In my last post about planning a bachelorette party weekend, I discussed my initial bachelorette party planning steps — essentially, figuring out a loose plan (i.e., renting a house in Palm Springs), making sure the bride liked the plan, then touching base with the ladies invited — and doing all this in a timely manner because I was taking an extended trip. If you haven’t read that post, go ahead and read it, so you can follow this one!
Here were my next steps:
1. I pinned down the number of ladies attending — nine — and then I began a search for a rental home in earnest, creating a Google doc with the essential info (price, number of beds, notable amenities, etc.) of each house and noting my interaction with the owners. I also made a point to ask the bride what I should prioritize. She said a pool was most important to her, with the house being in walking distance to downtown a nice bonus, but not necessary.
2. After some major waffling — should I opt for a super-cool place within the price range I originally quoted to the ladies attending but on the higher end, or a suitable but less impressive place on the lower end? — I chose a rental home. (For the record, I went for most bang for the buck. A place just below the lowest price I quoted that looked like it could have charged more. The photo above of Palm Springs was like our view — mountains, golf course and all.) I ran it by the bride-to-be to make sure she’d be happy with it. She was!
3. I signed a contract for the house.
4. I selected the spot for Saturday dinner, as that would be the second priciest aspect to the weekend. It had a fun atmosphere, moderately upscale food and a wide range of inventive cocktails. (It’s Tropicale in Palm Springs, if you’re interested. And for those traveling elsewhere, find a restaurant for your extravaganza here.) Again, I ran it by the bride-to-be, who loved it, before booking a reservation.
5. I created a shareable Google spreadsheet to make determining rides easier — the idea was to cut back on back-and-forth emails and streamline the process. I put every girl’s name in the left column and these headers to be filled out to the right:
- Phone number (primarilyy, so different cars could reach each other if needed)
- Location (meaning: Where will you be leaving from?)
- When can you leave?
- Can you drive?
- How many can fit in your car?
- Comments (intended for anything not covered in the spreadsheet)
I filled my info out as an example.
6. I started a Spotify playlist for the weekend. The idea was to have a playlist of songs the bride-to-be loved or would bring up funny memories, etc. For example, the list included the original Beverly Hills 90210 theme song because the bride-to-be had once been an enormous fan, as well as songs from all the dance movies I’d seen with her, and yes, there were a lot of them.
7. I bought bachelorette party games and decorations — I didn’t want to be racing around doing this the week and a half I had between my return from Thailand and the trip to Palm Springs.
8. Then I emailed all the girls in the party — except the bride-to-be, whom I always emailed separately — with the following information:
- The link to the rental home where we’d be staying, explaining the bed situation — everyone gets one but we have to share! — and the total cost to rent the place.
- The amount of money owed per girl and when I needed it by, which was roughly in a week and a half because I was leaving town. (Even if you’re not leaving town, I recommend providing a deadline for payment. It gives folks a helpful push to pay you in a timely manner.) The amount covered accommodations and a $15 contribution each for the bride-to-be’s drinks, food, etc., while out on the town. Also, the ladies could contribute to a gift for the bride-to-be, if they liked. We did the latter because the bride did not have a shower in our city, so we decided to pull together for a gift. However, you shouldn’t feel obligated to do this if you and the girls will also be attending a bridal shower.
- How they should pay me. I gave my address for those who preferred to send checks. Many opted to pay me by money transfer from their bank to mine. PayPal is an option as well.
- The link to the restaurant where I had booked a reservation. That way, they could assess the cost and plan accordingly.
- A mention that they’ll be receiving an invitation to share a Google spreadsheet to help us figure out rides and to please fill it out. One lady in the group added a tab for items other folks were bringing — decorations, snacks, drinks, etc. — which turned out to be helpful and something I’d do in the future.
- The link to my Spotify playlist, which I had set as “collaborative” so others could add songs.
9. While my brain was still in party-planning mode, I made a list of everything I needed to accomplish for the party once I returned. That way I could give my brain an honest-to-goodness break while I was on Thailand vacation, but it would be relatively easy to jump back into the party-planning game upon my return.
Soon after, I left on my trip — and I gave a heads up to everyone that I would be hard to reach during that time. But I felt confident that all the essential pieces were in place.
Stay tuned for the next installment of Bachelorette Party Weekend Getaway, which sounds like a cheesy reality TV show, but I’m going with it! (Read all parts of this series here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.)
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