If you’ve been reading along, you know full well that I recently planned a bachelorette party weekend getaway, which, for whatever reason, has taken me six posts to describe. At long last, you’re reading the final post! This is basically my what-I-would-have-done-differently post.
Not to say I wasn’t pleased with how the weekend went. I — and the bride-to-be- were very happy. But if I were to do it again, I’d tweak a few elements. They include:
- I had planned to send an official online invitation to the festivities. But before I could plan anything, I had to email the ladies on the bride-to-be’s list and see how many planned on coming. Otherwise, I would have had no idea what size house to rent. In the shuffle of emails going back and forth, I completely forgot about my online invitation intentions and ended up conveying the information through regular old email. I doubt anyone cared, but I think it’s a nice touch to send something that looks official, such as an Evite, so I’d definitely do that next time.
- A friend of mine who has thrown many bachelorette parties before has an approach that I thought was clever but I didn’t use. She asks all the girls to sign up for some aspect of the weekend: making breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizer, cocktails, etc. I opted to head up all those elements myself, but found that the ladies who attended were eager to help. Many brought a ton of food and drinks themselves, and we ended up with a lot of duplicates of things. In retrospect, it would have made more sense to simply say what I needed help with — whether it was breakfast or dessert or whatever. It would have simplified things on my end — and probably would have covered our needs in a more thorough and efficient manner.
- I also would have been more specific about what I was bringing. I said I’d cover breakfast, lunch and cocktails, but I didn’t say what I’d be serving exactly. It’s one of the reasons we ended up with five (or was it six?) bottles of vodka. My initial thought was that everything would be a surprise and that that would be fun. But surprise stuffed summer sandwiches are only so exciting. I might as well have told the ladies so they knew what to expect and had a better sense of how to supplement what I was bringing.
- I asked everyone to contribute $15 to a “purse” to cover the cost of the bride-to-be’s night on the town, but in the end, I didn’t need a need a purse for that situation. I had encountered one at a bachelorette party before and thought it was smart. But that was pretty soon after my college days when everyone was strapped for cash. It’s a great way to avoid any awkward situations where someone isn’t contributing enough. But in this case, everybody was a working professional and very generous to boot, and the purse felt like more trouble than it was worth. If the bride-to-be wanted a drink, whoever was heading to the bar bought her one. That said, I still think a purse can be helpful for some situations and might make sense for yours.
- I wish I would have printed a list of all the addresses and phone numbers of all the places we were heading on Saturday night — the restaurant, the bar we went to later, the number of the cab company and our home addresses — and given everyone copies, along with all the ladies’ cell numbers in case someone got separated. Since I organized the whole thing, I ended up being the keeper of all the information, which wasn’t my intention. It would have eased my mind to have had all the necessary information in the hands of all the ladies.
- I totally would have upgraded to Spotify Premium. In fact, it was on my to-do list, but I ran out of time. I went to the trouble of creating a playlist of songs from the bride-to-be’s past, and then you could barely hear it. I ended up playing the songs on my laptop. It’s all you can do with a free Spotify subscription, and it wasn’t nearly loud enough to hear for an outdoor pool party. Premium would have allowed me to transfer the list to my iPod and play it through my portable speakers.
- I should have brought more salad. I bought two bags of salad that included all the fixins and figured it would have been plenty for lunch. And it would have been, but I decided to serve salad with our pizza on Friday, so we had one bag on Friday and one Saturday afternoon. We needed one more.
- I bought fancy bread for sandwiches two days beforehand, which turned out to be too soon. It was a touch dry. In retrospect, I wish I had bought par-baked bread, baked it Friday and went ahead and made the sandwiches that night because they were kind of like muffalettas and get better after a day of sitting. It would have taken a little more time, but not much, and good bread makes such a difference!
- I would have bought some Wet ‘n Wild bottles of nail polish, which typically run $1 apiece, to supplement the nail polish strips we used. My original idea was to buy 10 bottles of nail polish in all different colors, and they could double nicely as favors. But I got enthused when I saw a deal on nail strips and bought those instead. As it turns out, the strips were a little labor-intensive and not pool-friendly, and they don’t double as favors. Ah well, live and learn.
- I’d buy more bachelorette decor. It seemed like a nice amount of items all gathered together in the bag I brought them in, but it seemed sparse when spread out through the house we rented. Some hot pink streamers or something like that would have helped amp up the girly factor in a fun way.
The above probably makes me sound like I wasn’t pleased with my efforts, but I don’t want you to think that. So I’m going to list some things I would absolutely do again.
- I think signature drinks are always great additions to events — and having your featured drink be a favorite of the bride-to-be’s adds a nice personal touch. I created a sign with the measurements and described variations of the drink. I’d definitely do that again.
- I bought a case of water as an afterthought, and I’m so glad I did. Someone grabbed the very last bottle of water as we were leaving, so we had just enough.
- Our Saturday dinner was fun and festive and delicious. Despite my initial hemming and hawing about where to make reservations, that’s exactly the sort of place I’d aim for again.
- I liked the amount of downtime versus going out time. Staying in on Friday and going out on Saturday was a nice way to take advantage of the house and still hit the town. Doing a weekend this way lets you enjoy everyone’s company without wearing yourselves out.