How to Plan the Perfect Desert Bachelorette
When the bridesmaids and I were tasked with planning my best friend’s bachelorette, I was ecstatic! I used to plan events for a living, so every time I get the chance to plan something new, I’m all in. And a desert bachelorette in Scottsdale sounded like a dream! But planning a group trip is not an easy feat - especially when there are 16 girls involved. I was a little nervous to have the fate of everyone’s vacation on our hands, but it’s safe to say that everyone had a great time - hangovers and all. Now that the wedding’s just around the corner, here are a few tips for planning the perfect bachelorette.
Pick a venue
My best friend is amazing, there’s no doubt about that! But because she’s so amazing, she has friends… many, many, many friends! There were a total of 16 girls that flew from Vancouver to Scottsdale to celebrate our bride to be, so it was a very big bunch. To make the trip as fun as possible, I knew we had to rent a house (preferably with a pool). The bridesmaids and I went straight to Airbnb to find the perfect spot for our girls weekend, and we stayed in a gorgeous bungalow with a sizeable pool, new kitchen, and plenty of beds for all the sleeping beauties. I highly recommend going the Airbnb route, because that way, you can mix and mingle with the other guests (screw secluded hotel rooms!), hang out at the pool any hour of the day (helloooo 4AM pool hangs), and easily cook meals together (lest we forget about access to ice and a massive fridge)!
Create an itinerary
With a big group of girls, a strict itinerary is key. The last thing you want is for everyone to be mulling over what they what to do, where they want to eat, what time they want to swim, etc. Our itinerary included everything from meal reservations to bottle service, dress code, approximate costs, and free time!
Stick with a theme
Before decorations and props get too out of hand, I strongly advise that you pick a theme. The destination of the bachelorette was in the sunny desert of Scottsdale, and our bride loves cacti with all her heart, so we knew that a tropical cactus theme was the way to go.
Once you pick your theme, you can start thinking about decor, balloons, and all the fixin’s. Thanks to the help of the bridesmaids, we also incorporated the theme into our goodie bags, itineraries, name tags, and even the menus at the restaurants, which was such a nice touch! We also decorated the Airbnb with tropical leaves, rose gold accents, confetti, and balloons scattered throughout the space.
Add a personal touch
The guests of the bachelorette already spent a ton to be on the trip, so it’s in your best interest to make them feel special when they get there. The bride purchased tropical shirts for everyone to wear at the pool, so we added a few other touches to everyone’s personalized pineapple goodie bag to coincide with the theme. We included matching pink visors, a cactus cup with a reusable straw, plenty of EmergenC for hangovers and hydration, a custom tattoo with the groom’s beautiful face, and name tags for everyone to wear during our mix and mingle game night.
Stock the fridge
In the desert, hydration is key. Because we were staying in one big house, the bridesmaids and I went straight from the rental car counter to Costco. We ran through the aisles as quickly as we possibly could, picking up items for breakfast, lunch, snacks, liquor (liquor and more liquor), tons of still and sparkling water (Spindrift is where it’s at!) and some creamy pastas and pizza for late night indulgence. After our Costco trip, we had 40 MINUTES to prep the food, decorate, and get everything done. My advice? Ask for help!!
Food wise, let’s just say that coming home to hot meals after a full night of dancing was heaven. Because Costco is so reasonably priced, it’s not a bad idea to over-purchase. The last thing you want is to run out of food or liquor halfway through the trip, or for any of the guests to feel like they can’t indulge or eat anything in the fridge, in fear that there won’t be enough. At the end of the trip, we gathered everything we never opened, and Costco accepted all of it back! Did someone say #travelhack?!
Start with a welcome fiesta
To get everyone warmed up, we welcomed the guests with a fiesta by the pool. We catered our fiesta with Mexican food from Los Sombreros, which included various tacos, guac, refried beans, tortilla chips, and plenty of fresh salsa. We had leftovers for days. Because we stayed in for dinner, we had less pressure to rush and get ready, so we spent time by the pool, ate dinner, and even had time to play a “guess which friend I am” game before we left for our first night out.
Whatever floats your boat
For the Scottsdale heat, floaties were key. We used the pool every single day, so it was very important that we had plenty of themed floaties to go around, for those that didn’t want to fully submerge into the water. Our floaties were supplied by Big Mouth, and they were amazing! To stick with the theme, I opted for a heart-shaped donut, rainbow float, swan, pineapple, and of course, an engagement ring! The cotton candy and cactus are also super cute options!
Figure out the finances later
With a group of 16, finances can be tricky. Most of the restaurants required one bill, so the bridesmaids paid for some meals, the Costco run, and a few other things. Rather than asking for money up-front or billing the guests as we went, we created a helpful spreadsheet after the trip that broke down everyone’s meals, bottle service, Ubers, and more! We were able to settle all the finances within one week of returning home, and it worked out seamlessly.
Make friends with promoters!
We weren’t exactly sure how much the girls wanted to go out, but we planned our nights out in advance pretty well. I booked bottle service at Riot House for Friday night, and we ended up loving it. The music was amazing, the crowd was super fun, and the costumes for Dom service were pretty freakin’ epic. We ended up coming back three nights in a row… THREE! We clearly could not get enough. And we tried other bars/clubs, but they just didn’t beat Riot. The fact that our promoter was amazing didn’t hurt either - he made it verrrry hard to leave (which made our entire trip) and all the girls loved him! If you’re heading to Scottsdale and want his digits, let me know, seriously! If you’re a female, Scottsdale is a breeze. If you’re a male… well, prepare to drop a whole lotta cash on cover and alcohol for the weekend. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
This post was in collaboration with Big Mouth. All opinions are my own.