With all of the planning that goes into a wedding, thankfully, there is one thing that the bride isn’t in charge of: her last night as a single gal—yes, the bachelorette party.
And, although this is still a big tradition, the activities have evolved: say goodbye to tacky strip clubs and hello to tours through wine country or a weekend at the spa. Here, with the assistance of event planner Andrea Most Gottschall, co-owner of A Most Creative Affair in Tarrytown, are the details you need to plan the perfect bachelorette party.
Tips for Planning the Party
First, who’s going to plan the party and who’s going to foot the bill? “Most bachelorette parties are put together by the bridesmaids,” says Gottschall, “but it’s all right to include the bride in the planning as well.”
And as far as who pays? Often, Gottschall says, all of the bridesmaids chip in. Sometimes the parents of the bride will offer to help too. And if the event is out of town, bridesmaids, she says, shouldn’t feel guilty having the bride incur some of the cost for, let’s say, her plane ticket or hotel. It’s best, of course, to plan something everyone can afford.
One idea: set up a Pay Pal account. This allows everyone who is chipping in to pay by credit card ahead of the event—much easier than chasing the participants down at the end of the night to collect money.
Some Unique Party Ideas
What type of party are you going to throw? Ask the bride if she has any preferences and, if she has specific requests, try to include them in your plans; after all, this is her night. Gottschall says one of the biggest trends is planning a destination bachelorette party to Las Vegas or the Bahamas, but if you’re not looking to pack your bags and head out of town, you can plan events at home: yoga nights, wine tastings, and slumber parties.
Treat the Bride (and Her Friends)
Who doesn’t love to be pampered, especially while hanging out with her best girlfriends? Well, if the bride-to-be loves the spa, this is the bachelorette party idea for her.
Dawn Roberts of Peekskill says her maid of honor and bridesmaids surprised her with a day at the Red Door Spa at The Westchester. The bridesmaids, along with a few of her other girlfriends (10 in all), picked Dawn up at her house and blindfolded her so she wouldn’t know where they were going.
Once at the spa, everyone enjoyed facials and massages. Afterwards, they whisked Dawn off for dinner and drinks.
People in attendance: 10
Cost per person: depends on services
A Tour of Wine Country
No, you don’t have to fly all the way to Napa to take a tour through wine country.
How about renting a limousine for the group and taking a day trip upstate to the Shawangunk Wine Trail. There are several wine tours to choose from, including Pasta Primo-Vino, the Bounty of the Hudson, and the Around the World in 80 Miles tour, which includes 10 vineyards representing different countries and food pairings to represent those particular countries.
People in attendance: 10
Cost per person: $25 to $35 per event, plus cost of transportation.
Get on Board La Rumba Express
Bride-to-be Jill Lorenz of Orange County had no idea what was in store for her when a big bus pulled up to take her and her 14 guests around the city. Styled after traditional rural Colombian Chiva buses, La Rumba Express is a big, rustic bus that’s fully equipped with a horse saddle and a hammock! Bring your own drinks and music; Lorenz reports that her friends added a special touch by plastering the bus with pictures of her betrothed. They made several stops throughout the night visiting her favorite spots in the city and, in between stops, they had just as much fun on the bus itself.
People in attendance: 20 maximum
Cost per person: $150 per hour (five-hour minimum), plus gratuity
Cooking Up a Storm
If your bride fancies herself a future top chef, let her hone her skills in a professional kitchen and throw yourselves a dinner party. Don Coqui, formerly MacMenamin’s Grill, in New Rochelle, offers interactive cooking parties; they start you out with a selection of appetizers, then the group makes a salad, two entrees, and one dessert (the chef prepares a second dessert).
Number who can attend: Don Coqui recommends 15 to 20.
Cost per person: $120 including beer, wine, soda, and coffee
A Surprise Night on the Town
Choose a theme such as Spanish and go from there. Start the night with tapas at Peniche in White Plains; then move onto 12 Grapes in Peekskill for a tasting of wines from Spain; finish the night off salsa dancing at La Tropicana in New Rochelle.
People in attendance: Six for this party, but the sky is the limit.
Cost per person: around $120