Everytime I load my Facebook feed (which is a lot more often than I care to admit), another person has changed their relationship status to engaged. I love it! For a while it was people I knew, but wasn't close to, but now that is changing as well and people I am close to, people I have shared countless memories with, are making plans to tie the knot!
I am not the first or last person to offer advice on wedding gifting and party throwing, but every penny counts right?
This post is going to focus on the bachelorette party, but I'm planning to do follow-up posts on everything else that we (the bridesmaids/friends of the bride) put together in an attempt to make the year before our sweet friend says "I do" a memorable one!
When planning the bachelorette party, we very quickly determined who would and would not be able to attend based on age. 3 of the bridesmaids were under 21, so we immediately counted them out for the big shebang. (We did, however, make plans for a "Mini-bachelorette" that would include everyone closer to the wedding).
The next step was figuring out where to host the party. The majority of the attendees lived in Atlanta, and while it sounded inexpensive, it also sounded a little...boring. I think we all also knew it would be challenging to stay on our home turf and not get very distracted running into friends, boys, etc. We contemplated coming up with a set of rules for if we stayed in Atlanta, but that basically turned the Bachelorette Party into a Follow-My-Rules Party and who wants to play by the rules? Not us!
We started tossing around destination ideas, including Texas (where one of the other bridesmaids lives), Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and the beach - Destin, Myrtle Beach, and Jekyll Island, to be exact. Ultimately we landed on Destin. Why?
1. Proximity to Atlanta
2. Great beaches
3. Party town
I made a few phone calls, got in touch with someone at Dale E. Peterson Rentals - they were SO helpful and the condo we rented was seriously wonderful. I only had a few complaints - one, the pool was far away from the beach and not very nice, and two, the beach was reallly narrow in this area and there were tons of reserved chairs put out which made it dififcult to find a spot for our own things. In the grand scheme of things, not a big deal, but things to think about.
We arrived on Thursday evening and spent that night settling in, drinking wine, and catching up as only girlfriends know how to do. Somehow we stayed up until 3am on our "take it easy" night. Oops? I blame the champagne.
As resident party planner, I had little giftbags made up for all the bridesmaids. Little did I know, so did the bride!
Neither of the gifts were anything fancy - probably didn't cost more than $10, but it was the thought that counts! The sand bucket had names on the outside, plus animal crackers, aloe, glowsticks, and some other random goodies I can't remember. The party bags had sparklers, mini-liquor bottles, and customized wine glasses. So much fun!
Friday night was our big night out - matching outfits, sashes, paraphernalia, the whole nine yards. We planned to go to dinner, and then go straight from dinner to whatever bar was close by and had large groups of the opposite gender. Mission freaking accomplished.
We made a list of things for the Bride-to-Be to check off, and before heading out, we all agreed it was going to be a challenge to cross them all off. We could not have been more wrong. The second we walked into the first (and only) bar we stopped at, it was non-stop "let me check something off the list!" I can't believe I am going to admit this on the internet, but we came home with bras on the outside of our clothing, a pair of men's underwear, a condom, a photo of a bald man and a kiss, and a list that was used and abused. We also met more dudes claiming to be "Adam" than I ever could have imagined. (One of the items on the checklist was to kiss a man with the same first name as the groom).
We stayed up all night Friday night, watching the sunrise and generally enjoying each other's company. The rest of the weekend was a little more low-key, but we still managed to have a blast. I'd say grand total we each spent about $400, which for a weekend at the beach combined with a bachelorette party isn't all that bad in my book.
The bride had a blast, the bridesmaids in attendance had a blast, and I think it was one of those weekends I'll remember forever. There is just something to be said about the magic of drinking out of a straw shaped in the form of a male sex organ...