One of the craftiest people I know made these high heel shoe earrings, and I think they would make awesome bachelorette party favors! Aren’t they too cute? I think she ought to put them on Etsy! If you wanted to make these for your own party, I bet you could find shoe charms or use Barbie shoes and attach them to earring hooks. I’ve seen a lot of high heel themes in bachelorette parties lately so I think this is a fun idea.
Aaah, “Bridal fitness”. Like losing weight for New Year’s, weddings are one of those arbitrary events that seems to get everyone panicking about losing weight. This is what I have learned during my wedding planning process:
Don’t overdo it
Seriously. When I was in the early stages of wedding planning, I would go to the gym and do the stair machine on the highest resistance for an hour at a time, with a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue propped up to motivate me. “I’m going to look great in my wedding dress!!” I said to myself as I pushed through these hard workouts. And you know what happened? I dislocated both of my kneecaps on that stair machine from pushing myself too hard, and had my mobility limited to the point of not being able to walk properly for years. The irony? That actually caused me to have to postpone my wedding, since I was in a wheelchair at one point and spent all my savings on medical expenses.
Don’t overstretch yourself
Be kind to yourself with your hectic wedding schedule, because you may find yourself feeling tempted to burn both ends of the candle taking care of wedding errands and trying to squeeze in workouts around it. Now that my knees have recovered and I actually can work out again, I’ve found myself too pressed for time to hit the gym. I’ve dealt with this by doing workouts at home – currently, I’m an ambassador for Total Gym and before that I was following along with YouTube workout videos in my living room. When Good Earth Tea sent complimentary tea for Jaime’s bachelorette Tea Bar, they also forwarded the the link to these BUTI fitness workouts inspired by their Cocoa Tango tea. Yes, a workout inspired by tea! It’s a full 37 minute workout, so this could helpful if you’re looking for free fitness videos to follow.
Remember what matters
Exercise for your own sake and your own health. Like all other areas of wedding planning, it’s easy for weight loss expectations to get out of control, and there is sadly so much pressure put on women regarding their appearance. I feel that pressure too despite knowing better – as evidenced by my ridiculous story of how I injured myself – but I’m trying to focus in what really matters.
What tips do you have for brides (Or anyone!) wanting to approach working out in a balanced way?
Jai was provided with complimentary bottles of Sobieski Vodka and Camus Cognac to take along to his brother’s bachelor party, which took place on the same night as the bachelorette party. Here’s what happened next…
This was not your typical Bachelor Party. When I brought out the Sobieski Vodka and Camus Cognac everyone looked very impressed and it was well received. However, I was there at the party early to learn the “secret plan” and, as it turned out, alcohol didn’t really come in to play until later in the evening.
We left the vodka and Cognac at home and made our way to Kelley Point Park in North West Portland where we were given sashes and “Merit badges”. We learned that the Groom was blindfolded and being driven to the park to meet up with us soon. The theme of the party was the “Man Scouts”; Based on the boy scouts but with a manly twist. We basically pretended that the Man Scouts were a secret society and that we and all belonged to for many years, and finally felt that the groom (who happens to be my little brother) was ready to become a candidate. When the groom finally arrived we brought him down to the banks of the Willamette river where he had to swim out to a pylon to get his sash. This was the first test that had to be passed to become a member of the Man Scouts.
Once this sash was retrieved, there were many events and tests that he had to complete to earn the requisite merit badges. The first event was Water Polo in the Willamette river with a greased watermelon. Fortunately the water was warmer than I had expected! I have to say that this is not as easy as it sounds. The watermelon is slippery and not very buoyant! Trying to take the melon by force didn’t work well. Most points were earned by trickery. One person held the watermelon between his knees and casually floated to the goal line while pretending to not know where the watermelon was. Once this event was finished the next display of manliness was for the groom to break the watermelon with his bare hands. The rest of us then scooped out a handful of watermelon and ate it like real men!
Next, the groom had to earn his weapon mastery merit badge by breaking three water-filled “Balloons” using three weapons. The first was to be broken by a slingshot, the second by a blow gun, and the third with his fist. This sort of thing went for several hours with various events… fire making, raft building, sewing, tracking, cooking, just to name a few off the top of my head. We had a great deal of fun just acting like kids for an afternoon.
Each of these events earned our groom-to-be a new merit badge to add to his collection and around the time the sun was getting low in the sky, all the merit badges had been earned. Just as we were about to leave, the final, unexpected event was getting to see an enormous flock of pelicans fly over. It was quite a spectacular show.
We made our way back to the house where the bachelorette party was just winding down. Being able to just mingle and relax with the Sobieski Vodka and Camus Cognac after a long and fun day was the perfect ending.
Party decorations and markers provided by sponsors; everything else for the webcam photo booth provided by me.
Photo booths are a popular party trend right now – all you have to do is take a quick look at Pinterest to see how many fun and creative ideas are out there! I knew I wanted to do something like this for Jaime’s bachelorette party, so I started looking up programs that might work for this purpose, since I wanted to make the booth myself. Jai tested out a few open source photo booth programs, but we couldn’t get any of them to work reliably with my laptop, so he ended up using the software that came with a Logitech Webcam that I own.
All the setup required was my laptop and the webcam. The Logitech software that came with the webcam not only had a timer delay, so that guests would be able to click the button and have a few seconds to strike their pose before it captured the photo, but it also had a bunch of fun borders and effects to choose from – perfect for that purikura look!
After Jai’s rigorous testing, I could tell this webcam photo booth would be perfect for what I had in mind.
When party time rolled around, I booted up my laptop to the Logitech program and printed out a page of directions which I set underneath the laptop, so guests would know how to use it. I also set the laptop up in front of a full-length mirror in order to make it easier to pose.
For the backdrop, I taped several pink plastic tablecloths on the wall, using a bachelorette banner, pink streamers and black balloons from House of Bachelorette as the accent. I set it up right behind a chaise lounge in order to maximize space in the party area and give guests a place to sit while posing for pics.
Here I am testing the webcam before putting the decorations up in order to figure out where to tape the backdrop. You can tell I’m in full hostess mode since I’m wearing my apron!
Of course, you can’t have a photo booth without props! I set up two small tables by the chaise lounge to hold the props.
A simple printed sign let guests know what the items were for.
I loved the idea of having a frame with the occasion and party date written on it, so that keepsake photos could be created to remember the night by. I bought a sheet of Styrofoam from Dollar Tree, and cut a rather uneven square out of the middle with an X-Acto knife. I then used a Painter’s Paint marker to write “Jaime’s Bachelorette” and the party date on the bottom of the frame. I used these same markers for the bachelorette party last year, so they have come in handy for these bachelorette crafts!
I didn’t have to do anything for the rest of the props other than open my closet! Me being me, I have all kinds of flashy accessories, so I just pulled out a few pieces to take to the party. I brought several feather boas, a tiara, fancy gloves, and tattoo pattern armwarmers!
The backdrop that I set up looked really cute in all the selfies guests were taking as part of the scavenger hunt! In fact, the props got used in the scavenger hunt as well when it came time to make a veil. As for the photo booth itself? To be honest, there was so much going on and we were having so much fun that we never really got to “Officially” using it! However, the guys from the bachelor party had fun photobombing it:
Have you ever used a photo booth at a party?
Now that we’ve come to the end of our bachelorette party drinks recap for Jaime’s bachelorette, I wanted to put together one master post with links to all the recipes, to make it easy for anyone planning their bachelorette menus. As you’ll see, these drinks all share ingredients in common, which makes it easy to put together an in-home bar for your party. All but 1 of these drinks fit perfectly with a “Pink” theme, so they’re great for any girl’s night in – and you can also adjust the sweetness to your taste.
Jaime’s Bachelorette Party Drinks Menu:
Any time I throw a party, you can be assured that the food will be plentiful. I’d much rather have too much food than not enough – I want to make sure my guests have a good time, and I welcome leftovers because I’ll just put them to use after the party! Jaime’s bachelorette party food buffet ended up being so large that several people commented, “How many guests are you expecting?!” when they saw how much there was! Since party food seems to be my specialty, I wanted to share what I did at this event to give you inspiration for your own menu.
Bachelorette Party Food Ideas
- Wedding-Themed Eats: As you can tell from the photo above, I can’t resist terrible puns. The “Can’t elope” joke sprung into my mind while I was writing down ideas for the party, and I quite literally got a cantaloupe just so I could use that joke. I printed off a piece of paper with my joke, taped it onto the back of toothpick, cut the melon into small pieces and then inserted the sign into one of the pieces of cantaloupe to display it.
- Other Fruit: I also served grapes, watermelon slices, and two large trays filled with raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Since most of my cocktail recipes called for fresh raspberries, these trays did double-duty for both making the drinks and also providing a sweet snack for the guests.
- Cheese Table: As I mentioned in my post about our wine tasting, I picked out a selection of six cheeses to pair with our wines. There was so much cheese that I ended up putting it on a separate table since it wouldn’t fit on the main buffet!
- Homemade Bread: My bread machine makes bread baking a snap, and fresh, homemade bread always seems to be a big hit. I took my breadmaker to Portland, since I wanted to bake bread for the party and also for a Tapas Competition I was going to the following day. I baked two loaves for the party and it went really nicely with the cheeses.
- Aceitunas a la Sevillana: Speaking of the Tapas Competition, I was also making Aceitunas a la Sevillana for the event, and decided to double the batch so I could serve them at the bachelorette as well, since they are also pair excellently with wine.
- Hummus: I got two large containers of hummus, which I think makes a great party snack. Guests could eat this with the bread or with the veggie platter I made. Which brings us to:
- Veggies: I usually prefer to make my own veggie platters rather than getting the pre-made ones, since it’s the more frugal option. I chopped up cucumber and bell pepper, which I served along with grape tomatoes and peeled, chopped carrot sections.
- Pizza: I wanted to have something for a main course, so I picked up several large, ready-to-bake pizzas. Since there was a lot of food, I only ended up needing to bake one during the party – we cut it into bite-sized pieces, which made it easy to serve! Pizza also paired with one of the wines I was serving.
- Chocolate: I set out a box of Merci Chocolates to be enjoyed with the Rosa Regale wine that was available.
- Popsicles: I was gifted a stack of coupons for free boxes of Popsicles, so I picked up a few boxes for the party, just for fun! I put them in a foam cooler underneath the buffet table, but had to drag it on the front porch after the box broke apart on one side.
I kept two other coolers under the buffet table: One was completely filled with ice, and the other contained things like my cocktail shaker, sweetener, limes, and mint for the cocktails. I also placed two boxes in the kitchen for trash and recycling. I always like to label these clearly at parties, so guests know where to place their empty plates and bottles.
What are your top tips for creating a memorable menu?
We’ve reached the last of the drink recipes from Jaime’s bachelorette party menu! So far, all of the drinks I’ve shared have been “Pink Cocktails” to match the party decor. But today’s Lemon Drop Martini breaks away from the pack with a tangy twist!
Since I had a bottle of regular Sobieski Vodka in addition to the Raspberry and Black Cherry flavors, I wanted to do a twist on a standard martini recipe using this base flavor. Since I was already using lemon juice in a few other cocktail recipes, I did some Googling and found some great lemon drop martini recipes. For the life of me, I can’t find the link to site I first found the recipe on, but this Lemon Drop Martini recipe on What’s Cooking America is the same as the recipe I modified for the party.
I put my own spin on this recipe by omitting the Triple Sec and lemon twist/peel. This makes a much more tart cocktail, which ended up being perfect; my guests preferred drinks that are not too sweet, and they personally thought it would have been too sugary with Triple Sec. But if this has too much bite for you, just use one of the suggested orange liqueurs or add a little more sugar.
How to Host a Wine Tasting Party
One of the activities I arranged for Jaime’s bachelorette party last month was a wine tasting. I think it turned out well and would be a great activity for any bachelorette, since it covers a lot of bases and can be as involved or casual as the atmosphere dictates. Here’s how I put together mine!
Compile Your Wine List
I talked about this briefly in my article on tips for selecting bachelorette wine. I asked the bride for her preferences in wines, and then asked my friends at Banfi what they would suggest based on that. This is what they recommended:
I also printed out a copy of the wine list to display on the table, so guests could easily see what was available.
Choose Your Food Pairings
With my wine list in hand, I then created a menu for the party that included food pairings for the wines:
- The Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui was paired with a selection of Merci Chocolates.
- I paired the Centine Bianco with Aceitunas a la Sevillana, which I was making for a Tapas competition. I just made a double batch: One for the party, and one for the competition!
- Since the Centine Rosso, Rosa Regale, and Rainstorm Pinot Gris go particularly well with cheese, I created an entire end table dedicated just to cheese. I served Brie, Havarti, Gouda, Cheddar, Goat, and Mini Baybel cheeses, along with a couple of loaves of homemade bread and grapes.
- The Bolla Bardolino pairs nicely with pizza, so I picked up a few varieties of pizza to serve as our main course.
Decorate Your Table
I printed out the tech sheets for each wine and placed them on the table underneath the corresponding bottle. These sheets told guests all about each variety of wine, so they would know where each wine was produced as well as its characteristics. The tech sheets for all Banfi Wines are all available on the wine product pages I linked to above, if you end up doing a similar wine tasting and want to know where to find them.
I also included a pretty, decorative handpainted wine glass on the table as an accent, as I talked about in an earlier post. As you may have noticed in the photos above, I put small plastic stemware on the table for the wine tasting. I actually found them at Dollar Tree – I got one package of plastic wine glasses and one package of plastic champagne flutes, for variety. I wanted a cute way to serve the wine without having to mess around with transporting and washing over a dozen wine glasses!
Prepare Wine Tasting Cards
I made up a set of custom wine tasting cards for the party and set them on the table along with a stack of pencils. This way, guests could record which wines they liked (Or didn’t!), and take a card home to remember which ones were their favorites. I wanted to share the printable I made, in case anyone would like to use it at their next party:
Free Wine Tasting Card Printable
NOTE: I wanted to keep these cards small, so they only fill about 1/3 of a standard 8 x 11″ page; you will need to trim the paper to fit. Perhaps not the most elegant solution, but it works.
How Our Party Turned Out
Banfi provided me with some tips on determining how much wine I might need – click here to read those if you missed it! – which was really helpful. There was a generous amount of wine to begin with – the guests were impressed by the variety of wines I had available! – and since I was also serving other cocktails and beverages, we had wine left over for dinner the next day and for the bride to keep as a gift. It worked out great!
Everyone had fun, and the combination of foods paired with the wines seemed to go over really well. I would absolutely serve this same menu again, since it seemed to be such a big hit!
Have you ever hosted a wine tasting party?
1.5 oz Sobieski Raspberry Vodka
1 oz Sobieski Black Cherry Vodka OR simple syrup (If preferred)
.5 oz lemon juice
1 mint sprig + 4 mint leaves
Combine 4 raspberries and mint leaves with ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour in vodka(s) and juices, shake, and pour into glass. For garnish, stick mint sprig into your remaining raspberry to make a "Flower" and place on top of the ice in your glass.
Today I want to show you how to make favor bags! This is what I did for for Jaime’s bachelorette party – they turned out cute and simple, using mostly supplies from Dollar Tree. If you’re having a hard time finding the right thing for your party, perhaps this will provide some inspiration.
The favors consisted of the simple DIY tea bag craft I showed you yesterday, along with a glowstick bracelet. I found a package of 15 for $1, and since the plan was to go ’80s dancing after the bachelorette, I thought this would fit with the theme and be a fun item to wear clubbing. We were actually having so much fun at the party that we never even left to go to the club, but it was still a fun favor!
I picked up 2 packages of pink paper bags at Dollar Tree, and printed little cards commemorating the occasion and date, which I taped to the front of each bag.
I also printed out one of the couple’s engagement photos and taped it to the back of the bags to seal them shut.
I then printed out a sign reading “Favor Bags – please take one!” and arranged them on a table at the party.
If you’ve ever thrown a bachelorette party, I’d love to know what you did for favors!