My most recent trip to LA was so super dreamy…there were so many amazing moments! But the highlight was throwing a CHIC, COOL and obviously FUN bridal shower for my dear friend Nicole. Being that Nicole is one of the most generous, kind, loving, not to mention talented (Shout out to Vein Design!) women I know, her close friends and family wanted to celebrate her in a big way with unique and heartfelt elements. Nicole is not exactly “bridey”, so relaxed was key. Keeping the planning process streamlined was super important as well. Being that I live Mexico, and the rest of the girls in Cali and throughout the US, it could have presented a challenge, but the process was actually seamless and stress-free!
Read on for our fun BACHELORETTE PARTY DETAILS and STEPS TO ORGANIZE when you are planning an event with a group from afar!
CHOOSE ROLES & BUDGET AS A GROUP
Ok, so when planning in a group it’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Make sure it is agreed upon what the payment process will be and what kind of budget everyone is ok with. Usually, money details are what cause the most problems in planning something like this, so clearing this up at the beginning will ensure smooth sailing.
Choosing roles is also very important. Usually there are time constraints, natural talents and lots of different ideas when a group gets together to plan. I say, let each member shine at what they are good at, and let them give what they can give! Some won’t be able to devote much time, others might not be too great at the party planning process, but organically it should come together if no one gets rubbed the wrong way. If there is a natural leader, let them take responsibility for organizing, if there is someone who volunteers to order things online or buy party decorations, let them. Make a list and check off everything as you go, and it’s ok to ask those who haven’t volunteered if they can be responsible for something on the list, and if they can be there early or late to set up.
Always keep in mind that you are planning a celebration for someone you love, and keep your eye on the prize. Stay organized and check in with each other bi-monthly or weekly- summaries in e mails are really helpful so you can go back and read what you may have missed. Sharing a document on Google Docs worked for us. Also, don’t get bent out of shape if the party doesn’t look exactly like YOU want it to. This is an expression of love from a group of people, not just you. What is important is that your friend is celebrated!! This is a process to be enjoyed! 🙂
CHOOSE A FEW KEY ELEMENTS
As a professional event planner, when there is a limited budget or there are lots of people planning a celebration, I recommend choosing a few key elements you want to showcase, and focusing on those. This will eliminate going over budget, and make sure that the highlights of the event are done impeccably.
EXAMPLE: One of the most glamorous events I have ever thrown was focused on the incredible venue-actually the client’s super luxe two-story boutique in Miami’s Design District- along with heavy staffing of handsome model waiters. The only alcohol was Moët champagne served in sleek flutes on gleaming silver trays, along with one savory and one sweet canape, pristinely placed, petite and super beautiful. It ended up storming, so we lined the models up outside holding huge matching black umbrellas to receive the 300 guests in the rain, turning what could be an event disaster into a super chic entrance. It was beyond perfect, and no one missed trying a signature drink, floral arrangements or a huge menu, they were too busy being fabulous.
With a very personal occasion like this, and many people helping to make it happen, this strategy is ideal.
CHOOSE A THEME AND RUN WITH IT!
Choosing a theme does not have to be complicated. For this type of event, choose something that exemplifies the bride-to-be or her upcoming nuptials- the location, her colors, or simply one of her favorite things. We chose to go with metallic gold- our girl loves it!- mixed with white, and to include as many personal details as possible.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
We threw Nicole’s Bachelorette Celebration at the Bodega Wine Bar in Santa Monica, where she and a few of the other girls used to work and we all hung out at in the past. The location was easy for everyone to get to, and brought back fond memories for our group of friends! We kept things uncomplicated by choosing food from the bar’s menu and serving bubbly and wine, no mixed drinks. We were lucky because the venue provided all the glassware, plates, flatware and trays for the presentation, and had a screen built in. When choosing a venue, it is always easier and more cost-effective to select one that comes with as much as possible.
SMALL DETAILS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
How can you make the party shine in little ways for your guest of honor? The sweet personal touches are what she will remember because she will know the people that love her planned them just for her. Our girl loves metallic gold and she loves rum! We worked gold in whenever possible and created favors with tiny bottles of Bacardi, with different silly tags joking about Nicole. We also had gold bracelets for the girls- a little gold bling to go along with our gold theme.
We chose to decorate with balloons because they are a fESTIVE and easy way to fill the venue with the white and gold vibe. On some of them, we attached cards with key “Nicole phrases” (written with gold stickers from Michael’s Crafts) with photos of her and her fiance Charlie tied to the bottom. At the end of the shower, we cut them off and put them in a pretty acrylic box for Nicole and the balloons became props for her photo shoot!
We created a “Kissing Station”, and it came out super cute. Each guest applied lipstick and kissed a different part of a white poster board and signed it, and we framed it in a white modern frame. Nicole put it in her office and remembers our love for her every day.
Focusing on the sitting area where Nicole would open gifts, we created a floral installation with white and green cut florals from the LA Flower Market placed in wine bottles of varying sizes hand-painted in gold. We also accented the food & drinks, favor area and “Kissing Station”. They were simple, elegant and in keeping with our theme.
Signage and menus are small and inexpensive details that make a big difference in any event. The obvious is that they provide information so the guests don’t have to ask for it, making for a more seamless ambiance, and overall just create a well thought-out feel. We created signage for each area- menus for food and drinks, signage for favors, and for our “Kissing” and photo station, all in keeping with the gold and white theme. We framed ours mostly with gold frames because GOLD! but here is a link to some acrylic frames I have used for events in the past, and work for any look. Cocktail napkins printed with “Drunk in Love” and the wedding hashtag in yes, GOLD! completed the custom text details.
Lastly, we had a Polaroid camera for Nicole to use during the event. Those candid shots were priceless and meant so much to our bride-to-be.
DEF INCLUDE THE GROOM-TO-BE
When I say include the groom-to be, I don’t mean he has to attend, but if the bride wants him there, invite him! There are no rules 🙂
One way we included Charlie was by recording an interview of him answering questions about their relationship and turning it into a game for Nicole. We posted the interview up on the screen and sat Nicole right up in front, and stopped and started the video before and after the questions to see how Nicole’s answers matched with Charlie’s. It was hilarious to see his expressions and her surprise.
Also, Charlie is a surfer, and we asked him to write a cute message to Nicole on an old surf board- in lipstick! Totally washable. Anyway, it worked out great as a photo op for Nicole as she opened her gifts, and was an adorable and super personal way for Charlie to show his love for her.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO PLAY GAMES! BUT IF YOU DO…
Ultimately, the party was about all the girls chatting and fawning over Nicole, drinking champagne and wine, just like we wanted! However, we broke up the format a bit with the video from Charlie, and a funny game that was about guessing nail polish colors Polish or Porn? Nicole’s nails are always perfectly polished, so it was very appropriate. We had to guess whether or not the name was an adult movie or a polish color, and we flashed the answers up on the screen. Too funny!
We also had a dish of gold (fake) diamond bling at the entrance. Each girl had one to start, but if they muttered a marriage term, they lost it! Whoever ended up with the most rings at the end won.
There was so much love in the room, and we had such a great turnout! I hope this inspires you for your next bash. Write me, I would love to hear your comments and questions.
Also, to check out what I did after leaving LA — riding the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, staying at the Rancho Valencia Resort near San Diego, crossing the border in Tijuana and lobster in Rosarito read the post here!
Danielle – la-Güera
Photos: Güera and mix of party guests