Planning a bachelorette party is no small feat. Planning one for twenty people in the middle of a pandemic… you can imagine how that went. All jokes aside, things actually went very smoothly, but it definitely took a lot to make that happen. So, since we’re basically pros now, we’re here to tell you all that we’ve learned and give you some tips on planning a bachelorette party.
Hi, it’s Anna, by the way. Since I’ve helped plan a handful of bachelorette parties I figured I could take on writing about this topic. We’ll also be writing a recap of Greta’s bachelorette party, but for now, we’re focusing on the planning process.
So, where do we even begin?
First, who should plan the bachelorette party? Is it always the maid of honor? We would argue, no. While we do think it’s the maid of honor’s responsibility to at least start the bachelorette party conversations, we don’t think it is necessary that she be the one to plan everything. There are many reasons why the MOH may not be the best fit to plan the bachelorette party – and that’s okay! For example, if your MOH is your younger sister who has never been to a bachelorette party, doesn’t have an interested in party planning/decor/etc, and doesn’t know the rest of the attendees very well, perhaps it may be best for a few of the bridesmaids to lead the planning process. Or, even if your MOH does want to lead the planning process, we still think it’s more fun to involve others in the planning process (if they want). In summary, we think it should be a group effort and everyone should play to their strengths.
Once you determine who is responsible for planning the bachelorette party, the next thing you need to do ask what type of bachelorette party does the bride want? Does she want something relaxing? Outdoorsy? Adventurous? Does she just want to party at a pool? Obviously, understanding what type of weekend she is looking for will help you determine where they go next. Oh, and for the sake of this blog post will be focusing on bachelorette weekend trips. We know that’s not for everyone, but it’s what we know, so it’s what we’re sharing!
So, after you get an idea of what type of vibe the bride wants, you need to figure out how many people she intends to invite. Oftentimes the number of attendees will greatly determine where you go and what you’re able to do. So, get that guest list!!! At this time, you should also be talking to the bride about estimating who on the guest list may not be able to attend. Do what you can to have a pretty good guess on the total number attendees, and it’ll really help you narrow your search later.
Once you have a guest list, work with the bride to figure out a few tentative dates (feel free to also consult a few confidantes, but we don’t recommend asking the entire group at this stage). By this point, you probably have a few ideas on where you may want to go, so definitely consider the weather when narrowing down your dates.
Finally, it’s time to look for places to stay and lock down your location!!! The fun, albeit shockingly time consuming, part. There are so many different things to consider, but at a minimum you need to find a place that fits the following criteria:
- It sleeps everyone
- It’s not unreasonably priced (you know your friend group, and if you don’t – ask)
- It’s in a location that fits the vibe, has the types of amenities and nearby activities that the bride wants
- You can reasonably travel there for a long weekend (ex: be sure to check how far it is from the nearest airport!)
Now, I’m going to transition to telling you about how we went about all of those things for Greta’s party, and then we can go back to talking about next steps.
We knew that for Greta’s bachelorette party she wanted to hang by the pool with 20 of her closest friends. We had narrowed our dates down to April, and we started searching. In the beginning, we didn’t narrow our search to a specific location, because we were primarily concerned with looking for a house that could fit 20 girls, had a pool and would be warm in April. We knew that with a group of 20 we needed to rent some sort of VRBO or Airbnb, vs. trying to stay at a hotel. We also knew that due to our group’s size, we likely would be spending most of our time at our VRBO. Because of this, we wanted wherever we stayed to be really fun/nice, since we intended on spending so much time there. We were also happy to spend more on lodging, since we knew we’d be spending a lot of time there and weren’t going to plan any big excursions. We also needed to consider the weather, because there aren’t a ton of places in the U.S. that are guaranteed to be warm in April.
So, we began our search. We looked at Florida, Arizona, and throughout Southern California. There was a point where we entertained a weekend in the mountains, thought about checking out the East Coast, or dare we say Vegas, but in the end we knew we’d likely end up in AZ or CA. We found a number different places that were potential options and looked at the pricing for all of them. Once we had a few options narrowed down, we sent a text to the entire group and told them the dates we were looking at, as well as some tentative/high level info about the plans. Once we locked down a date, we put down a deposit on a place in Palm Springs, and sent out an e-vite with all the details. I think we gave the girls about a week or so to respond and then we asked that everyone pay the first half in order to reserve their spot. We then would charge for the second half in April. Once we had our guest list locked down, it was time to start talking details.
Now, back to you and your checklist. I’m going to keep this somewhat high level, because, you guys, I’ve already been at this for about 4 hours, and I think I need to scale back a bit. I PROMISE if you want more I will give you all the details. Maybe I’ll write a e-book? Make a YouTube video? I digress. Again, here is the rest of your checklist:
- Determine a high level itinerary (people want to know what they’re signing up for). Don’t overdo it, you’ll end up wanting more time to chill than you anticipate, and consider consulting the group before planning anything too expensive!
- Create a Google Sheet to collaborate with the rest of the partygoers. Don’t worry, we’ve created a template for you – click the link below! We don’t recommend sharing it with the bride – it’s fun to plan a few surprises!
- Figure out what you’ll be doing for meals and create a grocery list (we highlyyyy recommend using Instacart and asking your guests about any dietary restrictions)
- Book any reservations
- Figure out any transportation needs
- Determine a theme, hashtag, etc.
- Order/make decorations
- Order/put together welcome bags
- Create a playlist
- Provide group with packing list
- Determine if you will be giving the bride any gifts (and, of course, make partygoers aware of this plan)
Alright, I know I simply listed those last things, but they’re all subjective/dependent on the party, so I’m going to leave it at that, for now. That said, our next post will be recapping Greta’s bachelorette party, so you’ll hear all about the fun things we planned! Then, I’ll find time to sneak in a post all about bachelorette party gifts/decor ideas. It wouldn’t do it justice if I tried to fit it in to this post. In the meantime, reach out if you have any questions… you know where to find us!
xx, Anna & The Blonde Party