When Ashley got engaged, I knew that I was going to have to plan the best bachelorette party and I wanted to do it on a budget. I wanted it to be an amazing weekend that Ashley would never forget, as well as the rest of the girls that would be joining us. Read below to find the steps I took to plan this awesome weekend.
I started by talking to a few other girls that had recently been on bachelorette parties to get some ideas of what they liked and enjoyed. Ashley shared with me that she didn’t want to do Vegas or something local. I knew I wanted the trip to be affordable for all too. I found that we could go to either LA or San Diego for a decent travel price if we bought our plane tickets at the right time.
I sent out an email to all the girls Ashley wanted to invite to her bachelorette party about a year in advance. I know it seems crazy to do it that early, but I wanted to get an estimated headcount of who wanted to go, and how many girls we would need to accommodate. After I got my headcount, I was able to figure out a budget that I would be able to work with.
Setting a budget was important. I didn’t want people to feel like they were having to spend an arm and a leg on this trip. I figured with 10 girls going, minus Ashley. we could each put in $400.00 and have a budget of $3,600. Each girl would have to purchase their own flight, and some food and drinks. Since flights were no more than $300 round trip if you bought at the right time, this seemed affordable for most.
I set up a Tilt account and asked girls to put in a min. of $50 a month. This way girls were able to save for the trip and I would have money to pull from to put down deposits on the room and board, or any activities that we would be doing.
3. Hotel or House?
We had 10 girls going. I began to look online for places to stay. Originally I was looking at hotels, but because we had so many girls going, it didn’t make sense to pay for multiple rooms. I searched AIRBNB, HomeAway, and VRBO. I would find a house, email, and get turned down because I had told them it was for a bachelorette weekend. No one wants to rent to anyone hosting a party.
I kept searching and decided I would tell them it was for a family reunion. This seemed to work. We secured an awesome house that would sleep all 10 of us comfortably and was only 4 blocks from the beach! We were stoked. After this was secured, I knew that I had only a certain amount left in the budget to plan activities.
4. What to do?
We were planning on flying in early Thursday and leaving late that Sunday. We had 3 nights and 2 full days. I searched for unique activities that might not be something we would do in our hometown.
Since we were getting settled in on Thursday, I planned a bike booze cruise. This was a fun way to see all of downtown San Diego, and get our drink on. I was planning on everyone purchasing their own drinks on this night, but since I had over budgeted for the weekend with the Tilt money, it just made it easier for me to buy rounds of shots as we bar hopped. The girls wore their Team Bride shirts this night. We even met some guys along the way that we had jump on and help us bike! It was a great first night to start off the weekend. After our time was up on the Booze Cruise, we ordered pizza and went back to the house for Cards Against Humanity and lots of laughs.
Friday morning we woke up and went to brunch. This was a no host brunch, but ended up being a blast because we were given a free bottle of champs on the house. I had researched on Yelp great places near our house to check out. The food was amazing and ended up getting some amazing service. After brunch we went back to the house and played some bachelorette games. (I’ll share those later.) We had picked up snacks, and drinks from Costco the day before, so we packed up and walked to the beach. There we enjoyed music, laughs, got our tans on, drank, and met some cool guys that taught some of us how to surf. We went back to house around dinner time and cooked up some burgers. We made a group decision to get stuff for this the day before, so it was a really relaxing dinner. After dinner we dressed up as Ashley’s Pink Ladies, pink shirts that I provided that were personalized and black pants. Ashley was dressed as Sandra Dee. We headed out to the town to bar hop and complete the scavenger hunt.
For Saturday, I had made a reservation for brunch. We had a great time at this place off the beach and met another bachelorette. We kept it relaxed and open for girls to do whatever they wanted. Some headed to the beach again, and some walked around the shops. We all planned to be ready to go for our dinner at 6:00. I found this amazing drag queen show and dinner called Lips. I shared it with my sister to see if it was something she would be interested in. She was all for it. I called and booked a table for all of us girls and picked the set menu. This would be one of the dinners that was paid for with our Tilt money. Lips was a great experience, they pulled Ashley up on stage and embarrassed her quite a bit. After dinner, we headed downtown to hit the club. We had a friend that set us up with an outside booth, but once we were there we decided to upgrade to a bigger one. We danced the last night away in this amazing 3 story club.
5. Goody Bags, Games, & Gifts
A girlfriend of mine had told me about this adorable idea that they did for her sister-in-law, and I couldn’t pass it up! Each girl was given a 8 x 8 card stock paper with their official invitation I sent out. It had instructions for them to decorate the card with pictures & a note for the bride. I requested that they send it back to me before the bachelorette weekend, so we could give it to Ashley when we were there. Each girl’s page turned out amazing and personalized with wishes for the bride.
I also requested that each girl bring a pair of panties for the bride. We played a game where she had to guess who brought her the panties. If she was wrong, she had to take a shot, if she was right that person had to take a shot. It started our beach day off with a great laugh.
I wanted to give each girl a goody bag and hangover kit for the weekend. I wanted them to feel special and appreciated for spending the weekend celebrating my sister. Since we were heading to the beach I knew I wanted to create a beach bag. I found some great bags at Target in their dollar section that worked perfectly. Next, I needed to fill it. Target also had these cute Bride Team shirts that I stumbled upon. I was able to get one for every girl and a Bride one for Ashley. I ordered the Ashley’s Pink Ladies shirts and included those as well. Ashley loves Sour Patch Watermelon, so I placed one of those in each girl’s bag. I went to the travel section and found chapstick and suntan lotion. I was so excited when I came across some adorable pink beach towels at Costco and stocked up. I ordered personalized tattoos and cups on Etsy. I also hit up Claire’s bridal section for bridal buttons, sunglasses, and accessories for Ashley’s bag. Ashley’s bag had bride related things inside.
The hangover kit ideas came from Pinterest. I went to a wrapping paper store and found some lunchbox type boxes for this. I wanted to put inside things you might need when you were hungover. I added bandaids, aspirin, goldfish crackers, gatorade, mouthwash, hair ties, and gum. I personalized the front of it with a sticker and ribbon.
We used Uber all weekend. One of our first rides was from this guy named Andrew. He agreed to let all 10 of us girls pile into his car. We ended up using him all weekend and he was featured in many pictures during the trip. He was amazing and made our trip even better. The weekend was filled with so many memories. I was so happy with how it turned out. It was so great to hear how fun everyone had and how we all couldn’t wait to go back to celebrate another bride!