A Real Bride's Guide to Planning Your Own Bachelorette Party

This bride-to-be gets real about what it takes to plan the perfect girls' getaway

Updated 04/17/17

SwellDani Photography

*The minute you get engaged, the questions start pouring in: Did you set a date? Who's on the guest list? Open bar? But your girls may have a different question: where and when are we having the bachelorette party? It used to be that the bridesmaids were the safe bet for planning a killer bachelorette, but most recently, brides-to-be are opting to plan their own fiesta. Lauren Hayes is a real bride who did just that — and in mega style! We sat down with this real bride-to-be to get the low down on how she planned herself the most killer bachelorette weekend.

Spoiler alert: it all starts with the guest list! Here, *

Who

My bachelorette combined two of my favorite things: party planning and getting my best friends together. The first step to planning any bachelorette is deciding who you want to invite because the number of guests impacts the lodging venue (and maybe even the destination if you want to consider travel time for any guests coming from far away). I invited my bridesmaids and best girlfriends that I knew would get along well — for me, 12 was the perfect number.

Where

Next, you have to find the right spot. I wanted to find somewhere that was fun, relaxing, beach-side, and convenient for everyone to travel to, which from Los Angeles ended up being Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Plan the Perfect Itinerary

Next, create an itinerary with the must-haves and to-dos. Ours looked a little something like this:

  1. Find an awesome villa no one would want to leave.
  2. Have time to relax on the beach and spend quality time in the pool with all of the girls.
  3. Spa-time! Massages and pampering.
  4. Special dinners. In Cabo, we ate at Flora Farms, an incredible farm-to-table restaurant.

Lingerie shower: Of course we had to have a little something bridal, and that was in the form of a Lingerie Shower. My girls showered me with the most gorgeous lingerie from Victoria's Secret to La Perla.

  • A Boat Outing: We were lucky to have a friend with an amazing 3-story fishing boat in the area that we could take out to do some diving. We saw a whale, pelicans, lots of fish and a seal nearly jumped onto the deck of the boat!
  • Last but not least — take lots of cute pictures! And a hashtag is not just for the wedding, create one for the bachelorette party too so everyone can track your festivities (mine was #lastdaysofhayes).

    Say Thank You

    Next, I think it's a really nice touch to create a thank you/care package for your guests to thank them for taking the time and making the trip. I got the girls sun hats with their names embroidered from Morocco — perfect for a sunny weekend. I also created swag bags for all of the girls that included Wedding Bags' "Tequila, Fiesta, Siesta, Repeat" totes, Slip silk sleep masks, skincare essentials from Koh Gen Do, Mad Hippie, Herbivore, makeup from the Estée Edit, dry shampoo and conditioner from Alterna and hair ties from Bobble, swimsuits from Private Party and MinkPink (photo ops galore!), Robes from LoveOphelia, pineapple phone chargers from BUQU, Beauty Dust from Moon Juice, and more!

    I was so deeply appreciative to all of the girls who were able to make the trip, I really wanted to give them something special.

    Lastly, enjoy and have a blast! This is such a special opportunity to have all of your favorite girls in one place you want to soak up every minute of it.

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