Weekends are for weddings! If you’re like me, with 9 weddings each year, the weekends are, quite literally, for weddings (attending them, that is). Also if you’re like me, the weekend is a time to think about planning your own wedding. Lots of people carve out a certain time each week for to wedding planning (Wedding Wednesday seems to be very popular). It ensures the wedding doesn’t take over their whole lives; however, I find that confining wedding planning to a specific time is too pressure-filled and bicker-prone. I plan my wedding when inspiration strikes. Weekends, in particular, offer the time to let my mind roam and plan my own wedding in a stress-free environment. In this series, I’ll take you through some of my major planning steps – hopefully this will help you plan your own wedding!
As I’ve mentioned, while planning my own wedding I’ve been serving as Maid of Honor in a friend’s wedding. Throwing her shower was fun, but it simply held us over til the main event: the bachelorette party. Lindsay decided to have her bachelorette party in Nashville and everyone was more than happy to spend a girls’ weekend in such a fun city. Here’s how we planned a FAB bachie:
It was a short weekend, but we made the most of it. We arrived at around 10 AM on Friday and went to the hotel to get settled. Once everyone was set up in their rooms and freshened up, we walked to a nearby spot for brunch. We got to Puckett’s on the early side so we didn’t have to wait long, but Nashville has become such a popular destination that I highly recommend reservations for groups.
HOT TIP #1: When you’re dealing with a big group of girls, make sure you’ve made reservations or have a list ready to go of places you can easily walk. Girls can be indecisive and whiny. Don’t give them them opportunity to hem and haw over where to eat; simply steer them to the restaurant.
As we sat down at our table, we all donned our bachelorette party sunglasses. I’m a big fan of themed/matching outfits for at least part of a bachelorette weekend, but I’m not a big fan of spending a lot of money to do it. Matching tshirts you’ll never wear again? No thanks. Matching sunnies that only cost $1? Bring ’em on.
After lunch we walked along Broadway to see the famous street in the daylight before our eyes were foggy with booze. We checked out some cowboy boots at Boot Country and looked around the Goo Goo Cluster store before it was time for our next big adventure: the Pedal Tavern. Here, we added some pink mustaches to our outfits and we were ready to rock.
I was familiar with the Pedal Tavern concept since we have something similar in Savannah, but this was my first time actually doing it. Wowza, was this fun. Basically, you stick all your alcohol in a cooler and pedal up and down Lower Broadway. The guy steering has tons of energy and refills you when necessary. There’s no glass allowed so we brought canned wine and spiked seltzer.
After the Pedal Tavern, the plan was to change and go to dinner. Unfortunately, our bride got a weeeeee bit too drunky so we cancelled our dinner plans and changed course. No problemo. We took that as a sign that everyone was having a good time. Instead of a fancy restaurant, we went to a nearby Mexican spot. Not only was it delicious and close by, it meant we went to bed on the earlier side – much needed given our plans for the following night and the fact that nobody had gotten any sleep before heading to Nashville.
We were moving a little slow the next morning so we took our time getting to Biscuit Love for brunch. Apparently all we needed to cure our hangovers was fried food because after brunch we were all excited to walk around the Gulch area. We contemplated going to a winery, but given our history, we were concerned day drinking might keep us from our evening plans and we couldn’t let that happen two nights in a row. Instead, we walked around an art fair, toured the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum, and hit up an oyster happy hour.
After a full day of walking around, it was time to get ready for events of the evening. Once everyone was showered and changed, we met in our room for a little pregame.
HOT TIP #2: Like I said, I’m not into paying a lot for themed outfits, but if you can do it without going out of your way, that’s great. Lindsay wore a tight lil white dress and a white cowboy hat that said “bride”. The rest of us wore non-white party clothes, and gold headbands that said “squad” (I found the headbands at Forever 21 for $5 each – they were fun and a little more chic than the traditional bachelorette penis accessories. (Hats or headbands are always a good way to go for themed outfits because it’s cheaper than buying a new dress. Another option is to build the theme off something everyone already has in their closet or wouldn’t mind buying to wear again. For Steph’s, for example, we all wore neon – either dresses or a black dress with neon accessories. Super easy and it was very on trend at the time so no one had to go out of their way.) We also all had blinking diamond rings and fun cups to drink from.
HOT TIP #3: Sometimes it’s this pregame that really makes this feel like a bachelorette party. I don’t know about you, but I spend plenty of time out drinking or brunching with my gals so that stuff doesn’t feel totally different than a normal Saturday, especially if your bride isn’t the sash wearing type. It’s a little rarer, however, to sit around a room with your closest girlfriends to celebrate YOU. During the pregame, we gifted Lindsay with some naughty stuff (lingerie, dirty dice, etc.) and played a dirty version of the Newlywed Game. Basically, don’t dismiss this time – it can be one of the most fun moments of the weekend. If you’re planning your bestie’s bachie, make sure to carve out an hour or two for this and think of some things (like drinking games) to get the conversation flowing.
We hit up Pinewood Social for dinner and then headed to Broadway to barhop at all the honky tonks. We tried to hit up as many as possible so we moved about ever 5 songs. Those bars took me right back to college. With the live music, dirty floors, and cheap plastic cups I felt like I was back at a fraternity band party. I loved it and I know it’s what Lindsay wanted.
HOT TIP #4: Find out what your bride wants. Lindsay really just cared about live music and dancing. I had a list of trendy cocktail lounges for backup, but that wasn’t the type of weekend she was looking for. Some girls want dive bars, some want clubs, others want mani/pedis. Find out which type your bride is and go from there.
We certainly packed a lot of fun into two days, but I feel like there was even more to see and do. If you’re interested in planning a weekend in Nashville, I have a big list of restaurants and neighborhoods to check out -hit me up in the comments.
HOT TIP #5: One of my fellow bridesmaids turned us onto the best app for events like this. Splitwise basically takes all the expenses into account and let you know who owes what to whom. Imagine this: you have 6 girls. You don’t want to hand over a million credit cards for a simple Uber ride or group dinner. Also, things like the pedal tavern are always booked in advance and simply put on one person’s card. There’s always a lot of “I’ll pick up the next round at the bar,” but that doesn’t really even out and by the end of the trip it’s so complicated to say “well I owe Rachel $30 for the pedal tavern and Amanda needs $25 for lunch while Lindsay needs $117 for the hotel and everyone still needs to pay me for the dinner I put on my card.” Ouch. That makes my brain hurt. With Splitwise, every time you pay for something, you enter it into the app and say who you’re splitting it with. You could choose to split evenly, or by percent, or manually choose what each person owes if, say, someone ordered the steak when everyone else was getting salads. The app keeps a running tally of all the charges and at the end of the trip tells each person exactly what they need to pay out. Since it takes into account me owing several different people and several people owing me, by the end of the trip, I only have to pay one sum to one person. That part is a little confusing at first, but you get the hang of it. This made settling up sooooo much easier. I highly recommend it if you’re planning a bachelorette weekend.