How to Plan a Destination Bachelorette Party

On Thursday morning, I’ll be on a plane to New Orleans to celebrate my best friend’s bachelorette party. It’s pretty much all I can think about because I’m SO FREAKING EXCITED.

When Kaylin called me to tell me she wanted to have her bachelorette party in New Orleans and wanted me to plan it, two things came to my mind.

1. She thinks I’m her most fun friend. This might not be true but let me believe it, okay?

And 2. She trusts me to organize a lot of logistics and people. This is funny because I’ve never planned something like this before and I didn’t really trust me to do it right. But now that the itinerary is finalized, I’m so happy and maybe just a little proud of myself.

Here’s the timeline for how I got everything in order for an EPIC destination bachelorette party.

How to Plan a Destination Bachelorette Party #bachelorette #wedding #bride

3 Months Out

Send out invitations. Yes, this is super early but for a destination trip where everyone needs to buy a flight, the more heads up, the better.

Get flight information from guests as they book. I added all flight information to a Google Drive spreadsheet.

2 Months Out

Book the hotel. Take a look at Google Maps and consider what part of town you want to be in. Vegas? I’d pick something near the center of the strip. In New Orleans, I chose a hotel near Bourbon street and close to all of the activities I had in mind.

Start booking activities. We arrive on Thursday, have full days on Friday and Saturday, and all fly out Sunday. I’ve focused the activities on Friday and Saturday. I found many of the activities by googling “New Orleans bachelorette party” and getting suggestions from friends. With a large enough group (we have 7 total) it’s actually cheaper to have a private tour and there are several activities that have group pricing for events like ours.

1 Month Out

Finalize itinerary and share with group. I sent out the itinerary of what I had booked to the group along with tentative costs. Everyone should be able to have a ballpark idea of what they expect to spend in New Orleans. Additionally, I reminded the group that all costs for Kaylin are being split amongst the group. The bride won’t be paying for anything once we get there, though she did pay for her flight.

Ask for feedback and ideas. Some people may have activities in mind that they’d really like to do. I did ask this with each email but rarely got response, so I asked about more specific ideas. I asked the group if they’d be interested in getting blow outs one day. The consensus seemed to be that it wasn’t necessary and they’d rather do something more “New Orleans”. I’m glad I asked, because I would have booked them.

3 Weeks Out

Meal Reservations. Most restaurants won’t allow you to make reservations more than a month out. With the help of Yelp and Val, I found a few places I knew we’d definitely want to eat.

Buy some goodies. Bachelorette sash? Check. Clip in veil? Check. Penis paraphernalia? Check.

Put together the hangover kits. I know we’ll be needing these so I’ve put together goodie bags for the ladies. I’ll have more on these later this week.

2 Weeks Out

Call hotel to confirm reservation. Ask for adjoining rooms. Our hotel would not allow me to request that until arrival but it was worth a shot. My flight gets in first so I will request this upon arrival.

Start planning your outfits. Oh come on, you knew this was going to be on here. In one of my emails I asked the ladies to pack a little black dress which we’ll all wear one night while the bride wears white.

1 Week Out

Discuss finances with the group. So far, I’ve covered the cost for the hotel and several activities. Each girl currently has a “balance” with me. We are utilizing an app called Travefy which has made things SO much easier. For all group expenses, it allows you to add the expense and who paid for it, along with who is responsible for sharing the costs. Throughout the trip, each girl will be able to look and see what their balance is with me. At the end of the trip we are going to settle up by using Venmo or by check. If you are concerned about the financial capability of anyone in the group (i.e. you’re worried you won’t get paid back), I’d send this email out earlier.

Make a cute itinerary to print out and give to each of the girls. The one I made matches the invitations I sent out *pats herself on the back*. I’ll also send it in photo form to everyone so we can reference it throughout the trip.

1 Day Out

Start a group text. If your group is like mine, we all know each other but don’t have each others contact info. I’ve gathered everyone’s cell phone numbers and will start a group text the day before so that we can keep each other up to date on flights and arrival, as well as make it easy to find someone to call if we get separated.

So that’s what we’ve got so far. Later this week I’ll be sharing the Bachelorette Hangover Kits and post-trip, I’ll share a full recap. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for the bride!

Have you planned a bachelorette party? Have I left anything off this list? Do tell!

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  • Even though I personally didn’t travel for my bachelorette party, my friends had to travel to Frankfurt for mine. A lot of these tips are still applicable to that and I take my hat off to you because it is not easy to co-ordinate!
    I bet you have such an awesome time!

  • I have yet to plan a bachelorette party but it looks like you have everything covered! I hope you all have a great time!

  • Myia

    I’m sure you already have a ton of fun stuff planed but I lived in New Orleans for a year and thought I would add a suggestion or two. Cats Meow is a super fun katkee type bar on Bourbon always great entertainment! Jax is within walking distance and has a lot of room to dance and over looks the river! Also a New Orleans favorite is Gold Mine which is kind of a whole in the wall but serves Flaming Dr. peppers which are amazing! Have fun!

  • Myia

    I’m sure you already have a ton of fun stuff planed but I lived in New Orleans for a year and thought I would add a suggestion or two. Cats Meow is a super fun karokee type bar on Bourbon always great entertainment! Jax is within walking distance and has a lot of room to dance and over looks the river! Also a New Orleans favorite is Gold Mine which is kind of a whole in the wall but serves Flaming Dr. peppers which are amazing! Have fun!

  • My goodness, you are so organized and on top of it! Please come plan mine once I finally find a guy!

  • Gosh you were so organized and these tips are great. I went to a destination bachelorette last month and we were nowhere near this organized! Also as a sidenote: I’d say it’s a good decision to skip blowouts in New Orleans especially if most of you are from up north… I was there on vacation last month and the humidity destroyed any resemblence of style in 10 seconds flat!

  • Gosh you were so organized and these tips are great. I went to a destination bachelorette last month and we were nowhere near this organized! Also as a sidenote: I’d say it’s a good decision to skip blowouts in New Orleans especially if most of you are from up north… I was there on vacation last month and the humidity destroyed any resemblence of style in 10 seconds flat!

  • You are way more organized than I ever could be. This would just make everything so much easier once you get there. If I ever have to plan a bachelorette party I am totally coming back to this!

  • you are on point!! just put together my sister’s bachelorette party in charleston and this is a great blog idea that many can benefit from! the wedding was also held there so we had it a little easier but great ideas for planning parties outside of an area you are familiar with!

    have a total and complete blast. there better be some good pictures of the penis paraphernalia 🙂

  • G

    I second Cat’s Meow and Gold Mine. I’m a former local and we loved going to those places. Also, the Palace Cafe is an amazing restaurant. It’s owned by the Brennan family [Mr B’s Bistro, Commander’s, Brennan’s] and the bananas foster is my favorite.

  • Love how organized you are! You’re a girl after my own heart =) haha

  • My god you are on top of your stuff. This sounds really fun and honestly I would let you plan my bachelorette in the future…… but seriously great tips if its ever my duty.

  • I didn’t have a bachelorette party nor have I ever been to one

  • How fun!! Way to go, Nadine, you’re a regular cruise director now (in a good way!)

    Sounds like you’ll have a blast. I have to admit–I love planning things like this too. It really satisfies my planning/OCD/checklist-loving side. I’m always the one to make arrangements for my group of friends, and while I too like to think that it’s because I’m the “fun” friend…it’s really because I’m the maniacally organized one.

    Have a wonderful time!
    Love, Gigi
    Dolce and Gabriella

  • I’m in the middle of planning my sisters bachelorette party. While it’s not as elaborate as traveling to Vegas or anything, it’s a lot of work! Thankfully, the other bridesmaids and her other friends have been REALLY helpful! One of the bridesmaids is hosting the after party and personal shower at her place. One of my sister’s friends said she’d love to cook a light dinner for all of us before we go out and party. Another bridesmaid wants to make tank tops. So that’s been really helpful! Speaking of… I need to call the limo…

  • You sound like a great planner to me! New Orleans is one of my favorite places. I got to live there for a summer and there is so much fun stuff to do. Have a blast!

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  • Poonam

    I know favors and decorations are huge for bachelorette parties. How do you manage these things when traveling (flying) for the party? Most of the girls will be coming from different places so can’t really split up party favors and such. Any ideas for cute decorations and favors that can be easily packed up for travel?

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