I just got done hosting a destination bachelorette party and I learned so many little tricks and tips. The bride is my cousin/bestie/sister-I-never-had and her bachelorette was in Louisville, KY! We stayed at the Embassy Suites in downtown Louisville on 4th Street. Highly recommend this hotel for the venue, and highly recommend Louisville as a bachelorette destination.
This event was so fun to plan and of course, so fun to live out. I’m already sad it’s over.
If you’re planning a destination bachelorette party for a bride, I have a planning guide + timeline for you! I know it can feel a little overwhelming at first but honestly planning a destination bachelorette is SO FUN. Grab an iced coffee & keep on scrolling.
Pick a time & venue (6+months away)
When planning, the first step is to ask your bride what she has in mind.
Does she want one or two nights (or three!)? Does she want it to be far from home or close by? Does she want it to be chill and cozy, or a fun weekend out on the town? You should also keep in mind what the budget will be of the girls attending.
The bride and I decided on Louisville because it’s only 90 miles from her native Cincinnati, but still a new and exciting atmosphere for everyone. I know a lot of people opt for Nashville (and we considered it), but Louisville won out!
Once you’ve decided on a venue, ask the bride for a guest list. Even though the party should be months away, check in with everyone and ask if they think they will be attending. You’ll need a firm headcount in order to make reservations.
Book your venues (2-4 months away)
Ask the bride if she wants to be involved in the decision making process.
Your first priority should be that it is a stress-free and super fun weekend for the bride and guests. Consider this when you are making a hotel reservation and keep in mind what the price will be for everyone.
When making dinner reservations, take into account if the bride has any food dislikes or allergies. Make sure there are entrees at variable price ranges.
Also consider how you all will be commuting to the restaurants and bars! Walking, Ubering, etc…
We chose the Embassy Suites in downtown Louisville because it was literally down the road from the most active bar scene in Louisville, “4th Street Live”. Also, it has a boujee upscale vibe, perfect for a Bachelorette. Make sure to ask your hotel if there are any complimentary services — our hotel had a free happy hour every night for two hours!
If your party weekend involves multiple nights, make sure there is down time for the guests (you all will likely need it on account of all the celebrating).
I recommend planning at least one day-time activity for the weekend. We took a pole dancing class that everyone seemed to get a kick out of. Some other bachelorette activity ideas are a wine/beer/bourbon tasting, painting class, spa day, etc.
Invitations (4-8 weeks away)
Around 4-8 weeks away you should send out an invitation. I sent mine a month out, but I feel like people are so busy nowadays you’d be safer sending them 6 or so weeks out.
While it’s popular to send an E-vite, I think sending an old-fashioned paper invitation is so charming and shouldn’t be overlooked — it’s worth the effort I promise!! Also, it sets a great vibe for the event.
When it comes time to send an invitation, you should also decide whether you want to send an attached itinerary. Since this is a destination bachelorette, you need to have a moderate amount of structure to the weekend.
Just a quick reminder — the weekend is all about the bride, but it’s up to you to make sure it runs smoothly.
Whether you include them on the formal itinerary or not, make note of the exact times you should be requesting Ubers, leaving restaurants, and gathering the group. Trust me, you’ll be glad you hammered out all the little details a month before!
For the invitations, there are many options online but I decided to create my own with the help of a local designer. This is an easy DIY and it doesn’t look like a cookie cutter design.
You can create a custom invitation in Word, however I used a website called Canva (this is an incredible, free tool!). Format the invite as desired. Choose a thick, quality paper and your invites will look super luxurious! Make note of the different fonts you used, they will come in handy later when you create more DIY projects (keep scrolling, you’ll see more ideas).
Decorations + party details (less than a month away!)
Okay, it’s time to start thinking of decorations + little details that will make the weekend feel so special and unique. I def recommend checking out Pinterest for ideas. You can see my Pinterest party planning board HERE.
I recommend creating a designated a color scheme — it’ll make everything feel really cohesive. This way, your invitations, favors, and decorations will all compliment each other.
go crazy with streamers
Hands down, streamers will be the most impactful AND the most bang for your buck. You can twist two colors together and put them over doorways or have them hanging down over walls or hotel pictures. Honestly the options are endless!! They’re especially great for transforming a hotel room.
create a photo-op moment
Find a blank space in the room for a good photo op, and create a fun background with streamers, tassels, letters, etc. This will be a fun place for photos for the whole weekend.
cute signs + sayings
If you’d like a custom sign, you can purchase the letter kits they sell at Walmart and spell out your desired words. Once it is assembled, spray paint it with your on-brand colors.
a keepsake for the bride
It’s a good idea to send the bride home with a gift that will serve as a token of her fun bachelorette weekend. A cool idea is to purchase a frame with a large mat and have everyone kiss it + sign their name.
a fun game
In the invitations (except the brides’), I asked all the guests to bring a pair of panties that best reflected their personality. Then, the bride would have to guess who brought each pair! It proved to be a fun game, allowed the bride to get some fun selections, and was also a great decoration.
For an entire bachelorette weekend, it’s standard practice to provide the attendees with a cute favor at the end. Personally, I loved all the custom totes I found online but they were $10 each, which would put me at $120 just for the bags! Let alone cute stuff to put in them.
So, I created my own bags.
To recreate these bags you can shop online or at a local craft store for a bag size of your choice (I found these for only $1 each). Then, you can cut out a heart onto freezer paper (a Cricket machine or heart stencil will help you achieve the perfect shape).
Adhere the freezer paper to your bag by placing the shiny side down and ironing it on. Next, take extra fine glitter and mix equal parts with mod podge glue. Paint two coats onto your bags and let dry!
Once dry, slowly peel your stencils off and Voila! Then line the inside with tissue paper and fill with goodies (wine, face masks, nail files, hair ties, nail polish, chocolate, etc).
create a signature drink
If you’re looking for a way to customize your party, ask the bride what her favorite drink is and then make that the signature drink of the night.
For this bachelorette, the bride’s last name was Nielsen so therefore our drink of the night was The Naughty Nielsen.
If you use the same fonts as the invites, your party will have a super cohesive feel.
create a custom DO NOT DISTURB door hanger
This is are really easy way to make the party feel custom — but it’s also SUPER functional.
Instead of using the hotel-provided do not disturb door hangers, just create your own. I recommend using Canva.com to design it (it’s a free website). Make sure to use fonts and colors within your designated color scheme.
Confirm everything and get excited (1 week away)
A week out, confirm transportation details with the guests.
Make sure you have all guests phone numbers and create a croup chat with everyone.
By now you should have an idea what all the guests will owe for the hotel and activities. Kindly ask them to bring a checkbook or download the Venmo app.
Don’t forget: (the day of)
Remember to bring these essentials so that everything can go off without a hitch: a tiara and sash for the bride, scissors and tape to decorate the room, all your decorations, snacks, plates, napkins, cups and alcohol.
The party date has arrived–Cheers!
Have fun, relaxed, and enjoy the weekend!!
I’m linking some of the party supplies I used + some others that have a really cool vibe
The tiara I ordered for the bride can be found HERE. Love how it wasn’t too cheesy.