Bach Beb

How to Survive Engagement Season - Bach Beb Edition

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It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the holidays are peak engagement season, and ladies, ‘tis the season. Once the air turns crisp and Gingerbread Lattes hit the Starbucks menu, Instagram engagement announcements aren’t far behind. And Facebook announcements (and Tweets and Snapchats), and before you know it, your Timeline has more relationship status updates (Rachel is Engaged!!!) than puppy pictures and so help it if you see on more #ISaidYes hashtag on Instagram…

...Surely you see where I’m going with this by now. As someone who has both watched my own Facebook account morph into a veritable Nuptial News platform and shared my own engagement via Instagram, I’m here to share some tips for surviving engagement season. Grab a glass of vino and get ready to take some mental notes, because you’ll need ‘em in the next few weeks.

First thing’s first: Your reaction to engagement news correlates directly to your age and relationship status. For example: As an unengaged 22-year-old, my reaction to engagement news was immediate, unquestioning happiness, since engagements were still few and far between. As a now-married twenty something with an already fully booked 2016, my reaction to engagement news more along the lines of “Oh no! I don’t have any more PTO” or “Please don’t let it be a destination wedding.”

For those of you who fall into the first camp, the as-yet unengaged girlfriends, brace yourselves. I don’t know if it’s in a Man Guide somewhere or if they simply figure they won’t forget an anniversary if the pop the question on a festive seasonal holiday, but put your big girl panties on because you’re about to see a lot of hand selfies. If you’re not one to tolerate overly saccharine declarations of love on social media, then I suggest turning off post notifications once you like the obligatory “We’re getting hitched” photo...unless you want to be notified every time another sorority sister comments “OMGGGGGG SO HAPPY FOR Y’ALL!”...in which case, you do you.

This doesn’t mean that you get carte blanche if you’re the engagee, however. Consider the holiday season to be an exercise in restraint, which is to say be judicious in social sharing. Yes, the photo that your future brother-in-law took whilst hidden in the bushes that captures the exact moment of your engagement is 100% swoon-worthy. In fact, frame that bad boy. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that anyone other than your immediate family needs (or wants) to see the 124 photos leading up to that moment in the form of a Facebook album or Instagram collage accompanied by an indiscriminate number of hashtags.

I wish the moral of this story was more earth-shattering, but the tricks to surviving the Holiday Engagement Season are less revolutionary:

1) Let your friends have their engagement moment; you’ll get yours so don’t crap on theirs.

2) On the flip side, don’t shove your recently blinged-out left hand in everyone’s face. Even the most tolerant BFFs have a limit to how much attention you expect them to give you in your newly-betrothed state, and I recommend you don’t push it.

3) You’ve heard about the brain-to-mouth filter. Before opening your mouth, do a quick 1-2 check to make sure that baby is in working order. Even the ring is pear-shaped in a gold setting and the groom-to-be proposed on the Jumbotron at a ballgame and that's not your jam. Pro-tip: If you’re not sure, keep it to yourself.

With all that in mind, stock up on the merlot and practice your "SO HAPPY" smile. It's going to get a lot of use in the next several weeks.

Peace, love, and champs -

Bach Beb

Planning a No-Fuss Bachelorette

Our favorite blogger is back! Bach Beb on how to throw a destination bachelorette (without wanting to tear your hair out):

Planning anything for a group is a tricky business. Add in the words "destination," "bachelorette," and "party," and you, my friend, are now walking an especially thin line. Even leaving negotiations around dates, location, and theme aside, there's a lot to consider when planning a destination bachelorette party. Just like the wedding itself, though, planning a bachelorette party is only as complicated as you make it.

Whether you're getting hitched yourself or you're planning for a friend, you'll want to make sure you've got your ducks in a row before you start firing off save-the-date emails to cousins and college roommates four states away ... take it from someone who learned the hard way. As a former bachelorette and current bachelorette weekend planner, I have a little experience in this area, and I've got a few tips to help you get started.

Talk to the group, not just the bride-to-be. If your bride is itching to break in a black Herve Leger dress, it's safe to say Vegas is more her style than Nashville. But before you have "Weekend in Vegas" invites printed, consider where everyone will be coming from and how easy it is to get there. I would have loved nothing more than a bachelorette party in Charleston, but with girls coming from three states it would have cost everyone an arm and a leg to get there. Keep in mind that some destinations only have small regional airports, meaning you could be looking at rental cars and pricier airfare.

Set guest expectations. Once you get the final guest list back from the bride, the bachelorette weekend spotlight is on you, baby. If you ever needed to channel your inner cheerleading captain, this is the time. Chances are, as Head Bachelorette Organizer, you'll be reaching out to different friend groups, so make sure that all the different contingents are excited about the prospect of a girls' weekend! And also let them know how much to expect to pay (overestimate always!) to avoid unpleasant surprises later.

Give some guidelines. Headed to Napa for a day of wine tasting? Hitting a yoga retreat? Staking out some prime beach real estate? Make sure to let the group know what sort of events are planned for the weekend so they can pack accordingly. The difference between a bachelorette party to remember and "meh" could be as small as letting everyone know that the 80s theme is mandatory Saturday night attire. Take it from someone who knows, it's tough to find a neon one-piece swimsuit and acid wash shorts on 12 hours notice.

Get some help. (Shameless plug for my favorite bachelorette planners.) Swamped with work? In the midst of wedding planning yourself? Juggling a teething baby? Or just need an extra hand to coordinate? Hand over the details to someone else and concern yourself with the important stuff--hyping up the weekend, keeping the group up-to-date, and giving some wardrobe guidance. For all the other details -- from hotel recommendations to dinner reservations to transportation -- leave it to My Best Friend's Weekend. They know their stuff.

Peace, love, and champs!

Bach Beb

Beyond Hashtags: Social Media Rules for a Bachelorette

Welcome to the Tough Love Edition of Bach Beb. Any bachelorette worth the Choos on her feet knows if it’s not on Instagram it didn’t happen and there’s no point in checking in on Facebook unless you’re somewhere fabulous (#HumbleBrag, amirite?). However, we’re nothing if not ladies and ladies follow rules. So before you find yourself in the middle of a Flipagram faux pas, put the iPhone down and get in line because I don’t want to have to write a “How to Get Out of A Social Media Mess” for you party girls- okay maybe I do, but consider this your warning post.

Let’s start with Instagram. It’s my personal favorite social media platform for a couple of reasons: You can check in at The Breakers, fake it with filters, hashtag #MyBFBach, tag the girls then share to Facebook all in one post. What’s not to love? Let me count the ways. Wardrobe malfunctions, forgetting to tag someone, the difficulty of scrubbing unflattering photos from the internet's everlasting memory …the list goes on…shall I? I didn’t think so. #PicsOrItDidntHappen has almost 13,000 posts, don’t land yourself on the trending page for the wrong reason.

Next up is Facebook. Instagram and Snapchat may be giving the ‘Book a run for its money, but Facebook is still the Grande Dame of social media. Are you looking for your first job? Perhaps looking to make a career jump? Hankering for a smidge of recognition from your peers? Allow me to put it bluntly: If you spent Halloween weekend at your bestie’s bachelorette party and pictures of you looking like Lindsay Lohan at 4:00 AM find their way onto Facebook (we know, it's just the lighting that makes you look like that), put yourself in timeout, Rook, because you lose. If any part of the scenario described above is even a remote possibility, I recommend that you leave your phone at home for the night.

Finally, let’s talk Snapchat. Snapchat is the spunky newcomer to the social media crowd, and much like the Little Sis you couldn’t shake your sophomore year, there’s no escaping it. Your friends are on it, your coworkers are on it, I’d be willing to bet that some of your parents are on it. Moral of the story? Take the reputation-obliterating shame of an Instagram or Facebook post, add video capabilities plus the irresistible fact that you’ve got 15 seconds to embarrass yourself and you my friend have effectively shot yourself in your perfectly pedicured foot.

I’ve posted my share of questionable pics in my day, but luckily there were no embarrassing drinking games involved. Here’s my advice to you bachelorette babies: be smart. Save everything, and wait until Sunday brunch to hit "send" or "post."

Peace, love and champagne-

Bach Beb

Bachelorette Icebreakers: Yes, Games Can Make Everyone Friends

icebreakers

Bachelorette parties really are the best. If you haven’t had a good bachelorette experience, then someone dropped the ball somewhere, because there’s really nothing better than getting together with old friends and making new ones at the same time. Sure, it can be stressful to bring different groups of friends together- how are the girls from grad school going to like my sorority sisters - but your BFF’s bachelorette weekend is neither the time nor the place to release your inner Regina George.

Not all brides are the same, and therefore not all bachelorette parties are the same, which is why the Head Bachelorette Bech should put some thought into some icebreakers: The tequila shots that forged new friendships in Austin won’t fly for a bride and her ‘maids who are more early-morning-spa than late-night-snacks. Here are three tried-and-true ways to break the ice at bachelorette parties where friends from elementary school, Junior League and the office collide.

  • Drink if…First thing’s first: Unless you find yourself in a bar called Bruno’s on Maple Street in New Orleans, “drink” does not always mean “shots,” (more on that another time), and now that I think about it not all drinks actually contain alcohol. Armed with that information, you now have everything from mimosas, Bellinis and Bloody Mary’s to local brews, chardonnay and coffee (with Bailey’s) at your disposal. Check out this printable on our Pinterest board for Drink If cards and question ideas.
  • Guess the Undies. A very fun one to get a sense of everyone's personality ("spirit" undies, if you will). Everyone brings a pair of panties (ahem, new panties), and you string ‘em up, pin ‘em up or otherwise display them so the bride can guess who brought which pair of unmentionables. If the bride guesses right the guest drinks, and if she guesses wrong, she drinks. Once again, alcohol is certainly not necessary but tends to- erm- lubricate icebreakers. Brush up on your cocktail and mocktail recipes here.
  • Mad Libs. Yup, good old-fashioned Mad Libs but with one twist: Bachelorette Edition. The great thing about Mad Libs is that you can make this activity as ladylike and mild-mannered or party girl as you want. Consider this sentence from a Grace Kelly point of view and then from a Miley Cyrus point of view, and you’ll see what I mean: “You were asked to be the (noun) of honor, and you said (exclamation)! But now, (period of time) later, you wish you hadn’t been so (adjective) in your decision.

For more ideas for icebreakers, bachelorette games, cocktail recipes and more, be sure to follow Yours Truly on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook!

Peace, love & Champagne-

Bach Beb

Bachelorette Parties Decoded: Lingerie Shower

Ah, the lingerie shower.  An obvious go-to at bachelorette parties (to the amusement and subsequent horror of many a bride-to-be), the lingerie shower is actually one of the trickiest bachelorette party events to pull off. Turns out, there’s more to consider than the bride’s sizes and when to cue up the Channing Tatum YouTube compilation.

How, you’re likely asking yourself, is throwing a lingerie shower tricky? Allow me to break it down, Bachelorette Party Babies.

First- and I’ve gone over this one before- make sure your bride-to-be is down with exchanging skivvies in front of an audience. If you know she’s fine with a lingerie shower and you’re helping with the planning, establish some ground rules for the rest of the group. Namely if the bride is more Kate Middleton than Kate Upton, then a gentle reminder that some lingerie brands are off the table would not be misplaced.

The next tip is really for everyone’s benefit: Consider the guest list. Can you imagine attending a lingerie shower, sipping a little too much champagne and lobbing jokes at the bride, only to find out that her brother’s girlfriend is in attendance? I can. I was the bride’s brother's girlfriend. While you do the math, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I was thrilled to be invited. Just be forewarned that courtesy invites are very generous but are better saved for the wedding itself. Nothing really brings you right into the family quite like an evening of unmentionables being tossed around the room with your future sister-in-law. True story.

Even if your friend is more a Jackie than a Marilyn, you can still have a bangin’ lingerie shower for your friend, albeit one with significantly fewer zippers and lace. My girls showered me with dainty sleep sets from Anthropologie, Nicole Miller and La Perla, and even though I don’t have a sister-in-law just yet, I would have been totally comfortable if she’d been there. Sleep masks, short kimono-style robes and slips are all Bach Beb approved for PG13 lingerie showers, so don’t let your bestie miss out on Victoria’s Secret just because she's the more modest type.

After you’ve gauged your bride's preferences, then filtered any overly naïve cousins, aunts or extended family members from the guest list, it’s time to get down to the business of the bachelorette party.

Peace, Love and Champs-

Bach Beb

What To Do When Your Fiancé is At His Bachelor Party

Listen up, ladies. You've had your bachelorette party. You planned and prepped and pack. You and the girls got your hair blown out, broke out the new Choos you've been saving and shimmied into a little DVF number that you looked freaking fabulous in without veering (too much) into Beyonce-at-the-Met-Ball territory. It was perfect. No one fell off their shoes, there were no wardrobe malfunctions, and no one caught their hair on fire (hand of God, I've seen it happen).

And the point of reliving your bachelorette party? Because your fiance will be having a bachelor party and you don't want to be the girl who ruined it. I'm not suggesting you cut off all communication for the entirety of his bachelor weekend, but there's definitely middle ground between total radio silence and sending him 147 text messages, all of which sneakily and passive aggressively try to ascertain where he is - exactly. (Really. Don't be that girl.)

So what's a bride-to-be to do when her main man is reunited with his college buddies for a weekend of shenanigans? As a former bachelorette whose fiance spent his bachelor party with a group of friends who are best described as impish, (look it up, it's a good one), here's what I do recommend:

Have a girls' weekend

Not a full-blown, bachelorette-level weekend, more like a bellini brunch followed by mimosa manis and pedis, then dinner at trendy new restaurant your fiance would go to under only under extreme duress.

Treat yo' self

It's a universally accepted truth that the majority of men don't love shopping. Personally, I'd rather hit Neiman's by myself than with a whiney husband who insists on acting whether I really need to wander through the Chanel shop when I know I'm not going to buy anything. Yes, I do. End of conversation. When you've got a weekend to yourself, use it sister. Hit a museum, get a message, or lay in bed binge watching House of Cards. You do you.

Leave him alone

Did you hear me? Leave the man alone. He asked you to marry him, so it stands to reason that a weekend with the guys won't turn him into pre-Amal Alamuddin George Clooney. A few "Hope you're having fun!"-esque texts are fine, but if you find yourself typing out anything remotely resembling "I miss you so much where are you now what's going on miss you so much," maybe consider the weekend an opportunity to go offline.

Sure, boys will be boys, but when your fiance jets off for some pre-nuptial, alcohol-soaked male bonding, just remember that he's seen your best friend's Instagram account and he (hopefully) kept his trap shut when you spent a bikini-clad weekend with 8 other girls in some party location where there were yes, dudes, who did not magically disappear because it might make him jealous that there were other guys within ten feet of you. Your turn to return that favor, my friend.

Peace, love, and champs,

Bach Beb

Bachelorette Invitations That Won't Make You Blush

There seems to be bachelorette party rumor circulating. You may have heard whispers, perhaps you even fell for it yourself. Are you ready? Here it is: All bachelorette party décor, invitations and other party accouterments must be awkwardly, embarrassingly bawdy. We’re talking please-don’t-let-my 15-year-old-cousin-see-this levels of innuendo here.

I’m here to tell you that you can have yourself a crazy good bachelorette party without that. All you brides-to-be, maids-of-honor, sisters and best friends who find yourselves somewhere between the shenanigans of the movie Bachelorette and tea with grandma on the bachelorette party scale, I’ve rounded up a handful of classy, cute, fun and occasionally cheeky bachelorette invitations to get the party started right.

 

   
  
 
  
    
  
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  Fascinating Feathers designed by Fine Moments. Available at  WeddingPaperDivas .com

Fascinating Feathers designed by Fine Moments. Available at WeddingPaperDivas.com

   
  
 
  
    
  
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  Bachelorette Party Invitations designed by Lemon Seed and Co. Available at  Etsy

Bachelorette Party Invitations designed by Lemon Seed and Co. Available at Etsy

  Designed by  Paperless Post . Available at  PaperlessPost.com

Designed by Paperless Post. Available at PaperlessPost.com

   
  
 
  
    
  
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  Neon Boho Chic designed by Paper and Ink Co. Available at  Etsy.

Neon Boho Chic designed by Paper and Ink Co. Available at Etsy.

   
  
 
  
    
  
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  Last Fling Before the Ring designed by Up Up Creative. Available at  Minted.com .

Last Fling Before the Ring designed by Up Up Creative. Available at Minted.com.

 

I hope that these adorable invitations get the festivities off on the right foot and that the bachelorette party goes off without a hitch!

Peace, love & champagne-

Bach Beb

How to Rock Any Bachelorette

 

teambride

We are beyond excited to introduce you to our latest contributor. For now, we're going to call her Bach Beb, but think of her as your ultimate get-a-grip friend. The wiser sister (real, sorority, or from another mister) who always has the best advice and tells it to you straight. And she's here now to answer your questions. Today: how to rock any bachelorette party.

By the Bach Beb

In the past year I have attended three bachelorette parties, one of which was my own and all of which were destinations: New Orleans, Palm Beach and Seaside, Florida.

Prior to my own final fling I took mental notes about what I liked and afterwards I found myself wishing I had supremely crafty friends and an older sister, but while my friends may not be domestic goddesses oozing glitter and tissue paper and having only one sibling- a brother, natch- I learned what I learned and now I pass it on to you.

First- and I cannot stress this enough- know your bride. In New Orleans we were swathed in traditional bachelorette necklaces and boas. In Seaside we treated ourselves to a ladylike meal prepared in-house by a private chef and polished off a case of Chandon Rosé, while at my own bachelorette we lazed on the beach and brunched at The Breakers.

My point? What flies for one bride-to-be doesn’t fly for all brides-to-be. I would have shriveled up and died before wrapping myself in a white satin sash and pinning a tiara to my head, and despite a single, small doll (travel-sized, in fact) that was gifted to me prior to dinner one night, my friends respected what I asked. And for that I love them even more.

Second, remember that it’s your friend’s weekend. That means don’t be That Girl. If you’re still lost here you go: no vomiting, making out or otherwise Jersey Shore behavior that will remove the spotlight from your friend. That’s a real quick way to become the friend most likely to receive the silent treatment (deservedly, ahem).

Thirdly, and this goes hand-in-hand with the above bachelorette commandment: Don’t be the fun sponge. No offense but no one cares that you have cramps and if the bride says, “I’m so sorry, we’ll wait for you to feel better” or “Just stay and rest” she is lying through her pretty bleached teeth. If she didn’t care, she wouldn’t have invited you to her bachelorette party. Unless you’re bleeding out your eyeballs or your foot was recently run over by a semi truck, sack up and make her weekend perfect.

Finally, we all know that ladies may have been known to have a catty side from time to time. (Sad, but true.) This is not, and I repeat, this is not the time to get your Hanky Pankies in a twist because the brides’ cousin or college roommate gave you side-eye. If you’re old enough to be at a bachelorette party, let’s go ahead and assume you’re old enough to act like an adult.

Without sharing all the gory details of the above-mentioned parties from the past year, this really is all it takes to keep a bachelorette party from turning into an episode of The Real (Almost) Housewives­ of wherever.

Peace, love and lingerie.

-Bach Beb

Tricky etiquette conundrum? A bridesmaid driving you nuts? The bride has gone bonkers? Or just need to know where to get the best hamburgers at 2am in New Orleans? BB'll know the answer. Ask her on twitter @MyBFWeekend or email us at hello@mybestfriendsweekend.com.