I have a love-hate thing with bachelorette parties. Love the idea of spending a night or weekend with my best girls, but I’d literally rather get married in this swimsuit than stumble around in a veil and a suck-for-a-buck shirt. No offense to anyone who has or will do either of those things, it’s just not my chalice of wine.
My group of girl friends had been tossing around the idea of going on a “for-real” vacation already, so I said I’d love a destination party. Preferably warm, with good food and culture. Nashville, Austin, and Vegas were early suggestions. Our group (which ended up being nine ladies total) was totally open to all of those spots, but none seemed to really create much enthusiasm. And then I mentioned that I’d always wanted to go to Palm Springs. Mid-century architecture, desert glam, and Frank Sinatra used to live there. Bam! Enthusiasm galore.
It was literally one of the most fun trips ever! Aside from the fact that I have incredibly fun friends, here’s why it worked:
1. Put someone you trust in charge.
The bachelorette party is just one reason that I picked my college bestie Maggie as my maid of honor. She’s super-detail oriented and asked me lots of questions about what I wanted (hotel or rent a house? How many meals out? How do you feel about boxed wine?). She legitimately cares about how I wanted things to go. I handed her the reins and she orchestrated everything, which was perfect because I was already planning this other party called my wedding. What a relief!
2. Be clear on what’s important to you.
In my opinion, there are two ways my bachelorette party could’ve gone: A big night out in Minneapolis with lots of friends and relatives, or a smaller destination trip. I have so many amazing people in my life that I would’ve loved to include in the weekend. However, when I really thought about it, all I wanted was a low-key weekend with people I didn’t need to be “on” for. I don’t really like going out. I like hanging out with a small group of people, drinking wine and talking. That’s when I’m at my best and when I feel my best, so that’s what I opted for. It was the relaxing escape I needed.
3. Get a spray tan.
This was the surprise MVP of the weekend. Before I left, I got the most natural looking spray tan of all time. Glow Mobile came to my house (!), set up a small tent, and sprayed me down. It only took 20 minutes and I felt one million times better in my swimsuit all weekend. Plus, it made me feel like I didn’t “need” to get a tan, so I slathered on the sunscreen. No burn, just a healthy glow that faded naturally. And the best part: I came home with zero tan lines, which I am trying to avoid for my big day. And PS, I am getting another one for the wedding (and so are many of the ladies in my bridal party because of how great mine looked).
4. Do what you want to do, not what you think you should do.
On our first night in Palm Springs, we went out for an amazing dinner at Workshop, then decided to go out for a post-dinner cocktail at a nearby bar. Within minutes, our energy was zapped. We didn’t really want to talk to other people, the drinks were better at the amazing house we’d rented (seriously, look at this place). It was even better in person!) and we couldn’t hear each other.
The next day, we went hiking, then hung out by the pool. Dinner was at the house, followed by cocktails and wine on the patio. We never ended up going out, which in my opinion was the highlight of the trip. I think some of us stayed up until 3:30 a.m. PACIFIC TIME (I was very impressed with myself). It was perfect! No need to go out when I already have many of my favorite people all in one place.
5. Bring Muumuus.
Because they are really, really funny. And comfortable.
6. Let other people do stuff.
This is a big one for me. I’m kind of the entertaining queen in my group, always throwing dinner parties, barbecues, etc. Initially, it was a challenge to sit back when I saw a few people working away in the kitchen or heading to the grocery store. This is when I needed to remind myself how much I enjoy doing nice, thoughtful things for the people I love. It’s really important to let others do the same for you. I stopped feeling guilty and just enjoyed a stress-free weekend. It was perfect.