Good Morning and Happy Monday!
I’m back from a fabulous weekend with my girls in the beautiful wine country of Napa. We had a blast; I couldn’t believe how well everyone got along! I’m totally sluggish today, but all the fun was worth it!
To start, I’m not a typical “lets go to Vegas!” kind of bride. If you are, go for it girl, but I’m not. I’m super mellow, erring on the side of bookworm, and I’d rather do a dinner party than a club, so when my Maid of Honor said Napa, I was super relieved. What I learned from our weekend though, can be applied to any sort of bachelorette getaway.
Now that it’s all over, I can tell you what really helped make the weekend stress-free, and my recommendations to other brides searching for some R&R before the big day.
1. Make an itinerary.
This may be a no-brainer, but having a plan of action written out and ready to e-mail to everyone involved makes the whole experience much more relaxed. Pro tip: if you’re planning any surprises for the bride, make separate itineraries instead of just leaving the bride out of the loop.
Listing activities out will also allow everyone to pack appropriately – think about including things like a weather report and backup activities in case of rain or plan changes. Our wine tasting day was completely rained out, so we couldn’t start the day off with a hike like we wanted! Instead we trekked over to the workout room at our hotel, but at least we all had workout clothes ready to go.
2. If there’s alcohol involved, get a driver.
If you’re going to be wine tasting like we did, invest in a limo or bus service. There are so many companies offering this, you can shop around. You won’t be checking your phone for directions, deciding who won’t be drinking, or potentially juggling multiple cars. Your driver will also know exactly where you’re going, and maybe have some good recommendations as a local.
If you’re sticking close to home (staycation anyone?) a friend is a wonderful cheap alternative. Make sure you don’t mind them seeing you a little compromised and they approve a large group in their car. Get them a little something for their trouble, or pay for gas.
FYI: we didn’t do this! We juggled cars and it worked out ok, but we really should have gotten a service.
3. Keep budgets in mind.
Being that our group was all girls who support themselves and have gotten out of college in the last few years (or are still in school!) we didn’t have a lot of cash to burn. We chose to go to wineries that had free tastings, and only did one big-ticket meal out. Don’t push for pricey activities unless you get an OK from your group that everyone can afford it.
To help avoid an empty wallet, price everything out – even if its only averaging – so attendees can put some money aside. And stick to the budget!
4. Be flexible
We planned a few things that we never got around to (hint: my two bathing suits never got used) and that was totally fine. We were supposed to do some bar hopping for that traditional “bachelorette” feel, but day-drinking and romping all over Napa made us ridiculously sleepy! We opted for a cocktails at our hotel around some cozy fire pits and called it a night.
5. Soak it all in.
If you really want to relieve some stress, you have to schedule in some time to stop and smell the roses! Leave wiggle room between activities, be ok with skipping an activity or destination in favor of lounging at a particularly awesome place, snap pics everywhere, and jaunt off for photo ops. Putting your feet up by a fire pit or taking a long lunch to let champagne and chocolate settle before heading to the next place is what relaxing is all about.
Slow pace, proper prep, flexibility, and a giant smile will allow you to forget about wedding stress – even just for weekend!