In our last episode, I told you about our laid back first 24 hours in our Palm Springs rental house. Now we’re to Saturday evening, which was the designated Big Going Out Party Night! This should be helpful to anyone planning a night out on the town, not just ladies planning weekend getaways.
The plan for Saturday was simple: Nice dinner, then dancing. It sounds easy, but a lot of hemming and hawing went into the plan, which I concocted roughly a month out. (I am, in fact, a known hemmer and hawer.) After searching for restaurants, I sent the bride-to-be the link to Tropicale, which was promising, except for one thing. She’s a vegetarian, so I wanted to make sure there was something to her liking on a menu that was light on veggie fare. (If your bride-to-be has menu limitations, you might want to let her OK your restaurant selection.) She liked the sound of their few veggie dishes and thought the place looked fun, so it was on!
Next, I booked a reservation for 6:45 because the restaurant wouldn’t book big groups during prime dinner time. I thought it might be too early, but it turned out really well. We were such a large group, it took us two-plus hours to get through dinner anyhow.
I tell you this because if you’re debating the reservation time, skew earlier rather than later. You don’t want to get out of dinner so late that you end up standing in line waiting to get into the next place or can’t secure a place to sit once you’re inside. Better to get out early and have a post-dinner cocktail if you need to kill some time before going to your ultimate destination.
Dinner, btw, hit just the right note. Despite limited veggie options, the menu was extensive. It offered moderately upscale entrees, but there were also giant salads, pizzas and small plates that suited various palates. Most important, it had two whole pages devoted to unusual cocktails! (Hurrah!) The vibe of the restaurant was a lot of fun too — sort of a Miami-Vice-meets-Palm-Springs type of place. It was ideal for a bachelorette party.
One of the ladies brought Mardi Gras beads and wacky sunglasses for all of us. It definitely knocked up the festivity factor. Previously, we had all vaguely discussed dressing similarly, but I’m a fan of this route, where you buy fun, inexpensive accessories that unify the group. The bride-to-be got an amped-up version of these accessories, with wackier sunglasses and a boa. She’s in the photo above. Doesn’t she look great?
As for dancing, I researched options online in advance, narrowed it down to two, and then let the bride-to-be decide. We ended up at the Ace Hotel, a new hip hotel with a lounge area by the pool and dancing inside.
As the hostess of a bachelorette party, I recommend you decide in advance how much you’d like the bride-to-be to be involved in the planning. Initially, I was going to have our plans be a surprise, but in the end, I decided it would be better to loop her in to make sure the weekend was truly something she’d enjoy. This may or may not be the best route for you. My friend is extremely laid back, so I would present her with a choice, she’d choose and that was the end of it. It never opened up another can of worms.
I do not recommend leaving any of the research to the bride. Her contribution should never amount to work. Research is the hostess’s job. And feel free to make decisions alone if you feel confident. For me, I often narrowed it down to two options, like two dance clubs with completely different vibes, and wasn’t sure which would be better. It was the best way to handle it for me, but you should decide what makes the most sense for you and your situation.
We had to be out the door by 11, so breakfast was leftovers from the day before (scones, bagels and yogurt) to speed things along. Myself and another girl divided into Ziplock baggies leftovers that would make good snacks for the road. So brownie bites and almond tart wedges went into some baggies, and pizza and sandwiches went into others.
Despite my worrying about having the place ready when the manager came by, with 10 girls cleaning house, we were done in plenty of time.
On a side note, there’s a flurry of engagements among my friend group right now. We’ve basically started a bachelorette party kit. So whenever someone hosts a bachelorette party, we gather up any leftover items — like the bachelorette party sign, sunglasses, etc. — and keep them together. Eventually, they’re handed off to the person planning the next party. That person adds a few new items to the kit, and it will grow and evolve over time.
To be continued…
You would think leaving on Sunday morning would be the end of this saga, but no, expect Part 5! One of the things I struggled with most was how much alcohol to bring, so I’ll detail what I brought and what adjustments I’d make in the future. It will be helpful — I promise!
Photo by Kara OropalloPin It