Thursday, August 18, 2016

Beach Bachelorette Party DIY Ideas

Don't Go Broke on a Bachelorette Weekend

Tips for Planning a Fun and Affordable Weekend for the Bride

how to save money on a bachelorette party

Although I'm {ahem} slightly past the "bachelorette stage" of my own life, I was recently in charge of planning my younger sister's Bachelorette Weekend - a party that consisted of (roughly) 2 days and 2 nights with 14 lovely ladies. My objective was two-fold: (1) create a fun and memorable weekend for the bride to be and (2) make the weekend budget-friendly for the group. Aaaaaand it worked, with ZERO squabbles and a whole lot of laughs!

How to Plan an Affordable, Squabble-Free Bachelorette Weekend 

bridal party decorations

1. Determine Your Date WAY in Advance:
  • As soon as you know the date of the wedding, start working on the dates for the bachelorette (and bridal shower). After finding out the dates that work for the bride, send a survey to the bridesmaids with those available options, and ask them to get back to you within a week. Once you determine the best date for the majority of the group, make it official! Get the bride and all the bridesmaids to put it on their calendars. Do this as soon as you know the date of the wedding!
2. Coordinate with the Bride:
  • Who does she want to invite? Send save-the-dates to those people ASAP! Are there any activities she definitely wants? Any she definitely does not want? Be sure to honor those requests as your plan, but leave her out of the rest of it!
private yoga class beach

3. Figure out a REASONABLE Location:
  • This is KEY. Because once you start planning a fancy getaway in a popular spot, kiss your money goodbye! 
  • You don't need to go to the trendiest places to have a good time; the weekend is about the bride and her friends/family having fun and spending time together. You don't need a lot of money to do that. Find out if anyone in your group is willing to host you all in their place overnight. Often the attendees are coming from different towns or states, so one person's hometown will seem like a getaway to those who aren't from there. Or, if you're really lucky, maybe someone's parents have a lake or beach house they'll let you borrow. Think creatively, but remember, it's not the location that matters, it's the people. You may have to bunk up or share beds, but that's all part of the fun.
  • Lodging is Expensive! If you can't stay at someone's place, try to find a safe spot with reasonable nightly rates. But I can't stress enough: the lodging costs will really kill you, and not everyone has the the same amount of disposable income, so by making extravagant plans, you may unintentionally create a budgetary problem for someone else (who likely will not speak up about it). Also, when one person is putting the charge on their personal credit card, you're facing potential hard feelings and awkwardness about collecting money from everyone else.
Pick a bachelorette party location

4. Plan Your Activities:
  • Using the bride's wishes as your guide, plan a few fun experiences for the group, but keep cost in mind. For ours, I hired a yoga instructor to give us a class on the beach and a SUP instructor for paddleboard lesson. I left some down-time, too, just so everyone could hang out and not feel like they were rushing from place to place.
  • Don't tell the bride EVERYTHING! Let her know where you're going and who will be there (to eliminate unexpected surprises), but leave some the trip a bit of a surprise!

Bride Bachelorette Gear

5. ORGANIZE: Create a Budget and Collect the Funds in Advance
  • Do the research, and make sure you have all the info you need about costs. Those will likely include: lodging, food, transportation, gifts, activities, and decorations. Be very clear about what their contributions will cover and what it will not. This will help avoid miscommunications in the future.  
  • Send all of this information in ONE email--more than that will be too confusing, you'll create more work for yourself, and people will start to get annoyed. 
  • For expediency, offer an electronic method (e.g., Paypal) for people to send you money. Give them plenty of notice (a couple months) so they can save funds if they need to, and ask for their contributions to be sent to you at least 2 weeks before the party.
How much to spend on a bachelorette party
Sample Budget for Bachelorette Party (taken from email)

6. The Fun Stuff:
  • Now that all the 'touchy' stuff is out of the way, you can focus on the fun things like games, decorations, and gifts. 
  • Enlist some of the bridal party to help with this--everyone likely has different personalities and talents, so put them to work at what they do best! People generally DO WANT TO HELP, so don't try to do it all yourself--you'll wear yourself out, and you may end up alienating some people if they don't feel involved.
  • The Bachelorette Scavenger Hunt was really fun with our group, and it was a great way to break the ice between people who didn't know each other. We were able to create a digital iCloud Photo Sharing folder so everyone could upload their pics from the night.
Beachy Party Favors

We had some cool beach towel tote bags and waterproof phone cases (from the dollar store!) as "favors."
One dollar bachelorette favors

Bridal Party Gear?

My thoughts on bridesmaid swag (keep in mind, it's from a mom of 4 who's been married for 9 years)--you're not going to use that stuff again, so you're basically throwing away your money. All the tee-shirts and hats are cute, but is it really worth spending everyone's money that way? Maybe you get creative and make your own swag? Or get "bridesmaids" temporary tattoos for the night?

Here are some similar products to what we used during the weekend (FYI, I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program that helps bloggers like me earn a little bit of cash--in March 2017 I earned a whopping $5--by advertising and linking to

Obviously, it's all up to you, but my advice is to think ahead--all those decorations and gear are cute at the time, but they are definitely one-time-use. I'd recommend just saving your cash... there is so much you can DIY, and you'll be spending plenty of money on the wedding in the months to come ;)

How to plan the best bachelorette party

Plus, here's a close up of the game if you want to create your own:
Photo Scavenger Hunt

And hey, are we connected yet? If not, find me on Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and Bloglovin so we can start sharing ideas together!

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