Thursday, July 24, 2008

Call for girlfriend getaway and bachelorette party ideas

This is not really in the realm of wedding decorating, but still -- its all creative ideas, right? A friend of the wedding decorator, Amy Chen, is an assistant editor at Budget Travel magazine and wants ideas for girlfriend getaways and bachelorette parties.

Photo by Flickr's n1kk1best

Her asking me was basically her first mistake, since I've only been an active member of a bridal party twice, beyond my stints as a flower girl. So, I have no idea. Basically, what she's wondering is: what would you like to do like to do with your girlfriends beyond wine tasting and spa treatments.

Anyway, the Girl Getaways site is actually chock full of cool ideas. And because they're ideas from Budget Magazine's staff, they're budget minded -- thank God! Because from my most recent experience as a bridesmaid, I was shocked at how expensive being a bridesmaid can be. I don't know how you repeat offenders can afford it! I don't even know how repeat wedding guests can afford it!

At any rate, Girl Getaways did have one really cool bachelorette planning article recently. I swear I wanted to send this to every bride-to-be (and a few former brides) to demonstrate that you could do a whole heckuva lot more than just go to the spa and get sloshed. Their best idea? The Beach House Rental:

Dive in by determining what's most important to you. For the house: Is there a private pool or hot tub? How many bedrooms and bathrooms will you need? For a group of women, assume that no one wants to share beds and figure on one bathroom for every four people. For the location: Keep in mind you'll need a break from the sun, and zero in on communities where you can walk to shops, galleries, restaurants, and bars, or join a lively boardwalk scene.

Beachhouses in high season are generally rented by the week, so you'll find a better selection of weekend rentals in shoulder season (May or September in Cape May, N.J., or April in North Carolina's Outer Banks, for example). Locales with lots of housing stock also work well for a weekend rental; you may not be able to find a weekend rental in Martha's Vineyard in July, but you probably can nab a lovely place in Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head, S.C.

Work out how you're going to handle chores like cooking and cleaning ahead of time. Many rental services build in a cleaning fee or let you add a cleaning service for an additional charge. If none of you are inclined to spend time in the kitchen, look into hiring a personal chef or assign a team to breakfast, another to lunch, and agree to eat dinners out.

Have some activities like beach volleyball and Frisbee on standby for those who can't sit still and, in case the weather doesn't comply, be ready with board games, a poker set, or guilty-pleasure movies and popcorn.

Something Extra Hire a yoga instructor to lead a group class on the beach. There's nothing like doing sun salutations in the sand while facing the wild blue yonder. Call a local yoga studio or try
My contribution to this idea? Reserve a Crystal Cove Beach Cottage. Sigh. Can you imagine how restful and rejuvenating your bachelorette party could be? Ahhh. That's my kind of party.

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