The Little Things

All the Other Important People

While a bachelorette can be an amazing celebration of sisterliness (real sisters and those we've chosen for ourselves through our friendships), it does tend to leave out some of the other really important people in our life. So, how do you, as the best maid of honor ever, include those people (the brothers, the parents, the grandparents, the aunts and uncles, the younger cousins, the best guy friends, and .. oh right, her fiance)? A few things we've seen work well:

  1. Find ways to include them in any keepsake you're making for the bride. Pulling together a recipe book? Ask them to contribute. Decorating the house with pictures? Get them to send some (preferably with a note about why those pictures). Get them to record a brief video on their iPhone and splice them together to show her. Pull together their words of wisdom on relationships ... and so on.
  2. Just ask for their advice and input (selectively, of course). Her baby brother might not know much about some things, but he's possibly the best source of information on her favorite foods as a kid, her childhood celebrity crush, and what was really annoying about her ex-boyfriends (excellent fodder for games, as long as she can laugh about this now).
  3. If they want, let them contribute. When one of our friends was getting married, another great friend couldn't make it -- but she sent a champagne toast instead. Obviously no one should feel obligated to do this, but help them brainstorm if they want to do something.
  4. Keep them busy. Again, this only works for certain people, but is especially useful for moms you know pretty well and who will enjoy helping. Give them some tasks to help with (hunting down PG-rated party favors, sending cookie mix to bake at the rental house, and so on)

And more to add? Let us know in the comments or hello@mybestfriendsweekend.com

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.
 

Bachelorette Playlist: Songs that Celebrate Friendship

We've stumbled across dozens of "best wedding [fill-in-the-blank]" playlists (um, research), which made us realize we needed a bachelorette-ready playlist to celebrate friendship in all its forms, from the sentimental to the silly, the cheesy to the slightly less cheesy. Our mix here (eclectic is really the only word to describe it). Let us know if we've missed anything in the comments!

P.S. Difficult to pick favorites here, but currently playing "I Will Never Let You Down" on repeat. Expecting that to change multiple times today.

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

We love paper cards and invitations (we may have a box of these that date back from middle school), so we're in full support of a paper invite for bridesmaids. As always, etsy is a treasure trove of adorable ideas, but this was our favorite find of the weekend. Because like your family, your friends are part of the package deal.

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.

 

 

#TuesdayTips: How to crush this maid of honor thing

Yesterday we talked about how you can survive being maid of honor with some measure of sanity. But what if you want to crush it? It  may be the Boy Scout motto, but it's just as applicable here: be prepared. How, you ask us? Our gear list for a bachelorette:

  • Gum
  • Band aids
  • Safety pins (bonus points for a hotel size sewing kit, double bonus points if you know how to use it!)
  • Extra hair ties
  • Advil / ibuprofen
  • Hand sanitizer wipes
  • Stain remover (Tide Pen or similar)
  • Gatorade (or Pedialyte, or similar)
  • Candy (your call here)
  • Paper itinerary / address of hotel or place you're staying / contact info (lost phone)
  • (Optional) temporary tattoos (lost phone and purse) like these
  • (Nice to have) extra flip flops (good swag option)

Anything we forgot? Let us know in the comments or hello@mybestfriendsweekend.com!

How to survive being maid of honor

Before we started My Best Friend's Weekend, we interviewed and surveyed maids of honor to talk about their experiences. While being asked to be maid of an honor was -- well, a big honor -- one of the most common words we heard was that it was hard. The maid of honor's role is a mix of traffic cop, shoulder to cry on, confidant, air traffic controller, MC, toastmaster, official grown-up, Martha Stewart, dancing machine, fun czar, and banker. (Trust us: they tend to take on more extra costs than other members of the wedding party.) So what can you do to perform the role with grace?

 It's all going to be okay.

It's all going to be okay.

  1. It's not personal. You will be the receiver of complaints and bearer of bad news. Remember (unless you've gone full Annie in Bridesmaids), you did your best, and the reactions you get are because others don't like the situation, not because you did anything wrong.
  2. People will flake and things won't be perfect. Vendors or attendees won't show or will be late. The flowers won't be that perfect shade of lavender or something important will go missing. All you can do? Take a deep breath, assure everyone things will be just fine, and keep an emergency Ring Pop in your purse just in case.
  3. Remember what's important. This is about making sure your friend (and/or sibling) gets to spend time with her friends and enjoy an important life event. In thirty years (or even three months), to paraphrase Maya Angelou, nobody's going to remember the details of what happened, but they will remember how you made everyone feel.

And for anyone who comes into contact with the maid of honor? Be kind. We promise -- she's trying to make everyone happy. And whether you loved or hated everything she did, just say thank you. We can assure you it's something she hasn't heard enough.

Keep party conversation going (aka how to talk to anyone)

Even the sparkiliest of us can use a little help with conversation sometimes, especially with new people, so we turned to the experts on this one -- how do some of the best interviewers in the world prevent the kinds of awkward silences that can kill a party's mood?