One of your BFFs is getting ready to say “I do,” and she obviously deserves the bachelorette weekend to end all bachelorette weekends. You have visions of perfect party favors, group dinners, and late nights out in exotic locations dancing in your head, and you can’t wait to start planning the perfect celebration as a send-off of her single life. Have at it, girl!
The ironic thing about bachelorette weekends, though, is that they often seem to end up totally contradictory to a bride’s good efforts to feel healthy in the weeks leading up to her nuptials. No, we’re not talking about “shedding for the wedding” — that’s unnecessary pressure, and we’re all about body positivity around here — but we are acknowledging that your soon-to-be-wed friend might be sticking to healthier routines these days simply so she can feel her best when she walks down the aisle. If she wants to forget those entirely for her bachelorette weekend, more power to her, but it may not be the worst idea to keep some of those health concerns in mind throughout the planning process so that she and the rest of the guests have plenty of options to accommodate different kinds of wellness concerns. Keep scrolling for nine innovative ideas to help inspire a healthy (and equally fun!) bachelorette weekend.
1. Rent a house instead of staying in a hotel. If location and budget permit, consider booking a place through Airbnb or VRBO instead of reserving space at a hotel. You’ll be able to keep the whole group together and avoid the awkward process of splitting up into individual rooms, and you’ll also set yourself up for a healthier, more balanced experience thanks to a full refrigerator and larger kitchen. Depending on where you’re traveling, you should be able to find a rental that’s in walking distance of restaurants and other activities, which will create plenty of opportunities to get the group moving.
2. Stock up on healthy grab-and-go snacks. Ask everyone — except the bride, of course — to contribute to a grocery fund, then organize a supermarket trip as early in the weekend as possible. If you have a kitchen available, stock the fridge and cabinets with fresh produce, whole grain crackers, and trail mix. If you’re going the hotel route and have limited space, hunt instead for well-balanced, high-protein nonperishables. Sandwich fixings are also a great idea! The more enticing the options you have already on hand, the less likely you’ll be to start drinking on an empty stomach or to order late night takeout that will just make you feel crummy in the morning. Plus, when the food is already paid for, it probably won’t go to waste!
3. Include something active in the itinerary. There are plenty of ways to get active during a bachelorette weekend, so take your cue from the bride’s interests and personality. If she’s a workout fanatic, organize a group fitness class. If she loves fresh air, find a local trail and take a morning hike. Even a low-key stroll around the city you’re visiting — no exercise gear required! — is a great option, as long as it gets everyone up and moving for a few hours.
4. Facilitate hydration. Stock up on water bottles so your friends have no excuse to skip out! For a greener option, consider having cute reusable bottles made with the wedding or bachelorette party hashtag and an on-theme design. Water bottles are a pretty cost-effective souvenir — and if you make them, the guests will definitely use them! After all, no one wants to be without their swag items for potential photo ops with the woman of the hour.
5. Eat a few meals in. Assuming you’re staying in a house instead of a hotel, plan to work together to make at least one breakfast or dinner. You’ll save money by eating in, and with a little creativity you can come up with an interactive menu that will allow plenty of options depending on how health-conscious — or not! — your guests are. Consider an omelet bar in the morning or a taco bar in the evening. As long as you have plenty of food available, everyone will be thrilled for a cozy dinner at the house they’ve already paid for, especially if it gives them a chance to have fun in the kitchen together. If you’re staying at a hotel but want to apply the same principle, find out if there are any local cooking schools where you and your friends can collaborate on a meal of your choosing.
6. Experiment with mocktails. No one’s saying you do away with the cocktails that are often such a major part of the bachelorette experience — but why not make some delicious alternatives available for people who need a break from booze but don’t want to be stuck with water or soda? Mocktails can be delicious and beautiful… And if you serve them with fun straws or in cute glasses, people will feel less awkward indulging in something non-alcoholic.
7. Allow for downtime. Resist the urge to schedule every minute of the weekend. People will probably need rest at some point, especially if you’re planning late nights and tons of activities — leave a few hours open so they can nap or go for a walk. Creating some buffer in the schedule will ensure that everyone can keep their energy up when it really counts.
8. Establish a vibe of flexibility. Naturally, the number-one goal of any bachelorette weekend is to spend as much time as possible rallying around the bride-to-be and celebrating how amazing she is (because she is, duh). That being said, if you have a few days ahead of you and a big group along for the ride, make it clear to all of your pals that it’s totally okay to use downtime to go for a run or grab a juice, and that there’s no expectation that everyone needs to participate at the same level in drinking games and the like. While a good attitude is absolutely necessary for everyone, it shouldn’t be a requirement that all guests do exactly the same things for the entire duration of the whole weekend.
9. Plan for multiple trips back from your late-night plans. You probably have night owls and early birds in the group, so remove the pressure for everyone to stay out ’til all hours by suggesting two different trips back to the hotel or house from the bar or club. When you open up this conversation proactively, you give people the opportunity to start talking about whether or not they might be interested in taking an earlier shift so they don’t feel awkward later on if they’re feeling icky and want to head home.
Do you have other healthy bachelorette weekend hacks? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)