How to Plan a Destination Bachelorette Weekend
We are gathered here today…
To have a bridal weekend for the books
If you have ever been to a destination bachelorette, you know that the experience is completely in the hands of the planner and how organized she is. If you’re reading this because you’re the lucky one in charge here, get excited. With our 8-step process below, you’ll have everything covered so your bride is fully celebrated and entirely prepped to be handed off for her wedding.
Our top tips for planning a destination bachelorette weekend
1. Find the ideal location
The weekend of a lifetime that the bride gets to indulge in, celebrate, wear all things extra, and have the blast that she’s always wanted to. Since all that the bride says goes (even if she’s not bride-zilla), picking the location will set the tone for the weekend away. Your bride may have a spot she’s always eyed. If not, here’s a few questions to ask her to spark inspiration:
- Do you want to be in warm or cool weather?
- Do you want to be by a body of water? Ocean or lake?
- Will your guests be willing and able to travel there?
- For daytime activities, do you want to be in bikinis, activewear, going out wear, or other?
- Spa time or clubbing? (Or both)
- Cooking in or dining out?
- Games at home or party bus?
The options above do not need to be entirely either or, but they do help you get an idea of what the bride sees for her bachelorette weekend.
2. Get the bride’s invite list
A bride’s bachelorette weekend is most importantly about her getting to spend time and make memories with her closest friends. Once you know that you’re the one with the honor of planning her weekend away, we’d recommend having her send you a list of people she’d like at her weekend ASAP. From there, you can commence with the details.
3. Pick a date
Since Step 2 was about prioritizing the bride’s dear friendships, now comes the task of getting those friends together—all in one place at the same time. In order to do this, the most important task (and maybe the most difficult… it only gets easier from here) is to line up schedules of the invitees. We’d recommend having a vague budget in mind so invitees can know what sort of weekend they’re RSVP’ing to, but that budget will of course fluctuate pending which guests can all make the weekend.
To send out to the bride’s guestlist:
- Approximate cost: Accommodations, food & drinks, going out plans, activity (i.e. boat), decorations, and travel (varies per individual)
- 2-3 dates that the bride has agreed work well—sending a Doodle poll to the group gets you answers efficiently and oh so organized
Of course, it doesn’t always work out so smoothly that all of the invitees can make the same date, but that is where you and the bride get to work together to ultimately decide which date is best for her.
4. Book accommodations
Now that you have a final number of guests for the weekend, look forward to the fun: Booking where to stay! Since you’ve got a bigger number to work with than you’re likely used to looking for lodging, make the most of it! Search out that gorgeous house on Airbnb, or the hotel suite that you know your bride would appreciate.
A few keys to keep in mind on your search:
- Number of beds
- Number of bathrooms
- Proximity to airport (if destination)
- Proximity to downtown area with restaurants and bars
- Is there a general common area where you can all spend time together?
Beyond that, enjoy the options and book away.
5. Money, honey
The age-old favorite topic to discuss, especially among friends, and especially among a group of people that maybe have never met and now get to pool together finances to love on their bride. Here’s an overview of costs that you can estimate for the weekend:
The ones you can generally come to an estimate (or exact) amount prior to the weekend
- Rental car(s)
- Food & beverages for the house
- Favors: Group hats or t-shirts
- Activity: Pedal bike tour, boat, group pilates, etc
- Party favors
These costs will vary, to be paid back later
- Ubers home
Our top tips for handling money:
- Clarify who's paying for what
- ~Is the bride paying anything? If not, factor dividing her expenses among the party
- ~Will main planner (you) pay for meals out to send $$ requests later?
- ~Are you supplying food and snacks at the house, to be paid back?
- ~Decor for accommodations: Do you want it? Will your guests know that they are part of funding that?
- How to collect money
- ~Have guests pay you for accommodations ASAP—give them a deadline to be in or out for the plans (ideally before you book the Airbnb or are able to cancel if needed)
- ~Budget the rest according to our Pre- and Post- lists above
- ~Ideally, request Pre- payments prior to the weekend so you have less to handle following the fun
Top Apps for Splitting Bills
- Splitwise: Keep a running total and request payment when ready
- Billr: To itemize bills and pay accordingly
- Divvy: Snap a pic of the receipt and Divvy handles things from there
- Venmo: So you can request and remind the party people
If anything, we highly recommend discussing money in advance. Communication upfront keeps everyone in the know and aware of what they’re walking into. Which leads to…
6. Communication is key
(Not only in the bride’s coming marriage, but this weekend too)
Ah, the age-old concept that we know makes all the difference in any relationship—even in the ones you foster here for a seamless bachelorette weekend away. Here’s how to make sure you’re covering all the bases, from invitation to “see you at the wedding!”
How to communicate with bachelorette party
- Email: Initial itinerary and cost breakdown; Official weekend plans once they're finalized.
- Calendar Invite: Once dates are locked in, email the bachelorette party. The sooner they lock in those dates as booked the sooner you will mitigate any conflicts and mishaps.
- Group Text: For quick updates. Depending how well your group knows each other, set a precedent for what this group text is to be used for. If you’re sending important updates and things you need responses to, you don’t want them getting lost amidst group chatter about outfits for the weekend (but those are fun and of course there’s a time and place for that).
- Snail Mail: For the ones who love a hard paper copy. Not necessary, but pinning a well-designed invite to a board is still appreciated, especially by the bride for her memories.
- App: In the case that you want to specify communication somewhere besides messaging, you can divert to an app of choice, like WhatsApp or GroupMe.
You’ve got this, master planner. You’ve done the hard work of planning: Now you get to inform the people so you can have the bachelorette weekend that your bride has always wanted.
It’s always a good place to start with knowing how planned in advance the bride wants the weekend to be. To the minute or a bit more relaxed? If you’re planning for her, you likely know her well and could predict this. It is helpful for your guests to know how the time will be spent, since they’re putting time and money into being there, so we love an itinerary to answer all questions upfront. Plus, it minimizes questions sent your way. As well as gets everyone ready and excited for the fun ahead.
Get inspired, starting with these, expertly curated by Partytrick:
Idea for a bachelorette weekend itinerary:
- Settle into house, hotel, or Airbnb
- Decorate together (while locking the bride away or taking her on a walk with a friend who traveled the farthest)
- Relax & get to know each other
- Going out or games at home
- Breakfast / coffee
- Daytime activity (see ideas below)
- Chill and relax
- Activity 2
- Get ready
- Dinner out
- Out on the town!
- Breakfast / coffee walk
- Pack up & clean
- Say goodbyes & travel home
A few thoughts and ideas on planning those in-between hours:
If friends traveled from near and far for the weekend and know the bride from all different stages of life, games are a great way to get to know each other. Try games about the bride for easy laughs and bonding: trivia from her childhood and now, or about her relationship you’re all there to celebrate.
Pending the questions your bride answered initially about the vision for the weekend, you’ll be able to determine how to spend the days from there. Group fitness classes are becoming an ever more popular way to feel good about the weekend, laugh together, and try something out of the ordinary.
Pro Tip: Book a private spin class, and send a few song requests to the instructor in advance (or at least let them know you’re there with a bachelorette weekend, and they’ll likely capitalize on that for their playlist).
Other ideas of what to do at a bachelorette:
- Rent a boat
- Pedal bike tour
- Picnic in a park
- Beach day
- Spa day
- Mimosa brunch
- Pool day
- Day drinking out
- Rent bikes
- Paint (and wine!) class
Really, the activities are just to give structure to the fun. As long as you’re all together—and you provide a framework for the party to work within—things will go great. Keyword: Plan this in advance! The way 3-4 hours are spent on Saturday between brunch and dinner truly will make a difference in how the guests remember the weekend.
8. Dining out & nightlife
Perhaps what is most thought of when people think of bachelorette weekends. So with a little research ahead of time, you can prep your party for a weekend of fun at all the best spots. Go down a slide in a bar? Yes please (Hint: Check out Unbarlievable if you’re headed to Austin, Texas).
To set up your nights for success
Consider the following:
- Make 1-2 dinner reservations: This will save any question marks come Saturday night
- Search 2-4 bars or clubs you’d want to hit at night. Does the club require reservations?
- Brunch reservations: Yay or nay?
- Party bus or limo?
- Which bars have the best dancefloors?
- Live music or DJ?
Pro Tip: Pick an outfit theme for going out. We promise it’s not cliche if you all go out in the same color or with face masks of the grooms’ face… in fact, you may be doing it wrong if you don’t do this.
There you have it. Your 8-step bachelorette party planning, in your hands. With a bit of organization and a lot of intention, your bride can rock her last weeks as a ‘Miss’ commemorating the bachelorette weekend you slayed planning.
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