Julia Engel has made a living by sharing inspirational content with her million-plus followers. As the founder of Gal Meets Glam, she travels the world, hosts the prettiest parties, and seems to have the perfect outfit whether she's baby-mooning in Mallorca with her husband, Thomas, or running errands at home in Charleston. In fact, her style is so defined that she launched the Gal Meets Glam Collection of fittingly feminine and effortless dresses, jumpsuits, and sweaters last spring.
In May, Julia put her talents together to plan her sister Lauren's bachelorette party in Miami. Below, she breaks down the weekend's itinerary and shares her been-there, done-that advice on what to do, where to go, and—most importantly!—what to wear while in South Beach. That said, Julia's top tip is noteworthy no matter where you're celebrating. "Know the bride and what she likes," she says. "Whether she’s looking to relax, party, or find a balance of the two, it’s important to keep what she loves in mind throughout the entire trip."
Keep scrolling for Julia's seven-step-plan to throwing an inspiring bachelorette weekend—and then shop bridal-ready dresses from her Gal Meets Glam Collection for your own!
1. Select a special destination
Julia started planning the festivities six months in advance, considering both her sister and her 'maids as she did. "We chose to travel to Miami since Lauren had never been there and has always been inspired by Latin American culture," she explains. "She met her fiancé while traveling throughout South America and has lived in Argentina, Columbia, and Spain. Plus, Miami is the perfect setting for a fun weekend and was convenient for the majority of guests!"
At the recommendation of a friend, the group arrived on a Thursday afternoon and checked into the 1 Hotel South Beach for the weekend. "It had an amazing vibe right on the beach and a variety of pools that ranged from lively, swanky atmospheres to areas that were more relaxing," Julia adds.
2. Welcome everyone with gifts
Upon arrival, Julia went straight to decorating the suite, laying out all the party props and favors for each attendee. (Tip: Make sure to take a photo of this display!) "I wanted to get the girls items that they would actually keep after the party," Julia explains. "I didn’t focus on the more typical bachelorette trip props and went with robes and pareos from India Amory and Mariella Vilar straw bags."
3. Plan a beach day
No trip to Miami is complete without a day in the sand, and Julia, Lauren, and crew posted up at their hotel. Ever the pro-MOH, Julia made sure to pack plenty of party straws for their cocktails and mocktails.
4. Capture that #OOTD
During the day, the group kept things casual in their beach attire but added on-trend, heart-shaped sunglasses (a gift from Julia). Bride Lauren looked especially fab in the Pearl maxi dress by Gal Meets Glam Collection.
5. Take a boat trip
When vacationing at the beach, a boat excursion is also a must, so Julia chose to make a day of it on Saturday. Some attendees embraced the water with an adventurous attitude (hello, jet skis!), while other gals, including a pregnant Julia, lounged on the boat. Her tip for fellow pregnant bachelorette goers? "Don’t be afraid to take breaks and enjoy leisurely time by the pool or on the boat," she says. "It’s fun to be in charge of taking pictures or prepping for the next event. Jump into a role where you can help the party and still have some time to yourself!"
6. Hit the town for a night out
After each day in the sun, the group got ready—in their matching robes, no less—and dressed up to explore Miami's nightlife. They chose El Tucán, an Asian restaurant with a fun tropical vibe, for dinner and dancing on Friday night, then visited Casa Tua Cucina for Italian fare the next. After, they capped off the festivities with more dancing at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila. "Lauren has always been the life of the party," Julia gushes.
7. Dress the bride in white!
There was no official dress code so Julia and crew embraced tropical prints and bold colors that felt appropriate for the vibrant Miami setting. Lauren, on the other hand, embraced her role as the bride by wearing white (in Gal Meets Glam Collection's Sawyer jumpsuit, above). “I was so excited that Lauren chose to wear white each night, and even more excited that she chose white pieces from my collection," Julia says. "It's the bride's time to shine all bachelorette weekend long!”