Nine Tips For Hosting A Destination Party
So I know I'm on the road, living the dream, but I just couldn't resist throwing an epic Bachlorette party for my good friend Erin who is getting married in a couple months. Anyone who knows me knows I just love, love, love to host parties! I love everything from creating the theme, combing through Pinterest to find ideas, trying said ideas until a Pinterest fail turns into a Pinterest success and finally setting it all up for the big event! It's like my crack... I'm obsessed!
So I couldn't wait to get started on a creative Mexican-themed Bachlorette fiesta with all the challenges and logistics of putting it all together in a different country! In this blog, I will show you the finished product and give a few tips on how I was able to pull it off in Cancun.
Click here to see the video:
Tip #1: Know Your Destination
I was lucky enough to really know Cancun before agreeing to host a party there. I've been there probably a total of 20 times throughout my life, so I had a really good handle on what was available to do, how far away it was and what the time commitment was for different activities. For example, I knew we couldn't go to Chichen-Itza or do a cenote scuba diving trip without it wiping out a whole day in the schedule.
This helped a lot when presenting the ideas to the rest of the group and helping us all decide together what was most important to do. If I didn't have this knowledge, I think we could have spent more time fumbling around rather than easily moving from one activity to another.
If you don't know your destination very well, make sure you do a lot of research, or better yet, connect with some locals. It's amazing how connected we are to strangers on Facebook. I've asked a few complete strangers over the internet in the past what their own personal recommendations are for my travels and it has worked wonders! So just make sure you have a good handle on the destination BEFORE you show up!
Tip #2: Research What You Can Bring In
Every country is different in what is allowed to be brought into the country, but usually there is a limit on food and alcohol. I knew that 5 bottles of alcohol could be brought into Mexico, but it was almost pointless at the time since the dollar was 20 times stronger than the peso, so alcohol was actually cheaper in Mexico!
One thing that I didn't know until I got there, was that food really can't be brought in, unless you are one of the lucky ones to hit the green button when going through the immigration line. I, however, was not and that red button sent me right to inspection. When they opened up my case, our family famous Hot Wings & Blue Cheese Chicken Dip I made that morning got tossed out quickly. I guess I thought I'd hit the green button and no one would be the wiser. This would have been a disaster if I was planning on bringing in most of the food! So make sure you know the customs laws of the country!
Tip #3: Storyboard Your Design Theme
This is a great way to make sure all the ladies are on the same page in regards to the design and theme of the party. You won't get questions like "Are we doing ballerina pink or hot pink or coral pink?" because everyone can refer to the inspiration board you created. Make sure to check out Pinterest for many ideas and you can make a secret group for all the ladies to pin to, so the Bride never sees it until the big reveal.
Tip #3: Brand Your Theme
The best way to make a destination party looked 'pulled together' is to make sure you brand your look, from the invitations, water bottle labels, survival kits and more. Etsy has a lot of downloadable party printables that you can personalize and make your own. I made these since I'm a bit of a photoshop whiz!
Tip #4: Find Out How Far You Are From A Grocery Store
If you are throwing the party in an all-inclusive hotel, then you don't have to worry about this one, but we were in a private condo and were planning on cooking a few meals at home, not to mention the need to have chips and guacamole on demand all the time. Luckily we were in an awesome condo right across the street from the grocery store, so making store runs was a breeze. However, if you have to drive to the grocery store, this could lead to some planning issues with getting a cab, making sure you have all the items you need, making sure you have enough help to carry all the groceries, etc. So just make sure you find out how close or far away the store is before you plan!
Tip #5: Bring All Your Decorations
Even though I was throwing a Mexican themed 'Adios to Single Life' party, it was essential I packed all the decorations. Why... because Mexican decorations in Mexico are tourist traps! They are so expensive and I saved so much money bringing in my own. I also knew exactly what I had. Check out the final decorations:
Tip #6: Arrive A Day Before Everyone Else
This made a huge difference and made it extra special to have everything set up when guests arrived, including the Bachelorette! I'm so happy that I arrived earlier and had the time to settle in, figure everything out and set everything up.
Tip #7: Plan All Your Activities Before The Trip
Hopefully you have a good handle on the destination already and so you will know exactly what activities are available. On other trips it may be more beneficial to wing it once you get there, but when you are hosting a party, its much better to plan all your activities in advance for a couple reasons: 1) Its much less stressful to spend your time enjoying with the group rather than running around trying to plan and 2) It might be harder than you think to actually plan once you are down there.
Cancun, like many tourist places, is busy and cell service can be iffy. Some of us had real issues with our cell service even though we set it up with the phone company ahead of time. If we needed to make a change or add something, it would have been difficult to do if cell servcie was out! Luckily we didn't have to and our two adventures worked out perfectly! We ended up planning a full day excursion to Isla Mujeres and we also spent a day a snorkeling with AquaWorld.
This was our itinerary for Cancun:
- Thursday (Arrival Day) - Hang out by the pool, go grocery shopping, Eat out & play bachelorette games at night
- Friday- Take Ferry over to Isla Mujeres, Come back & make a Taco Bar Dinner
- Saturday- Go snorkeling all day, Go out to Puerto Madero for Dinner & Go clubbing
- Sunday- Pool day & Jet skiing
- Monday (Departure Day)- Clean up and say goodbye
Tip #8: Make Sure Everyone Knows It's A Bachelorette Party
This is huge! We were able to get premier service at dinner, free deserts and quality dancing areas at clubs just because our bride was decked out in white with bachelorette gear (sashes, tiara and veil)! This made the weekend so much better and fun. So make sure that Bachelorette is dressed to the nines!
Tip #9: Get on the Same Page About How Much Raunch There Will Be
I've planned many Bachelorette parties for my friends, but this was the first one that several of the guests made it clear that they didn't want much in the way of typical raunchy bachelorette stuff (i.e., penis straws, games, etc). It was super important to make sure everyone was on the same page about this so no one, including the Bride, felt awkward or uncomfortable. We ended up doing a game that was a version of 'pin the tail on the donkey' but with a Channing Tatum poster instead...so you get the idea. It was just the right amount of 'raunch' for everyone and we all had a blast!
I hope you enjoyed this blog and these tips for planning a destination Bachelorette party! Let me know if I missed anything or should add anything! xoxo!