Monday, January 27, 2014

My First Bachelorette Party

My very first time acting as MOH was during 2010 for one of my best friends. Becca and her now husband Shaun had been dating since the tenth grade (making it SEVEN years), so it was really exciting to a part of their big day! It was the most excited I had been for a wedding up to that point.

Becca and I have been friends since the seventh grade and I had always known that I would be her MOH.  But, like I said, it was also my first time and I was greeted with learning all the things I would be in charge of.  As I mentioned before, one of the first things that comes up when your BFF gets engaged is the bachelorette party and I was so excited to start planning.

Let me paint a picture for you of the bride:

Imagine a goofy, red-headed gal who can be a little prudish sometimes (Sorry Bex, but you know it’s true!). Throughout our friendship, and especially during college years, myself and our close friend Amber were the crazy party-animals, while Becca was always a little more straight-laced and down to earth, while also keeping the rest of us grounded. Don’t get me wrong though, this ginger is so fun, a great friend, a great dancer, and very good at listening and giving advice.

So, there I was questioning myself on what kind of party to throw for this bride-to-be. I always like to take into consideration the things the bride loves the most and Becca has always been particularly keen on being close with her girl friends, making the planning process easy- make it all about the group!

Here is the plan: Take a limo to the city (Atlanta in this case, since that’s where most of the invitees were living), open lingerie gifts, go to dinner, and then find a place to have some drinks and complete the scavenger hunt that everyone can be involved in. All in all, what I would describe the epitome of what comes to mind when I think about a bachelorette- all the essentials!

And that is what we did.

I made party favors for all of the guests and gave them out while we were waiting to be picked up by the limo. I also asked all the ladies to write down some wedding/marriage advice for the bride. 

The party favors I made consisted of a wine glass with the ladies name and a word to describe their part in the wedding or their relationship to the bride on the back. For example: the bride’s glass said “Becca” on the front and “Bride” on the back. Other examples included “Bridesmaid” and  “Shutterbug” (for the photographer/friend). There were also a lot of inside jokes used here between the bride and all of here closest friends- they were perfect!

And of course there was some penis paraphernalia- cookies and candy. But overall, the raunchiness was kept to a minimum for Becca’s sake.

The night continued as we loaded up in the limousine and headed to Virginia Highlands for dinner at Noche During the ride to the restaurant we opened all of the lingerie gifts and shared some big laughs.

We then made our way to Limerick Junction Irish Pub (fitting, seeing that the bride is Irish heritage right?). I can’t even begin to explain how perfect this place turned out to be for our night. There was a live musician playing folk music, including Peter, Paul, and Mary and the like. It was meant to be, seeing that Becca absolutley loves folk music. 
The night continued with the goal of completing the scavenger hunt list I had created via several different websites for inspiration.

It included between 15 and 20 items, such as make fart noises in front of a cute guy, get 5 guys to write down marriage advice, find a guy to do a magic trick for you, find a guy to serenade you, go to the bathroom and make a veil out of toilet paper…etc etc.

This was definitely a more PG rated scavenger hunt, but if you’re looking for something a little more crazy it won’t be hard to find! 

The to do list... dun dun dun

Find someone to practice your first dance with! 
Find someone to practice walking down the aisle

Being serenaded with folk music on stage - so perfect! The bride definitely got some special treatment!
 We ended the night with all the gals sleeping over at my parent's house, with Becca and I reminiscing about the fun we had together in middle school, high school, and beyond. It was definitely a night to remember and what I have always considered a successful first attempt at throwing a bachelorette party.

Monday, January 20, 2014

How To Throw An Unforgettable Bachelorette Party

Over the past few years, I have planned two bachelorette parties, been to several others, and I am in the midst of planning one more, with one more to come later this year. I have come across many articles on how to throw a bachelorette party and most of them are very structured with timelines, things you should and shouldn't do, etc etc. 

In my opinion, (like most other wedding related planning) the most important part is the bride. Easy  enough right? Give the bride what she wants. Everything about this special night (or weekend) should be focused on the bride-- this is her last weekend as a single lady and she wants to have fun with her best gal pals. 

(DO NOT let planning the bachelorette party overshadow the wedding. After all, thats what it's all about!)

Now, don't get me wrong. There are still a lot of aspects to planning that need considering.

Who should plan the bachelorette party? Typically this is done by the MOH, but if she isn't up to it (for some crazy reason) then one of the bridesmaids should take over. 

In my experience, the bachelorette party has always been one of the first thing discussed. The reason being, who wouldn't be excited for a night out on the town with all of their closest girl friends? So I say, yes start talking about it right away and get some ideas down on paper and pick a date as soon as possible. You probably want to get serious about planning at least three months before the actually event.

You know how people say, "Location is everything?" Well I would have to agree and say that choosing a location and time frame would be the next most important part of planning.  Choosing a location can set the tone for the whole event. Having a Las Vegas bachelorette weekend will turn out differently than a weekend in a spa. 

Get as much input from the bride as you can: What have you always envisioned? Weekend getaway? Night out on the town? Spa treatments? Wine tasting? Where do you want to go? Who do you want to invite? Do you want to play games? Are you okay with a scavenger hunt? Raunchy decorations? 

So far, I have been lucky to plan bachelorette parties for two very easy going brides who told me what they wanted and trusted me enough to plan their entire night! 

Now, lets talk about money. It is traditional that the bride not pay for anything. However, it is important to consider the financial status of the people you want to invite, where you want to go, and what you want to do. A weekend getaway will certainly be a little more pricey than a night out on the town. 

I have recently been planning my first weekend getaway bachelorette party in Savannah, GA. When the party is out of town, it takes a little bit more planning and research. So, if your bride is throwing around the idea of a whole weekend, the sooner you start planning the better. I'm thinking that mornings should be left open for sleeping in, recovering, and hanging out. The only activity planned so far is the bike tavern I mentioned in my last post and I'm thinking that might be the only scheduled event for the weekend- I don't want to over schedule our time. Of course the rest of the weekend will be filled with girl-time and bar hopping. I want it to be enjoyable, fun, and NOT stressful. 

When you're planning something for your best friend, it can be a lot of pressure. You want everything to be perfect and this is why planning in advance is key. But, this is also why the planning should be fun. You know the bride better than anyone and should be excited about planning this for your friend! 

What it all comes down to: the bride, the gals, and fun! As long as you keep these things in mind, I have complete faith that you will experience easy planning and have no problem throwing a great bachelorette party that the bride will always remember. 

Be on the look out for my next post, which will include details on the bachelorette parties I have planned!! 

Friday, January 17, 2014

…never the bride

Let me start with an introduction.

I'm Kayla and I have considered myself to be somewhat of an expert in all things bridesmaid related. While I have only been in about five weddings, they have all required me to do a good bit of planning.

All of my closest friends have either been married for several years or are engaged. Literally- all of my close friends

Hence, the name I chose for my blog.

That being said, I have loved and been grateful for every opportunity my friends have given me to be a part of their big days and I have learned so much along the way.

I have recently been asked by my closest friend Amber to be the Maid of Honor in her wedding later this year. This marks the third time for me as MOH and I definitely consider this third time to be a charm! Now, if that doesn’t make you feel like a good friend… I don’t know what does.

The purpose of this blog is to share all the bridal, planning, celebrating, etiquette knowledge that I have gained over the past few years. Having been in several weddings, I have had the opportunity to plan several showers and bachelorette parties. Not only have I had a hand in planning, I have learned quite a bit about wedding and bridal party etiquette. 

I hope to have questions answered and ideas inspired for everyone reading.

I am MOH in two weddings this year and the first wedding is happening in May. So, what am I currently working on? A bridal shower and a bachelorette party that I plan on doing individual posts about after they are over. For now…

Here’s a little bit about what I have going on at the moment:

The bridal shower is in March right at the beginning of spring, so I’m thinking the trendy (but lovely!) burlap and lace theme. I’m calling it “Southern Chic”- with a ton of burlap, lace, and blush colors going on. Sounds pretty good, right??

The bachelorette party is going to be a weekend with the girls in Savannah, GA. The one thing the bride wanted to do for certain was riding a bike tavern. So we chose the company Savannah Pedals, (which has amazing customer service by the way). They offer a special ride for bachelorette parties called, “The Last Ride.” I have to say, it sounds like it’s going to be a good time.

I am looking forward to sharing some really crafty and fun ideas with you (whether that be DIY, decorations, party ideas... etc.), while being as helpful as possible. Keep and eye out for my next post, “How to throw an unforgettable Bachelorette Party.”