Entertaining

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

Favorite Winter Bachelorette Ideas

We've been gathering and brainstorming and checking our lists twice (sadly, no, we're not Santa Claus), and here they are: seven of our favorite ideas for your upcoming winter bachelorettes (YES, feel free to steal for any winter party or get-away.)

winterlandscape.jpg
  1. Find a cabin in the wintry woods or mountains, go skiing / snow shoeing / snow tubing (the amazing lazy option). Make sure you have a fireplace, loads of knitted sweaters, s'mores ingredients, and recipes for boozy hot chocolate (plus all the toppings) and spiked apple cider. (Check out this great set of ideas from Green Wedding Shoes.)
  2. Chase the Northern lights in a dogsled. Also known as an excuse to go somewhere where it's Christmastime all the time. Plus use our cabin tips above. (Best time to go this year? Around the spring equinox. Alaska, western Canada, Iceland, and northern Europe are the best places to go.)
  3. Schedule a private group figure skating class. Finally learn how to do a simple spin and look awesome on any group figure skating outing from now on. If you want to do something (slightly) more aggressive, rent out a rink for bridal party broomball. Or go very seventh grade and head to an ice or roller skating rink and jam to your favorite tunes from middle school.
  4. Speaking of competitive events, run a winter games challenge, complete with white elephant prizes. (ALSO great for a co-ed or joint bachelor-bachelorette party.) (Some ideas? Milk and cookies boat race, gingerbread house making competition, capture the flag plus snowball fight, and so on.)
  5. Head to a winter festival. The WSJ laid out some of the best (our personal favorite? You can go to the Miners & Trappers Ball in Anchorage, Alaska and see who wins the coveted Mr. Fur Face Award.)
  6. Pretend it's not winter -- have a tropical (Gilligan's Island? Luau?) themed bachelorette, complete with frozen daiquiris in hollowed out coconuts and any other cliches you can come up with.
  7. Actually escape winter. Go south and find a beach. (Preferably with a snowbird theme and plenty of pink flamingos.)

Friendsgiving: How to Throw a Party the Easy Way

Friendsgiving.jpg

It's that time of year -- a chill is in the air (well, in Philly anyway), Christmas bells are ringing (yup, it's too early for that), and the price of turkeys has skyrocketed (seriously, who actually likes the taste of turkey?) It's almost Thanksgiving, which means it's definitely time for Friendsgiving (the meal(s) you host for straggler friends stuck in town a little later than they want to be). While we love hosting a good Friendsgiving, we ALSO love saving time. So before you launch yourself into a hot kitchen, our top 5 tips for hosting a killer Friendsgiving celebration:

  • Break some rules. The beauty of being the host is you MAKE the rules. Hate cranberry sauce? Skip it. As mentioned, we're not fans of turkey -- so we're planning on roasting some other bird and making a chicken pot pie as our mains. (Defy convention, stick it to the man, etc., etc.)
  • Always have snacks. This is true always when hosting anything, but never let anyone get hungry. Then they just hover in the kitchen getting in your way by being "helpful" as they nibble at half-prepared plates.
  • Have no shame about outsourcing. Can't cook everything? Host a potluck. Don't WANT to cook something? Figure out the best way to buy it and focus on what you feel comfortable with. At the end of the day, people are coming to spend time with you. Bon Appetit-worthy food is a bonus.
  • Limit the number of things you have to do during the dinner. For example, prep a cocktail or two for the evening (hot apple cider with bourbon, perhaps?)-- so everyone can help themselves throughout and you're not stuck mixing drinks while also worrying that the pecan pie is burning.
  • Take time to be thankful. Even if that pecan pie IS burning, take a minute to be thankful and grateful. Then get the pie out of the oven and prepare for the upcoming food coma.

Any tips we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Bachelorette Party Themes

Choosing a theme for a bachelorette (or any other party that's not clearly tied to a holiday as clear as, say, Halloween) can feel both overwhelming and possibly unnecessary. After all, you've managed to find a location, coordinate RSVPs, and ensured that everyone is going to have a place to sleep and something to eat. That's already an accomplishment ... So why pick a theme at all?

  1. It feels personal (if you do it right). Think about the bride-to-be's favorite things, activities, inside jokes shared by the whole group attending the bachelorette, and so on. We promise -- for your best friend, it should take about 10 minutes for you to come up with a great list.
  2. It actually makes things easier to plan. We won't go into the science of it, but it's hard to make decisions when you have too many options. A party theme means that some things will no longer make sense and you can eliminate those ideas. (For example ... once we landed on a "Child Inside Us" theme for a recent Sunday Funday, everything from meals to activities to transportation -- magic school bus, obviously - became far easier to decide).
  3. It makes it easier for your guests to know what to expect - and to pitch in. And for them to chip in. Even something as simple as "glitter" makes it easy for attendees to pick up decorations, swag, outfits, and so on that fit the theme.

Struggling for ideas? We'll be sharing some of our favorites in the coming weeks -- or shoot us a note at hello@mybestfriendsweekend.com and we're happy to chat.

Rain, Rain, Go Away: How to Keep Bad Weather from Ruining Your Bachelorette

It's the kind of thing that can keep a bride up at nights: What happens if it RAINS? And that thought can be just as worrying for a bachelorette, particularly if you've built your plans around outdoor activities. So, how to keep a little bad weather (rain, wind, sleet, hail, or snow) from throwing a damper on your weekend?

  • Avoid the problem in the first place with careful venue selections. Before planning, check out what the weather is like during that time of year, and be ready -- for example, by checking if your courtyard restaurant has a covered awning you can duck under if it rains, or if there are space heaters outside when it might be a little chilly.
  • Have the right gear. Remind your attendees to bring things like umbrellas, rain jackets, warm coats, and so on. Remember that Californians don't always know how to dress for East Coast weather (and vice versa), so include this kind of information in preparation emails, giving people plenty of time to buy or borrow what they need. And since not everyone will believe you, pick up some ponchos, stash a couple umbrellas in your luggage, and bring some extra sweaters if it looks like you're going to run into nasty weather.
  • Have a contingency plan ready to go. Sure, the idea of a picnic in the park was lovely, but then it started pouring. Have a back-up reservation (be thoughtful if you're a huge group, since cancelling too late means you just messed up the restaurant's plans for the day) or be prepared to bring outside activities indoors.
  • Have some fallback options prepared to suggest. So you can't spend the day at the beach? Try fun indoors activities: pub crawl that only goes to one or two great bars, bowling, laser tag, trampolining, or mani/pedis/massages to keep everyone busy and having fun.
  • If all else fails, do what the airlines used to: embrace the delay with free booze, games, and treats. Have some games (either free ones or something like Cards Against Humanity), something to drink, and delicious snacks (if you're in a house, get some cookie dough; if you're in a hotel, pop out to the nearest bakery and pick something up ... it's virtually impossible to be grouchy when you're staring at freshly baked cookies). Since the point of the weekend is to get everyone hanging out together, take advantage of the miserable weather and use it as a bonding opportunity.

Last (but most important) of all: if the right people are there, you could be stuck in a windowless room with nothing to do and still have an amazing time. So relax and let the awesomeness of your friends save the day.

Happy Just Because Day!

First off, Happy Just Because Day! (Yes, we're pretty sure this holiday was created by a greeting card company, but we're okay with anything that promotes random-ish acts of kindness and/or gives us an excuse to act more strangely than usual.) From us, just because? A party decoration idea (the "glamingo") that made us laugh:

 From   Swoozie's.

And if you need more inspiration, check out what others are doing for Just Because Day here.

Personalized Bachelorette Party Favors for Any Type of Bachelorette

Let's be honest, besides eating just the frosting off the cake (that was just us? really?), one of the best parts of childhood birthday parties was the goody bag. Because small surprise presents are still awesome, five of our favorite personalized party favors that won't break the bank:

For the bag itself (and it will double as an eco-friendly shopping bag later!), a customized tote:

 From the etsy shop   You're That Girl Designs  .

From the etsy shop You're That Girl Designs.

Sunglasses (useful for just about every type of bacheorette ... if for no other reason than to watch the "Sunglasses at Night" music video and enjoy the 80s camp)

 From the etsy shop   Cut It Out Vinyl.

From the etsy shop Cut It Out Vinyl.

Nail polish. Julep has polishes for a lot of different names, and Pretty Please allows you to actually pick and name shades.

Because although we know you can open a bottle with chopsticks, we've never actually succeeded:

 From   Beau-Coup.

Candy! Slightly creepy but also amazing: M&Ms with faces on them.

 From   My M&Ms.

One caution: If you want customized goodies, this is one thing you can't throw together last minute (unless you have incredible DIY skills and can make them yourself). Pick and order everything at least three weeks ahead of time to avoid any last minute stress.

(Mostly) Beach Bachelorette Invitations

So your bride-to-be friend has handed you the bachelorette guest list (or, more likely, has sent you a mix of texts, emails, and gchats with ideas which you're now cobbling together). Now, how to invite them? Especially if you're looking for an invitation that isn't neon pink and is maybe a little more fun than a bulleted email?

To inspire you, we've gathered five of our favorite paper and paperless bachelorette invitations -- these are (mostly) beach themed as you celebrate the last days of summer.

For a beach or pool-filled vacation (available in either paper or evite version):

.. or this one, for a beachy 70s party (somehow something with Anchorman or Charlie's Angels should be incorporated, so we'd use for a San Diego or other SoCal location)

 From  Wedding Paper Divas.

From Wedding Paper Divas.

For a weekend in Cabo (or any beach, anywhere):

One that actually covers all the details in one place:

 From the etsy shop   Last Fling Before the Ring.

From the etsy shop Last Fling Before the Ring.

And one that will work for anything:

For more ideas, check out our pinterest board, which we continue to update.
 

Pin of the Weekend: Piñata Bachelorette

Because everything is better with a piñata, we present our favorite pin of the weekend:

 Courtesy of Elsie at  A Beautiful Mess.

Courtesy of Elsie at A Beautiful Mess.

P. S. If for some reason you don't want a booze filled piñata, how to make a cupcake piñata filled with cupcakes.