Tag Archives: planning a bachelorette weekend

33 Spectacular Bachelorette Party Ideas

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

33 Spectacular Bachelorette Party Ideas: Weekend in the City! | Ultimate Bridesmaid

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.

3. Yoga

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.

6. Lingerie

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.

7. Cruise

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.

9. Brewery

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

Book a spa day, or, for a more budget-friendly option, host a spa party at home. There are lots of recipes for home beauty treatments, like this green tea and honey mask. Image via Ruffled.

14. Glamping

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.

22. Zombies

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.

24. Karaoke

33 Spectacular Bachelorette Party Ideas Kareoke

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.

29. Cycling

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.

31. Tubing

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! 

LastBash: A Bachelorette Weekend Planning Tool

As anyone who has planned a bachelorette weekend will tell you, it can get stressful. There are so many moving pieces to manage, from choosing the date and location that works for most of the guests to managing the guest list, communicating expenses, booking activities and coordinating special touches for the bride. Just take a look at my step-by-step guide to planning a bachelorette weekend…I can feel your stress building. So imagine my joy when I stumbled across LastBash. It’s like a supercharged evite, with tons of planning tools like private message boards and expense tracking, that’s totally dedicated to organizing your bachelorette weekend—and completely free! Here’s a look at how it works.
Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 12.20.17 PMFirst, you set up a page for your event. This will serve as an invitation, but will also create a wall where everyone can comment, allowing you to communicate easily with the guests and get their input quickly. You can also initiate private messages so you can loop in a few guests (like the other bridesmaids) without involving everyone. One of my absolute favorite features is the ability to create polls. This eliminates all the confusion of sorting through emails to see which date or location works for most of your guests.
Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 11.45.08 AMYou can also add activities that guests can RSVP for separately. For example, maybe you slot in the limo company you’re expecting to rent from and their rate. Then if another guest finds a better rate she can let you know. Or you can list optional activities, like going to the spa for facials and pedicures and the girls can let you know if they’d like to attend. You can also share your flight itineraries and contact information, so you know when everyone will arrive and how to get in touch with them.Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 11.41.39 AMFinally, there’s a panel for expenses, which lets you easily share costs and keep track of who has paid for what. Asking your friends for money can be one of the most delicate subjects, so having everything organized and out in the open takes away some of the stress and also serves as a reminder to your guests to pay up (so you don’t get stuck with the bill!).
Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 11.45.49 AMOverall, I love this concept. With a crisp, clean design and lots of features that keep all the details of your party together and streamline communication with your guests, Last Bash is the perfect tool to take some of the stress out of planning your bachelorette weekend.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning a Bachelorette Weekend

A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning the Ultimate Bachelorette PartyYour best friend has just asked you to be her maid of honor. You’re thrilled, excited, over-the-moon…oh wait, you have to do what? Plan and organize a getaway weekend for all her closest friends, whom you may or may not know? Don’t panic, you can do this.

Bachelorette weekends have become something of the norm, at least in my circle of friends. Since friends are spread out all over the country, it makes sense to come together for a weekend of fun rather than make multiple trips for different parties. But planning can seem daunting, especially when you take into considerations all the feelings and expectations you’re expected to navigate. To help you through this troubled time, here’s my step-by-step guide to planning a bachelorette weekend.

When She Gets Engaged

  • Find out what the bride wants—location, theme, and guest list. The first step in planning any occasion for the bride is to have a one-on-one. The bride should tell you where she wants the party to be and she should provide a guest list, complete with contact information. Try to find two or three potential dates that would work for the bride. If she is open to input on location, give her yours and consult the bridesmaids. However, I highly recommend keeping decisions within this group. Don’t reach out to every single person on her guest list, or else you’ll end up driving yourself insane.
  • Ask the bride how much involvement she wants to have beyond the basics. Some brides are going to want to have input on where you stay and what you do. Others will be relieved to have one less thing to plan. Make sure you know where your lady stands.
  • Reach out to the bridesmaids to finalize a date. The bachelorette party is typically one to two months before the wedding. I do not understand why anyone would want to have it closer to the wedding. The bride has like ten trillion other things to worry about, so give her some breathing room. If all the guests are local, the bride may choose to have the party as close to a few weeks before the wedding, but if guests have to travel, it’s best to put a little space between the two events. Again, do not try to accommodate every person on the bride’s list. There will never be a date and location that works for every girl she wants to invite. Your goal should be to choose a date that works for all the bridesmaids, since they are the most important attendees as the bride’s closest friends.
  • Decide if you need help and then ask for it if you do. As you will see from the length of this post, planning a bachelorette weekend can be pretty time-consuming. All the decisions and details can be overwhelming, especially if you have a busy schedule to begin with. Who has time to price comp all the hotels in Charleston or read through Yelp reviews of sushi places in San Diego? But you have an option: Recruit a cohost. Is there another bridesmaid in the wedding who might have just narrowly been edged out for maid of honor? Or a bridesmaid you are very close with? It also might be wise to recruit a maid who knows the bride from a different period in her life. If you’re the bride’s childhood best friend, ask one of her college friends if she would be willing to cohost with you. Having someone to bounce ideas off of and to split duties (and hosting costs!) with will lower your stress level and also up the fun of planning. Shared Pinterest boards anyone?

Six to Four Months Before the Party

Research your planned destination: It’s time to start getting an idea of what your planned destination has to offer. You’ll need to decide what area you want to stay in and see if there are any activities or spaces the city is famous for that you’ll want to take advantage of. If you’re not familiar with the city, I recommend using resources like Trip Advisor or the DesignSponge City Guides (and, of course, Yelp for restaurants). Reach out to friends, relatives or Facebook acquaintances who live in the area for recommendations. I obsessively keep lists with notes to myself like “good prices for breakfast” or “great location, but no swimming pool.”

Select your type of accommodations:

  • Recruit a host: If you, a bridesmaid or the bride herself has the space and kindness of heart to host the guests for the weekend, go with this option! Accommodations are typically the number one cost for a weekend getaway. If you can eliminate that cost altogether by shacking up at a guest’s house, you will have so much more to work with when planning the weekend’s events. Pros: Drastically cuts down on costs; gives you access to a kitchen so guests can have casual breakfasts, make their own drinks, or create a pot-luck dinner; allows all the guests to hang out together in common areas; eliminates scheduling difficulties like check-in and check-out times. Cons: Host assumes financial burden of providing towels, linens, toiletries, and potentially food and drinks. This can be alleviated by asking the bridesmaids to chip in monetarily or help with set-up and clean-up. Another potential con is that staying at someone’s house might not achieve the same sense of special occasion you experience when staying at a hotel or renting a vacation home.
  • Find a hotel: If you’re traveling to a special destination, staying at a hotel may be your best option. It’s the most low-maintenance, will put you close to major attractions and provide you with a stress-free home base. In some big cities, hotels may offer complimentary transportation to the airport or to major tourist areas. Be sure to check for hidden charges for putting more than the listed amount of people in a room. Sneaking five people into a four-person room is probably doable. Packing six or seven in? Someone may take notice and you may incur extra charges or be asked to rent another room. Pros: No clean up or maintenance and full-service options like room service, laundry and maid service; amenities like pools, gyms, and on-site restaurants; central locations with easy access to transportation; stress-free home base. Cons: Large groups must split up into multiple rooms; check-in and check-out times dictate arrivals and departures; fees may apply for guests over room-occupancy limit.
  • Rent a house: Renting a house may seem like the most expensive option, but that isn’t actually the case. Depending on the size of your party and your needs, sometimes renting a house is actually cheaper. A good place to look for vacation rentals is vrbo.com. You can search for houses by occupancy, bedrooms, location and amenities (you know you want a hot tub!). Pros: Renting a house offers all the benefits of staying with a friend, but without that burden on the host. Cons: Rentals require hefty deposit so you’ll need to plan ahead and get your guests to send checks earlier rather than later. Rental owners are also more likely to be picky about who stays at their home. You don’t have the anonymity of a hotel, so you’ll need to be sure your group can be counted on to clean up and leave the place how you found it. Otherwise you’ll lose your deposit or get stuck with hefty cleaning fees.

Plan events: Map out the broad strokes of your weekend. Will you throw a shower for the bride? Go on a pub crawl? Take a class or some kind of tour? Have a special dinner or visit a certain landmark? See a show or hire entertainment? You do not need to have every moment of every day planned out (and you shouldn’t!), but you do need to work out the big picture. For your own sanity, I recommend planning out two big activities a day, one outing and one meal. Then leave yourself and your guests some breathing room to explore the city on their own or follow your own whims. People will like that you’re providing structure, but also giving them room to make their own suggestions or check out quirky findings of their own. It will also save you time and stress. Planning every moment of this weekend will put you over the edge—so don’t!

Three Months Before the Party

Finalize the guest list: This may seem early, and it is if you are planning a party in the bride’s hometown or where no one has to travel. This applies to destination weekends that will require most of the guests to travel. Think of this as sending a “save-the-date” card. Guests need time to arrange transportation and budget for accommodations. See more on this below. But first, a note on who pays for what. Continue reading

Design*Sponge City Guides

Planning a destination bachelorette party? In a city you’ve never visited? I’ve been there. But scouring travel sites and reading reviews on Yelp can get overwhelming and exhausting pretty fast. May I recommend Design*Sponge City Guides as a great starting place for curated food, shopping and entertainment recommendations? I love these guides because they’re written for a young female demographic by local writers. The recommendations tend to include vintage stores, cool cafes and off-the-beaten-track finds. They’re by no means extensive, but that’s what I like about them. You’ll get a good feel for the area and a baseline list to get you started. Need a B&B in Napa Valley? A bakery in Charleston to order some delicious cupcakes? Check out the full list of the guides here.