I, along with most of my friends, got married a long time ago, before Instagram and Pinterest were so influential on wedding related events. In a way I’m grateful for that because there was less pressure on making everything Instagram-worthy, but I also love seeing how people step up their game on everything from rehearsal dinners to bridal showers to bachelorette parties.
My sister, Lauren, is getting married in October and as the matron of honor (but why do they have to use the word matron?!), I’ve been planning all of her events which has been so much fun. This past weekend, I threw her a bachelorette weekend that ended up being beyond amazing in so many ways.
It was my first time in charge of a bachelorette party, so it was exciting and also kind of nerve-racking because I wanted it to be perfect for my baby sister without breaking the bank for all of her friends. It was a lot of work but so worth it and I learned a lot along the way.
Here are a few of my tips if you’re in charge of or a part of planning a bachelorette party for a bride in your life.
It’s all about the bride: A bachelorette party is about making the bride feel loved and celebrated. It’s obviously a party for all of her friends too, but with so many women involved, there can be a lot of opinions, so if you’re planning it, part of your job (in my opinion) is to do whatever makes her happy as long as it’s safe and doesn’t make anyone feel uncomfortable. Our weekend on the Jersey shore with a party bus might not have been what I would have wanted, but it made Lauren so happy (and was so fun for all of us!) and that was all that mattered.
Split the cost: Just because you’re throwing the party, doesn’t mean you need to foot the whole bill! I threw in extra but figured out a good way to split most of the costs between her friends. Thanks to a tip from her friend, we used Splitwise, an app that lets you upload the amounts you’ve paid for every meal, round of drinks, and gifts for the bride. You can add different people in the group to each expense so if you didn’t go out one night, you won’t be included in that bill. Have each girl download the app at the beginning of the trip (or before you get there) so that you can upload things as you go.
At the end, send an email or group text to everyone there and tell them it’s time to settle up. The amount that each of them owes will automatically populate and the app connects to Venmo which makes it a breeze.
Plan meals in advance: My sister has a ton of friends so we had 23 girls total that I had to feed for every meal. If we had cooked for that many people, it would have been a disaster so I ordered in on Friday night and had our dinner on Saturday catered before we went out for the evening. If it had been a smaller group, we would have gone out, but no restaurant would take a party our size! No matter what you decide for meals, plan ahead and get dietary restrictions from everyone coming so you don’t have to scramble last minute.
Pick out fun gear: Just because Pinterest says so, you don’t need to spend a lot to add some cute personalized touches to the party. I decided to keep it simple with cups and hats and one sign with her weekend hashtag. Lauren decided to buy matching sunnies at the last minute as a gift for her friends for traveling to the party. But that was it! We didn’t need giant goodie bags and didn’t need to go over the top.
Personalized cups: I’ve used Sequins & Lipstick for Lauren’s shower, this weekend, and we even ordered a bunch of cups for their welcome party. Tammy, the owner of the Etsy shop, is so easy to work with and will literally make pretty much whatever you want. Scroll down for a pic of the cups we ended up doing for this. They came out so cute! According to the site, she’s on maternity leave right now but if you message her, she’ll help you out.
Monogrammed hats: A lot of people make a hat or shirt withe bachelorette hashtag or a funny saying about the weekend, but I thought it would be nice to give all the girls something they would wear again after the party was over. My sister is obsessed with flat brim hats (we have very different styles!) so I found bought these hats (in fuschia) for $2.50 each had Monogram Mary do her thing with the monograms. There were a lot of hat options similar to this on Etsy but this was the most affordable way to do it and the quality was shockingly amazing.
I might buy some regular baseball caps from the same site and monogram them for some friends for Christmas!
Matching looks for photos: My grand plan was to have everyone wear similar colors for each event but Lauren was not so much into that idea so instead we told everyone to bring their jorts for this photo shoot. It was matching enough that it looks great in photos but not too matching that it looks like a cult.
Have fun! It’s a lot of work and a lot of moving pieces but at a certain point just let go and have fun. I had such a good time connecting with some of these girls who I’ve known since we were kids and getting to know some of her newer friends. I was able to let loose and have a great great time.
Photos by Julia Dags.