You may remember the stunning engagement party that my sweet friend Elisa threw for my sister a couple of summers ago. It was well put together, the cookies were to die for and the margarita bar was everything.
Fast forward a few seasons and I was planning her bachelorette weekend.
Now let me just say…I’ve planned girlfriend-getaways, wine-filled birthday parties and athlete showdowns…but never have I ever planned a bachelorette party. That being said, and with my OCD tendencies, I wanted everything to be perfect. And I quickly learned that with 20 women, there’s no such thing as smooth sailing.
So here I am to try and help all you other lucky planners out with the ever-changing role as party-planner extraordinaire to party-goers, even if you are not attending the party yourself.
First and foremost…
Set a timeline for yourself. This was easily the most helpful aspect for me and planning. I plan every minute of my life through a bullet journal for work obligations, a daily planner for lunches and personal fun and a monthly planner so as to not ever overbook. About 3 months before the weekend, talk to your bride (!!!) and see what she wants. Is it going to be a weekend getaway or a boozy brunch? Also, who does she want there? Heidi wanted some of her gal-pals that weren’t bridesmaids there, so this was really helpful to talk about over lunch. 2 months before, you need to send out save-the-dates. I’m making a general assumption that most people can’t take off at the drop of a hat, so this is important in giving your employer enough of a notice. 1 month before (eeek so close!) start ordering all the fun decor and make those reservations! About a week before you need to make sure everyone is all set and reservations are made as well as coming up with a cute list of activities. And for the day before, rest up for your wild weekend!
Then…make it personal for your bride.
Heidi and I are very different so I knew my expectations would be worlds away from hers. Heidi was more interested in the “girl-time” and not so much having a set agenda. I know, I was internally panicking. It’s super important to make sure the weekend is tailored to the bride, and above all, that she’s having fun. This is her last hoorah after all.
DON’T underestimate the cost.
Like I said, I’ve hosted a few gatherings, and I always try to over-budget. For decor, I set a $100 budget (not including food or activities, strictly balloons) and came out under. YEAH! A sigh of relief. Etsy always has the best decor, and I got everything from pins to penis here, here, here and here. Another thing about Etsy, is it’s all personalized, so Heidi wanted a pink and gold fiesta, and believe me, we made it happen. Another helpful thing, for you the planner, is to communicate to the attendees and see what their budgets are like. I recommend making a Facebook event and holding all messages there, it’s definitely easier than one large and overwhelming group text.
Ask for help!
I had a lot of personal issues going on as the party came closer and Elisa and another bridesmaid were incredibly helpful when I finally had to throw my hands up and say I can’t do it all by myself. Elisa and I have taken trips together and she’s thrown a few parties, so I knew she would be a good de-stressor. Kori lives in Austin (where the weekend was) and so she was irreplaceable when it came to finding the perfect venue.
Let go of tradition…
I am not a traditional person, as you all know, and so long gone were the days of matching bride-tribe tees and tiaras on the town. We kept it simple and flirty with buttons and got creative with the banner. Sorry, there was no “last fling before the ring” nonsense here as per the bride’s suggestion (and my approval). Encourage your bride to do what she wants whether that be a potluck dinner or a cake-crawl instead of a bar crawl!
I know, this totally seems like a given, right? Wrong. When planning a party, I want everyone to be happy and excited, and sometimes, majority just needs to rule. It’s so easy to get caught up in flawless itineraries and the perfect theme. But if your bride wants From Muergarita to Campbellini instead of “Last Margarita as a Senorita” then don’t stress and just go with it. Have a good time with it! Because ten years down the road, when you stumble across a random cactus confetti in your luggage, you want to smile and not roll your eyes.
And with that, Heidi is stuck with the same penis forever, and we’re about to walk her down to her future hubby!