Finally recapping one of the highlights of my year, being my sister’s maid of honor and throwing her bach. I’m sharing all about how I put on my sister’s bachelorette party in Scottsdale, Arizona and tips for planning a large bachelorette. Seventeen of her closest friends and myself celebrated the final countdown until I do in the desert.
We started planning four months in advance to accommodate everyone and I’m so glad we settled on that location. Little did we know, ‘Scottsdale before the veil’ is a popular Bachelorette destination. When it came time to get decor and Bach swag there was so many options.
WHAT TO DO FIRST
DATE & DESTINATION
Settling on the location and potential dates are the most important first step. My sissy had told me going to Arizona would be a top pick and I’m so glad we were able to pull it off. I let her know the location and details by mailing her an invite in the mail! I highly recommend doing that for your bride so they are surprised!
Next decide on a date. I asked the bride for a time frame that would work for her, then I polled the bridal party as they’re the most important invitees for the bride’s last hoorah. Be sure every bridesmaid double checks the dates work for them especially before inviting other friends and getting additional commitments. With large parties some fall off is bound to happen which it did for me, but we figured it out!
I invited went out to like 25 of my sisters closet friends so I had to start prep in November. The final number ended up being 19 including the future Mrs.
Because Scottsdale has become such a popular location, finding the house is what we started on immediately. With tasks like finding houses make it a group tasks to find a good selection. What we didn’t realize is Scottsdale is a big Spring Break destination so houses were higher rates than usual and going quickly. We ended up finding such a pretty house that fit all of us.
For time sake, we went ahead and sent an invite to the additional girls without a confirmed trip total. I gave an estimate of the housing cost, the activities we were considering and asked for the girls to fill out a Questionnaire and secure their spot with a $100 non refundable deposit! This way I could reduce the cancellations and start planning from the feedback.
Google Sheets came in clutch the whole time! Dealing with so many girls can get complicated and so I utilized the survey functions and created signups to have an aggregate of all of the information.
This is probably the hardest step because you have to not only consider what’s feasible while taking into account flight costs, but also what will make it a good experience. Flights to Arizona were high due to the Spring Break timing so I had to be conscious of what the girls would have to pay out of pocket. In addition, you have to consider added costs that might arise like transportation or additional party items.
So for me this meant creating an excel to total costs for activities, food, housing, transportation and then per person. I also had a tab where I tracked payments. I split it into 3 installments.
Take the time to see how you can save. For us they meant renting a large van and having the bridal party take turns whipping it.
One area that can add up is the swag. Fortunately, I got a good bit if what I included in Ghana so I was able to keep cost down.
Then when it came to activities, we compared prices until we found the best deal.
I found cups that were $5 each on Etsy and I had the bridesmaids bring the cups my sissy had given us in our bridesmaid proposals. This way we saved and stood out with our different cups. I also got the bride a matching one in white.
The tops are from Southern Girl Couture. I love how she hand draws the logos and personalized the bride’s.
For the ankara and kente accessories, fans, hats, and fanny packs for bridesmaids, I found them in Ghana for the low so it was another way to make it true to her love story, but also affordable.
Tip: find ways to let bridesmaids stand out if other friends attend. In addition, to the fanny packs, bridesmaids also got shot glasses.
Everything went into gift bags that I “faux calligraphied.” I ordered brown bags from Amazon, used a gold sharpie, and mimicked a calligraphy bag I had.
I also made name settings like this for the dinner.
*Be sure to count and double count everything to ensure there’s one for all which I learned along the way also take extras in case.
For the bride, I ordered this personalized Mrs. bag and slippers found for $10- similar Here). Her cup matched the bridesmaids and I added this flower veil headband. My sister got a different kente fannypack and I added a white bow to her kente cap. I also added this little sac to match the #FinalFiesta theme.
Before the trip I asked my sister for a couple ideas for how she wanted to trip to go- a night in, a night out, pool time, and photo shoot- were her request. I was able to make it work.
I made all of the girls itineraries in Canva that matched the invitation and print outs. For the bride, I made clues for her to read before the activities.
For the night out, we did dinner and then a section in a popular club.
I went with the Canal Club, a restaurant in a hotel with a vintage Cuban vibe.
The next morning, we went on a walk/ hike at a nearby desert park. *Tip: find a way to connect with the place your visiting. The park was gorgeous and FREE entry. We had a blast in our matching outfits.
Next, was pool time at Omni Montelucia. Although there was a pool at the house, we wanted to go to a resort. A bridesmaid found Resort Pass, a site that offers day access to resort amenities in different cities. Before booking, I found a discount code on their Instagram so our cabanas came out to $18 a person. The cabanas came with snacks and the relaxation time was a trip favorite.
Following this, we had our photoshoot. I highly recommend capturing the Bach with professional pics. Tip: don’t just go for the most followed photographer because the prices can be steep. I found this great photog who came to the house and it was just over $10 for each girl. The pictures and colors came out bomb. We had enough time for everyone to get a solo with the bride.
Night in: we settled in for a night in, with Mexican takeout. We opted for delivery instead of a chef to save.
For a fun surprise, I found a cocktail hostess, Sarai of Oh She Shakes, to come to the house and for a tasting and games.
Since we were a large group, I knew we could really fun looks with shades. I had the girls sign up on a google doc for their swim suit shades – red, yellow, green, or orange (all the bridesmaids were yellow bride’s fav shade). For the night out, I went with a neon theme and asked the girls to share their shades so we would have a rainbow and the bride wore white. I’ve really been seeing that on the gram for Bachs. For the hike, I asked everyone to wear converse and leggings since it’s staples everyone had.
For the pool day, we mixed it up and the bride wore red and everyone wore white. Loved the pics!
For the photoshoot, we had my sister wear sequins and we did a warm array of reds and oranges.
The google docs were great to ensure we were all on the same page. Tip: send example photos and specify if prints and patterns as opposed to solid shades are the vision.
Neon pink dress- Hot Miami Styles (sold out)
Yellow Suit from Icon Swim (sold out but they have other inexpensive suits)
All in all the bride had a blast at her #finalfiesta before she said ‘I do’.