The over-the-top, last-hurrah version of this event isn't for everyone—so here are a few other ways to celebrate.
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Let's be honest: Those epic, over-the-top bachelorette parties we're so used to seeing in our favorite wedding movies often don't resonate with real-life brides. While there's nothing wrong with wanting that "quintessential" pre-wedding party (you're saying goodbye to single life, after all!), there's also nothing wrong with preferring a different (otherwise known as less booze-centric) type of event—one that might not play into that bachelorette party trope at all. If you fall into this camp, you've come to the correct place. Ahead, you'll discover a long list of bachelorette party alternatives (none of which involve that trip to Las Vegas your maid of honor wants to orchestrate).
We kept all brides' personality types in mind when curating this list: foodies, yogis, wine connoisseurs, and more. From short day trips to local vineyards and breweries to grown-up sleepovers and self-care retreats, there's a bachelorette party option ahead for just about any bride-to-be. For beach-loving women currently planning oceanside weddings, we threw in a movie night in the sand; for the bride who can't wait to entertain in her new home, we included a charcuterie board arranging session (it's a thing!). As you're about to discover, you can transform so many of your favorite things into a bachelorette party-worthy excursion—you just have to be a little creative.
While art lovers might want to consider a group painting glass (complete with your favorite rosé, of course!) or a crafting party (make something you and your bridesmaids will wear on the wedding day, like flower crowns), travel enthusiasts should bookmark the following destination options—rent an upscale Airbnb in your nearest city or splurge on plane tickets and explore a picturesque place you and your friends have always wanted to visit. However you decide to make your bachelorette party your own, know that this celebration—like all of the rest leading up to your big day—should be a reflection of who you are (not of what you think a bride should be!).
Photography: Kelsea Holder2 of 19
Visit a Local Vineyard
Can't make it to Napa? No worries—there are likely a slew of vineyards a short distance from your home base. Take a day trip to one of your favorite spots instead of splurging on airfare and be prepared to feel transported to wine country after a glass or two.
Photography: Lindsey Marie Photography3 of 19
Practice Your Charcuterie Skills
If you're on Instagram, you know the power of a perfectly-curated charcuterie board. Meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts—all displayed to perfection (and perfect for your grid). Practice mastering the art of charcuterie arrangement during your at-home bachelorette party—ask that bridesmaid who seems to get it right every time to lead the way for the rest of the bridal party. Once you're done? Dig in, of course!
Photography: Erin Wilson Photography4 of 19
Who says a bachelorette party has to take place at night, while out on the town? Host a daytime event, instead, and serve your all-time favorite meal: brunch. Fluffy waffles and pancakes, avocado toast, hash browns, and all.
Photography: Jen Huang5 of 19
Make Your Own Perfume
Whether you enlist the maid of honor to research the process of at-home perfume making or enlist a professional to teach you the ropes, spending an afternoon mixing and matching your own scents is a guaranteed good time—especially if you're already a fragrance lover. Bonus points if you spritz on your creation come the wedding day.
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Photography: Mandee Johnson Photography6 of 19
Create Your Own Spa Experience
…DIY face masks, included. Preface this self-care session with a yoga class at a local boutique—or ask your favorite instructor to come to your house for a backyard lesson.
Photography: Jodee Debes Photography7 of 19
A flower arranging class is the perfect precursor to a wedding—an event with a ton of floral décor. Your 'maids will appreciate the lesson (especially if it comes with a few bottles of rosé!), too, since they'll be able to use their new skills at home.
Pro tip: This is an especially salient party choice if you and your bridal party plan on assembling the centerpieces or bouquets on the big day.
Photography: The Siegers Photo + Video8 of 19
Paint and Pour
The best bachelorette parties come with keepsakes—so why not plan a party predicated on making something you (and your best friends!) will love? A guided painting class is bachelorette favorite, especially since most of these sessions involve some wine.
Photography: Taryn Kent9 of 19
The Mani-Pedi Classic
Though you can host your bachelorette party long before the actual wedding weekend, brides who want a traditional experience (as in, the night before the wedding!) should bookmark group mani-pedis. The reason? A pre-wedding trip to the salon virtually guarantees that everyone's nails will be ready to go the next day—plus, it's fun!
Photography: Makenna Devey Photography10 of 19
A local hotel trip doesn't have to be an overnight excursion—call ahead and inquire about day rates (plenty of city hoteliers, especially those with pools, offer daily rates that allow you to enjoy the space's amenities while the sun's up). Book a few rooms and make a splash on the rooftop—just be sure to bring your own Instagram-worthy floats.
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Book an Upscale Airbnb
Looking for a bachelorette celebration idea that will accommodate your massive bridal party? Consider booking an upscale Airbnb (think a local mansion!)—which will definitely be able to house you and your 20 bridesmaids. Even better? More 'maids means a smaller cost per person.
Photography: Sarah White Photography12 of 19
So the bare-bones cabin-in-the-woods thing isn't for you (we hear that!). This doesn't mean that you can't enjoy nature during your bachelorette party—you just want a few modern amenities on the side. For the best of both worlds, find a lodge that has it all; or consider renting a decked-out airstream for your road trip upstate.
Photography: Anna K Photography13 of 19
Throw a Grown-Up Slumber Party
Bachelorettes on a budget, this low-cost (but maximum fun) option is for you: Host an at-home slumber party. Since your main costs will be booze and food, you'll be able to open your celebration up to women outside of the direct bridal party.
Photography: Meredith Jane Photography14 of 19
Explore a New City
You and your best friends have been planning that trip to Charleston for three years—so use your bachelorette party as an excuse to finally do it. Splurge tickets to the place on top of your must-see list and enjoy exploring a brand-new place with the women you love most.
Photography: Sarah Kate Photography15 of 19
If you prefer beer over wine, explore some of the craft breweries near you—just be sure to rent a car service (or party bus!) for the day to make sure everyone can enjoy their IPAs responsibly.
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Photography: Johnny Cirillo16 of 19
Take a Cake Decorating Class
Whether you enlist an expert baker to walk you through making and decorating a picture-perfect confection or choose to bake a few sheet cakes and go to town (the crazier the adornments, the better!), an afternoon designing (and then eating) cake is one well spent.
Photography: Sawyer Baird17 of 19
Go Apple Picking
If you're planning an autumn bachelorette party, consider taking a trip to your local orchard—it's a fun way to tie your event into the season. Throwing a summertime celebration? Go berry picking, instead!
Photography: Snapshots by Ailee Petrovic18 of 19
Throw a Tropical-Themed Dinner Party
If you and your 'maids can't splurge on a destination bachelorette party, bring the destination to you—throw a tropical-themed dinner party with all of a beach locales greatest hits: bright décor, warm-weather foliage, and a seafood-centric menu
Photography: Christina Blanarovich19 of 19
Though quite a bit of planning goes into executing a movie night on the beach—you'll need to make sure you have the proper permits to stay on the sand after hours, for example!—this option is arguably the most fun on this list. What's better than curling up with your best friends to watch your favorite rom-com under the stars, with the sounds of the crashing waves in the background?