Put-in-Bay Bachelorette Party How-To
Your best friend got engaged and asked you to be her maid of honor. Naturally, you're thrilled for her and you're excited to do it. But these emotions can quickly turn into panic when you realize that you have no organizational capabilities whatsoever and will be asked to coordinate the bridesmaids, tend to your friend, AND plan a bachelorette party!
First, take a deep, cleansing breath. Better? Now, while we may not be able to help with your other duties, we can help you plan an outstanding Put-in-Bay bachelorette party for the bride-to-be and your other girlfriends without adding to the levels of stress in anyone's life. From setting the date to booking your rooms or finding a group rental home to putting the scrapbook together, we've got loads of ideas that we're more than happy to share!
Of course, being what Put-in-Bay is and knowing past bachelorette groups who have visited, our more specific party suggestions can tend towards the naughtier side. If you know for a fact that certain people would be completely offended by something a little racy, or if the bride's relatives are going to attend for a short while and are expecting tea and gift opening, then you'll either want to keep things on the polite side or plan for the real fun to begin after they leave. In other words, make sure you know your crowd and plan accordingly.
Now, with that out of the way, let's get started!
Choose Your Date
This may, in fact, be the most difficult part of the entire process. Obviously, you'll want to start by chatting with the bride-to-be and have her give you a range of dates that work for her. Between dress fittings, interviewing DJs and the like, her free time is going to be at a premium. But you also have to take in to account that Put in Bay hotels and rental homes fill FAST for the summer weekend. Also, if you can possibly avoid it, do not plan the bachelorette party for the night before the big event. That's just an invitation to disaster.
Put Together the Guest List
After you've chosen the date(s), if you're lucky enough to still have the bride's attention, go ahead and help her make a list of women she would like to attend. Remember that she's completely stressed, trying to keep track of a million things, so if you see any glaring omissions, go ahead and bring them to her attention.
There's a good chance there will be some guests on your list who live further out of town than others, but don't worry excessively about planning around them - unless, of course, they're very special friends or relatives that your bachelorette specifically wants there. As for anyone else, if they really want to come, they'll make it happen. And when you tell them that you are having the bachelorette party at Put-in-Bay, almost every single one of them will jump at the chance to attend!
Decide on a Day Theme
No, the naughty part is not the theme... it's simply the type of party you're having. The theme is how you want to present the party to these fun-loving gals. There are tons to choose from and you can really do just about anything that your heart desires, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
A Sex and the City Party. Serve Cosmos, Flirtinis, Bellinis - anything that ends in a vowel, really (you can find some unique drink recipes on our site). Have everyone come dressed as their favorite character and make sure you have fabulous, female-centric music in the CD player. You can even present the bride with Charlotte's favorite... ummmm... friend, and complete the theme by giving other... ummmm... friends, for party favors!
A Spa Party. Put together goodie bags of hand-held massage tools, massage oils, candles and anything else you can think of. These can run the gamut from inexpensive to premium, depending on your budget. Hire a professional masseuse to come give everyone a 30-minute massage of their choice (or make appointments and visit Isola her eon the island). Make sure you tell guests to bring a robe to change into, and have a selection of facial masks, nail polishes, and other body treatment indulgences for everyone to play around with. Make the surroundings as peaceful, comfortable and flattering as possible with candlelight and soothing music, so that no one feels self-conscious or exposed. Serve champagne and Mimosas to help ease them into a serene state of mind.
In choosing a theme, you'll also want to consider how big a group you anticipate having. Smaller may mean more lavish, but it also means less people to pay for it. If money is not an object, then the sky's the limit!
Decide on Your Venue
Do you want to stay in or go out? Or maybe a little of both? It's easier to do the whole theme thing in someone's big hotel suite or rental home, plus, there's the privacy issue and the ability for everyone to merely pass out (from fun, of course) right where they sit. Besides, if there is alcohol involved, you don't want anyone driving around Put in Bay Lodging on a golf cart, and if someone overindulges, she'll have the option of having a semi-private place to recover. All of our main lodgings have pools and tiki bars, so staying close to home for the day is a great idea.
Should you decide to go out, you may want to find a restaurant or party house with a private room so you can do your shindig the way you want and not offend any onlookers during the day. However, you'll have to be up-front with the events manager and let them know what may be involved with your party. Chances are, they won't have much space during the day due to day trippers, and at night most of them are packed with the bar crowd. The easiest and most entertaining option, from past experience, is to spend the day centered around your lodging rooms and pool, and then stroll the downtown bars and clubs at night.
Send Those Invites!
These can be as fancy or as plain as you want, but they should tie in with your theme and include all pertinent information, such as time, place, dress and directions (both of the ferries servicing Put-in-Bay have Google and GPS directions on their websites). If cost is an issue or you just want to save some time, you can use electronic invitations - if most or all of the invitees have email that they actually check on a regular basis. Not only can they be customized, but you can send them out to everyone near and far for very little cost and effort.
Regardless of how you send the invitations, they should mention that this is a fun bachelorette party, so that all involved know exactly what they're in for: food, fun, drinks, sex talk (although it is women getting together, so that should be a given) and possibly more! How down-and-dirty this soiree becomes is up to you and your crowd (see the page we have regarding "male entertainment"). But, please, don't do anything that may land you or your guests in hot water with the local constabulary. There's nothing more embarrassing than having to explain to the in-laws as to why the blushing bride had to be bailed out of the Put in Bay pokey for driving a golf cart with a beer in her hand.
Once you have set the wheels in motion, you've got to put this gig together! Don't be afraid to ask for friends to pitch in with anything and everything. If you know people who can get you a deal on decorations, use them. Do your friends have food or drink specialties they like to break out from time to time? Ask them to do so. Make things as easy on yourself as possible so that you can actually enjoy your gathering.
If you're paying someone like an "entertainer" or masseuse to come to your event, make sure you have a written contract spelling out exactly what's expected of them - how long they should plan to be there, services rendered and total fee, including any deposits. And make sure they know you will be on an island so they can plan their trip and ferry accordingly. This should help make sure everything goes as planned, and it also will protect you and your money in the event of a cancellation.
Games and Party Favors
You've sent the invitations, your venue is set, contract negotiations are over and there's a veritable army of girls doing your bidding. Now, it's time for the nitty gritty details: deciding on icebreaking games to play to put everyone at ease and choosing party favors for your guests to both use/wear for the weekend and to take home with them. Again, keep your theme in mind, but don't be a slave to it.
Icebreakers can be anything from regular party games tweaked for the occasion (think "Pin the Unit on the Man") to going around the room and sharing embarrassing stories, such as the first time you got caught having sex. Games are generally easier and don't put people on the spot as much, but keep them simple and short. Remember, this is an icebreaker, and there will be probably be drinking involved, and there is much more fun to be had! If you're stumped for ideas, check out our party games ideas, and most can easily be geared toward a sexy shindig.
As far as party favors go, it's nice to send each guest home with a fun reminder of what a blast they had. While you won't be able to find one item that's all things to all people, you do want to give them something they might actually use. They can be given by themselves or as part of a goodie bag. Find supplies that also make great prizes for party games! If you want more ideas, be sure to check out our Bachelorette Supplies List.
Everything's decorated, goodie bags are stuffed, food is made and drink stations are set up (including mixers and non-alcoholic beverages for non-drinkers) somewhere easily accessible in your suite, villa, or rental home. There is really nothing more you can do except greet your arrivals, make sure they help themselves to refreshments and keep things moving along. Your structured events - such as icebreakers, bridal gift opening and other activities - will take care of themselves, for the most part. You'll merely need to get everyone's attention to get things underway. Again, take the pressure off by delegating responsibilities to other good friends of the bachelorette to ensure refreshments are replenished as needed, gifts are collected in one place, and timed activities like massages are staying well within the agreed-upon limits.
Of course, you'll want to document all of the goings-on (well, OK, most of them, anyway) in our Put-in-Bay Hotels and the easiest way to do that is with photos. Our suggestion is to appoint one of the girls to capture the landmark moments, including a group picture at the beginning of the evening (before everyone gets crazy), as well as have single-use cameras around for everyone to take some snaps. Yes, it's done at countless weddings and parties, but there's a reason for it! You'll be happy you did when you get them all developed and re-live the great time everyone had from all the random shots and spur-of-the-moment antics. Make sure you get some group photos, in addition to candids, since the bride-to-be will have plenty of solo shots to look at after the wedding. Remember your Photo Taking Etiquette to prevent any embarassing moments in the future.
This is where going to a fun resort island like Put-in-Bay has one great advantage: you don't have to worry about cleanup. You can have as much fun as you want, and then leave for home on Sunday and not worry about laundering sheets, throwing away the pizza boxes, or making sure that one extra beer got stuck in the fridge. You just a nice relaxing drive home for everyone to recharge and share their Put-in-Bay weekend memories and stories.
Make sure you get all of the photos developed as soon as you can, and have your main "photographer" spend some time helping you label them all for a scrapbook to present to the bride. If you come across something that's just too embarrassing, don't use it! This should be a good reminder of the evening she spent, and while it may not be suitable for public display like the wedding photos, it should be something she will cherish and be able to share with the participants for years to come.
Also, think about scanning your pictures in order to put together an online scrapbook for everyone to enjoy. That way, you can even include the ones you weren't sure about and ask your attendees to make up captions for them. This will also give everyone an excuse to stay in touch and keep the party fun rolling.
Finally, send remaining fees and/or tips to any hired help, and maybe even write a thank-you note if they were particularly good. You never know when you may need to use them again or may need a referral for something else!
So there you have it. Using your friends and your delegation skills, you have all the tools you need to plan a wonderful, fun and sexy Put-in-Bay Bachelorette Party that will be remembered and talked about for the rest of your life!