Let’s face it, bachelorette parties can be a total hit or miss. Putting a boatload of beauties under one roof for a weekend, or even one night, is definitely not for the faint of heart. But in the case of MAE Bride-To-Be, Catherine Saad, who will celebrate her Puerto Rican nuptials this October, her “Hen Party” was one for the books. Recently, Cat and nine of her best girlfriends traveled to Charleston, South Carolina for a destination bachelorette party packed with glam, glitter bombs and good logistics. We took a closer peek into her pretty party to bring you tips worthy of recreating.
Brainstorming for the glitzy weekend started two months prior when the girls were catching up at Cat’s condo enjoying her infamous “Cat Cocktails”. Several squad-worthy spots were tossed around but quickly ruled out: Napa (long flights especially for some of the girls traveling from the East Coast), Tulum (awesome spot but already done by some of the girlfriends), and Nashville (eliminated since Cat is not a big country music fan). Charleston with its southern sophistication, balmy beaches, direct flights from Chicago, fabulous boutiques and fine brunch spots became the clear choice. Goop recently composed a Charleston City Guide with recommendations on where to eat, shop and experience local culture. The ladies hit up a handful of popular hotspots some of which included The Cocktail Club, Poogan’s Porch, Prohibition and some even took a horse-drawn carriage tour of the city to redeem themselves on Sunday.
MAE’s Tip: For brides looking to go out of town for their bachelorette party, research is key. While a fabulous location sets the framework, be sure to weigh your cities wisely. Before any bookings begin, have a numbers guru in the group conduct a full cost analysis, and also be sure to investigate local norms. Smaller cities, especially South of the Mason-Dixon line, have varying “business open” hours, which include their liquor stores. This was a surprise to many of Cat’s party attendees while they hit up the Southern Charmed City. A relevant read we came across, America’s Quirky Alcohol Laws describes a few Blue State laws that can inhibit a Sunday Funday even in this day and age.
Finding somewhere to stay that was cozy and comfortable for ten girls provided quite the challenge for Cat’s party. There were some red tape restrictions on renting their ideal digs, a beach house, that consequently came with a five day minimum. They ended up landing a quaint three bed/two bath home in walking distance of downtown. Since this was a very close crew they didn’t mind sharing beds and even packed a few extra air mattresses.
MAE’s Tip: Think outside the box when researching accommodations for destination bach parties. While staying at a hotel comes with standard room and maid service, you definitely lose an element of privacy and togetherness. Take your party to the next level in a private home setting exclusive to your friends. We recommend using rental sites (Airbnb, VRBO, FlipKey, HomeAway, and 9Flats to name a few) to contain the bacheloretting. Don't be afraid to negotiate with owners on pricing and rental terms.
If there is one thing we believe at Marquette Avenue Events, class reigns queen! There is no point in cheapening one of the most important parties of your life. Say goodbye to tacky sexual innuendos and stereotypical bachelorette veils, and hello to personal and tailored touches. Cat opted for cute flamingo, unicorn and pineapple decorations that enhanced the tropical vibe (and allowed her to properly bring her Cat Cocktails to Charleston!) A gold-themed evening had the girls gleamed out and the bachelorette in gold sequin cat ears - definitely not basic and innately Cat!
MAE’s Tip: Searching for cute decorations can turn into a total hassle if you have a specific theme in mind. Sites like Paper Source, Minted, Koyal Wholesale, Sweet Lulu, and Bird’s Party offer gorgeous and bulk selections of decorations for a variety of parties and themes. Get inspiration from sites such as The Bach for party ideas. If you have a friend local to your destination city be sure to ship decor ahead of time to save yourself in the luggage department.
To keep the classy factor consistent, surprises for the bride did not include any “unexpected” uniformed visits from the local Charleston police or fire department showing up at the front door. Cat didn’t want any entertainment in that realm, so the girls got creative. They hired a professional photographer to come capture all the candids during her lingerie party. “The bachelorette loves a good photo session and is always taking cute photos of her friends,” says Adriane and Candace, close friends who gifted a photographer dedicated to the documentation. Once the girls knew they wanted to hire a photographer, they sent out a message to Charleston photogs with the description: “Ten girls, one house. Seeking a photographer who can capture the chaos while we cook, get ready and have our bride-to-be open party gifts.” The girls did their due diligence of reviewing a range of fitting photographer’s credentials and ended up selecting Meghan Rowe Photography.
MAE’s Tip: If you have the budget, hiring a professional photographer is a definite bachelorette party-DO! From Meghan Rowe, “This was the first time I had ever photographed a bachelorette party and as I told the ladies when arrived at the house, it was a crazy good idea!” She now plans to encourage couples to have their parties captured by professional photographers. Your wedding, and the events leading up to it, will be some of your best memories ever! Why worry about capturing everything (or asking a friend to) when everyone can be present in the moment? There are many sites available for finding credible photographers like Meghan including The Knot, Wedding Wire and the Wedding Photojournalist Association.
To thank the girlfriends who traveled across the miles to celebrate, Cat printed out 8x10 pictures from the photoshoot and had them framed and matted. Every girl received a different photo and corresponding love note. The gift was the perfect reminder of Cat’s ultimate bachelorette, ahem, "Cat-Chelorette" weekend away!
MAE’s Tip: Always be a gracious bachelorette. No matter where your party is hosted, be sure to properly thank the tribe that went out of their way to celebrate your transition out of singlehood. If you’re facing a road block about how to commemorate the occasion, think of your special connection, use your destination and elements from the party to express your appreciation and also keep your thank you on-theme.
Click through the gallery below for some additional photo-worthy moments!
To see how Marquette Avenue Events can help you plan an unforgettable destination bachelorette party and (most importantly) your Big Day, please visit us at www.marquetteavenueevents.com or call us at 312-585-7265.