, which I highly recommend. Marisa loves ghost tours (we’ve been on a few in St. Augustine that are wicked scary) and we loved that this one included lots of bar stops and encouraged beverages on the road. Our guide, Andrew (also known as Drew or Drewby) was fun and told us a good mix of tales, some about the history of Savannah dating back to the Civil War and some about events that had only happened in the past few years (including one horrific story about a demon child in the Marshall House…won’t be booking a room there!). He even shared some paranormal experiences he’d had himself in apartments in Savannah or on the tours. Don’t let that scare away the faint of heart though. The mood was really lighthearted and though I’m one of those people who closes their eyes during previews for horror films, I was perfectly fine on the tour. We passed lots of other ghost tours and got many envious stares at our light-up cups. Apparently not all tours are the drinking kind.
We also got to see a ton of Savannah and stop in at all kinds of bars. Our tour included McDonough’s (karaoke all night long), Hang Fire (the bathroom is particularly apropos to bachelorette parties here…just trust me on this one), 17Hundred90, and Moon River Brewery (where we toured the very spooky old hotel portion), to name a few. Afterward, we stopped in at Abe’s on Lincoln, which was another chill place with friendly bartenders. We’d all definitely recommend Tara’s Tours and Drew (seen above with the bachelorette herself)!
Our second night out, we decided to dress it up a little more. I’ve seen all kinds of costume themes for bachelorette parties (wigs, tiaras, penis wands) but one of the simplest things to do is have all the guests wear black and the bride wear white or a color (Marisa chose red). You can find her cute little veil here. We originally decided to throw in wigs as a theme too, but only a few girls got on board (see photographic evidence). Before going out we all gathered in the hotel suite to play The Fiancé Quiz and then we decided to hit River Street. This turned out to be a great balance between the two nights because the first night was more small dive bars, which fit our casual theme, and the second night we went to a rooftop bar (top of the Bohemian Hotel, highly recommended), a country Western bar with line dancing and bull riding, and a dance club (309 West). All of these bars were along River Street and our hotel was only a block away from our final stop, so we were able to keep our heels on for at least part of the night (backup flip-flops are a must because of the stairs and cobblestones!).
If you have specific questions about planning a bachelorette party in Savannah, leave them in the comments and I’ll reply!