TEN STEPS TO PLANNING A FLAWLESS BACHELORETTE PARTY IN NASHVILLE
Step 1. Gather Information From The Bride
Ask the bride what she wants (and doesn't want) in terms of a bachelorette party and determine her comfort zone. Will it be a wild night out, complete with bull-riding, pole dancing and bar hopping? A low-key weekend getaway with shopping and site seeing? Martinis at a swanky cocktail lounge? A lingerie shower?
Step 2. Create The Party Guest List
Is the future Mother-In-Law invited or is this strictly a weekend with the "girls"? Gather the names and information of the invitees from the bride, then help her narrow down the list to a reasonable size. Aim for at least four ladies but less than 15. Parties of 15 or more tend to get chaotic and make accommodations, dinner reservations and transportation very difficult.
Step 3. Select A Weekend
With the bride's assistance, select a few potential dates or weekends for the bachelorette party. Don't automatically rule out Holiday weekends. Sometimes they are better because the girls have an extra day off work. As soon as you have a few dates in mind, send out a quick 'poll' or email to the girls invited to see if there are any major conflicts. Try to be flexible, but don't worry if you cannot accommodate everyone. After receiving responses from the group, narrow down the event to a specific date with the bride's assistance, then send out a 'Save the Date' to the group.
Step 4. Flights And Accommodations
Once the date is secure, it's time for the real research to commence! Get with the girls to brainstorm and establish a game plan. We recommend creating a 'secret' Facebook group for the girls invited. Don't invite the bride into the group unless you want her to know the details. Start with flights (if needed) and the hotel. Make the reservations as soon as possible. Downtown hotels can book up six months in advance if there is a large concert or event that night.
Step 5. Invitations
Mail the invitations to the guests as soon as the hotel is booked. Provide as many details as possible in the invitation so the girls can start preparing. Be sure to include information about any special attire that is needed, how much money each person needs to bring to contribute and associated deadlines, an RSVP date, the bride's bra and panty sizes (if there will be a lingerie shower), and the hotel information.
Step 6. Activities
Plan out a few activities in advance to ensure the girls are entertained. It's best to coordinate this well before the party to prevent last minute indecisiveness and disagreements. Consider planning day-time activities such as pedicures at a spa, shopping, a boudoir photo shoot or a scavenger hunt. Some activities should be reserved several weeks to months in advance, such as party bus or limo rental, pole dancing lessons and the pedal tavern. Try not to pack in too many activities in a short amount of time - you may need time to recover from a hangover or relax at the pool.
Step 7. Dinner Reservations
Showing up to a restaurant at dinner time with 12 of your closest, hungriest girlfriends without a reservation is definitely not a good idea. You should make dinner reservations 1-3 weeks before the party. Let the restaurants know your group is celebrating a special occasion. Some of them offer promotions specifically for bachelorette parties, such as Dicks Last Resort and Bar Louie. Remember to choose restaurants that fit the bride's style and the group's budget. Nashville also offers a great selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
Step 8. Ground Transportation
Coordinate transportation to/from the airport or gather the information for your hotel's airport shuttle (if needed). Nashville does not have an effective public transportation system - your best options are a rental car or utilize Uber and Lyft. Cabs are available; however, they are not the fastest method of getting around. If you go with a cab and have a large group, we recommend splitting the girls up into groups of 4-5 and don't tell the cab company that you are a bachelorette party. Downtown parking ranges from $10-$50 and a two-mile cab ride ranges from $6-$12.
Step 9. Confirm And Debrief
Confirm the guest RSVPs and confirm all reservations 5-7 days before the party. Remember to update the guest count of your reservations if the size of your group changes. Fill the girls in on the party festivities and details. Debrief the bride (it's ok to keep some of it a secret) and get her pumped up for her special night out or weekend celebration.
Step 10. Accessorize And Organize
Buy bachelorette party accessories such as the novelty veil or tiara, treats or gift bags for the guests and naughty props or games. You should also buy a gift for the bride-to-be. We have several great gift ideas for you! Create a list of games you want to play and gather any information you will need, such as questions for the groom. Lastly, create an itinerary for each guest that lists all of the dates, times, activities, addresses and contact information. Distribute the itinerary via email two days before the party and print a small copy for each person to carry in her purse during the party.
TIPS ON TIMING
Best time to visit:
April through October, when the warm weather brings Music City to life!
Dates to avoid:
Music City Marathon (last Saturday of April) and CMA Festival (early June).