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.
For this laid-back beach bachelorette party, the ladies rented a house in Newport Beach and decked it out with pineapples and palm leaves from Paper Source for their tropical beach theme. Bridesmaid Audrey of Love Always, Audrey crafted the sequined floppy hats herself (you can DIY the Life’s a Beach, Out of Office and Do Not Disturb hats with this tutorial). The goal of the weekend was to get in some serious relaxation time at the beach, with the help of a few oversized pool floats, matching T-shirts designed by the MOH and personalized mason jars created by bride Danielle. Audrey’s advice for planning a beach bachelorette? “RELAX. The whole point of a beach bachelorette party is to just lay in the sun and enjoy it, so don’t worry about the small stuff. Instead of going out to a super-fancy dinner, order in pizza to the house. Sleep in a little bit. Make this the beach vacation everyone wants!”
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
Forget what you think a bachelorette party should be. Your bachelorette party should reflect your tastes and interests. It should include the kinds of things you love to do. Here, a list of 33 bachelorette party ideas. Some are themes that could carry an entire party, others are activities to incorporate in a long bachelorette weekend. Whatever you decide to do, make sure your bachelorette party reflects who you are—and please, no penises.
1. Weekend in the City
Bachelorette weekends have become de rigueur as many women have groups of friends spread out across the country (or the world). Very few people can gather their nearest and dearest from even a 50-mile radius, so it makes sense to spend a weekend together to maximize time and fun. Check out our planning guide for advice on putting together a bachelorette weekend, especially from afar. More from this Bachelorette Shoot in Baltimore’s Little Italy.
2. Glitter and glamour
Pile on the sparkle and sequins for a glitsy night out. Don’t own a sequined dress? Rent one! Rent the Runway carries tons of sequined styles and one can be yours for the night for as low as $30 (we particularly love this deep burgundy number from Badgley Mischka—stunning!). More from this Glitter Bachelorette Shoot.
Starting your day with a yoga class will make the bride feel good about herself and allow her to let loose with her friends as well. After the class, head to brunch, then complete your mind/body refresh with manicures…and maybe toss some mimosas in there somewhere. Image via Bridal Musings.
4. Art class
If the idea of a stripper makes you feel icky, but you still want to incorporate something a bit risque at your bachelorette, this is so the party for you. An instructor at The Artful Bachelorette will lead you through a study of the male nude, while a charming topless waiter serves you champagne and appetizers. Image via Stone Fox Tales.
5. Weekend at the beach
Pack your sunnies and your swimsuit, it’s beach time! More from this Breezy, Beachy Bachelorette in Provence.
Challenge yourself to look outside of Victoria’s Secret—which I have nothing against. Honestly, I buy most of my undies there. But this is a special occasion and it’s an opportunity for you to gift the bride something fun and different. Try Honeydew Intimates for colorful, cute pieces, L’Agent by Agent Provocateur for something sexy or Wildfox for adorable vintage-inspired PJ sets. More from this Rustic Vintage Shower.
Take to the seas for a cruise with your favorite ladies. Enjoy signature cocktails while lounging on the pool deck, or book a shore excursion to add a bit of adventure. Zip lining, anyone?
8. Wine tasting
Spend the afternoon at a winery and enjoy both a tasting and a meal, or book transportation to take you and your group to multiple spots in one afternoon. You don’t have to go to Napa to throw a wine tasting party—you’ll be surprised to find how many local vineyards there are all over the country. More from this Sunshine and Wine Bridal Party Luncheon.
Not a wine girl? No problem! The craft brewery industry is booming and many offer tours and tasting—or host a beer tasting party of your own! Order in artisanal pizzas (because seriously, nothing goes better with beer than pizza), or look for a class on pairing beer with food. Image via Glitter Guide.
10. Dance class
Isn’t dancing more fun without those pesky boys anyway? They just get in the way of your sweet moves. Image via Style Me Pretty.
11. Cocktail party
Serve the bride’s favorite cocktails along with a few nibbles. To add an element of fun, teach your guests how to make a more advanced cocktail, or one they may not have ever tried before—does everyone know how to flame an orange?! More from this Love is in the Air Bachelorette.
12. Cooking class
Prepare a gourmet meal with your besties. You can learn a new skill, like pasta making, and then enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor. More from this Cooking Classy Bachelorette.
13. Spa party
Or just plain camping—the glamor part is totally optional. Park an Airstream, rent a cabin or set up tents, then get the fire going. Be adventurous with your cooking. You’d be surprised what you can create on an open flame (try some of these!). Image via Zipporah K Photography.
15. Blow Dry Bar
A blow dry bar is the perfect stop to kick off a bachelorette weekend before a fun night out. Salons like Drybar offer party packages and cocktails to sip while you get pretty. Order your hair mai tai–style for a beachy, breezy look. Image via Style Me Pretty.
16. Road trip
Like camping, only mobile! Cadillac optional. Plan a few destinations and quirky roadside stops, but be sure to explore a bit off the beaten path. Check out this app that will help you plan your route and find cool stops along the way. Image via Roadtrippers.
17. Lake house
Rent a house at the lake (or make puppy eyes at a friend who has access to one) and enjoy hours of sun and fun. Just lounging on the dock together will be a perfect relaxation before her big day. Barbecue on the patio and serve up Moscow mules. Image via Jay Adores.
18. Lawn party
Before we had barbecues, we had “lawn parties.” Just think of it as a classed up outdoor gathering. Wear a sundress, break out the croquet set and serve a picnic lunch. Image via Style Me Pretty.
19. Flea market
A perfect outing for a crafty bride. Browse the stalls of antiques and handcrafted objects from local vendors, then be sure to hit up the ubiquitous food trucks. More from this LA Renegade Art Fair Bachelorette.
20. Belly dancing
Set the mood with candlelight and sequined pillows and hire a bellydance instructor for the night. It’s a little sensual, a lot fun and a pretty good workout to boot! More from this Bellydance Bachelorette in South Africa.
21. Ghost Tour
Get everyone good and freaked out with a ghost tour, a great activity to add to your agenda, especially in some of the older cities in the South, like Savannah, Charleston or New Orleans. I particularly enjoyed the ghost tour/bar crawl I took with Tara’s Tours in Savannah. Or check out this New Orleans Bachelorette.
Want something out of the box? This is it! Zombie bride and her zombie bridesmaids hit the town. If you happen to be in Minneapolis, make sure to schedule a stop at the zombie-themed bar, Donny Dirk’s Zombie Den. More from this Zombie Bachelorette.
23. Museum tour
Ok, this is not just any museum tour. Museum Hack offers a bachelorette-themed tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. The guides are open to thematic direction from you, but we love this suggestion: Butts of the Met. Image via Museum Hack.
Don’t Stop Believing? I never have. Power up your vocal cords with a night of karaoke. I personally love places that offer private rooms for large parties. You won’t have to wait for hours for your turn and the more timid girls may work up the nerve to hop onstage since you’re just among friends. It is nonstop fun. Image via J. Michelle Photography.
25. Rock climbing
Whether your an avid climber or just want to try something new, doing something active at your bachelorette party will make you feel great—especially if it’s followed by a night of cocktails and 3am pizza orders. These lovely ladies went way beyond the rock wall, with a dodgeball game and even a romp in a grown-up ball pit. Image via Brave Bird Photography.
26. Amusement park
Forget wedding planning. Embrace your inner Disney princess, leave your Muggle friends behind or feed your roller coaster habit with a day at an amusement park. Prepare for plenty of photo ops and just plain silly fun. Image via Merevin.
27. Ladies Who Brunch
I’ve always thought of brunch as an excuse to eat eggs late and drink champagne early. And I will gladly celebrate that excuse. More from this New Orleans Bachelorette.
28. Food Tour
Food tours are a great way to sample the local cuisine and see a bit of a new city. I’ve personally enjoyed the Gourmet Walks tour in San Francisco and the Music City Bites and Sites tour in Nashville. Pro tip: Do not eat before a food tour. Seriously, you will regret it. Check out our NYC Dining Guide here.
There’s something really relaxing and intimate about cycling with friends. You feel the breeze in your hair and find yourself talking about this, that and everything as the scenery passes. Bike rentals can be great for city tours or more scenic country outings. Image via Wedding Chicks.
30. 1920s Speakeasy
Decadence, glamor, candlelight and alcohol—what more do you need for a classy bachelorette party? Channel the Roaring 20s with a speakeasy vibe, strong cocktails and tiny canapés. Fancy yourself up with feathered hats, drop-waist dresses and kitten heels and indulge in parlor games of old—maybe a tarot reading is in order. Image via Ruffled.
Find yourself a lazy river, rent some tubes and enjoy floating on the water and laughing with your pals. Rent an extra tube as your floating bar—just load a cooler with ice and beverages and tie it to your rafts. Image via Dashboard Diary.
32. Flower Arranging Class
If you’ve ever bought a bouquet from the local grocery and tried to arrange your own flowers, you know that it truly is an art. Book a class to learn to create simple and gorgeous arrangements—the DIY bride could use this time to concept wedding bouquets or centerpieces. Image via Style Me Pretty.
33. Fruit Picking
A perfect daytime diversion for the summer or fall, fruit picking is inexpensive and yields delicious edibles. Don’t just think pies and tarts though. Transform whatever you pick into a cocktail that evening. Apples = sangria. Peaches = bellinis. Berries = just about anything! Image via Extra Petite.
Did you plan a unique activity for your or a friend’s bachelorette? Leave suggestions in the comments!
This breezy bachelorette weekend shot by Studio A+Q has me dreaming about a getaway to the South of France. Bridesmaids Zoé and Dorothée planned this serene weekend in Provence, filled with laughter and a few surprises for bride Eugénie. The fun started at the gorgeous Maison de Justine, a quiet maison d’hôte situated in the midst of a vineyard and overlooking a castle in the nearby village of Grimaud. The girls enjoyed a rustic breakfast in the garden and plenty of sunshine while strolling the grounds (neon shades required). Later, a decorated minivan arrived to shuttle them to nearby Pampelonne Beach for a relaxing day at the shore. The perfect ending? Releasing glowing paper lanterns into the night sky.