My Bachelorette trip was an absolute blast! We went to Chicago for the weekend and had the best time roaming around the city, took a boozy boat ride down the river, and ate all the good food! (Duh!)
Planning this trip I did a couple things differently, I wanted to share my experience and encourage you to do your entire wedding process YOUR WAY!
No Bridal Party
We wanted to simplify our wedding day and honestly I wanted to decrease the stress involved in the entire wedding experience so we opted no wedding party ie less opinions and people to juggle. I also felt like the money spent at bachelorette parties (and weddings in general) often feels obligatory and can be uncomfy. I wanted my Bachelorette to be a low expectation girls trip where saying "no I'm sorry I can't go" was totally acceptable!
I did ask a close friend of ours to get ready with me on the big day (her husband is also our officiant so it was very special to me to include her in a bigger way as well!), she took on a maid of honor role for the bachelorette so I didn't have to plan everything on my own which was huge because I am actually notorious amongst my friends for messing up reservations... oopsies!
Stayed in a Hotel instead of a Group House
Instead of renting a huge house for use all to stay in, I opted to stay at the Virgin hotel and let all of the girls be in charge of their own rooms. My thoughts here were that since the group size could be changing, this was the best way to keep pricing more consistent for people. In Chicago all of the bigger spaces for rent also seem to be further away from the action of the city and I wanted to spend the least amount of time possible in Ubers!
For my room I booked Sir Richards flat and that's where we hung out during our PJ party! If you are thinking of doing a hotel instead of a big house, definitely make sure you have a big space available to come together if one of your nights is going to be spent in!
Looking back now that the trip has come and gone, I do think it would have been fun for everyone to be in a big house together but I also think everyone enjoyed having their own space. It was also so so nice to have someone come make our beds and tidy up for us a bit every night which of course we wouldn't have gotten from an Airbnb.
I will say we were extremely disappointed with the way we were treated at The Virgin in Chicago especially considering we were staying in one of their penthouse suites. While the manager did try to make everything right for us and took care of our mini bar and room service expenses, the attitude that we recieved from almost everyone persisted so... I'm not sure, do what you want with that information.
Back to the I think its weird to force your friends to spend a bunch of money on things they are never going to use again thing.
We did do personalized cups with everyone's name on it to take on the boat (think love island vibes) and my friend that became my acting maid of honor did surprise me by getting shirts and totes made for everyone so I guess technically there was merch... but we kept it very minimal. Really I just didn't want a bunch of money spent on crappy sunglasses and things that would never be used again. She was able to sneakily get her hands on a copy of one of my boudoir photos (a very tasteful one I might add) and had it made into a playboy magazine cover graphic tee. It was the best surprise and the shirts actually came out so well!
TikTok actually has a ton of really cute ideas if you are like me and very much so not into the typical beachelorette merch.
Low budget themes
Do you see a trend here? I hate asking people to spend money. At first I didn't even want to have themes at all but then I went on a friends birthday trip to Mexico and realized there is something about being color/ theme coordinated that is so freaking fun!
I wanted to keep my themes reasonable and kind of open to interpretation so that everyone could still be themselves and wear what makes them feel hot! Also, most people can probably find something in their closet (minus the wig) right now to fit all of these dress codes which was also important to me!
First night was Shades of Green (because green is my favorite color!) I had no idea how fun this dress code would be, I thought I was just picking something easy for night one. We ended up getting the comment that we looked like a 'whole ass salad' so we spent the rest of the night assigning everyone a leafy green.
Second day was boat day and the dress code was Tequila Sunrise so any swimsuit that was pink, red, orange, yellow, or purple!
After the boat we stayed in for a PJ & pizza party and the dress code was just a matching PJ set.
Next, we did maximalist brunch which I didn't actually go to. I woke up with a fever and decided to stay in the hotel all day so that I would maybe feel up to going out that night.
This theme was really left up to interpretation, basically whatever your do - do it big! The girls all looked incredible! I'm sad I missed out but honestly thank god I did because I was able to rally and make it to Tao for dinner, bottle service and my favorite theme "Blackout and roleplay"! We all wore wigs that were a natural haircolor different than our own with a black club outfit and when I tell you this was so fun!!! The wig thing is typical to bachelorette parties but I think the neon plastic looking bobs are overdone. It was so fun to see what everyone picked out for themselves and of course we all chose a drunk Alter ego name to really complete the vibe. This was the night I was most excited for and it did not disappoint!!
No really. Some of my friends really teased me on this but I was really firm about not wanting anything penis related. Not to sound like I have a stick up my ass but I am really just not into the penis thing! To me the entire wedding industry can feel a little (well let me be honest a lot) cookie cutter. There seems to be all this noise and pressure to do certain things, in a certain order, with certain props and I'm just not into it so I am here to tell you, if there is something that you feel isn't you, don't do it. And really my trip would have by no means been ruined by a penis straw appearing in my drink, but the 'same penis forever' banner - you know the one is something I was adamantly against.
My bachelorette party was so special and I absolutely loved having it in Chicago. I really wouldn't change a thing about my weekend! Wedding planning and all the events leading up to your big day are filled to the brim with expectations, wether they be yours or someone else's. I hope you found some inspiration in this post but most of all I hope you feel empowered to do you and make your experience your own!